Whether your family consists of just you and a little one or you have a much larger brood at home, it can be difficult to get everyone together to just relax and have fun. Between work schedules, sports practice, rehearsals, and homework, organizing a night for everyone to come together for a single activity can take some work, but it will definitely be worth it. Whether you are maintaining a longstanding family game night tradition or looking to create one, this list has something for you. Family game nights are the perfect opportunity to create lasting memories and close familial bonds.
Nothing says game night like a stack of classic board games. Games like Monopoly and Clue are old standby favorites for a reason—they are fun and engaging for both kids and adults alike. They require strategy, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills that will keep the whole family fully present and engaged. These games can get fiercely competitive, though, so make sure to set some ground rules first! These games are recommended for ages 8 and up, so they may not be suitable if you have younger kiddos. Many of these types of games take several hours and lots of negotiating between players, so stack your throw pillows and settle in.
Another standby classic game night option is to play card games. Inexpensive and accessible, card games are a great option for family game night. For the little ones, you can play games like Go Fish. As the kids get older, start incorporating more involved games such as Gin Rummy. Card games are also a fantastic option because of their accessibility and portability. Keep game night traditions going even on vacation, as a pack of cards can easily be thrown into any suitcase or beach bag. They can be played nearly anywhere, anytime. Engaging and competitive card games can quickly become a beloved family tradition that will carry on into the next generation.
Having a family game night does not necessarily mean ditching technology altogether. There are some great interactive games that can be found on your kids' favorite gaming console, which can be fun and engaging for the whole family. Invest in multiple controllers, or form teams and take turns. If you do not have a gaming console, simply use websites like jackbox.tv for endless interactive games and activities the whole family will love.
What would family game night be without the munchies? Make family game night a whole experience by involving everyone in the snack process too. Buy some dough and the kids' favorite pizza toppings and have a build-your-own-pizza night as the ultimate game night pregame. Make fun healthy snacks to have during the game, such as ants-on-a-log (celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins). Find a recipe for homemade fruit gummies, a delicious sweet treat the kids won’t even know is good for them.
Who says family game night has to stay indoors? Get outside for games like cornhole or horseshoes. If the weather outside is a bit chilly, no worries. Just bundle the kids up in their kid’s hoodies and jackets before setting up. Additionally, you could have a bonfire going where you can take breaks to roast marshmallows and sip tea or cider as a family and warm up before the next round.
If you want to get physical and have a fun, dynamic, and active game night, but an outdoors family game night just is not an option, you still have plenty of games and activities available to you as well. For a classic “twist” on an active family game night, play Twister and let the bendy hilarity ensue. Don your best women’s workout pants for maximum movement and flexibility. Play charades for a super-fun and engaging game that will get everyone off the couch and moving around. Get the whole family really moving and create an indoor obstacle course. Be creative: Obstacles can include towers of pillows, army crawling through tunnels created with couch cushions or blankets, or rearranged household furniture. Set up stations where you have to stop and do jumping jacks in push-ups to keep going. Create a relay or take turns. You could also take turns changing and rearranging the obstacles for even more of a challenge. The only rules are the ones you make up: Have fun!
Once you've planned your family game night, all there's left to do is have fun and make memories. We hope this list has been helpful and inspirational. So throw on your matching family pajamas and settle in for family game night.