Cookouts, birthday parties, and play dates may be on hold for now, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate! Instead, why not create some new traditions. Throw the grandest dinner party with your favorite dinner guests…your kids!
Here are a few ideas to get your dinner party started.
Start a family cookbook
Maybe grandma makes the best string beans, or your uncle has the best pulled pork recipe. This is the year to share the secrets. Reach out to your usual holiday dinner guests and encourage everyone to share their favorite traditional recipes. Put them together to create a family cookbook! Use this put together your family’s holiday dinner menu.
After dinner (preferably during dessert), meet your friends on Zoom or FaceTime and discuss what recipes you used or any adjustments you made.
Give Thanks with Art
The holidays (and not just Thanksgiving) are always a wonderful time to practice gratitude. Go around the room and ask every member of your family what she is grateful for. You’ll find that it’s hard to stop!
Cut a large shape in watercolor paper, maybe a flower, heart or bunny. Using a white crayon, write everything your family’s grateful for onto your paper shape. Have your children paint with water color over the entire flower. The words will emerge amongst a beautiful backdrop. You can use them as placements or hang them on a clothesline in the dining room.
Stretch the Work
Since we have nothing but time, let’s turn meal prep into a week long activity. Decide ahead of time what your menu will look like. Set a budget for your shopping list; it’s a great lesson for kids (moms and dads too, let’s be honest.) Shop within your budget, online with your child. Read through recipes together with your older kids and make sure all of your ingredients are accounted for.
Ask your kids to illustrate the menu! Have them make a visual menu for each table setting. Include drink options too! If you have access to a laminator, hold on to these menus. Reuse them each year for a good laugh as the kids get older.
Make DIY place cards for each family member. Sure, we all know where we sit every night at the dinner table but, we are fun and fancy!
When you go to a restaurant, there is a team of people creating the “out to dinner experience”. Assign jobs to your family members for the big celebration. Someone should set the table, while another fills the water glass, and another clears the plates. Don’t forget your sous chefs, too!
It’s been awhile since we got dressed up. Wear that Easter dress! Break out those Christmas PJs. Still got your Halloween costumes handy? You can wear those too!
Do you have any suggestions how you could make a family dinner party one for the history books? E-mail our hostess with the hostess, The Barefoot Liztessa!