Family game or movie night is a terrific way to bring everyone in the family together. Games also help teach young children how to be good winners and losers. Set up one night a week (or every other week -- whatever works for your family) as family night. By making it a tradition with consistency, family time will become part of your regular routine.
Playing board games and watching movies aren't the only things you can do together as a family. By varying the activities and events, you'll keep things fresh and interesting for you and your kids. Other fun family night ideas include:
Family night isn't complete without food. Order pizza or serve an assortment of finger foods and treats. Make things fun with foods you don't have on a regular basis -- like fondue, s'mores or ice cream sundaes. Just remember to avoid greasy or sticky foods while you are actually playing games. Check out these tasty snack ideas for game night.
Whether it's movies, board games or something else, you want to be comfy during family night. If your little ones can't reach the dining table to play Chutes & Ladders, set up a more suitable card table instead. For movie watching, keep plenty of extra pillows and blankets on hand, particularly if some family members are going to be seated on the floor.
Everyone loves competition -- especially older children. Keep a scoreboard with a running tally of wins and losses for game night. You can use a simple dry-erase or chalkboard for this. At the end of the month (or the season), crown a champion for each game that you have played repeatedly. Even the most difficult teenager will want to be the Monopoly or Yahtzee champ for the month.
Make it a rule that no one -- neither parents nor kids -- will answer the phone, check email or use any other electronics during family time. If someone answers a phone call, everyone else will have to stop and wait, interfering with the family fun. Family night is the perfect time to unplug.
With a little planning and a solid commitment, family night will become a wonderful tradition everyone will enjoy.
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