Last updated on November 20th, 2020 at 10:45 pm
Game night is a staple in families across the country, and for good reason. Games bring people together, teach them how to cooperate, let them get to know each other better, and provide a focused activity that makes socialization easy and natural.
Playing games with your young children helps you teach them important values like good sportsmanship, cooperation, and critical thinking. You’re showing them how to interact with the world all while having a great time together.
Playing games with your older children gives you the chance to talk casually about important topics as they arise without putting any pressure on the conversation. You’d be surprised what kind of talks you’ll have and the things you’ll learn about each other.
This bonding time can be made even better by picking the right game. Mix it up so that you’re letting everyone have a chance to shine. This list will give you some ideas for a great game night rotation.
Our favorite family games —
Rummikub is one of my family’s favorite games and one of the world’s best-selling and most-played games! It’s made for two to four players, ages eight to adult, and it’s great for helping kids think strategically, reinforces STEM and STEAM concepts for kids like sequencing, pattern recognition, and planning skills. Rummikub is a competitive and fun family game that kids and adults will love.
Scrabble is excellent for groups of two to four, so it can be a fantastic family game night choice. It requires a lot of thought and builds vocabulary while also helping families bond. While each player is trying to rack up the highest score and win the game, the board is transformed with every play, making the connections between players evident. It gives you a chance to talk, learn, and grow together.
While this one is better for one-on-one bonding time, chess is an excellent game to play together if you want to spend some quality time. Learning about your opponent’s approach to the game gives you some insight into how they see the world, and there is time to talk about life along the way. Chess has a reputation as a thinker’s game, and so it can be an excellent way to build skills together and share strategies.
If you have family members who aren’t quite ready for the rigor of chess, checkers can provide a lot of the same bonding opportunities with easier rules. This is a great game to play with elementary-aged children, and it provides the chance to learn about strategy and cause and effect together, all while having time to chat and catch up one-on-one.
When you’re thinking about a family game night, don’t forget the youngest members of the family! It’s never too soon to start including the little ones in family game night and teaching them the basics of taking turns and competing with grace. Candy Land is an excellent board game introduction that provides the basic framework for game playing in a way that’s accessible and fun for very young children.
There’s nothing quite like Twister to bond a family together—literally! This game will have the whole family in twists and turns, and it’s sure to bring forth more than a few laughs. While the winner can certainly earn bragging rights, this game is more about having fun than winning, so it can be great for groups where competition isn’t as appealing. It can also be a lot of fun for younger kids who struggle with more complex board games.
Dominoes have been around for ages, and there are so many varieties of games that can be played with a simple set. Some games are fast and others can go on for days. Getting a set of dominoes and learning a few staple games like Draw or Mexican Train can provide many fun family game nights. One of the great things about dominoes is that they can adapt to accommodate a large number of players, so big families can all enjoy an activity together. They’re also great for holidays or extended family get-togethers.
Jenga is an excellent way to bring everyone together since it relies on teamwork to be successful. This classic game of stacking blocks and trying hard not to knock them down is sure to bring about excitement and laughs as well as plenty of chances to talk about the more important things in life as you try to reach the ceiling.
Ping pong is a great family game. It can be played in teams or tournament style to get everyone involved. It is fast-paced and hands-on, giving antsier kids the chance to move while practicing their hand-eye coordination and precision skills. It’s an easy game to learn, but a hard game to master, so it is great for a range of ages and abilities.
This fast-paced game is a great one for bringing whole families together. While many games can be difficult to enjoy with a wide range of ages, air hockey is easy to learn and play, so kids of all ages (and the adults, too!) can have a great time. Air hockey requires skill and fast hands, but it also requires some luck. The games are generally fast, so it’s easy to set this up tournament style so that everyone gets a chance to play. Set up an ongoing battle for bragging rights and hours of fun!
If you want the chance to bond with your family in a fun way, start a family game night. Pick a night of the week that’s set aside for this interaction and protect it on your schedule the same way you would a class or a sports practice. Investing in your family’s bonds is a great use of your time that’s fun and relaxing as well.