Family game night can be a great way for your family to bond and catch up on what’s going on in each other’s lives. If you schedule it for after dinner, it will give your family something to discuss while eating (and avoid the dreaded “nothing” response to “What did you do at school today?”). Games are a great way to foster communication; a relaxed, fun atmosphere makes the chit chat come naturally.
Here are three easy steps to organize your own family game night that works for your family.
1. Pick a night that works for everyone’s schedule.
You don’t want the kids distracted my school or an upcoming play date, and you don’t want mom n dad to be distracted by a looming work project. I recommend either Friday or Sunday night. In my experience these days have the best success because people are either looking forward to an entire weekend of fun, or have finished up the weekend fun and are feeling relaxed. Whatever day works for your family’s individual schedule, make sure to stick to it. Ritual and routine are important. It will give your family something to look forward to every week or month.
2. Create your own house rules
It’s important to make your family’s game night feel personal. Make up your own variations on games. Or if you’re feeling ambitious, make up your own original games. I also recommend playing so that each night has a winner and a loser. You can reward the the winner with a special dessert or treat, and make the loser do the dishes. Losing can be frustrating, but it is also a great opportunity for your young one to learn about sportsmanship.
3. Award good sportsmanship
Game night is the perfect opportunity for kids to learn about good sportsmanship. Every night make sure to recognize and compliment the person who showed the best sportsmanship. Give that player a special award (and I recommend it be better than the first place award). Make sure not to reward the first place person twice, but don’t hesitate to give the best sportsmanship award to last place. Maybe that player can pick the next game(s) for the next game night. Or maybe they get out of a particularly dreaded household chore. Whatever you choose as the reward, make sure to place the most importance on having fun, not winning the game.
Invite friends and neighbors to your Family Game Night
Once you have an established game night that everyone enjoys and looks forward to, invite your children’s friends and their families to join in. Games are a great way to get to know the people important in others in your family. Important to your family’s daily lives.
And be sure to share your successes on our Facebook page, we would love to join in on the fun!