Motherhood

Would You Rather, But Better

Would You Rather, But Better

We started doing such a fun thing at dinner…

A week or so ago, as I was slicing up a just-baked, warm loaf of No-Knead bread, my 16-year-old asked me a question: If you had to choose fresh bread dunked in olive oil or fresh bread spread with really good butter which one would it be? It was a no-brainer for me: Butter wins every time. But it reminded me of a regular segment on the Bon Appetit Foodcast — when they have guests on the podcast, they do a Lightning Round of questions at the end, and ask the guest to pick one thing over another for the rest of his or her life. They always end with “olive oil or butter?” but they personalize the other questions based on the guest. I told my daughter this and she immediately replied, “Do one for me.”

So I finished my warm buttered bread, and — because it’s quarantine and I welcome the opportunity to stretch anything into as long an activity as possible —  started brainstorming questions for her on my computer. She was hovering and wanted me to ask them right away, but I told her she’d have to wait for dinner so the whole family could chime in. The questions were all over the place; they ranged from travel (Yosemite or Death Valley?) to entertainment (Omar or Avon? We’re watching The Wire) to crushes (haha, like I’d ever say here!) and naturally, to food (Waffles or Crepes? Bao Buns or Soup Dumplings? Acai or Pitaya?) The trick, of course, just like with Either Or, is to make the decisions as specific and as difficult as possible because the best part, from a parent’s perspective at least, is hearing about the rationales for their choices. If it’s a hard choice, they really search their souls to bare their truths. As soon as I finished, her older sister asked me to do one for her, which, of course, we did the next night.

Obviously, it doesn’t have to be played at the dinner table, but for whatever reason, the game seemed to infuse a regular old weeknight with a little celebratory vibe. And these days, I’ll take that whenever and wherever I can get it.

P.S. How to get young kids to talk at dinner and the best conversation starter.

 

  1. Sam says...

    My friend plays a similar game with her little boy, but asks “what’s scarier: a werewolf or a zombie?” And then picks a new thing to pit against the winner. Also: “what’s grosser (more gross, for the grammatically inclined): boogers or earwax?”

  2. kate says...

    my 7 year old son will randomly come up to me and really seriously ask me these but they are always a little morbid…. “would you rather have crab claws as hands or one giant eye?”

    • Heather says...

      Yes! I get them before bed. “Where do squirrels poop? Shouldn’t we see it more?” “Is there a girl Red Hulk?” Boy, my son keeps me on my toes!

    • I think they’re cool questions. Maybe he’ll become a scientist. Now I’m curious about where squirrels poop.

  3. Gaby says...

    My sister has been sending us self-made multiple choice quizzes about herself to our family. She uses the site BuddyMeter. They are so fun!! Questions like “what’s my favourite restaurant in Vancouver”, “favourite lacroix flavour”, “lake, ocean, or pool” etc.

    Then we all have fun seeing who got the best score.

  4. Camille says...

    What a nice activity to try with myself tonight.

  5. Emily says...

    We did this last night with my kids and it was wonderful! My 4 year old asked if we’d rather live in a sewer with Ninja Turtles or a bakery and was DUMBFOUNDED when we picked bakery (“Bakery?! Thats the silliest thing Ive ever heard!”). My 2 year old had fun answering but couldn’t quite get how to make up a question (“Dad.. you get FROZEN PIGS.” ….”Or?”….”no. just frozen pigs for you.”) – it was such a great way to stop telling them what to do for a while and to listen to how their little minds work! Thank you for this post!

    • Mercy says...

      This was cute and made me laugh really hard, thank you :)

  6. Hanna says...

    One of our awesome babysitters plays this with the kiddos. She calls it “This or That” and puts in their terms. “Who’s worse? Jackson Storm (Cars) or Zach (Wild Kratts)?” “Team Raisins or No Raisins?” And eventually they start thinking of their own. It’s one of the many reasons we love and miss her!

  7. We’ve been doing top 5 and top 3 lists. The other night was “Top 5 dinner party guests, dead or alive.” We would have loved to have dinner with Einstein, Michaelangeo, Edison, Dolly Parton and Mother Teresa. Yesterday was “Top 3 musical artists in concert, dead or alive and they could collaborate some music.” We had a hard time choosing between Stevie Wonder, the Beatles, U2, Jon Bellion, Whitney Houston and Elvis.

