It might be difficult to get everyone gathered around the table for a meal – especially during the school year! With that in mind, we want to encourage you to keep the fun and novelty of family dinners alive, by mixing up your routine and adding in some play. Here are some of our suggestions to keep that family dinner spark alive.
- Have a spirit week! The whole family can dress up for dinner every night (yes, you too parents!), and you can even theme your dinners with the day’s costume. For example: if you wear your favorite team’s gear for a Jersey or Spirit Day, have tailgating or game day foods for dinner! Our Chicken and White Bean Chili with Corn Cakes would be perfect, or our Philly Cheesesteaks. For a special treat, schedule it on a night when there’s a game to watch and allow the family to eat in the living room while watching it on the TV. Or if you have a Tourist Day where you rock fanny packs, maps, and cameras around your necks, eat a meal that’s from a different country or region, and pretend like you’re actually visiting that place. If you need some more inspiration for what themes to include in your Spirit Week, check out this blog post for a long list of age-appropriate ideas.
- And speaking of playing tourist, why not make that an entire evening? Pick a destination, and plan a night around it. For example: Paris! Prepare a French-themed meal (baguette and soft cheese for an appetizer, anyone?), listen to French music while you eat, and then after dinner watch something France-related, be it a virtual tour of the Louvre for older kids, or Ratatouille for younger kiddos.
- Create a special occasion kind of meal – we’re talking swanky! Even without a holiday or milestone to celebrate, you can easily recreate a special occasion experience for your family. Have everyone wear their favorite Sunday best, put out a special tablecloth and break out the holiday dishware and silverware that you only use at Christmas and Easter. For an added element, eat by candlelight! The more details to make it feel fancy, the better.
What other creative ideas have you tried for your family dinners? We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts with us on Instagram or Facebook. Let’s help each other reach ultimate fun around the dinner table!