Easter Egg: I love this post – because family board games are back, baby! And we love finding new family games to play! Truth is, family game night ideas are everywhere, but sometimes it can be tough to get everyone on board (see what I did there?). Discussing family game night with tweens and teens can get dicey (and…I did it again!) So here are some of my favorite tips for starting a ritual of family game night at your house – even if you have reluctant tweens or teens!
Plan Family Game Night
Finding time to spend time together as a family can be difficult – especially as your kiddos age, and their friends and extra curricular activities take over.
You’ll want your goal to be that everyone is “device free” while you’re playing and that they are focused on this moment of togetherness.
But you don’t have to watch your family game night slip away, just because your kiddos are getting older.
And I’ll tell you a secret: we don’t always have a specific family game night! We did start with a family game night routine; it was always on Saturday. But now, we don’t have a specific night because we don’t want to wait a whole week. We pull out our family board games all the time! It’s rare that a day goes by that we don’t play at least one board game or a couple of hands of poker.
And if you aren’t yet eager to get started, know that there are some serious child development benefits of playing board games together!
Here are some great tips to get everyone – even those independent tweens and teens – interested as you plan your first mind-blowing family game night.
Choose the Best Day
The chances of getting your older kiddo to joyfully sign up for some family time on a Friday or Saturday night are pretty much slim to none. The best night to have a family game night is when it will not interfere with other activities, like footballs games, or outings with friends. Opt for a week night when you know your older kiddos won’t be missing out on anything else that’s important to them.
Invest in Some New Fun Games
Getting everyone together is going to require that you up your game holdings. You might want to ditch the Connect 4, Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, and Uno. Instead, head out to pick up some new, age appropriate games for your family. Consider grabbing something like Apples to Apples, Ticket to Ride, or Pandemic.
And before you start to panic that this whole “togetherness” thing is going to be expensive, know that you can frequently check out games at your local library; find them inexpensively at yard sales or consignment sales; or you could even start a game swap with friends and neighbors.
“Euro Games” Can Be a Terrific Choice
Some folks don’t really enjoy games like chess. These kinds of games are known as “perfect information games.” That means the information is 100% available to both players and the better player will always win. These games can be frustrating and intimidating for newbies.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, there are “roll and move” games such as Monopoly and Sorry. These games are based largely on luck and they are terrific for younger kids. But if you have older kids they can get bored quickly.
So, what’s in between? There’s been a big evolution in the board game industry over the last couple of decades. New, modern board games, sometimes called Eurogames since they started in Germany, are taking the gaming world by storm, and enticing many families back to a hobby we once enjoyed.
“Modern board games have found ways to blend the balance between luck and strategy in such a way that it is appealing and accessible to the average Joe,” says Minken.
Consider Renaming It Family and Friend Game Night
One of the reasons kiddos often say, “No!” to family game night is because they do not want to miss out on time with their friends. While it is meant to be family game night, certainly inviting your teen’s best friend over to partake in the fun can’t do any harm. After all, at this point, your teen’s best friend is likely considered part of the family anyway.
Get Those Competitive Juices Flowing
Sure, everyone playing wants to be the winner, just to say that they won, but what if you raise the stakes? Have some sort of prize for the winner of game night. It could be as simple as the losers have to do the winner’s chores, or even add an extra hour to your teen’s curfew next week.
Tweens & Teens Will Do Almost Anything For Snacks
One things that teens love doing is eating! Whether you have a house full of boys, or girls, if you do not have the good meals prepared, or snacks on hand, your teen is not going to want to stick around. Be sure to let your teen help in picking out game night snacks, as well as a quick, but tasty meal that they enjoy.
Let Your Older Kiddos Plan Family Game Night
Don’t parents have enough to worry about? Assign each teenager in your home the responsibility of planning one game night a month. With this game night, they’re responsible for planning the games, snacks, and fun. Don’t worry, your teenager will be super creative and have a ton of fun with it.
Create These Moments That Bring Families Together
Planning family game night should be something that’s fun and relaxing – not stressful. If you find that it’s getting stressful, take a step back and revamp game night. Remember that the whole purpose of starting this family game night tradition should be about connecting, rediscovering one another after a long week and simply enjoying time together.
You don’t have to be the Joanna Gaines of creating the most Pinterest worthy board night – it’s just about showing your kids that you value time together.
What are your favorite games to play as a family? Come join us on facebook and share your favorite games or your family game night traditions!
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