How To Make Family Dinner Night Fun

Dinner is the one time of the day the whole family can unwind after a long day (or week) at work or school. However, many families often struggle with creating that bonding dinner experience amidst the chaos of their everyday lives. It isn’t always easy to stick to a regular Sunday night family dinner schedule.

If you’re looking for a way to make family dinner time more fun and interactive, here are 8 basic ideas to get you started. 

  • Hire A Private Chef

The number one thing that spoils a family dinner night is, well, meal prep. This is especially true if you have a large family and don’t have a passion for cooking. So to give yourself a break every once in a while, consider hiring a private chef (such as one of those at Gathar) to make family dinner a more relaxing and fun experience for yourself. 

  • Put The Gadgets Away  

If your family’s always seated at the table with their faces glued to the screen, now is the time to turn things around. 

Introducing a no-gadget rule at dinner is a great way to make dinner time more interactive. Once the pinging notifications and distracting game sounds are out of the picture, your family can focus on being more present and make dinner an enjoyable experience.

This is unlikely to work immediately, especially if your children are used to gadgets at the dinner table. As a parent, it’s important to set an example for your kids by keeping your phone/gadgets away at dinnertime so they can follow suit.

It may take some time for your family to adjust to this rule, but they will eventually realize the importance of active interaction and finding the time to ask about each other’s day. 

  • Build Your Own Meal

One way to make family dinner more enjoyable is by allotting a day in the week where you collectively decide the menu and allow each member to customize the dishes to their liking. 

For example, you can organize a “Taco Tuesday’ or ‘Make Your Own Pizza’ night. Not only will your kids pick up some culinary tips while working in the kitchen, but there will also be an extra set of hands to help with the preparation and cleanup afterward. 

You can add a fun twist by asking your kids/partner to help you make the taco shells or knead the pizza dough and give them creative freedom with the toppings. Let your kids choose their crockery, pick their favorite toppings, and add the final touches to their meal. 

  • Have A Dinner Theme 

Having a dinner theme is a great way to make dinner fun and distract your family from bringing their gadgets to the table. Choose a fun dinner theme, such as Foods Across the World, Color Day, and Favorite’s Day, and let your kids get involved in the meal prep. 

You can also pick a cuisine for each day of the week (such as Indian, Mexican, or Asian), talk your kids through the recipe, and teach them about how different cultures prepare their food. If you’re doing Asian cuisine, you could try delicious noodle stir fry recipes, like Lo mein or chow mein. Depending on your family’s specific preferences, you can determine what recipe will be best. For example, lo mein dishes are soft and saucy, while chow mein is more on the dry, crispier side.

  • Channel Your Competitive Spirit 

Turning weekend dinnertime into a friendly Masterchef-of-sorts is a great way to spark your family’s competitive spirit. Give a fun family recipe to the kids and your partner, and have them all compete to prepare the same dish and add their own twist to the meal.

If you’ve got a large family, you can ask family members to pair up and go head-to-head. Choose one member to be a judge, and rank each dish for taste, presentation, and technique. 

  • Switch Up The Tables

Having a formal dinner at the table every day can get monotonous and boring, so change up the setting every once in a while. Pick out certain days where you ditch the big old dining table and enjoy your dinner in different locations. 

Add some fun to the mix by munching on Christmas Eve snacks around the fireplace, arranging picnic-style birthday dinners in the garden, or eating Eastern-style gathered around a large tray in your living room.

If you’ve got an open backyard/garden space, take dinner outdoors when the weather is suitable. Set up a makeshift camp, string up some fairy lights, and have your meal underneath the stars. 

  •  Allow For Messes

If you always have formal dinner with strict table rules, try putting away your expensive china and allowing for messes every once in a while. 

Bring out the brightly-colored plastic crockery, have a little blindfolded cupcake-decorating competition, and let your kids get elbow-deep in flour while kneading some delicious pizza dough.

Remember, while it’s important to set dinner rules and teach your children about table manners, making dinner too formal and strict can bring unnecessary pressure and tension to what is supposed to be a relaxing bonding experience. If it keeps phones at bay and encourages quality family time, a little clutter never hurts.

  • Play Family Dinner Games 

Family dinner games are a great way to liven up the meal and spark conversation at the dinner table.

You can prompt conversation by playing games such as Good and Grit, where everyone shares one good experience and one downside of their day. This helps keep your family updated on what is happening in each member’s life and creates space for you to celebrate achievements and offer support in difficult moments.

Other games like Charades, Word Associations, Would You Rather, or Gratitude Alphabet are all great ways to keep everyone engaged at the table. 

You can also make dinner more educational and fun by playing games like ‘Guess the Ingredients’ and ‘Where Does this Food Come From?’. You can reward correct answers by letting the winner pick the next food/cuisine for dinner or give them a week-long break from chores.  


Add Your Comment


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.