We don’t have a set game night at our house because we like to play games all the time. In the winter you will find us mostly playing board games, but in the summer our family might be caught outside playing active games like flashlight tag at dark.
Is your family game night stuck in a rut? Or is it becoming boring and hard to manage? Maybe, like us, you don’t have a set family game night each week or month, but you’d like to start this family tradition. Whether you have never had a family game night or you have had a hundred, here are ideas for game night a happy success.
Try a New Game
Tired of playing UNO? Why not try a new game to up the excitement of family game night? Some of our favorites are Settlers of Catan, The Logo Game, Funglish, and Ticket to Ride. Games don’t have to always be board games either. How about a rousing game of charades, tag, hide and seek, or my personal favorite sardines in the dark!
Invite Friends to Join You
Sometimes it’s fun to invite friends to join your family game night tradition. Playing with a fellow homeschool family provides a different perspective on the game and offers your children another opportunity for socialization. If the guest family brings a collection of their favorite games, you just might discover a new favorite game. Each family can share their unique family rules for game play, and the two families can negotiate how the game will be played together.
Be a Little Random
Add a quirky twist to your family game night! Declare it silly hat game night and require everyone to come to the game table donning a hat! Or require costumes and call each other nicknames based on those outfits during game play. Playing against Pirate Peter and Doctor Sara makes game night even more hilarious. We like to play games dressed in pajamas! It’s your game night. You can create whatever silly themes that you want.
Plan a Menu
Plan a break for a meal or at least a snack. If your kids are messy, you may want to pause the game while you nosh or finish dinner before game night. Older kids can probably handle simultaneously eating and playing.
Ordering pizza and using paper plates and cups makes clean up simple.
Don’t Forget to Have Fun
Don’t get so caught up in the planning that you end up miserable because of all of the messes that need to be cleaned up. Game night may get loud; there may be arguments or teachable moments. Hold your plan loosely and let your children set the pace.
Take Your Game Night on the Road
Why not move your game night to the local park? Or how about playing a game poolside? When my kids were little, we had these giant beach towels that came with game pieces so we could easily play Chutes and Ladders or Candyland next to the pool during those mandatory ten minute breaks.