Just like our bedtime routine, our after dinner routine seems to have altered. I’m not talking about clean-up and getting lunches ready for the next day, but rather the family time. That moment where the dinner routine has passed and before the evening or bedtime routine takes over. This is often our free time to do something as a family but mobile devices and television seem to have seeped in unnoticed. Based on a desire, my desire since I anticipate these family moments will start to be fewer and far between, I’ve thought of a few ways to bring the family time back with fun in our home.

In case you find yourself in a similar situation, here are 6 easy ways we’ve started to enjoy family time during the weekdays:

Large puzzle

When Hallmark Canada sent us a few puzzles for National Puzzle Day in January, I set one of them up at one end of our large dining room table. This made it easy for everyone to gather and work on it after the dinner chores but also to just pick-up a price whenever the feeling hit. Of course I didn’t realize how much of a problem this would be for me personally.

Family Time Puzzle Fun image

Colour Fun

Colouring used to be something designated to young kids but the mental benefits (link) have given us as adults the perfect excuse to pick up the pencil crayons again. It also makes it a perfect family activity. There are so many themed colouring books out there that you’ll have no problem finding something to appeal to everyone. Some of our personal favourites include (affiliate links included):

Family Time Enchanted Forest Colouring Book Family Time Dr Seuss Colouring Book

Many of the new colouring books have perforated pages meaning you’re not tied to one book (or have to worry about getting into the spine. You could also opt for the Tallest Colouring book and let everyone choose a panel on your large collaborative work of art.

Family Time Colouring image

Play a Board Game

You may be thinking that playing a game together lends itself more to a Friday night or weekend when you have more time but game night can be any night. The trick is your game choice. Choose something with next to no set-up and easy game play. We love Wonky and Suspend for these reasons. They are perfect pull them out for an impromptu game with the family after dinner.

Family Game Time Melissa Doug Suspend balancing play image

Sometimes playing a game how it’s not meant to be played can be fun too. We often just pull out the Mindtrap cards just asking the questions but not keeping score. We even pulled out a retro box of Kids Quiz questions and randomly asked each other questions. The idea is not really to test one another or see who knows more but to just have fun and laugh.

Enjoy a Good Book

It may not be an active task you do together, though you could pick one reader for the night to share a chapter to everyone else. The act of reading together, even if everyone is reading their own story to themselves, is still time spent together as a family. All group activities bringing your family together don’t have to be active and rambunctious. If you’re looking for some book suggestions, checkout our book picks for kids.

After Dinner Walk

Your activity doesn’t have to be relegated to indoors. Families often feel after dinner is about winding down so the thought of getting your outdoor gear back on to head outside, all of you not just the kids, may feel counter intuitive. Not only will this be a great way to work in something more physical for families who don’t participate in regular physical activity, it will also aide in helping everyone sleep better at night. A nice bonus to your family time.

Try a family challenge

Another great impromptu family moment can involve some friendly competition. Two favourites in our family are tongue twisters and riddles.  We’ve even made it easy for you by compiling some ideas. Checkout our 50 Tongue Twisters or our 50 Riddles and Brain Teasers. You’re guaranteed some laughter after these challenges.These are just two ideas.


How do you fill you incorporate family time into your busy weekday schedule? What activities would you add to this list?