This post brought to you by Dixie. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Lovebugs and Postcards.
Having a family dinner can be tricky. Kids of all ages have their own trials and so far I have been able to find fun family dinner ideas to keep my kids involved and enjoying the meal. My oldest is only 10, but setting the ground work now and starting the tradition of family dinners is hopefully preparing all of my kids for the routine that it will be in our lives and see the value of it. It is great for us because even though we get to be together all the time, we are not really “together” and different things happen that we want to share with each other but don’t always find the time. Family dinner offers the perfect opportunity to share these stories and more. It can be a little silly and a little rowdy but it is always special and memories are made. One thing we have always tried to do is enforce no electronics at the table so that we can enjoy each other without distractions. This means no phones, TV, kindles, tablets, etc, and they go in a basket for safe keeping until the meal is over and cleaned up and making it so that it is #DarkForDinner. Sometimes longer on family nights.
To have a successful family dinner you first have to have good food that everyone loves and enjoys. Our dinner on this night was grilled Steak and Potatoes with hot dogs, salad, and fruit. It turned out great. The nice thing was the variety so there was something for everyone. Here are my 10 fun family dinner ideas:
- Be creative in your meal choices and get input from your family. Have your kids help prepare the meal, set the table, etc and let them make it fun with name cards, a special drink or dessert, etc. This will give your kids a sense of accomplishment as well and they will be more likely to want to have family meals.
- A have basket or a place where everyone can put their electronics and be sure to turn off the TV so that your family can enjoy their time together, getting to know each other. There are some fun games/conversation starters that you can use to get the family talking and sharing stories. Some of them are like “Your favorite part of today was….”, “What did you learn at school/church today…” and “Tell me about your three favorite….”.
- Set it up to be something different – like an experience from a different time or place. Having spaghetti? Try and make it Italian with your style and decor and setting. Have a picnic outside. Change it up a little so that it is not the “same ole same ole” and it will keep it interesting. If you are short on time or don’t have the resources, you can still do fun things like make or print out sheets that talk about histories and facts that you can discuss – especially if there are relatives you can relate the time to.
- Play guessing games – have everyone study the table then one person closes their eyes. Something is removed from the table and the person opens their eyes and tries to guess what is missing.
- Ask the kids questions about yourself – or have them ask questions about themselves to you and see how well you know each other. Favorite color, food, place to visit, animal, etc. This is really fun and you will be surprised at the answers.
- Put everyone’s names on paper and pass the bowl around the table and have everyone pick a name. As the dinner goes on, have people each take a turn saying something nice or a memory about that person that they love.
- Have a story time – where one person starts a story, and then they hand it off to the next person and so on around the table. This is really fun and gives the kids a chance to be creative and funny.
- Play the “who am I” game. Pick someone out and have your family ask questions that can be answered with YES or NO to try and figure out who it is. To give a few hints you can act like them or give a couple of clues without revealing the answer.
- Use a dice to help your younger kids eat their food. Everyone takes turn rolling the dice and the number they get is how many bites they have to take.
- Use the A,B,C’s to create a word game. Start with a theme like foods – then start with A – and someone has to come up with a food that starts with A, then the next person says a food that starts with the letter B, and so on all the way around until someone misses. This is really fun.
I wanted to share these tips with you in part with the #DarkForDinner movement from Dixie. This movement encourages families to be present in the moments that matter most. It is so important to spend more meaningful time together, especially during dinner and really appreciate each other. This is also part of turning off/muting all electronic devices so you can focus on each other. Join Dixie by participating in the #DarkForDinner movement. For one family dinner, make sure work calls, personal calls, social media or other distractions do not take away from time you can spend together. Go #DarkForDinner and enjoy great conversation and time with what really matters most in life, your family.
What fun family dinner ideas do you have and how will your family go #DarkforDinner?