September 23rd is National Family Game Night. Or so sayeth Hasbro. And I don't know about you, but I don't want to be the only one left out.
Of course, setting up a family game night is easy for once, but to set something up on a regular basis takes a bit more skill.
Below are some helpful hints to prepare for the nationwide event and to start creating a family game night tradition that the whole family will look forward to week after week. Call the family together and gather around a game for a great night in any day of the week!
To start with. Schedule it!: National Family Game Night is Wednesday, September 23, mark the calendar!
After participating in the gaming event, decide in advance which day will be your weekly family game night. It doesn’t matter which night of the week you choose – any night will do! As long as the date is marked on a calendar that everyone can see and parents make it a priority to keep the appointment, the night will be one to remember! Use stickers or a colored marker to help make the family game night dates stand out on the calendar.
Involve everyone in the planning: Involve the whole family in the planning process by allowing the kids to pick the games or choose the snacks. For variety, rotate responsibilities during each family game night.
Game suggestions: Be sure to pick games that are age-appropriate for all family members so that everyone can participate. For an active family, BOP-IT! or the classic game of Twister are great options. For a laugh-out-loud time, families might want to try Guesstures or Taboo. For families that thrive on competition, try Connect 4x4 or Monopoly City.
Fun food “pairings”: A special family game night menu will make everyone look forward to the festivities. Serve fun finger foods that are easy to eat during game play, such as hamburger sliders or chicken fingers. A make-your-own sundae bar is a sweet treat for dessert before or during game night. Or, use a family recipe to make your family game night unique.
Create a tradition: Whether it’s the way that teams are selected, a 30-minute bedtime extension, or having everyone play in their p.j.’s, establishing an activity on family game night that becomes a family tradition will create even more excitement around game play for everyone in the family.
Keep a family scoreboard: From week to week, recognize the family member who won the last family game night by posting their name on a special scoreboard that receives a place of honor on the refrigerator. Or, create a family crown or shirt that can be worn by the winner at dinner or during the next family game night.
Remind everyone: To keep the date with the family, set up reminders on a handheld device or on the family computer to make sure that game night happens. For the tech-savvy, reminders can also be sent through Evite.com or on social networking sites such as Facebook. For the kids, put a note in their lunchbox reminding them about family game night.
Mix it up with “special guests”: To expand the fun, invite other families in your neighborhood to participate in a family game night tournament. If you have extended family members living in the area or if you are traveling during a scheduled family game night, invite everyone to participate!
Capture the memories: By having regularly scheduled family game nights, families are guaranteed to create new and lasting memories. Snap a photo of special moments at each family game night and place the printed photos around the house or email to relatives to share that come-from-behind win or incredibly tall Jenga tower!
Brainstorm for next week’s family game night: As each family game night winds down and clean up begins, start brainstorming for next week’s event.What games might be selected? What will be the special food served? By planning in advance for the next event, you can get a jumpstart on the preparations and raise the anticipation level for the next family game night.
Share Games: Find a few other families in your neighborhood of playgroup who are also big family game night fans. Agree to rotate games monthly to keep things exciting and new!