Last week, we talked about the importance of hosting a family game night. But if the logistics of hosting game night makes you nervous, that is okay! You most likely will never have a family game night that is Pinterest-worthy, with no tears, distractions, or tantrums, but that is okay! Just getting in the habit of the family coming together is a step in the right direction. And when playing with young children, and even teens, you might run into a few problems. So here, are a few ways to help make your family game night a little less stressful and a lot more fun!
- Start easy.
Just because a game is complicated doesn’t mean it won’t be fun, but you should start easy to get everyone in the mood for the game night. You don’t want to have the first experience to be frustrating for everyone involved. Play a fun, fast-paced game that can get the family game night off to the right foot! If you have older kids, you can advance to something that Scrabble that both challenges them and brings out their competitive side.
- Prepare in advance.
Are you playing a brand new game? Nothing will throw a wrench in the game night more than having to stop and regularly read and reread the words. Before game night begins, take thirty minutes and make sure you actually understand the game and have it all set up correctly. If it is a new game, you don’t want to waste your precious game time putting the game together. Therefore, check out the game beforehand and make sure you can get right into game time with your family.
- Don’t play around naptime or bedtime.
If the only free time the whole family has together is 30 minutes before bedtime, it might be a good idea to skip game night that week. If you have a busy family, aim for the weekends and keep game time away from naptime and bedtime to avoid any meltdowns.
- No electronics!
This rule might get some pushback, but it was one of the most important ones. The TV should be off, cellphones should be left in the bedrooms, and no iPads or tablets should be in sight. That includes you too, parents! This should be a time for ALL family members to bond.
Parents and children alike need to remember that this is time for fun and enjoyment. Parents – let go a little bit. If your kid wants to get creative and make up his own rules, that is okay! Make it a fun, interactive learning experience. Don’t worry about always finishing the game; it will also be there waiting the next time you have a family game night.
- Have it consistently.
Make game night a fun habit. It doesn’t matter how often you do it, just try to keep it as consistent as often. We recommend once a week, or even once a month. The more often you do it, the more often you can have fun and bond together!
Don’t get to stressed over the little details. Your family will love the memories from these game nights. Remember, the family that plays together stays together!