If you follow me on Instagram
, you would have seen that I shared this image of the window bench seat in our living room:
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I moved some of the furniture around after the holidays and unexpectedly created this warm and cozy spot that is just perfect for family game night! I don’t know about you, but these days, I welcome any activity that encourages us to spend time together as a family.
As Chloe gets older, she gets more independent and that means, physically, we spend less time together.
She’s content to spend time alone in her room or in the basement.
She plays on the computer or tablet by herself.
She makes her own breakfast.
She cleans up her room and puts away her laundry.
She gets herself ready for bed.
Does this sound like your kids? Even just writing that makes my mama heart ache – wasn’t I just carrying her around on my hip, just yesterday?? I know that quality time is more fleeting as kids gets older so I savour times when we come together to play board games.
We’ve played lots of games together before, but this space feels really different and I wanted to share my tips on making game night an activity that everyone looks forward to, plus share the best board games for families, as suggested by my Instagram friends.
A successful games night depends not only on the game you choose to play and the company you keep, but also on a few factors you might not have considered. How do you make the idea of spending time with your family irresistible? Here’s my tips on how to make game night fun – for fidgety kids, moody teenagers, and distracted adults alike:
1. Pick a comfortable spot
A kitchen table or open spot on the floor can work for game night, but if you can, play where everyone can sit comfortably for an hour or two. Seats that are cushioned and have back support will be more enjoyable. Make sure lighting isn’t too harsh. Add a toss pillow and blanket to encourage players to stay a while.
2. Everyone gets to pick
Everyone has a favourite game. Your kids might be more willing to play if they know that next round, they get to pick. Let kids have input into which games you buy as well. Think of it as a fun experiment – you all get a say on which games make it into regular rotation.
3. Eliminate distractions
Games are a great opportunity to really enjoy the company you’re with. Give your loved ones your undivided attention by turning off the TV and putting away your devices. When we play games in the living room, we have music playing softly in the background and the fireplace on. The quiet and cozy environment makes games night feel special and different. And its really nice to have those moments in life!
4. Feed and hydrate
You can’t be expected to play two hours of Monopoly without snacks, can you? Popcorn, chips, hot cocoa… rustle up your family’s favourite snacks and drinks to keep the energy up.
5. Keep it fun
The key to making games night a regular occurrence is to keep it fun. Ensure things don’t get too competitive and help the young ones to get over hurt feelings when they lose a game. Stick to lighthearted fun and everyone will be eager to join again for the next game.
So what are the best board games for families?
That can be different for every one. I think the best games are the ones that aren’t too difficult nor too easy for anyone in the group, and where everyone has a good chance of winning. Here’s the board and card games most commonly suggested by my readers and followers, along with my favourites:
Currently, I’m loving Blokus. It’s a game of strategy and it’s not uncommon for the kids to outwit the adults!
Do you have games night at your home? What’s your favourite game to play? I’m always eager to add new ones to our rotation!