Skip to main content

Game Night: Tips to Make Family Game Night Successful

Apr 12, 2012 12:44PM ● By Erin Frisch

Game Night

Almost all of us have fond memories of family togetherness celebrated over a board game. Even if your family never celebrated a “formal” family game night, maybe you remember when your Dad taught you to play chess, or playing board games with siblings during summer vacations. Either way, board games offer a unique format for family bonding—but how do you motivate kids to appreciate game night?

Schedule It This can be as simple as marking it on the family calendar or picking the same night each month. Just make sure everyone knows that it’s a priority to be present for the fun!

Make it Special Let the kids stay up 30 minutes past their bedtimes, make their favorite snack or meal, or invite friends to participate. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s special for your gang.

Pick the Right Game It can be challenging to find games that family members of different ages and interests can enjoy, but that’s exactly what you have to do to make the night fun. One idea is for each family member to choose one game, and then play each game over the course of the evening. Alternatively, you could let chance decide by picking a name out of a hat—whoever’s name is chosen gets to pick the game. Just be sure to take names out of the hat until everyone in the family has had a chance to be the chooser!

Restoring Communication Research suggests that family bonding becomes all the more important when parents are under financial stress. Parents who are worried about finances often have less patience and less time to devote to their kids. They may not be able to fund extra activities and may not know how to make up for that. If communications have really broken down with a child or other family member, the parallel play of a board game provides a shared experience that can be a gateway to further interaction.
If you decide to play a game that is too difficult for younger members of the family, look for a way to incorporate them. For example, they can play on a team with an older family member. Here are a few games that can be played and enjoyed by kids of all ages:

Connect 4 Candy Land Checkers Uno

Short on time? These games are faster versions of their longer counterparts:

Monopoly Deal Sorry Revenge Clue Suspect Blink Bananagrams

Make it Competitive You can keep track of points and post the winner’s name on the refrigerator at the end of the night, or offer the winner a special privilege for the week.

With these tips, family game night can easily become a fun activity that your family will remember forever.




Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Here in Hanover's free newsletter to catch every headline

Upcoming Events Near You