Family night in: Make dinner with the kids

Photo Credit: Getty ImagesPhoto Credit: Getty ImagesWhile parents are looking for ways to cut costs while still having fun with their kids, I've noticed something really neat happening: new traditions are being created. And it's one of the reasons I'm such a big fan of the Family Night In concept. You're saving money, but you're also finding creative ways to spend more time together with your children.

Here's an idea to expand on the idea of family game night. Before sitting down for a few hours of Life or Monopoly, start of the evening by making dinner together:

  • Choose a dinner theme and plan the menu. I always recommend making pizza dough (you can try my recipe) and letting the kids pick out all the toppings. It's always fun to use cooking gear made for kids, like the Head Chef utensil line. And even the youngest chef needs an apron. If you're in a rush, you can always pick up pre-made dough at your grocery store. I use Mom's Pizza Dough because it's organic and locallyproduced by my pal, but I have heard good things about the Trader Joe's brand of pizza dough, which is in the store's refrigerated section and comes in regular and whole-wheat dough.
  • If you want to have a lively dinnertime discussion, check out these cute Family Talk cards (US$10). Each set comes with 100 cards that pose a simple question for everyone to answer--preschoolers can get involved in the chatter and will love being included in discussions. And everyone might learn something new about a family member.

Do you have a regular Family Night In?