    • Rachel says...

      It’s such a specific memory for me that we would do Top 3 lists when we went out for breakfast at Bob Evans. Dad always knew my favorite – Top 3 Julia Roberts movies.

  8. MB says...

    Thank you so much for a fresh idea on keeping things exciting at home! When every day feels like Groundhog day it’s nice to spice things up a bit. Going to try this with my 3 year old today over dinner!

  9. Genevieve Martin says...

    I have a question about the no-knead bread! The instructions are a little confusing, specifically it says “Let the dough rest for at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, as much as 24”
    Then the next instruction says after 18 hours to fold it, and the next instruction is to bake it.
    So just wondering if there is any second rise between the folding and the baking? Or is it fold right before baking? If you let it rest for 24 hours presumably you wouldn’t fold at 18 hours but wait for before baking? Thanks!! X

    • Nic says...

      Whenever I bake no-knead bread, I let it rise a second time for approx. 30-45 minutes while the oven is heating (with the dutch oven in it!) — it gives it a shorter second rise and then you can just pick up the parchment paper you fold it on and put it straight into the dutch oven! I hope that helps!

    • Genevieve Martin says...

      Thank you Nic :)
      That does help, and is basically what I did! It worked well but stuck to the baking paper so we had to cut the bottom off each slice haha. More flour dusting next time.

  10. Bonnie says...

    We have played a game like this for years with our friends’ kids and now ours that we call “Hot Seat”. Everyone around the table asks lightning round “either/or” questions to the person in the Hot Seat and the only rule is that they can’t say “both”. It has been hilarious to see the questions kids come up with for each other over the years especially with a wide range of ages involved. When my oldest was 3, he asked everyone who took a turn in the Hot Seat “do you like milk in bed, or water in bed?”. My middle child (currently 3 yo) loves to mix categories with his questions (“do you like cheetahs or fire trucks?”) which makes his questions surprisingly tricky! We have shared so many giggles around the table with this game and it has been a very bright spot in this time of distancing.

  11. Amanda says...

    We have been playing some fun dinner games with my 4 year old the last few weeks, many at his suggestion. His current favorite is “guess the animal,” which is simple but so much fun with him. He also likes to bring out the easel and play “guess what I’m drawing.” This is usually more post-dinner, dessert time, but it’s great because it’s one of the only times he is excited about drawing.

  12. Emma says...

    My four year old has been having trouble accepting playful humour recently. Last night, we played “Joke or Truth”. I say something completely outrageous and she’d have to guess if it was a joke or truth. I’m hoping helps her to recognise jokes as they come – and if not, we had half an hour of playful dinner time banter.

  13. Alyssa says...

    Love this! I used to do this all the time with one of my coworkers. We knew we had taken it too far when we got to red lentils vs. green lentils.

  14. nadine says...

    Well, I kept reading the title of the post as: “Would you rather but butter” hahaha
    I’m usually on team olive oil but warm freshly made bread with a good butter is just divine.

    • cg says...

      I totally read it the same way, and my immediate thought was “Butter!”

  15. Ceridwen says...

    Love this! My daughters would love it too. They often play would you rather but the scenarios usually involving eating a spider or wearing shoes made of poo or something. Hilarious yes! But I think as they are getting older, they’d love this one with a positive vibe. Especially now as we fantasise about things before or after quarantine. All the things that delight us.
    This photo made my heart sing. I love the company of my daughters and this photo of you two look like you feel the same. It’s lovely.

  16. My boyfriend and I play this game on car rides! Every question almost always leads to a much larger discussion, sometimes deep & sometimes ridiculous!

  17. J. says...

    I love this!!! My sister (who will probably see this comment later–hi!) shared a fun game her coworkers played that has now become a hallmark of my virtual team meeting and has spawned a LOT of conversation and intense debate.

    It’s called Always, Sometimes, Never, and is… fairly self-explanatory (and similar to F/M/K in concept!):

    Here are some of the best ones we’ve debated, acknowledging they’re not all intended to be ‘equivalent’ or even comparable, just for fun discussion!, and also knowing that it’s a luxury to even have these choices.

