Creating a stronger family connection is our top goal. But with the speed of life, the hustle, and technology in our way, connection can be a big issue! Today I want to share a daily check-in game we play almost every night. We play this game at dinner and I know has helped us grow as a stronger family.
This game is simple, for any age, and there’s nothing required–just you and those most important to you.
I hope that by sharing this game, you’ll be able to adapt it to your own family. I hope that ultimately, you’ll grow stronger connections too. Read on for the “rules” and how we started playing it every night. Also, I included a free and easy tool that will help you remember it each night!
The Daily Game That Creates a Stronger Family
So many families find it harder and harder to all sit down for dinner together on a nightly basis. And often when busy families do all eat together it’s hurried and rushed.
Several years ago, my boys taught me about a game they’d played at camp called Rose, Bud, Thorn.
The game was simple, and not even truly a game, but more of an exercise in sharing about our days in a purposeful way:
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Rose for what your favorite part of the day was.
Bud for something coming up that you are excited about.
And Thorn for the worst part of your day.
Old Camp Games Are the Best Games
My boys probably regret sharing this game with me now, as “sharing” isn’t their favorite activity. But even still, I think they will someday appreciate having a family that truly cared about your day–about your Rose, Bud, and Thorn.
The boys are both involved in Boy Scouts and after returning home from camp one summer, I heard them talking about the game their leader had taught them and played with them at the end of every day of camp–Rose, Bud, Thorn.
Of course, I asked them to explain further and decided to adapt it for our own family to play over dinner each night–and it has stuck for years!
Rose, Thorn, Bud
We do it like this: over dinner, we go around the table and share our Rose for the day, what our favorite part of the day was.
The way the boys learned at camp was to do Rose, Bud, Thorn. But I didn’t want to end our conversation on the Thorn-part of our days. So we switched it to be Rose, Thorn, and then Bud–sandwiching the negative between two positives.
After we go around the table and each shares our Rose for the day, we keep going with our Thorn and then our Bud.
It’s really common for our Rose, Thorn, and Buds to break us into different conversations and tangents–the key isn’t getting to the end of the game…the key is a conversation–connection!
Your Own Family Dinner Tradition
This is such a simple tradition to start with your own family! And to make it even easier, I created a printable you can print, laminate and pass around at dinner each night for your family to fill in their Rose, Thorn, and Bud. Some kids would prefer to write it! Then you can set your list in the middle of the table until the next night.
- Grab a Laminator here if you don’t have one
- Don’t forget the laminating pouches
- and fine-tipped dry erase markers
Most of All, Stay Flexible
Finally, don’t forget the only “rule” to Rose, Thorn, Bud…stay flexible. Some kids are more into sharing than others. Know that we don’t all express ourselves in the same way.
I have a child whose Bud is often, “when this game is over.” 😉 And that’s ok! It always makes us laugh and that’s connection too.
Play Rose, Thorn, Bud with your family–old camp games are the best! This is nothing more than an organized way of creating connection with each other, which in turn, creates a stronger family bond.