If your kids are less than enthusiastic about family time, add some incentive. A few easy, fun rewards for family game nights will have your children looking forward to it every week. They don’t have to cost a lot of money, either. Motivate your kids with these fun, inexpensive incentives.
No chores rewards
Your kids probably have at least some responsibilities around the house: emptying the dishwasher, clearing the dinner table, washing the cars or taking out the garbage, for example.
Each child often feels that his chores are so much more difficult than his siblings’. “Why doesn’t she have to fold the towels?” or “He always gets the easy chores!”
If chores are sore spots in your kids’ lives, challenge them to do something about it. For each family game night, the overall winner gets no-chore rewards. Perhaps the winner doesn’t have to do any chores for a week, or she gets to assign (reasonably, of course) chores to her brothers and sisters.
Everyone has a favorite meal or favorite restaurant, so put food on the line for your next family game night.
The evening’s winner gets to choose the next night’s dinner or the toppings on your next takeout pizza, or let your child pick the restaurant for your next family outing.
Offer older kids the reward of planning a week’s worth of their favorite meals. Younger kids might enjoy a trip to the penny candy counter or the chance to lick the bowl – without siblings – the next time you bake.
We give our kids so many reasons for not having their friends over: “We’re just too busy this weekend,” or “The house is such a mess.” For your next family game night, let time with a friend be the reward. The evening’s winner can pick a friend to come spend the night — or maybe the winner can invite his friend to join next week’s family game night and pick the games.
If your kids battle over computer, video game or TV time, let them compete for the right to use household electronics. The game night winner gets first dibs for the entire weekend. Your child may discover that sharing these privileges is more fun than having them all to himself.
Children really love spending one-on-one time with a parent, and it’s not always easy when you have more than one child. Make yourself available as a game night reward. A younger child might enjoy an extra story at bedtime, while older kids might like lunch at McDonald’s or a special at-home movie night – just the two of you. Maybe shopping is your kid’s thing — or going for a walk, hike or bike ride together. Let your child decide.