    This is quite long…I have played this game a LOT across Zoom happy hours/team meetings!:

    The Wire, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones
    Friends, Office, Seinfeld
    Parks & Rec, 30 Rock, Office
    Headphones, bluetooth speaker, car stereo/sound system
    AirPods, iPad, Apple TV (or equivalent!)
    Veep, Silicon Valley, Curb Your Enthusiasm
    New York, LA, Chicago
    Paris, London, Madrid/Rome (even if you’ve never been!)
    April, July, October
    Valentine’s Day, Halloween, 4th of July
    Whiskey, vodka, tequila
    White wine, red wine, sparkling wine
    Rose, aperol spritz (or something similar), white wine
    Hot coffee, iced coffee, tea
    Treadmill, elliptical, other machine
    Drake, Travis Scott, Post Malone (we did a LOT of musical combos but you can adjust for any)
    Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty
    Playlist, radio, album
    Call, text, FaceTime
    Beach, mountains, lake
    Ice cream, cake, pie
    Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings
    Read news, watch news, no news
    United, American, Delta
    Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai
    Bolognese, marinara, carbonara
    Mexican, Italian, sushi
    Hotel, bed & breakfast, Airbnb
    Card game, board game, video game
    Madewell, J. Crew, Banana Republic
    Lululemon, Nike, Outdoor Voices/Athleta
    Chipotle, In-n-Out (we’re in California!), Shake Shack
    3 favorite local restaurants that the whole group knows
    Skirt, dress, pants
    Going on a run, doing a workout class, yoga/hiking
    Restaurant with a group of 6, home-cooked meal with group of 4, dinner party with 15
    60s, 70s, 80s (re: fashion/music)
    NFL, NBA, MLB
    College sports, pro sports, no sports (no watching, not eliminating!)
    Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime
    Spotify, Apple Music, Soundcloud
    Cheese plate, bread basket, chips & salsa
    Tater tots, mashed potatoes, french fries
    Curly fries, regular fries, waffle fries
    Receiving flowers, receiving a long hand-written note/card, receiving a gift
    Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, local grocery chain (Safeway in our case)
    Roses, tulips, daisies
    Peonies, dahlias, azaleas
    Physical book, Kindle/ebook, audiobook
    Podcast, article, video (for news, commentary, learning about something)
    “Hi!”/”Hey”/”Hello” (in text)
    Superman, Batman, Spiderman (any version)
    Flavored water, sparkling water, regular water
    TV in bed, reading in bed, phone scrolling in bed
    Sephora, Ulta, drugstore beauty aisle
    Scrambled eggs, hardboiled eggs, eggs some other way
    Almonds, cashews, pistachios
    Bright or dark nails, neutral/nude nails, no nail color
    Music, literature, art (this one got kind of existential and ‘what IS art’y?)
    Fall sweater weather, cozy crisp clean snow weather, 85+ degree sunny summer weather (assuming proper clothing for each!)
    Brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccoli (prepared any way)
    San Francisco, Austin, Denver
    Monopoly, Scrabble, Clue
    Scattergories, Pictionary, Apples to Apples
    Gold, silver, mixed (jewelry)

    I could go on and on but that hopefully is a fun-ish start for anybody who is also seeking dinner table/virtual hangout conversation starters!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      what a great list, J.!!!

    • Megan Lec says...

      Love this list! Thank you! Playing with the hubby tonight 💗

    • CP says...

      Oh my goodness this idea and your list has MADE. MY. DAY. Thank you,

    • A says...

      Saved!

    • Thank you for this list…..family supper conversations planned for days now!

  18. kathleen says...

    We play this with my little kids (4 and 6) and call it “This or That?” The kids LOVE it. We can always count on my 4-year-old daughter for a version of “unicorn or kitty cat?” but they also come up with great and absurd and beauitful ones too, like my 6 year old asking me “The real thing or the memory of the thing?” the other night.

    • Emily says...

