One of the best things about our kids being out of the toddler stage — in addition to no more diapers — is that they are able to play so many more games than they could at that age. If we have a wide-open evening, we’ll sit down for a rousing game of Monopoly, complete with banter and smack talk. If we only have a short amount of time, we’ll often bust out the Uno deck of cards. Family games night is a great way to get your kids away from the screens and it builds relationships as well.
Here are a few tips for planning a great game night:
1. Pick games that are age appropriate. The first time we tried to play Monopoly, our daughter wasn’t quite old enough to grasp the concept. One of us would partner with her, but sometimes she was frustrated because she wanted to do it all by herself.
2. Try new games. We’ve received a number of games as gifts and sometimes we’ll pull out a new one to shake things up. While I’m pretty sure that my kids will never tire of Monopoly — never ever — sometimes I am tired of it. The kids are also old enough now that they can learn new games on their own, and will sometimes play together after school while I’m prepping dinner.
3. Sweeten the deal with snacks. Sharing food and drink is never a bad thing. We’re huge popcorn fans at our house. We’ll often have punch, or treat ourselves to a soda, and might even go crazy and bake some brownies.
4. Throw out the score card. While I believe that my kids need to learn how not to be a “sore loser”, sometimes nobody needs to win. We’ll often play a bunch of rounds of Uno with no score sheet. We still banter and laugh and have a lot of fun — we just remove the “winning” element so that nobody “loses.”
5. Know when to wind it down. If it’s not fun or your kids are done, don’t force everyone to play until the game is over. It’s okay to walk away and play another day.
Do you have family game nights? What are some of your favorite games to play?