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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