Growing up we didn’t have a lot of money so going out on Friday nights wasn’t something we did. Most weekends were spent at home with family playing outside, doing barn chores, and just living. But Friday nights were special because they were family game nights.
A time when kids and parents got together to play boards. Mom would make a huge bowl of popcorn or her homemade cookies and we would gather around the table as a family to play. This time together led to some of the most in-depth conversations about school, life, and what was happening globally. It was about bonding.
Those are some of my most wonderful memories. When my son was born I wanted to pass that tradition on to him. I wanted him to have a safe place to laugh, talk, and bond with us. I also wanted to teach him the value of winning and losing.
Over the years I have perfected family game night and well wanted to share some of my tips for creating a fun and successful game night.
Tips for a Successful Family Game Night
Pick a Time That Works for Everyone
Family game night doesn’t mean it has to occur at night. I use this term because the focus is on the family. Find a day and time that works for your family. It can be anytime. Maybe it’s a Sunday afternoon or after breakfast on Saturday. The key is to find a time that works best for everyone in the family.
Also know there are no hard and fast rules. Family game night isn’t just about gathering around a table playing board games. Maybe for your family it can be a game played while doing chores or it can be a monthly thing. It also doesn’t have to be a board game maybe it’s a game you make up. The key focus is that your are doing something fun as a family.
Choose the Perfect Game or Two
Having more than one game is a great option. I like to choose games that include evryone but sometimes the game goes wrong so it’s nice to have a back up to start over with.
Also, think about games that can include multiple generations. For instance, if you have younger children a game like Don’t Drop The Meatballs is great. It helps build motor skills while being fun. For adults, it’s a spin on the classic Pick-up Sticks game from childhood.
If you have older kids a game like Rummikub is great as it is a fast paced number game.
Whatever the game you choose have fun playing.
Turn off All Technology
Technology is wonderful, but you don’t need it during your game night. Put your phone on silent and leave it in another room. Turn off the television. Enjoy this moment with your family.
If You Feed Them They Will Come
People ask me all the time how do I get everyone to participate in game night. The truth is we have been doing game night since hubby and I started dating. When my son came along we included him earlier on. But I did learn as my son got older having food available made him a lot happier to join in.
Consider having some of your family’s favorite snack foods like popcorn or even pizza. Oh and don’t forget the drinks. Having food and drinks available helps keep everyone from getting grumpy due to being hungry.
Smile, Relax, and Let Yourself Have Fun!
My final tip is my favorite and it is simply to relax and have fun. Not every game night is going to be perfect like n the movies and that’s ok. Someone will get upset or not like a game. There will be times when someone will get their feelings hurt, But if you relax and just enjoy the time together even those rough moments will become a family memory to cherish. The key is to have fun and to be a family.
Do you have a family game night tip? Please share I would love to hear about it?
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