Ultimate Guide for Family Game Night

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Do you feel like your family could be spending more quality time together? A perfect way to spend valuable time together is with a family game night. It’s time to spend less time on the phone or in front of the screens and make the time spent together really count. 

Here at Twin Cities Kids Club, we are here to provide you with the ultimate guide for your family game night and encourage you as your raise your family in the Twin Cities.

Happy family playing board game at home, happiness concept

The Importance of the Family Game Night

A family game night is a perfect way to spend time together bonding. During the family game night, the lines of communication are open. Game night is a great time to have a family discussion and check-in with the kids to see how they are doing. 

Playing board games helps develop social skills and is a fun-filled way to promote academic learning.  Scholastic talks about many of the benefits your kids receive from playing age-appropriate board games. 

  • Provide opportunities for early learning 
  • They get older kids thinking as well 
  • Boost language skills 
  • Board games sharpen your child’s focus
  • They teach the value of teamwork
  • Board games are a great alternative to a timeout 
  • They can soothe a child’s anxiety
  • Board games teach kids how to be a good loser
  • A great way to unplug

On top of all the benefits that your child can reap from a family game night, it is also a great way to create memories together. 

Mixed race family playing solitaire

Choose a Time to Play

Look at your family’s schedule and pick a night of the week that will work best for everyone. Ensure to pick a day and time that your family can continue to stick with every week (or as schedule permits). The game night can be either once a week, the first Friday of the month, or even a holiday tradition.

What matters most is finding what will work best for your family and committing to it as part of your routine. 

happy family playing board games together at home

Pick the Perfect Game or Games

You can pick a game that is from your childhood and will spark fond, old memories or choose a new game. It is essential to select more than one game, though, because sometimes the first game won’t work out. 

Having a backup game to fall back on is a good idea. On the occasion that the kids are arguing or start to get disinterested in the first game choice, quickly switch to your backup.

Are you having trouble choosing board games for family game night? Check out our list of Best Board Games for Families. You will find a variety of board games that are suitable for various ages. 

Father and little son are playing board game at table at night at home.

Ditch the Phones and TV

There is always a time and a place for technology, but during the family game night, it has no place! Please turn off the cell phones and TV and put them away. Doing this will allow you to be present and in the moment with your children and give them your undivided attention. 

If you turn off your phone and put it away, you will be less tempted to reach for it during family game night. 

Take Time to be Present

It can be hard to push away our mental to-do lists. However, family game night is all about putting aside designated time to create memories as a family. Take the time that you alotted and relax and enjoy yourself and the uninterrupted time as a family.

african-american family playing board game in cafe

Getting the Kids On Board with Game Night

Getting the kids involved can turn into an arduous task. Kids have their own opinions, motives, and desires. Therefore they may not be as interested in participating as you expect. You can start by introducing them to one of your childhood favorites. 

By showing your kids the love and nostalgia you have for the game, you will spark their interests. You will be able to make new memories together. 

If this method does not work, you can always break out the snacks! Food is a way to motivate your kids to participate. Have some yummy snacks or special treats, and the kids will come. 

Here are some popular family game night snack suggestions

  • Meat, cheese, and crackers tray
  • Homemade trail mix (with everyone’s favorite mix-ins)
  • Chips and dip 
  • Freshly popped popcorn with choice of seasonings 

happy family having fun together, playing twister game at home

Have Patience

The kids may try to fight over the rules of game play. There may even be times that they will accuse one another of cheating. There will also be moments where there are sore losers or braggers when they win the game. 

Whether your child flips the entire board game and storms off because of the game’s outcome, keep in mind that this is a learning process for them. Sometimes they will be disappointed with the result of game night.

You are teaching your children how to be cooperative, take turns, be graceful winners, and good sports when they lose. 

If family game night does not go as planned, remember that you can always start fresh next time. 

Say Thank-you

Once the game is over, or you have decided to call it a night on game night, be sure to thank your kids for playing with you. If you let them know that you appreciate them and that you had fun, it will help create good habits. 

Your kids will be eager to play the game with you again and look forward to planning your next family game night. 

Happy family playing board games at home. Mother, father and children play together.

Twin Cities Kid’s Club Ultimate Game Night Guide at a Glance

We have condensed all the information for family game night and converted it into eight simple steps to ensure that you have an awesome family game night every time! 

  1. Pick a time and day during the week that works for the entire family. 
  2. Choose an old favorite or a new game. 
  3. Grab some of your favorite game night snacks! 
  4. Turn off and put away all the electronics.
  5. Review all of the rules of the game to be sure everyone understands the gameplay. 
  6. Take the time to have a practice round. 
  7. Enjoy one another and the game. 
  8. Make a plan for the next family game night. 

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