Family game night is an excellent opportunity to put down the cell phones, turn off the computer and video games, and gather the family together. Parents and children are able to spend some much needed downtime together to reconnect and make memories.
Family game night is also a good opportunity to keep the lines of communication open, especially as children grow older. Whether you are just starting your family game night tradition or are looking for ways to re-energize it, here are some ideas for family game night essentials.
Commit to a date
Families are busy, so choose a date that every family member can agree upon. Whether you decide to have family game night once a week, twice a month or monthly, set a date to which you all can commit. Knowing that every Wednesday or every other Tuesday is family game night will give children and parents something fun to anticipate.
Make an easy meal
When family game night arrives, everyone wants to get to the fun, so planning an easy meal is the best way to get Mom out of the kitchen fast so the fun can begin. Plan ahead with a frozen pizza or casserole made ahead of time and a simple salad, raw veggies or cut-up fruit. Homemade hamburgers and grilled cheese sandwiches are also quick and easy meal ideas.
Plan some fun snacks
Once game night begins, you won’t want to stop the fun when everyone gets hungry. Have a few easy snacks and drinks available. Fresh fruit, trail mix, pretzels and popcorn are all good choices that are easy to serve, or make up a batch of cheese nachos that everyone can dig into. Prepare lemonade or iced tea ahead of time to serve with the snacks or have soda, flavored water or juice on hand to quench everyone’s thirst.
Keep a variety of games on hand
Depending upon the ages of your children, you will want to have a good variety of games. Board games, trivia games and a few decks of cards are good choices. Monopoly, Life, Clue and Sorry are good for almost every age group. Card games like Crazy Eights, War and Slap Jack can be played with a regular set of cards. Classic games like Perfection and Operation are good for hand and eye coordination, and Twister will get the family moving. Have the children take turns picking the games, or put each of the games’ names on pieces of paper and draw from an empty jar to make things fair.
The point of family game night is to spend time together and enjoy each other’s company, so don’t get too drawn up into the competition aspect of the game. Make jokes, help each other out, and most of all, remember that being together is what’s important.