What better way to spend time with the family than having a game night filled with laughter and fun! We all look forward to spending quality time together and having a game night creates traditions and great memories for the entire family.
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Check out some of these games we love the most and why below!
Why is Family Game Night Important?
When was the last time you played a game with your kids?
I know that when my kids were younger up to the age of 3 years, I played a lot with them. We played house, had tea parties, and did the floor is lava thing. But as they reached past 4 years old, I sort of left them on their own to play amongst themselves.
As much as I loved my free time to cook and clean and do my daily chores while the kids played, I realized it’s also important to have some fun time with them as well.
Not only does this give you an excuse to sit down and relax and enjoy your kids, but you also get to know who your kids are. You truly get to know one another so much more during conversations which take place while doing a fun activity while relaxed, laughing and giggling!
Not only will your bond with your family grow stronger, but your kids will learn some very important life skills. For one, they will learn how to stay focused, how to be a team player, and most importantly how to be a good loser.
Follow these simple steps to get your own family game night tradition started.
When to Have a Game Night?
For one, it doesn’t necessarily have to be on a weekend or late at night. You want to select a date that everyone can be in attendance and dedicate at least 2-3 hours of uninterrupted time.
I know that work schedules can sometimes change, so remember that your game night tradition doesn’t have to fall on the exact same day every week or month for that matter. It’s all about being consistent that a game night will take place rain or shine.
So pencil it in on the family fridge calendar and if you have to make changes make sure that you reschedule it and keep the anticipation and excitement of an approaching game night alive.
Devices off! This has to be one of the most important tips. You want to give your kids your undivided attention and they will learn to do the same.
Its difficult trying to interact with someone when they are looking at their phone texting or reading messages. This time is designated for family fun time so relax and enjoy each other’s company.
You never know for how long your kids are going to want to continue this game night tradition with you so truly enjoy it while it lasts.
How Do You Plan a Family Game Night?
Food makes any event so much more special! This is supposed to be a fun night so think of foods your family would enjoy. For my family, its tradition to serve nachos with dip. You can check out our Family Fun Night at Home Ideas to get my nacho recipe or other fun food ideas to serve at your family game night.
2. Select the Perfect Games
There are so many board games out on the market today and they can get very pricy when purchasing new. So if you are just starting out, try to look out for sales or check out Facebook Market, Kijiji or any other second hand store to see if you can get a deal on board games to get you started. I would recommend that you only purchase brand new board game when you are certain your family will love them.
3. Games Should Be For the Right Ages
The first step to selecting a perfect game for your family is to look for a game that is age appropriate for all of the members of the family. Try to be considerate of the youngest member and choose according to their age level as no one should be left out (unless they are under 3 of course!).
4. Games Should Include Everybody
Since I am speaking of the importance of no one being left out, the second most important thing to consider is the number of players for the game. This is also indicated on the packaging so make sure that your game can accommodate everyone in your family.
5. Consider Level of Difficulty
The other thing to consider is how challenging is the game. Are there too many rules and can your child comprehend the concept of the game? Remember that this is supposed to be a fun relaxing time for everyone so select a game that will not intimidate anyone intellectually.
6. Have a Few Different Games Ready
When selecting a game for the game night, it is important to select more than one game because there is a chance that the first game may not interest your family. If you find that your kids are disliking the game, quickly switch to your backup game.
Check out this list of games that have proven to be a hit in our household.
5 Games for a Guaranteed Fun Game Night
Chutes and Ladders (2-4 Players, ages 4+)
This is a simple classic game most of us are familiar with. The concept of the game is to try to get to the top of the board game without sliding down. This game is fun for the little ones as it helps them recognize numbers and with counting.
This game takes about 15 – 30 minutes to complete and is a game the entire family can enjoy. I have tried other chutes and ladders games with my kids and found this one to be a nicer layout and it’s a lot easier to know which direction you are supposed to go in.
Headbandz (2-6 players, ages 7+)
This is a very fun and easy game to play and definitely a favorite for all ages. Even though the recommendation is ages 7+ I have played it with my 5 year old. The object of the game is to place a card on your headband and everyone takes turns giving you hints without telling you what you are, as you try guessing your card with the clues you are given.
This game takes about 45 – 60 minutes to play but could take longer if more than 4 players participate. This game comes with 6 headbands as opposed to others which only come with 4 and the pictures in this specific game are much clearer than others.
Clue (3-6 players, ages 8+)
Clue is another classic game and is one of our top favorite games to play with the family. If you are not familiar with this classic murder mystery game, the object of the game is to figure out who did it, with what weapon and in which room did the murder take place.
Be the first to get your accusations correct and you win the game. The instructions are very easy to follow. The outcome of the game: suspect, weapon, and room combo, changes with every game through a wonderful process involving cards and a confidential case file envelope.
This game takes approximately 25 – 45 minutes to play and it can be played with as little as 2 players but it is ideal to play with 3 or more players. The Clue game states that it’s appropriate for ages 8 and up however my 7 year old understands the concept of the game very well and has a lot of fun playing it.
Pie Face (2+ players, ages 5+)
This is one of those goofy fun games to have after some intense board gaming. What better way to end a fun family game night than with a pile of whip cream in your face?! This is an exciting game filled with suspense, as you never know who’s next to get splattered with some delicious whipped cream. Pie face is hilarious and will definitely have the entire family laughing.
This is a quick game to have and not something that you would want to play for hours on end (however I am sure that the little ones wouldn’t mind doing so). Pie Face is surprisingly not a very messy game to play as long as you do not over load too much whipped cream.
The age recommendation states ages 5+, however this game has been played with a 3 year old with ease. The game requires no skill other then turning a little knob on the handles and waiting patiently to see if you will be the victim of pie face.
Walk like a Chicken (2-4 players, ages 3+)
Walk like a chicken is a wonderful hide and seek game to play indoors. This game is not a board game but a fun active game to play. If your kids are full of energy and sitting for an hour to complete a board game seems more of a chore than fun, then this game is for you!
The object of this game is to hide 24 objects cards facing down throughout the house, then try to seek them while acting it out. If it’s the chicken you find, then walk like a chicken. This game helps kids improve their memory skills, it gets them to burn some energy and must importantly it gets everyone to loosen up and act a little silly!
To make the game a little more challenging as the kids get older, we designate one person to hide the cards while everyone else looks for them and then we take turns. This game can take up to 15 minutes per round and is appropriate for kids ages 3 and up.
Game Night Options When You Don’t Have a Game
There are many free and low cost printable options available online that can still provide hours of fun! The best games to play are Pictionary and Charades. These printables can be catered to different age groups as well.
Some sites such as this one by The Game Gal allows you to generate a new word after each turn, without needing to print pages of words and then cut them out into cards!
These are our tips for planning a fun family game night! We hope this will become the start of a beautiful tradition for your family as well.