15 Tips for great family game nights
Family game nights are something that both you and your children will remember for the rest of your lives, make it fun. Here are 15 tips for having a family fun night.
1. Set a Date
If no one knows that you are going to be hosting a family game night guess what, no one will come. Setting a date isn’t hard just find a time that both you and your family will be able to play and make that the “official family game fun time”.
2. Vote on What to play and Where
Voting is fun, it allows you to pick a game that all members of the family will enjoy not just you. It also makes little kids feel like they have a say. This could help build up their confidence which is always a good thing.
3. Make it exciting
When you have family game nights you want to make them something people look forward to. You don’t want it to be an obligation because then you’ll get tons of moaning and complaining. Don’t make it something that you have to do because you’re family. Instead try to make it sound like a Fun Night. Remember if you’re not excited no one else will be.
4. Give everyone a job
Make sure everyone is involved. If a kid is too little to play the game don’t ignore him. Make him in charge of the timer or make him responsible for making sure no one is cheating. That way no one feels left out and everyone is doing something they can get into.
5. Make Sure Everyone Knows the Rules in advance
There is bound to be some arguments about the rules at some point. So before you even start playing you want to read the rules and make sure everyone understands them. This way there will be no question later on about little things like, “If I land on free space I get all the money in the middle right”.
Remember you can also change the rules a little too. If you want to add some of your own rules to some of the classic games out there that’s fine. You just want to make sure everyone knows what it is before you start to play.
6. Bring Snacks
When it comes to family game nights snacks are great. Everyone likes to munch on something while they are playing games. You could do something fun like replace normal dinner with snacks at game night. This is definitely a great way to mix things up a little.
You can even let the kids decide what type of snacks they want to eat. Don’t let this get too crazy though. If all they come up with is skittles MnMs and donuts you probably want to have some of your own suggestions too like trail mix, or cut up an apple.
7. Short Game Vs a Long Game
When you host family game nights you have to know what to play. One of the things you have to decide is to either play a bunch of games like crocodile dentist or one long game of monopoly. While I think it is probably better to stick to tons of short games I like the long game idea.
Here’s an idea try both. Maybe have 1 game night where you play a long board game and one game night where you play a bounce of short games. Then see what people like. It gives your kids an extra boost of confidence because they get to help decide what is going to happen.
8. Make Teams
One fun thing you can do is to group people together in team, like Girls against Boys or even kids against grownups. This can be fun and create sportsmanship because kids have to learn to work together as a team.
It also takes some of the pressure off winning because if you lose it isn’t like you lost, your team just didn’t win. You just have to make sure that kids don’t start blaming others for losing. It’s all about being a good sport.
9. Inviting other people
I know a lot of people who want to keep their family game nights strictly in the family. I disagree inviting other people can be fun and help your kids make new friends. Next time you host a family game night see if your kids want to invite a friend over, or invite their uncle and cousins over. You can even see if you can combine your family fun night with another family. The more the merrier.
10. Play Jr Games when playing with little kids
When you’re playing with younger kids try this. Playing with Jr games is a great way to play the traditional board games like monopoly and clue but have it suitable for little kids. It also makes it easier to keep the excitement up. When you finally switch to regular Monopoly make it a big thing. Say things like, “You sure you’re ready to play big boy monopoly, I don’t Know”.
11. No cheating
No one likes a cheater, it can ruin the game. But what do you do when little kids try to cheat at your family game nights? You don’t want to yell at them have them cry or even throw a tantrum. Instead try to devalue winning and enphinsise having fun.
Say things like, “Is winning so important” and “it’s all about having fun and we can’t do that if people are cheating”
12. Classic Games vs. New Games
We all want to play the games we used to play when we were a kid, and that’s alright. Teaching our kids how to play games like monopoly, or candyland is great. Everyone once in a while however, it can be fun to go down to the store buy a game you’ve never even heard of before and play it.
You and your kids could both be learning how to play it at the same time.
13. Remember Family Game nights don’t have to be at night
You could always play games in the afternoon or in the morning if that is the best time. Think creative there’s nothing wrong with that.
14. Put the video games away
Ok remember to put the video games away. The whole family can’t play a racing car game and that makes people feel left out. It is time to spend time together as a family, not time together as a family looking at a glowing screen we get enough of that already.
15. Keep it Fun
Remember above all else, keep it fun. These are the days both you and your kids will remember for the rest of your lives so make it exciting.