      “The real thing or the memory of the thing” brought me to tears (Child brains are so beautiful, aren’t they?) It reminds of me of this line from the poem 13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, by Wallace Stevens:

      V
      I do not know which to prefer,
      The beauty of inflections
      Or the beauty of innuendoes,
      The blackbird whistling
      Or just after.

    • emily yelencich says...

      That Wallace Stevens Poem is an all time fave. Am I suddenly inspired to break out my poetry notebooks from college 11 years ago?! I think I am!

    • mym says...

      Kathleen, that question is so beautiful it took my breath away. And Emily, this poem reminded me of this Winnie the Pooh quote: “Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best…” and he had to stop and think. Because Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment before you began to eat it which is better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.

    • Bonnie says...

      Kathleen – I have thought of your 6 year old’s line so many times in the past couple of days since reading it. A wise soul. Thank you for sharing that. It nudged me to think about some of my favorite memories – are they better than the real experiences? Certainly longer lasting!

  19. Roxana says...

    Love this! We play “Would you rather?” constantly! In fact, we had an extended round of it last night. It can really make dinner fun and help all of us de-stress. Our kids are 8, 6 and 3 (the 3 year old doesn’t really play ;). Our older two really get a kick-out of coming-up with different options – some are hilarious, some are absurd and some are really thought provoking. Highly recommend!

  20. kath says...

    cute! your daughter looks so much like you!

  21. Love this! We’re all adults in our house but still turning to kid-like activities to stay entertained! Board games, Frisbee, dancing to oldies with friends over zoom and eating candy which we are trying to cut back on!

    • jane says...

      As for candy – we’re employing the Swedish trick: no candy period except for Saturday, when you can eat as much as you like all day long. Followed by a thorough, and thoroughly grateful, tooth brushing, naturally.
      It’s a great way to allow both unlimited freedom and maintain some semblance of health and balance.

  22. Katie says...

    I don’t want this to come across as negative, but I genuinely don’t understand how this is different from would you rather? What makes it better?

    • Connor says...

      In my experience Would You Rather is played by presenting two less than ideal scenarios. My go to is: would you rather be alone for the rest of your life or be with your ideal partner but you had lobster claws for hands. This version is less devastating and you get to learn each other’s Actual Real Life preferences.

    • Jess. says...

      This seems much more personal (& realistic). At least in our house, when we play would you rather it’s completely absurd. “Would you rather bark like a seal every time you get a text, or do a spit take every time someone says your name” type stuff. Fun and silly, but not exactly mining the depths of one’s personality, or personal experience. xox

    • Anna says...

      I was wondering that too! But I think, reading closely, that it’s because it’s super specific to the lived experience of the one person you’re asking. Not just “this experience”/”that experience” — but “this one awesome experience YOU had”/”that one awesome experience YOU had.” Still seems like the same game at its heart to me, but just a more personalized version?

      Also underscores to me the essential challenge of making blog/magazine article titles that are cute but not dumb, eek. Mine would be like “A Game.” “Dinner Salad.” “Something I Read.” “Something Else I Read.” ;)

  23. Laura says...

    My husband and I like to play a game we made up called “How Much Would I Have to Pay You?” As in, “How much would I have to pay you to run around the cul-de-sac naked?” or “How much would I have to pay you to eat a live earthworm?” There are always some good laughs, and it can be surprising to think about how much or little one of us would take to do something!

    • Nathalie says...

      True story: My husband once asked me if I’d pay him $5 to lick a snail that we found on our backyard tree. I said no way. He then offered to pay me $5 if I let him do it!!! (which I also turned down, ’cause the thought of kissing him after that . . . )

    • Kristie says...

      Hahaha I love this!

  24. Ann says...

    I have to give credit to my mother in law who always asked after we did anything (ate, traveled, read, watched, all things!) would ask us what was better? I always thought it was interesting and she is a retired therapist. I wonder if she used that in her practice? It’s a good one for any age!

  25. Tess says...

    We play a high-stakes version of this amongst friends that is a really fun way to dig deep. The twist is that it is building, so for example:
    (for the rest of your life) butter or olive oil? butter.
    Ok, butter or ice cream? ice cream.
    ice cream or going to the beach? going to the beach.
    going to the beach or… etc.
    The idea being that what you “gave up” continues to build throughout the game, and you eventually get down to what one thing the person isn’t willing to give up.

