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Boost dinner party conversation with Penny Game

January 18, 2013

by Sandy Coughlin

The Reluctant Entertainer
Medford blogger, author, entertainer

I’ve been hearing more and more from people who are intimidated by the thought of opening their home to guests. I guess the meal (planning and cooking) is enough pressure, but on top of that, people worry about “what to say,” or how to really get to know new friends.

It does take risk and courage to open our homes, so for those worried about “conversation,” today I’m sharing a fun, easy idea for how to break the ice, or get the conversation rolling.

It’s called The Penny Game.

What you need:
-1 penny for each guest
-Water goblet or wine glass for each guest

This fun conversation starter involves rounding up pennies with dates that roughly correspond with the childhood (and beyond) years of your guests.

How to play:
1. The hostess selects a penny for each guest and places it under the water goblet where that person will sit.

2. Once dinner begins, each guest takes their turn looking at the date on their penny and shares something significant from their life from that year.


Let’s say you’ve played this game before. Change it up a bit! At the last minute, say each penny under the glass is for the person on “their right” or “their left.” That really throws a spin on the game.

The stories can range from guests’ younger years in life to the most recent.

It’s a fun way to learn something new about each other. Usually you’ll find that respect for each other grows when you learn more intimate things about your party guests.

I will guarantee after you do something light and fun like this, everyone will have a lighter, more relaxed attitude.

And be ready to have more fun!

Do you struggle with conversation when hosting a dinner party?

Have you ever lightened the mood at a dinner party by playing games to get to know your guests?

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