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How to have a family game night

Sarah Caron is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and editor. She lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable kids and two funny beagles. Check out her food blog at Sarah's Cucina Bella.

Fun for the family

Family game night has become one of those buzz words that everyone is talking about. But more than just a hot topic, family game night is a great way to bond with your loved ones. Here's how to plan a game night for your family.

Family Game Night

Bingo! Sorry! Yahtzee! What do these exclamations have in common? They all stem from popular games that are perfect for playing with your family. "A family game night is an excellent way to stay connected with your kids. Choose games that are age-appropriate and of interest primarily to the children. That way children can feel successful playing with family members who are older, more experienced, and have a competitive advantage," says Julie Rebboah, president of Lightning Bug Learning.

Does your family have a regular family game night? If not, it's a great time to start one. These tips will help you successfully plan a game night that your family will love.

Choose together

It's really important to include your family when you are planning. Start by selecting a day for your game night together. This will make everyone feel included and also ensure that everyone can participate.

Next comes the game. Like the date, involving the whole family in the decision can be a great idea. "You can even create a poll using a website such as SurveyMonkey.com so that your family can 'vote' on the game they wish to play," says toy industry expert Patti Becker, the founder and president of Becker Associates, LLC. Another option? If your family has a regular game night, then take turns choosing which game to play.

Keep it age-appropriate

Not all games are good for all family members, so be sure to consider that when suggesting and selecting games. For younger children, opt for age-appropriate games like Candy Land or Memory, where they can practice valuable skills while playing. Older kids might appreciate more complex games like Apples to Apples or Clue. Choosing games appropriate for your children will ensure that everyone has fun. Check out these 15 best board games for family game nights.>>

Be open

Openness is an important part of any family activity. Sure, you might not have heard of a game your child is obsessed with. But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't give it a try. The same goes for inviting others to join in. You never know what could really make your game night a blast. "It's nice to have a night with just the family but think of others who might be in need. Do you have a friend or extended family member that might be lonely or a visitor from out of town? Invite them," says Becker.

Eats and drinks

When planning your family game night, don't forget the snacks and drinks for while you play. Stick to finger foods, since they are easiest to grab and munch while playing. Popcorn, cheese and crackers and party meatballs are all good options. Also, make sure that you have all the tableware you need (napkins, plates, cups, etc) at the ready. You never know when you might need them ... and it's better than having to get up again and again when you really want to be playing.

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