17 Family Game Night Ideas For Bonding With Your Kids

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  • 29 Mar 2024
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Want to arrange an incredible family game night that will bring everyone together rather than cause moans and groans? With a little planning, you may create a new ritual that everyone will enjoy while also developing important life skills. 

Family game night provides more than simply a great time together. It can also assist develop relationships and build problem-solving and reasoning skills, especially in children, that are transferable to academics.

Not sure where to start? In this article, I'll provide you with 17 family game night ideas for selecting the greatest and most pleasant games for your family, as well as some benefits. I'll also offer some hosting advice for more entertaining and thrilling game nights.


Tips on Hosting a Fun Family Game Night

Here are six tips for hosting a pleasant family game night for a more enjoyable experience with your family.


1. Take Turns, Everyone Should Get to Pick Regularly

If you frequently hear "not fair" from your crew, try drawing names from a bucket each week or as often as you intend to play. Each family member should have a turn, and if a member is chosen to select the game, their name should be drawn from the bucket until everyone has an opportunity to do so. 

Consider having the person who chooses the game also select the snacks so that they may take control of the evening. This is an excellent technique to instill confidence in each family member.


2. Select Games That Everyone in the Family Can Play

If a family member is unable to play alone, assign them a key role in organizing or leading the game night. They can also contribute to another team's efforts. 

It's often a good idea to do some research and compile a list of gaming possibilities. If your game selection is limited, invite family members to make their picks many days in advance so that you can look for new games. This will help encourage buy-in among children once they understand they have a new game to play. 

Continue reading for ideas for interesting and cost-effective alternatives to standard board games.


3. Make a “No Phone/Television/Technology” Policy

Make it a "no phone/television/technology" policy, parents included! 

This is when you might get some pushback. As you envision family interactions, remember to plan for distractions.

Family gaming nights should be phone and television-free events. Make sure your children understand that you are also participating. You're trying to reconnect, which includes breaking some traditional entertainment habits. All it takes is one small text conversation for the entire class to disconnect. Guard this time, no exceptions. 

Give everyone a 15-minute warning before the gaming night begins so they can finish up any chats or emails. Keep phones silent and out of the room. Some families have a mobile phone basket where everyone can dump theirs to demonstrate that parents are making the same effort as children. 

They will thank you later when they have memories to reflect on, which texting cannot match.


4. Do Not Forget the Snacks!

Food makes everything better and can make your game night feel extra special. This can connect to another family bonding activity like cooking.

There’s no need to go overboard and stress yourself out, so consider bringing the family together to make a few special snacks.

If you want kids to enjoy the whole "hosting" experience, the family member who chooses the game can also provide snack ideas and assist in their preparation. This will help kids take control of the night and develop their responsibility, planning, and leadership abilities. 

You might also ask another family member to manage the food so that everyone has a part to perform.


5. Turn On the Tunes

Music, like food, has the potential to increase game night participation. This could also be an opportunity to include someone as the DJ. 

Because everyone has diverse musical preferences, this job should be alternated. Make it clear in advance that only positive remarks are acceptable and that criticizing musical taste can harm others' feelings. 

Let your family members know that everyone, including parents, will have a turn as the DJ! You can even ask everyone to create playlists of their favorite songs to share.


6. Consider a Theme

Consider a theme for the month to assist draw attention to specific types of games. This also allows family members to experiment with games they never imagined they'd enjoy. 

Our children always assumed that card games were boring and only for adults. But when kids learnt how to play specific games, cards were one of the most popular, because they don't require any strategy! 

The following are some fundamental types of games that you might base a theme around. Before moving on to the next game, each family member can choose one based on a specific theme.


17 Family Game Night Ideas

Here are 17 family game night ideas to bond with your kids.


1. Twister

Keep your hands and feet on the mat's circles without letting your body touch the ground. A fun and vigorous twister game that everyone can enjoy, including teenagers!


2. Go Fish

Go Fish is a fun card game suitable for children aged three and up. This game enables young children to practice matching, memory, and number recognition. If you have older siblings, foster leadership by teaching younger ones how to


3. Pictionary

Sharpen your artistic abilities with a drawing game that will spark your ideas. The goal of Pictionary is to guess what object or item your opponent has drawn.


4. Clue

This detective and mystery board game is suitable for players aged eight and up. The goal of the Clue Detective Game is to solve a mystery by determining who the mystery killer is, what murder weapon was used, and where the crime took place. It's an oldie but a goodie!


5. Help Your Neighbor

Help Your Neighbor is another fun family card game that’s perfect for kids ages four and up


6. Scrabble

Earn points by arranging letter pieces on the board to form various words. Scrabble will assist your children increase their vocabulary. Calling out meaningless words is sure to get a laugh!


