Even though the summer offers a lot of free time, this time seems to get eaten up quickly for both kids and adults. As the final month of summer freedom creeps closer, why not take the time to bond with your family over a family game night? A family game night is a great way to spend quality time together as a family while learning. Playing games helps kids to strengthen and develop content knowledge, and also helps reinforce socialization skills, such as how to deal with being a loser (or a winner!). Here are some tips to make your family game night a huge success!
Make it an Event
Whether it’s once a week or once a month, make family game night something that the whole family can look forward to on a regular basis! Set up camp somewhere comfortable in your house, or take advantage of the warm weather and head outside. Make sure you have any supplies your games might require at the ready, which will probably include paper, writing utensils, and a timer at the very least. To make the night even more special, why not prepare some special and healthy family game night snacks beforehand? Try making family game night unplugged, and have everyone put away their cell phones, laptops, and iPods for the duration.
Put Your Child in Charge
Let your kids pick out some of the games to be played, have them choose the spot where you play, and help prepare the snacks. By getting your kid involved in the preparation for game night, he or she will be more invested. To boost the educational benefits, have your child take on any extra roles in the game they can handle. For example, during Monopoly, have your child be the banker, or during Scrabble have her be in charge of the dictionary. By giving kids these little extra tasks, they will feel important and will also get more practice in important skills, such as handling money or using a dictionary.
Know the Rules
To avoid potential conflict, make sure to review the rules for any game quickly before playing. This will hopefully help to prevent any mid-game arguments about what is and isn’t allowed. If a conflict arises, make sure to have the rules handy!
Mix it Up
Maybe your family loves playing Yahtzee, but sometimes it can be good to mix it up. While going out and buying a new game is always an option, why not try asking friends or family to do a game swap? That way, you’ll both be benefitting. Out of games? Try learning a new card game as a family.
What are some tips you have for running a successful family game night, and what are some of your favorite games to play?