Be sure to put September 28 on your calendar as National Family Day. Family dinnertime does not have to be perfect. CASA’s Family Day is a national movement to celebrate parental engagement as an effective tool to help keep America’s kids substance free. Eating at the table with your kids is a simple way to stay engaged with time to talk, eat and enjoy each other’s company. Don’t expect your meals to always turn out delicious where everyone is raving about your cooking. Also, don’t expect your kids to always be polite and on their best behavior. Let’s be real, good food is only as good as the people you enjoy eating it with. Dinnertime is about sitting down at the table for at least 30 minutes and catching up with everyone. Let the kids tell you what went on at school, open up to one another and share the day’s events with each other.
Keep your family grounded this fall with these 15 ideas for fabulous dinners and family nights:
- Enjoy a movie night with homemade pizza. Make your own individual pizzas, and let each family member take a turn selecting the movie.
- Have an overnight staycation at home with a cookout and camping. Pitch a tent in your yard, and cook over an open fire (or on the barbecue). Sit around the fire pit and tell stories.
- Volunteer as a family. Help out at a school fundraiser or serve meals at the local soup kitchen.
- Bake together. Take turns picking favorite recipes and let everyone join in on the fun.
- Take family photos. Get out the camera, and have some fun taking photos of each other. Be silly, be serious and have fun.
- Have a formal family dinner. Set the table with your best tableware, have everyone dress up and use your best manners. Give everyone a fancy name and title — like prince or princess — and behave as one would.
- Play show-and-tell. Have each family member choose an item that is important to him or her, and tell all about it.
- Play a casual game of baseball, football or basketball.
- Play “Name That Tune.”
- Make a family cookbook. Have every family member choose several of his or her favorite recipes and type it up. Make copies to pass out as gifts at Christmas.
- Have a family slumber party. Put blankets down in the living room and pile on top!
- Visit a local bookstore and read together. Buy a chapter book each member of the family can read aloud from to the others.
- Go for a walk around the neighborhood or park. Play “I Spy.”
- Play charades.
- Have a Bible lesson, songs and snacks.