Family game night can sure bring back some nostalgia and memories that are often filled with laughter, a little bit of competition, and hopefully feelings of joy and excitement. These are the same memories that we want to provide our family. Maybe even consider busting out some classics like: Simon, Don’t Break the Ice, Pick Up Sticks or even Sorry. While there are many aspects about family game night itself, we will attempt to cover as much ground as possible with What games to play, How that game can benefit your family, and the POSITIVE RESULTS that come from an hour spent at least once a week around games.
WHAT TO PLAY FOR FAMILY GAME NIGHT???
Play Games That are Fun for All Ages. This time is meant to be fun, so make it fun! Yes, its ok to be competitive AND teach your kids about winning and losing. Make sure to grab a game from the list below and set out to laugh, learn, and strategize with your family. This quick list is just something to get your mind running. It is not the end-all-be-all list, but just a series of games that are family friendly, vast in age-range and playable for most families. They all include an element of luck, some surprise, and instant memories 🙂
• Jenga – this is an awesome game for ages young and old with an ending that will never be the same. This game teaches motor-skills, and trouble-shooting. It is a great game for ages roughly 4+ and can have a lot of players so it is good one for big families.
• Melissa and Doug Suspend Family Game – This game is truly awesome for any family size and age range. It has some strategy, improves fine motor skills, and is hardy enough to withstand hours of game-play. If you have not heard of this build and balance game, then do your family a huge favor and check out this relatively inexpensive game!
• Clue – Yep, you most likely remember this one from your childhood. If you do not have this classic in your game night arsenal; do not waste another Friday evening without this in your home! A true classic filled with strategy, guessing and just enough mystery. This game teaches your kids about problem solving, reading body language, strategy and so much more.
• Blokus – This is a game that is a ridiculously simple to understand abstract strategy. It’s a solid winner because the games are quick, and several rounds could easily be played in an hour. There is fun and it also adds an element of teaching skills related directly to the game. Your kids will improve spacial orientation, concentration, and strategy skills with this one for sure.
It’s Not All About Fun and Games.
Ok…what do you mean??? Let’s set aside the fun-factor for a moment, and take in the fact that while you are all immensely enjoying a family evening together playing “games” you are actually spending time teaching, sharpening, and refining skills that are necessary for a lifetime. Board games can help teach our family skills that are applicable to nearly any situation in life because they offer opportunity to strategically think, to problem solve, troubleshoot, and to exercise good sportsmanship.
Game Time is Bonding Time.
Spending an hour or more with such intention will only solidify your family with a tighter bond. Remind yourself to craft these nights with more of a relaxed feel than the “norm”. Doing so will give every one a chance to begin to look forward to Family Game Night with deep anticipation rather thana a “forced event”. If your family eats super healthy; then maybe consider something out of the box (literally) and put away the carrots and cucumbers, and shell out a bowl full of Cheetos in its place. Make some cookies before the game starts, or have some hot chocolate and Oreos… you get the point here. Accompany the game night with elements that aren’t the norm and you will have the entire family clamoring in anticipation for the following week.
Team-Work Makes the Dream-Work.
No one in your family was created equal, and the same is true for board games. Consider the fact that your family has opportunities to help each other learn and troubleshoot together to understand a new game. Or even better, older siblings can be offered the chance to assist their younger brother or sister in learning a challenging strategy for a game. This is beyond valuable because it removes the “I must win” notion and replaces it with teamwork within your family. If someone is struggling to learn a concept in the game, use the opportunity as a family to rally around that person and support them by teaching with patience and removing self-doubt. We cannot think of a better way to example love and support, by taking something that is designed to declare a “winner”, dropping your guard, and helping out someone in need. That is simply incredible.
We hope that this article inspires you to take a different approach to family game night and realize that you are doing so much more than taking that corner-dented box of UNO, or Labyrinth to simply “get through another evening” but that you are building memories and bonds that will stand the test of time. Now go and enjoy.