    • Anna says...

      Yes! I’ve played it this way too. We call it “Waffles or Pancakes” and always start out with that question. We usually end somewhere around, like, love or life? Or sunlight or companionship? Hahaha.

  26. Amelia says...

    My sister and I play a game called “Day of Perfect Meals” where you list your absolutely perfect breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner and dessert with no restrictions based on geography/reality. It changes all the time based on what we’re in the mood for. Sometimes we do the opposite, “Day of Worst Meals” which is somehow just as fun.

  27. Kelley says...

    My husband and I do this all the time! So much fun and really great to do when traveling too!

  28. Arianne says...

    Not for families, but my girlfriends and I play a game called “She / He’s Perfect, But…” where you describe a perfect partner BUT he has one fatal flaw. They ranged from sort of believable (he facetimes his mom from your dates) to completely absurd (the only music she’ll ever listen to is the soundtrack of Sweeney Todd, his finger tips are made of cheetos). Rule is it’s a reality vacuum, so you can’t use the “But…” to indicate that obviously they’re not actually perfect. Ostensibly it’s to decide what you could bear and what would be a deal breaker, but usually turns into a ramping up of how insane the “but…” can be. Has passed a lot of hours on road trips / waiting in lines / and now we’re playing on Zoom!

    • This is gold. Gonna take this to my happy hour zoom this week!

    • Cassidy says...

      This is my favorite game to play on trips, or even at dinner with somewhat friends/acquaintances when the conversation lulls! I have formed many a friendship based on playing this game with co-workers and friends of friends.

      The best part is all the clarifications. For example, “they’re perfect but they have a tail” always leads to “is it furry” and “can it grab the remote control” and “do they hide it or show it off,” and then it’s even funnier which of the specifications make it a dealbreaker for some people or not for others! (Personally, it’s not a deal breaker if it’s a furry tail, but I’m out if it’s rat-like)

  29. Liz says...

    Is it not discomforting to watch The Wire with your sixteen year old? I’ve always been very strict about what my children watch, but I also realize that watching things together can be good fodder for discussion.

    • Kristin says...

      I thought the same thing, Liz.

    • Becky says...

      I think one of the best parts of my kids getting older is watching their tastes develop and mature. It is really nice to be able to watch thought provoking televsion or movies with them. Also, they are going to watch it anyways, probably better to watch it together.

    • Alex says...

      I think a 16 year old upper class kid is old enough to watch a tv show that depicts, very accurately, the lives of 10 year old poor kids in this country. (my 2-cents as a parent and former resident of Baltimore City)

    • Jax says...

      Different comfort levels for everyone, but I think that’s a wonderful show to educate and provoke thought in your teen. It’s really well done and written — has a literary and anthropological feel.

  30. Micah says...

    I like to play red flag or deal breaker: Would it be a red flag or deal breaker if you found out your boyfriend’s past three girlfriends had the same name as you? ;p

  31. Rosie says...

    Our 12yo daughter loves to do the “would you rather” game with us and I love playing it with her. Its a fun way to get to know someone who you already think you know so well, even better.

  32. jl says...

    please please please can we have Jenny’s questions and everyone else’s ideas pooled in one place???!!!

    • Alli says...

      1000 times yes to this!!!

    • Nora says...

      yes please! its such a fun activity but i have no brain power at all!

    • CS says...

      Yes to this!!! This sounds like such a fun game, until I come up with the options! I can’t think of good ones!!!!

  33. Wendela says...

    We ended up playing this at bedtime a few recent nights when my kids wouldn’t go to bed. We all snuggled in the big parent bed and stayed up too late, giggling. They couldn’t get enough! (I kind of just wanted to go to sleep, but was happy to see my kids laughing together in the midst of everything else going on). I’ll definitely try this at dinner, and food topics are a great idea. I was running out of questions! I now see the trick is to explore new themes, which bring new question topics. Great idea!
    (And I’m on team olive oil, but live with three butter people—we go through shocking amounts of it around here! So as a family we would need to bring both to our desert isle, to avoid arguments ;)

    • jane says...

