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Activities for kids on game night

Christy Pogorelac is a marketing manager and freelance writer who likes to cover topics like entertaining, nutrition, fitness and lifestyle. Along with writing, her favorite past-times include date nights with her husband, jogging in the...

Keep kids entertained while the grown-ups play

Hosting a game night for friends offers a great way to catch up and cut loose for the evening. To make it easy for guests to attend, plan activities for their kids as well. Try these easy-to-execute activities for kids during your next game night.

Family movie night

Make a movie night

By placing a television in a spare room and renting a couple of new G-rated releases, you can host a kid-friendly double feature. Make it comfy for the kids with beanbag chairs and pillows spread throughout the room. Set up a concession stand, and let the kids serve up popcorn, gummy bears and other goodies throughout the night. Account for at least one restless kid in the bunch, and give each child his or her own activity book and crayons for added play during the night or to take home.

Set up a scavenger hunt

Make your home the setting for an evening of exploration. Prepare a scavenger hunt for your young guests by hiding clues and goodies throughout your home. To make sure it's fun for all, have enough prizes on hand for everyone. Your grown-up guests will appreciate your assistance in making their child feel like a winner and ready for a good night's sleep.

Prepare arts and crafts

Give kids an opportunity to get creative with an evening of arts and crafts. When choosing crafts, make sure they do not require supplies that are especially messy or potentially dangerous -- scissors and poster paint are definitely two to avoid! A few craft ideas include:

  • Foam crafts. These are perfect for minimal supervision and lots of fun. They are also inexpensive and available at most craft supply stores.
  • Fold-out books. Turn your guests into little authors with cardstock and crayons. Make an accordion fold with long pieces of cardstock and ask the kids to create their own fold-out book using each panel as a page.
  • Pinatas. Make a simple pinata for each child the day before game night, using balloons and paper mache made from newspaper, flour and water. Have the kids decorate their own personal pinatas with tissue paper, markers or paint -- if you're brave. This could get messy, so you may want to consider putting a tarp down before the kids get started.

Keep the kids moving

Keeping kids active and engaged with their own games is an awesome way to keep them occupied for the night. It's also an inexpensive approach to entertaining kids. For example, it only takes one balloon and a couch to set up a game of indoor-volleyball. Set up a dance party for the kids, and plan a playlist that will keep them moving and grooving all night -- decorate the room and set up snacks with a punch bowl to make it even more special. Or simply create a bowling alley with tennis balls and empty 2-liter soda bottles.

Regardless of the activity, the most important piece of keeping kids entertained during game night is planning ahead. Make sure the activities won't leave anyone out and are set up to avoid fighting over snacks, toys, prizes, etc. Also, consider hiring a babysitter to oversee the planned activities and to ensure the kids' safety throughout the evening.

More planning for kid-friendly fun

3 Indoor games to get kids moving
13 Indoor activities for kids during winter
Encourage kids' creativity

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