Studies show that traditions are critical to family happiness and bonding. In fact, family traditions encourage children’s social development and provide schedule and structure to everyone’s life. According to The Pfaltzgraff Co.’s national survey, comprised of over 1,000 married men and women, the daily ritual of eating together at the dinner table is the most important way to strengthen family ties. That’s why allotting one day a week to a fun dinner with a family meal plan, is a great way to bring the whole family together. Here are some games and family meals to go along with them:
- Play the Critic: Make your kids your food critics when you’re trying out new recipes. Give a “review card” to your kids to get their opinion on new meal plans or create a thumbs up or thumbs down system. This works great with exotic dishes that you’ve never tried before.
- Murder Mystery: Create a story of murder and assign everyone as the suspects. You can often find murder mystery plots and clues online to help you create your own murder mystery. This game is great for bigger families with older children.
- Cooking Games: Cook fun family meals, like Smiley Face Soup (with ritz crackers as the eyes and cheese as the mouth), heart-shaped pizza, or dino-shaped grilled cheese sandwiches. All you have to do is cut out the dinosaur shape with an appropriate cookie cutter and make them green with pesto or mix butter with food coloring and put the dino to the grill. Whichever way you choose, you’ll have a green dino-sandwich ready to be attacked by hungry family members.
- Guess Those Ingredients: Try to make your kids and husband guess the ingredients you put in a casserole, sauce, or sides. Tally up the points and give the winner a special price!
- Dress Up to Dinner: Throw a theme night and have everyone dress up in costumes to dinner. Add some meal theme ideas. Everyone will have so much fun pretending it’s Halloween every Saturday night. Try matching your outfits to your meal plans. For example, if you’re having a Scooby Doo themed night, prepare Scooby snacks (cookies in the shape of bones) for dessert with a bit of ice cream and chocolate fudge.
- Board Games for Dessert: If you’re not really the “play with your food type,” skip dessert and play trivia or board games after you’re done with your meal. Even a simple board game will promote family unity and make the whole family feel closer.
With theme nights, dress up, and cooking games your kids will be able to express their creativity, even at meal time. More importantly, after just a couple of fun game nights, you’ll feel closer with your family than ever before.