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In some families, game nights are an essential part of a family gathering. It builds the camaraderie of a family unit and makes children grow up with social skills as they learn sportsmanship, problem-solving skills, and patience while playing classic games like Monopoly, Sorry!, Uno, Jenga, and many others.
According to researchers, these simple light-hearted games bring out many child development benefits. To reap these benefits, and make sure that everybody has fun during a family game night, follow the tips below:
1. Find A Regular Game Schedule
Set a day that works for each family member. This means they don’t have any engagements such as soccer practice, parties, or weekend work.
If a weekly game night isn’t possible, consider making it once a month, like the first Saturday of each month. Just make sure that everybody can participate.
2. Turn Off Electronics
Electronics means smartphones, TV, tablets – any electronic device that can divert attention from the game. A good family game night requires everyone to focus on the game, be in the moment, and give undivided attention to the family.
This rule applies to both children and adults (who are most likely to check e-mails and text messages). Attending to notifications can easily distract a family member from the game, ruining their concentration. Implementing this rule might cause many eye rolls from time to time, but it is necessary to unplug even for just a few hours if it would mean enjoying each other’s company.
3. Turn Up The Competition
Healthy competition is always an excellent way to keep games exciting. The key is to divide into teams and compete for a prize, like a family game night trophy that gets passed on from one champion to the next.
Each parent must be the captain of a team. They can switch up team members each game night, but they must never be in the same team for the sake of fairness, and healthy competition. That way, children will not feel bad about not winning.
Keep a scoreboard, and set the points for each game, then tally the points at the end of the night to declare the winner. Prizes to be given to the champion of each game night can make the game a lot more exciting. Buy a trophy, and hand it to the winner, along with small trinkets, to bring more excitement to the game with higher stakes, and bragging rights.
4. Change Up Locations From Time To Time
If games are usually held at the coffee or dinner table, it might be fun to change up things now and then by taking game nights to the living room or even outdoors. Games like flashlight tag or any other games that require much movement are great for playing in the backyard.
5. Mix Up Games
The same games each week might become tedious in the long run instead of fun. Picking the right game can also be challenging. Just make sure that the whole family can play the games together, regardless of age.
Family members must take turns in choosing the games to be played for each family game night. This can also be an opportunity to introduce games from the parents’ childhood. If purchasing brand new games is not possible, there’s an option to rent from game stores or borrow from a neighbor. Better yet, these neighbors can also join the game nights if they like.
6. Bring Delicious Snacks To The Game Area
A family game night wouldn’t be complete without snacks and beverages. Everybody gets snack cravings at one point while playing. Kids love food and drinks that they can take with them as they play.
The classic popcorn is still everybody’s favorite for game nights. Try a variety of flavors, and serve them on large bowls that players can pass around. Finally, end the night with a generous serving of ice-cream or any family-favorite dessert.
The common objective of the tips above is to make sure that everybody enjoys the experience of being together and having fun together. These game nights will always remain as beautiful memories for the children, something they could look back on and smile about when they’ve all grown up. They’ll remember how each Saturday night, mom and dad spent time with them, having fun and giving them their full attention.
A fun and relaxed family game night can make wonders in a family. In some that have more reserved interactions with one another, this could be a game-changer. It can strengthen their bonds and let them forget all the worries of the world, even for just one night a week.