7. The Floor Is Lava

This exciting and lively game will keep everyone on their toes. When someone enters the room and exclaims, "Floor is Lava!" everyone has five seconds to get off the ground.


8. Life

Life is a popular board game that will take the entire family on an enjoyable journey through LIFE! This board game will provide your children with intriguing choices that will challenge them while also teaching them strategy. Younger children will love loading their vehicles with family members.


9. Dance Charades

Get the whole family out of their shell with a fun game of charades—dancing style.


10. Monopoly

Monopoly is another enjoyable classic board game. Choose a fun token piece and go around the board, collecting money and negotiating property agreements. This entertaining game will educate your children how to manage their money and other financial concepts.


11. Balloon Tennis

The entire family can participate in a simple DIY game in the living room or yard. Assemble your racket by placing a popsicle stick behind a paper plate and attempting to keep the inflated balloon from touching the ground. This one is so much fun.


12. Battleship

Battleship, a tabletop game, can help your children learn strategy. The purpose of the game is to sink your opponent's ships by predicting where they are on the board. 


13. Slapjack

The goal of the game is to be the first player to slap the jack from the pile and win all the cards in the deck. This multi-player game will get everyone's adrenaline pumping and is ideal for groups of five or more people.


14. Yahtzee

Yahtzee is a fun dice-rolling game that will teach your youngsters to count, multiply, and calculate probability. The goal of the game is to score points and come up with unique scoring combos.


15. No Stress Chess

If you want to teach your children the principles of chess, No Stress Chess is an excellent place to start. Each player selects one card from their hand to demonstrate how their game pieces can be used on the board.


16. Uno

Uno is a multi-player card game that may be enjoyed by the whole family. Each participant is assigned seven cards and tactics for using them based on a color or number trend. The goal of the game is to be left without any cards.


17. Qwirkle

The objective of Qwirkle is to create lines based on colors and shapes on a flat surface. It’s a great game for younger kids to strategize.


Benefits of Having Family Game Nights

Organizing a regular family game night provides benefits that extend beyond spending time together. While developing relationships and having fun together may be your primary goals, there are numerous notable advantages to holding regular family game evenings.


1. Supports Mental Health

If you've ever wondered how to encourage your family to practice mindfulness, this is an excellent approach to do so! 

Mindfulness is about focusing all of your attention on one subject. What better method to practice mindfulness than to focus on family members? 

According to research, some of the benefits of mindfulness include less rumination, stress reduction, improved memory, greater cognitive flexibility, better focus, and decreased emotional reactivity.


2. Improves Academic and Problem-Solving Skills

Most games include some element of strategy. Developing these qualities can sometimes lead to better school performance, academic results, and confidence.

If this is your area of emphasis, seek for games that require strategy or solving mysteries.


3. Improves Executive Functioning

No, we're not talking about preparing your youngster to become the first 10-year-old CEO. Executive functioning include self-regulation skills as well as mental processes that allow us to plan, focus, recall, and solve multi-step problems. 

Family gaming nights are an excellent approach to acquire these important life skills!


4. Teamwork/Improved Relationships

If you want to urge your family members to work together, there are plenty of games that encourage collaboration, which will also benefit them in other areas. Simply spending quality time together strengthens connections.


5. Provides Leadership Opportunities

Giving family members the opportunity to choose games in which everyone can play and plan the evening is an excellent method for them to build leadership abilities. This teaches students the fundamentals of event planning and leadership without any pressure.


6. Offers an Outlet to Share Interests

Your children are likely to have individual hobbies and preferences. Sharing a favorite game and teaching others how to play can boost confidence and strengthen relationships. Don't forget to share yours too!


7. Discover That Screen-Free Fun Does Exist

This is self-explanatory. Technology offers numerous advantages, but excessive use can cause physical concerns such as eyestrain and psychological problems such as difficulty focusing. As a result, children must also learn how to enjoy themselves without it.


8. Challenges Everyone (Even Parents) to Be Fully Present and Engaged

This is outlined in the ground rules. Family game nights should be about having fun together. Resist the impulse to multitask. 

Even if you have a pile of laundry next to you or a sink full of dishes to do, showing your children how to give their complete focus to an activity can encourage them to do the same.

If you are used to juggling many projects, this exercise will help you slow down and retrain your brain and body to focus on one activity at a time. 

We are accustomed to juggling numerous tasks at once, which has been shown to be detrimental to our brain. This is an excellent opportunity for everyone to focus on one task while having fun.


Final Thoughts

There are numerous ways to make family game nights feel more special and personalized to your family's preferences. The children do not need to understand all of the benefits, but they will appreciate feeling as if they play an essential role, even if they don't say it. 

The key to making family game nights something everyone looks forward to is to show that you, too, are interested in it and to go above and beyond to make it feel unique, similar to a party where everyone can participate in organizing and stamp their own version. Involving everyone in the planning process boosts interest and ownership.


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