Family Spinner

Engage your family over dinner with this fun and thoughtful game

By Emily Papa, Macaroni Kid South Hills of Pittsburgh Publisher December 15, 2020

What does your dinner time conversations look like? I remember when my daughter first had kindergarten orientation - they sent us home with this awesome list of questions to ask your kid at the end of the day. Over 30 alternatives to “how was your day?” which just rolls off of my tongue. No matter how many times I look at that list and ask the questions phrased the way they are on there, it never feels natural.

A few months ago, my kids went to Eat‘n Park and came home with this awesome table game called the Family Spinner where you simply take turns to flick a spinner and then use the kid friendly discussion prompt to share your feelings over dinner. There are 8 different feelings to chose from and the person who is talking has the floor while everyone else just listens. 

As a drug and alcohol clinician for 10 years prior to being a SAHM, I’m always looking for the best ways to get my family talking, and about feelings?! #momwin I was super stoked to play the Family Spinner with my kids and wondered how I was only discovering it now! I started to look into it a little more, only to find out that Family Spinner was inspired and created by a local woman in Pittsburgh!! After reaching out to Ilana Schwarcz and learning about her inspiration for and the evolution of the Family Spinner, I felt even more passionate about it. 

This game now lives on our table, and we play it a few meals a week. It's so simple that my 4-year-old, 8-year-old AND my 40-year can all play it easily ;) It has provided us with some quality dialogue without having to read off of a sheet that we wouldn't be having otherwise. My kids are exploring their feelings and I find myself listening to every word they are saying, undistracted and focused on the "game." Even if you already have meaningful conversations with your kids, I feel like every table needs to have one of these on it to see the possibilities of where the conversations can go! Here, check out this quick video! 

Family Spinner is listed in our Shop Local Holiday Gift Guide and is an easy YES. The Family Spinner retails for $9.99 but Macaroni Kid Subscribers can use the code MACKIDS for $3.50 off. That's a heck yes.

Investing in a Family Spinner is not only investing in a local small business, but in your family and the future of your children by teaching them how to identify and process daily feelings. What better time to do that than now? Head on over to and grab yours today!