      Have them each try to make their own butter stash using the mason jar shaker method! Educational and instills appreciation for the process.

  34. Stephanie says...

    My family has done something kind of similar for years and it’s a game we just call “What’s your favorite?” we play it on road trips, waiting in line at an amusement park or just whenever the mood strikes. It starts off with questions like “What’s your favorite Ice Cream?” but then my dad always has the best ones like “What’s your favorite poisonous insect?” or “What’s your favorite disease?”. It’s a fun way to pass the time and get to know people better.

  35. I played a similar game with my husband a few weeks ago, except we called it One Gotta Go! Our questions included: Bono vs. Dave Matthews, Sesame Street vs. Fred Rogers, and ice cream vs. pastries. I posed it to my stories and people were faux outraged over having to potentially eliminate Fred Rogers!!!

  36. Heidi says...

    We play this game with our 6 year old, only our variation is a slide into a pool of….. As in Would you rather slide into a pool of Skittles or MnMs? Ranch dressing or Hot sauce? Fluffy towels from the dryer or warm beach sand? My kiddo loves it!

  37. We always played this on car rides — we Calle dit “This or That?” and the kids loved it!

  38. ally says...

    Would you consider posting your whole list, Jenny? I know they’re specific to your family but even seeing a full example helps. This is a GREAT idea.

    • Jenny Rosenstrach says...

      My family’s questions would make no sense to you, but here are some broad guidelines to help you brainstorm
      LOTS OF SPORTS
      professional athletes
      coaches they’ve played for
      race courses (for my cross country runner)
      soccer positions (for my soccer player)
      beating one rival team vs. another
      LOTS OF FOOD
      restaurants :(
      street food
      home-cooked meals
      birthday games
      desserts
      CULTURE
      characters in movies, tv shows (you can mix and match, i.e. Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids, Leslie Knope in Parks & Rec, etc.)
      musicians/songs
      Movies/directors
      TRAVEL
      places they’ve been
      places they’ve dreamed of going
      views
      sunsets

      You get the idea! the important thing is to be specific within each category, i.e. not “Brownies or Ice Cream,” but The Oat-Brownie Sundae you ate in Charleston OR vanilla soft serve with rainbow sprinkles from Carvel

    • ally says...

      Jenny, THANK YOU!

    • Tammi Dower says...

      Where did you have that sundae??? I live in Charleston?

  39. Lorraine says...

    I love “Would you rather”! My husband has a funny twist that feels so silly it can’t help me crack up with every question. He’ll use two completely different categories, genres (“Pearl Jam or Barry Manilow?”)- or choose two things I don’t much like at all (“Pickled onions or fruit in chocolate?”) – all in the same group of questions. So fun.

  40. Maryann says...

    Haha – I just played this with my kids on a hike yesterday. The best question we had was: would you rather love your job and live in a “meh” place OR love the place where you live and have a meh job? My kids answers were so good and insightful on who they are right now! I couldn’t decide which I’d go with – which is my problem with this game in general…

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      That’s a good one!

    • Sarah says...

      I don’t know what I would pick either!!!!

      Another one: the equally complicated, “Would you rather live a place that your spouse loves but you don’t like–or a place you love and they dislike?” (I’m playing that in real life! LOL! Although I have to admit that during this quarantine, I’m glad we’re taking a turn living where he loves–the country–instead of my love–dense urban spaces!)

    • Jo says...

      This is my current situation: love the place where I live and have a meh job.
      But the meh job is what helps me afford this lovely place I live in.. you win some, u lose some.. :-/

  41. Julie says...

    We’ve been doing something similar via letters. A friend across town sends us a letter with five questions, we respond, and send five questions back. It’s so fun via snail mail. We’ve done, what kind of vegetable would you be? Tell me about the last time you picked out deodorant? What piece of clothing that you’re wearing in heavy rotation do you feel most connected with? What’s your signature dish? It’s been so fun to think of our answers and think of silly questions!

    • Wendela says...

      This is such a sweet idea , Julie! I think it could be perfect for distant cousins (My kids + their cousins) to become pen pals. I’m going to try this!

    • Kristy says...

      What a fantastic idea!

    • Maire says...

