Crazy Ideas for Family Fun at Mealtime!

Posted by on August 14, 2012 in Dinner-time Fun!, Misc. | 22 comments

Stop boring mealtime and add some fun!

Sometimes you need to change things up a bit. Mealtime might be the same ritual each night. Why not change it up with a few ideas for family fun at mealtime? Make it memorable and different. Try something new each month and make it a lasting memory. Take pictures and get into the fun!

1. Hat Night

Wear or make a hat to wear to the dinner table. Be as crazy as you can. Decorate a hat you already have or make one from a paper plate, paper bowl, newspaper or whatever you might have on hand.

2. Make a Card Night

Assign each a member of your family. Put names in a hat and draw one out for the next evening. Make a card for that person and tell what is special about them. Share at the dinner table the next night.

3. Backwards Night

Wear an item of clothing backwards to the dinner table that night.  Item choices could be t-shirt, shorts, hat, etc. Good for some laughs! You could even have the meal backwards – dessert first!

4. Random Acts of Kindness Night

Put names in a hat and draw one out for the next evening. Anytime during that next day, secretly do some kinds acts for that person. It could be picking up their clothes, making their bed, making a card for them, putting away a toy they left out, letting them play with something special of yours or whatever kind idea they can find to do. At the dinner table, each person tells what it is that they did for their  person. When my kids were young, I found they spent the day looking for kind things to do for the other person and not always thinking of themselves.

5. Joke Night

At dinner, be ready to share a joke. With little kids, Mom or Dad can help with this.You could have a jar filled with jokes and riddles and each draw one out.

6. Fancy Dinner Night

Get out the good china and have the kids help set the table. Use goblets purchased at the dollar store so you’re not afraid if they break. Let the kids be in charge of a nice centerpiece or you can help them make something by arranging flowers or using a plant. Use special napkins and  have them make the table look great. Stress good manners, On this night, kids can help Mom be seated and push the chair in for others, etc.

7. “Restaurant  at Home” Night

On this night, Mom and Dad are the waiter or waitress. Tell them what the “special” is for the night and take their order. At the end, present the children with a fake bill.  When the kids know the routine, they take their turn being the waiter or waitress the next time. Be sure to refill the water glasses, too!

8. Glasses Night

Decorate a pair of sunglasses or find some crazy glasses to wear to dinner. Use pipe-cleaners, glue, tissue paper to decorate existing glasses or make some out of cardboard, pipe cleaners, tag-board etc, and decorate with markers.

9. Theme Night

This could be Mexican, Italian, Chinese or any theme. Serve food that is from that country and have the kids make some decorations that would go with the dinner. For Mexican night, they could make some tissue paper flowers. On Chinese night, get some chop-sticks for the kids to try.  Talk about that country and what it might be like to live there.

10. Make your own dinner night!

On this night you could do foil packet dinners. (I call this a hobo dinner.) Give each person a piece of foil. With shiny side in, spray with a non-stick spray. Layer hamburger, par-boiled diced potatoes, spoonful of cream of mushroom soup, onions, mushrooms,  frozen vegetables or Veg-all and cheese. Each one chooses their own ingredients and then wraps the foil in a pocket. Place in oven @350 for 20-30 minutes. There are many foil desserts that each one could make, too. Check out my other posts for Banana Boats.

11. Crazy Hair Night

Use gel and let them make it crazy for the dinner that evening. It is good for laughs! Be sure to take pictures. For those with short hair, wear a wig!

12. Pajama Dinner

Everyone gets ready for bed early and eats in their pajamas. (I probably wouldn’t recommend this if you have company!  HA!) This could be combined with a popcorn and movie night!

13. “Red” Night (or Blue, Green, Orange, etc.)

Pick a color and everyone should wear something that color for dinner. Even your food could go with that color. Red: red meat, strawberries, beets, cherries, watermelon or red velvet cake for dessert.

14. Winter picnic

Spread a blanket by the fireplace (or use a pretend fireplace) and have a picnic. Kids will think this is so much fun! Serve hotdogs with all the fixings.

15. Funky Night

Dress “funky” with mismatched clothes, colors, shoes, hats, etc. Anything goes! Serve mismatched food! (Chinese with spaghetti, etc.)

Rotate the different suggestions each week or month to make fun memories! Be sure to take pictures! 

What do you do for fun at mealtime?

Share your ideas!



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  1. This is such a fun idea!! Thank you for linking up at the Creative K Kids’ Tasty Tuesdays! I have pinned your post to our Tasty Tuesdays Pinterest Board!! I hope to see you again This week! xo!

    • Thanks so much for your lovely words and for pinning! I’ll see you again.

  2. Mine would probably be joke night! But it seems it is that ay just about every night! hah This is so great! I love it! Thank you for linking up with us at the Tips and Tricks Link Party!

    • That’s a great idea! Thanks!

  3. Hi, Phyllis ~ Great ideas! Family dinners are so important but that doesn’t mean they can’t be fun, right?! Thanks for sharing this post with us at the Merry Monday Link Party!

    • You are right! Create memories!

  4. This sounds likes loads of fun. I know my grandkids would love it. Thanks for sharing with us at Funtastic Friday:-)

    • My grandkids are getting at just that age where I can use them. I used them years ago with my own kids! Fun!

  5. So fun! Thanks for doing the hard work of thinking for me! lol
    Here from Tips and Tricks.

    • I’m sure you can come up with more ideas!

  6. Such a great list to have on hand! 🙂 Love it!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  7. Those ideas could definitely make for some funny memories. Best wishes!

  8. Very fun! Thanks for linking up at the Weekend Blog Hop at My Flagstaff Home!


  9. This is some cute ideas

  10. How fun! My dad was “keep your mouth shut at the dinner table” kind of guy. Thanks for sharing at Thursday Favorite Things!

  11. So many fun ideas – my guys are a bit young to get most of these, but I can’t wait to have some fun, less stressful dinner times!

    • Kids need to be elementary age for this to work!

  12. How very fun! These are all wonderful ideas and I pictured my family enjoying each one as I read them. Pinned!

    • Yes, they are fun. I used to do them when the kids were young. They’re now married with their own families!

Love to hear from you!

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