It’s not just the game that makes family game night a success that everyone looks forward to, it’s the environment that you create. To make your game nights fun and full of laughs, start with the following tips:
Take turns choosing the game. Taking turns choosing the game not only keeps everyone happy; decision-making and learning to accept and enjoy others’ choices are also important skills everyone can practice.
Be screen-free. Family game time is for family. Turn off all screens and simply be present. It’s okay if you have to use an app as part of your game, but make sure everyone stays in the moment with each other.
Take the game outside. Playing board games outside on a card table or patio table is a great way to mix things up. With the onset of later sunsets and warming weather, get your family some fresh air and fun together.
Family game time can take many forms, so mix it up. Still have that old Wii game console? Now might be a great time to revisit some of those games, like bowling, tennis, golf, and all the Olympic sports. Board games can also be a great place to start, so dig them out, dust them off, and get playing. What were some of your favorites when you were a kid? It might surprise you how much your kids will enjoy playing them, too.
We have put together our top ten favorite family game night games. Have a favorite that isn’t on our list? Let us know, and we’ll share them in future posts.
- Monopoly. Any game night has to start with this classic, which a wide variety of ages can enjoy (for younger kids, try Monopoly, Jr.). Monopoly is a great game, but keep in mind that not everyone playing will play to the end, as the goal is to collect property and bankrupt your fellow players (in fact, most of our list will focus on games where everyone plays until the very end).
- Jenga. You will find that Jenga is one of the most fun and tense board games that kids and adults of any age can play. If you’re not familiar with the concept, you and fellow players work to build a tower on top of another tower, using long blocks from the existing tower to do so. Naturally, building something structurally sound becomes harder with every move. The best part? You can choose to work cooperatively or competitively to build your tower as high as possible before it comes crumbling down (which, to be honest, is also fun to experience).
- Cranium. Take the best of many games, put them together, and amp them up. What do you have? Cranium! If you have teens, Cranium is a great game to be played in teams that would be a great addition to your game time.
- Trivial Pursuit: Family Edition. Often, Trivial Pursuit can be difficult to play across generations because of the different experiences of the players, but Family Edition makes it easy for everyone to have fun together. With questions such as, “Who lives in the pineapple under the sea?” Trivial Pursuit: Family Edition can be a favorite for your family.
- Sequence. You may not have heard of the Sequence Game before, but this card-based strategy game is sure to become a family favorite. The best of both worlds, this board game is easy enough for kids to learn and tricky enough to keep adults on their toes. Recommended for kids ages seven and up, the Sequence Game can be played individually or in teams.
- Scrabble. Scrabble reigns as one of the best word-based board games. This highly rated classic can get pretty competitive with seasoned players, but it’s also a lot of fun with children who are learning to spell and working on their vocabulary. This family game is designed for players eight and up, and there can be two to four players per round. However, don’t be afraid to team up, especially if you’re playing with younger kids!
- Sorry!. If you’re looking to ramp things up, Sorry! makes family game time super-competitive. Sorry! is known to get players riled up, as you can bump competitors back to the starting line as you race to get all of your pawns into the safety zone. Sorry! is perfect for players ages six and up, and there’s room for up to four people in each game.
- Candy Land. Candy Land is a classic for a reason: It’s fun for everyone. Even the littlest kids who can’t count or read yet can play this game of chance. The race to the castle is on, but there are some sweet (and not-so-sweet!) surprises along the way.
- Chutes and Ladders. If you have preschoolers, Chutes and Ladders can be a great because it’s easy to grasp and allows kids to practice counting but doesn’t require reading skills.
- UNO Flip. A new generation of the classic game you grew up on, UNO-Flip will keep your family playing together for hours. It’s played like the classic game, but with a few additions and the new FLIP card. When you lay the special FLIP card down, all cards in your hand, the draw pile, and the draw deck are flipped over to reveal an entirely new set of numbers and colors on the opposite side! Just when you thought you had a plan to win the game, everything changes.