      I have been trying to send more letters/cards in the mail so I couldn’t love this idea more!

    • MB says...

      What a fantastic idea! Going to do this with my 3 year old daughter who is missing her friends dearly.

  42. Allison says...

    I love this. Our kids are 3, 5, 7 and 9. During regular life, we play two truths and a lie at dinner to hear about the kids’ days (did I get that idea from CoJ?). The other day our 3 year-old asked why we don’t play anymore. Oh quarantine. It’s just not as fun when you spend every minute of the day together:(

    • Louisa says...

      We do this too (b/c of CoJ) and it’s so funny to hear our 6-year-old try to come up with two truths about her day that we don’t already know! (“Um, did you know what I had for breakfast?” Yes, honey- I made your breakfast.)

  43. Meg says...

    I am with you on butter. Butter all the way. Even better if salted Kerrygold.

    Kitchen has become a boulangerie (sp?) as husband bread enthusiast.
    So much butter being enjoyed.

  44. Rebecca says...

    Obviously Omar.

    • Alison says...

      haha. of course. harder choice would be Omar and Stringer Bell!

    • Liz says...

      Definitely Omar!

    • Kelley says...

      Yep.

  45. Amy says...

    I’ve been including “would you rathers” in my now-grade-3 daughter’s lunchboxes for the last couple years. Jokes are fun sometimes too, but I hope that the WYR notes inspire some lunchtime conversation among her and her friends and I do occasionally hear that “so-and-so said they’d rather have/do ____ because ____”.

    It’s also a great conversation to pull up after school, because it’s specific and easier to answer than “how was your day?”.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      What a cute idea!

  46. Greta says...

    My family and I did a small version of this when “cake or pie” made the rounds and it was so much fun! People are so passionate about their food convictions. My husband truly bonded with my mother over being hands-down pie people while I was satisfied knowing my stepdad, like me, chose cake no question. Frosting for life!

    Also, butter! No contest.

  47. Hali says...

    I love this activity so much that 7 weeks into quarantine, my husband and I would rather not play it anymore haha. We now describe The Perfect Thing: his perfect morning, my perfect road trip, his perfect dinner party, my perfect festival line up… and so on in as rich of detail as possible. I know these seemingly unlimited evening hours on the couch with nothing to do but exist in his company may never be so abundantly available to me again in my life, so I’m enjoying the time to get to know every nook and cranny of his creative brain.

    I wonder if anyone in the comments might have a good recommendation for me on a different topic? We want to watch American History classes after dinner. Not podcasts, not documentaries, but classic format history classes. We’ll get a textbook to go with it if we need have to. Anyone know of such a thing? (We might reach out to our hs history teacher and offer to pay him to zoom teach us an abridged version of our senior year hahaha)

    • Angela says...

      Ugh…I just read an article from NPR that was listing some free streaming opportunities. I know there was one from History Channel that seemed like history education lessons. Wouldn’t you know it won’t pull up in my history!?! Additionally, PBS was going to offer expanded versions of Ken Burns’ series on history. I know you said you didn’t want docs, but c’mon Ken Burns!

    • Nicole says...

      Try Open Culture….They aren’t videos, but free audio of lectures over a semester. Among many others, they have Post-Civil War US History, taught by a Berkley professor.

    • Sonia says...

      Check and see if your local library has access to the Great Courses. There are some streaming videos through Kanopy, or downloadable ebooks or audio lessons through Overdrive. Great Courses can be very expensive and many libraries have them!

    • S. says...

      You might like Open Yale Courses! I can’t speak to all of them, but I “took” the African American History course years ago and it was really good https://oyc.yale.edu/courses

    • Coursera may have some interesting courses. I think you can get some classes free right now for the next 180 days if you sign up but I’m not sure. Either way it’s a great program with lots of different topics you can learn on from professors from great schools (think Stanford, Harvard, Johns Hopkins.)

      I have never used masterclass but see them advertised on instagram all the time.

    • Erin says...

      I just finished reading David McCullough’s biography of John Adams. I really liked it and found it to be good reading for quarantine times. His life was incredibly hard at certain points (he and his oldest son survived a truly harrowing sea voyage across the Atlantic when he was first appointed as an ambassador to France during the American revolution, for instance) but he just kept doing what needed to be done.

