Family game night. It’s the dream of every mother, and the bane of most teenagers. Even though your kids might not say it, game nights are fun for everyone. Family game nights are the perfect way to bring your family together. As you play games together you will make memories, build relationships, learn social skills (ahem…like how to win or lose), and even learn basic math and problem-solving skills. Game nights can be a safe space to talk about hard topics and introduce new ideas to your kids. Your family needs a game night. Let’s make it happen.
Even good ideas are only just ideas unless you make them a priority. Set aside a night when everyone can be home for game night. This might be tricky if you have teenagers or a busy family schedule. But do your best to find a time when everyone can be home. Then, make it a priority. Game night happens, no matter what!
Playing Candyland is great for preschoolers. But if you have older kids, you might need to find a new game. Choose games that are interesting and age appropriate for you kids. Don’t be afraid to pick a few in case your first choice isn’t a winner. Get new games periodically to keep things fresh. Mix up normal game nights by doing a more active game like hide and seek.
A family game night isn’t the same without snacks. Pop some popcorn, make some hot chocolate and make a night of it. You can even give older kids a chance to oversee choosing and making the snacks.
There are so many ways to become distracted while you are with your family. But when it’s game night, you must tune in. Make a no electronics rule. Put up phones, tablets, and TV shows. Be present and soak up this time with your family. Work and other obligations can wait.
What’s family time without a little drama? Childhood is about learning the rules. Learning not to cheat. And learning to be a good sport, regardless if you are winning or losing. You are going to have to expect some drama. A little bit of cheating. Pouting (or yelling) because someone is losing. Thrown game pieces. It’s part of the territory. Instead of getting discouraged, think of this as being a learning experience. And keep at it, no matter how painful it is. At some point, the kids will learn to play nice and family game nights will go more smoothly.
Your family needs the togetherness that a family game night can offer. Your kids will learn social skills, make memories, and have fun while doing it. Although game nights don’t have to be a giant production to be fun, providing some treats gives your kids some incentive to show and have fun. Try out new games, turn off the TV, and enjoy being with one another.