Does your family feel a little disconnected? I personally feel as if my family is always so busy doing things outside of the home, participating in school, church or social events, that we miss out on spending precious time together at home. After full days of activity, our brains are often too tired to engage with one another. The childhood years are going by so fast, I don’t want to spend it in a constant frenzy. I desperately want to have some quality family time with my crew.
Growing up, my brothers and I played a lot of board games. I confess, we did play our fair share of Nintendo and we certainly spent a good amount of time enjoying our favorite TV shows, but back then, our shows were not available 24 hours a day and after a while, even Mario got a bit boring. That’s when we’d pull out the games.
As my kids get older, I want them to also experience that too. So for my family, it’s time to spend a little time at home and bring back the family game night!
Playing board games has many benefits in a child’s development.
- Building motor skills (think: shuffling cards, rolling dice)
- Building math skills (identifying numbers, counting, comparing, estimating)
- Problem-solving (developing strategies, thinking about cause and effect)
- Building communication skills (working as a team and having conversations)
If you have young children, simple games like Candyland and Chutes and Ladders are a great way to start but can be a bit boring for parents and older kids. If this is the case in your family, don’t be afraid to try something a little more challenging! I have found that even when we play more complicated games (mom versus dad) and we let our boys “be on our team” – they still have a great time even if they don’t necessarily understand the concepts of the game. It’s spending time together and undivided attention that makes it fun!
In preparation for family game night, I spent some time researching the best games that span across age groups and I found some real winners from Kelly over at the Happy You, Happy Family, blog.
More of our favorite games for game night include:
The Game of Life – Life walks your kids through crazy versions of life and the game now includes pets and a “spin to win” option! Kids also learn to manage their wallet since money is being exchanged each turn.
Monopoly Junior – There are so many versions of Monopoly but this Junior game offers the chance for your littles to begin to practice math in simple numbers. This version only includes $1s instead of $5s, $10s, and $20s.
What are some of your family’s favorite games to play on family game night?