A stress-free, tech-free, fun family evening at home while supporting Darien’s restaurants!

The Y is proudly partnering with local restaurants to honor the at-home Family Dinner Night! We know it’s a stressful time; that’s why we’ve put together the tools to help you enjoy an easy, but fun family evening together!

Order a delicious family meal to go from one of our amazing Family Dinner Night restaurants listed below and enjoy some of the provided tech-free family activities to help make your evening at home special, engaging, and fun for everyone!


Families that eat frequent family meals together foster:

· Overall nutritious eating

· Teens who are less likely to engage in risky behavior

· Children with better language skills and academic scores

· Lower obesity rate

· Better relationships with each other and their community

Source: The Search Institute

Families that eat together 5-7 nights per week create strong, healthy relationships that keep kids substance-free.

· Those who have fewer than 3 family dinner nights per week are 4 times more likely to use tobacco and 2 ½ time likelier to use alcohol.

Source: National Center on Addition and Substance Abuse (CASA)


Come up with a theme such as cartoon characters, Disney characters, animals, famous athletes, etc. Write down the names of each person or character and put them into a hat. Each person at the table now becomes one of these people or characters. Anyone can pick the name for you, but you cannot pick for yourself. To make it easy, you can have the person to your left pick a name out of the hat. Once your new name is picked, that person sticks it to your forehead, and whoever is on that paper is who you become! However, you cannot see what your new name is, instead you have to guess who you are by asking yes or no questions (up to 10 questions).le Description
Instead of humming a tune and guessing what song it is, knock on the table! Think of a song, or pull a title out of a hat, play the song by knocking on the table. Whoever is guessing the song has to sing it out loud!
Just because we can’t go out to fancy dinners doesn’t mean we cannot dress up! Bring a fancy dinner to your family dinner table by dressing up in your best suit or fancy dress! Make it even more fun and pretend you are going to a fancy ball with an orchestra playing music. After dinner, keep the “ball” going with a family dance party!
Have each person take turns writing their first name on a sheet of paper until everyone has written their name in list format. (For example, Susan, George, Ricky, Cassandra). Give each family member (or teams) two minutes to create as many words as they can from the letters in their names. For example, the name list above might generate words such as “sack, rake, car, gorge…” Each letter can only be used once within a single word, but each letter can be used multiple times to make as many words as possible. The person or team with the most words wins.
As a group, choose a category, such as animals, countries, singers, or “people our family knows.” One family member starts the game by naming a person/thing from that category that starts with the letter “A.” Then the next person names a person/thing that starts with the letter “B,” the next person finds something for the letter “C,” and so on.
One person thinks of a rhyming pair of words, and then gives clues about them, using synonyms. For example, if the secret phrase was “funny bunny,” the clue might be “hilarious furry mammal.” The person can also give a clue about how many syllables the secret phrase has by shortening or lengthening the game’s title. Saying “hig pig” means that each word in the secret phrase has one syllable (like “old mold,”), whereas “higgy piggy” means words with two syllables (“chipper zipper”), and higglety pigglety means words with three (“triumphant elephant”).
Think of 5 things that “belong” to something. For example, a banana, a pair of shoes, a book, a pile of paperclips, and a box of flooring. Then have your family guess what these things belong to (answer: things in the trunk of my car). With little kids, you can just ask them outright for a list of things in a category (example: name three things in your bed).


25 Questions to Ask Around the Dinner Table!

Eating dinner as a family is one of the best ways to connect as a family, share what’s going on, and enjoy each other’s company. In today’s world, it’s easy to let our phones distract us at the dinner table. In an effort to strengthen family relationships and help parents connect with their children, we want to share 25 questions you can ask around the dinner table to help cultivate conversations with your children.

Be sure to take turns answering questions, too! This allows your children to learn even more about you in a fun way.

1. What was the best part of your day?

2. What was the hardest part of your day?

3. What’s something new you learned today?

4. What’s something that made you laugh today?

5. If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

6. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

7. Who is your favorite movie character?

8. If you could only eat 3 foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?

9. Would you rather fly or breathe underwater?

10.Who is your favorite superhero?

11.What makes a great friend?

12.What’s one thing you want to learn?

13.Would you rather be 100 feet tall or the size of an ant?

14.What would you do if you were president?

15.What do you want to be when you grow up?

16.If you could do anything you wanted for a day, what would you do?

17.What’s one thing you are scared of?

18.What’s your favorite thing about school?

19.What’s your favorite thing we do as a family?

20.What are you excited about for tomorrow?

21.If you could pick a new color for the sky, what color would you make it?

22.What’s your favorite song?

23.What would you do with $100?

24.What is your least favorite color?

25.What are you most thankful for?

One fun way to use these questions is to write them on slips of paper and keep them in a jar or basket. Each night at dinner, every family member gets to pick one slip of paper from the jar and ask everyone else that question. Try it at dinner this week

Blog originally posted by Country Home Learning Center, a premier daycare serving families in Austin, TX.