    • Maire says...

      Check in w/ your local history museum or archives. Many museums are publishing great online content while their doors are closed to the public. Our museum is doing History Happy Hours every Thursday at 5:30EST over Zoom where we invite a staff member or scholar who has researched with us to talk on a subject. So far, we have talked about Ernie Pyle, historic maps, and this week we are talking about the suffrage movement! I think we have future ones in the works about historical underwear :D It is fun and informal but still informative.

    • Jennifer says...

      Crash Course on YouTube has 48 classes of US History, taught by John Green (author of The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns). It’s really fun and engaging, regardless of your age, and it’s all free. You can even find worksheets people have made up to go with it online!

    • Alice says...

      History Professor here. Love that you’re interested in this! A few suggestions:

      Historian Alice Kessler Harris has an excellent MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on women and work in American history: https://www.edx.org/course/seeking-womens-rights-colonial-period-to-the-civil

      Yale has several free online courses. I recommend the David Blight one on the Civil War and Reconstruction (I don’t care for Joanne Freeman’s work, but that’s just me): https://oyc.yale.edu/courses

      Gilder Lehrman offers several self-paced courses (not free, but not super expensive – and goes toward a great organization): https://www.gilderlehrman.org/programs-and-events/self-paced-courses

      If you’re feeling particularly history-inclined and ambitious, you can also help transcribe historical documents from home! Nothing beats interacting with primary sources, imo. https://transcription.si.edu/ or https://crowd.loc.gov/

  48. Becca says...

    Ahh! I have been playing this with my kids these days when we are on long (ish) walks and my 9 year old starts to complain. Ours are almost all food related–“waffles or pancakes?” “chocolate chip cookies or cinnamon buns?” Everyone gets into it, and the kids are distracted enough to stop complaining that mom took them on a longer walk than planned :)

    • Sarah says...

      Oh my gosh yes. The fact that going on a walk feels like a burden to them is so crushing. I recently wore the 1 year old and pushed the 3 and 4 year old in a double Bob just to go on a long walk without anyone complaining. This is a great idea for stretching out their stamina.

  49. Deb says...

    Sunrise or sunset?

    • Lisa says...

      Sunset

  50. celeste says...

    I love it, and my dinner (and lunch) conversations could be a little more infused beyond e-learning topics right now. I’ll google some cheat sheets!

  51. Ashley says...

    We play would you rather all.the.time! My kids are 4, 6, and 8 so we veer toward the ridiculous with our questions ( would you rather walk backwards or on all fours forever, would you rather have ever growing eyebrows or fingernails?…..). The kids have strong opinions! Sometimes their reasoning is really insightful (all fours, I’m already pretty close to the ground…) This is the perfect road trip distraction!

  52. awads says...

    awww! i’m going to do that right now for my 12 year old son. he loves “would you rather” games, but his questions are usually impossible to answer and/or absurd. My questions are gonna be super probing/nosey!

  53. ash says...

    What a lovely idea Jenny! Thank you for sharing with the CoJ fam!

  54. Alex says...

    love this! what were their choices? Tell us more!

  55. M says...

    Would you rather… CoJ House Tours or CoJ Week of Outfits? 🙂

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Hahaha

    • E says...

      House tours! But love them both :).

    • Erin says...

      So tough! Gotta go with outfits though!

    • Robin says...

      Both!

    • Kelly says...

      House tours!

    • Allie says...

      House tour every time!

    • Leah Solomon says...

      Outfits!

    • Jessica Melindy says...

      CoJ House Tours because we get a glimpse of outfits in there as well ;)

    • Meg says...

      outfits!

    • Laura says...

      house tours!

    • Lauren H says...

      House Tours!

    • Wendy D says...

      house tours!

    • Sarah says...

      Outfits because there’s usually a skin-care or beauty rec I can bookmark and possibly afford!

    • Jax says...

      House Tours!!
      Just home-obsessed here and now even more so. Nothing interests me more than seeing how others arrange their stuff, esp. if they live in a smaller city apartment with a family!

      Having said that, keep the Week of Out fits up too!