Think about the last time you have set down and played a game. Has it been in the last year? Two years? Maybe not even since you were a child? There seems to be a correlation between the rise of technology and the decline of games. I get that there are games on all of our devices…but I’m talking about board games, card games, and with-other-people games.
Maybe you can think of throwback games like Connect Four, Monopoly, Life or modern boards like Catan or Ticket to Ride…Games that you play where you sit in front of another person, face-to-face, and take turns in the moment, in real life.
While growing up, I remember playing game was one of the highlights of New Year’s day and any time we visited my grandparents. Siblings versus parents, brother versus sister, mom and dad versus the kids…there was always some sort of board game or card game battles going on.
We would bust out a deck of cards and sit on the bed talking about our day or even pack up Rack-o for short road trips. There were always opportunities to play, but more importantly, to connect.
Why should you organize a family game night?
Family time is one of the most important aspects of building a strong and loving family bond. The more time that you can spend together as a family, doing a positive activity and working together, the stronger your family bond will become. If you haven’t created a family game night in your home, even once a month makes a big difference!
Start small and work your way up, if need be…but start.
Why put off those amazing conversations, the fun teamwork, the laughter and the giggles any longer? Start a new family game night tradition for your family and be prepared to be in awe of how much stronger your family bond feels almost instantly.Want some family game and reading night discussion starters?
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It creates conversation.
Sometimes, life can be a bit tricky and the truth of the matter is that as our children get older, it seems that there is a span of a few years in their life where they’d rather talk to someone else rather than us, their parents.
It’s not an uncommon scenario, but it doesn’t have to be the norm in your household. By starting a family game night, it can help break down any barrier that may be trying to build.
Bringing in educational games also creates a safe place for kids to ask questions about things and experiences they don’t understand which also leads to higher self-esteem and higher emotional intelligence (empathy).
Game nights are the start of a family tradition.
If you decide to have a weekly family game night, then you’ve started a weekly tradition. The great thing about a tradition? It’s something that is planned and guaranteed to happen without any interruptions.
Have to work late? Not on family game night. Your kids want to have a few friends over for dinner? Any night besides family game night sounds like a great idea.
Traditions are great because they create a feeling of comfort, of familiarity and give all involved something to look forward to each and every week.
Teamwork is a must.
Some games are hard to play without a teammate! You’ve got to have someone have your back when you’re constantly getting skipped in a rousing game of Uno, right?! Game night gives you that help. It allows your spouse, your children and you to be able to find ways to help one another win, or at least give you some much-needed support along the way.
Game night builds confidence.
While there doesn’t always have to be a winner or a loser designated for each game night, it’s a good boost of confidence every once in a while for everyone in the family to feel like a winner. That confidence then turns into happiness, which is an instant mood enhancer for all.
Playing games together enables families to work through the feeling of self-doubt together.
Not all games are created equal. There are certain games that are extremely hard and can actually be quite challenging. Not only can these be difficult to understand, those games can also cause a feeling of sadness or self-doubt of one’s abilities. When playing that game together as a family, each of you can do your part by working together to help keep those spirits high and that self-doubt buried deep.
Reduces stress in learning
The first thing we do as a family when introducing a new concept, is pull out a game that has an element of learning that skill. So instead of learning to add and then playing addition games, we started playing and it became a natural, not-scary-to-learn skill.
Reading & playing games boosts brain development in kids
Pulling out a game inspires intellectual conversation, especially if you’re “debriefing” after each game. Kids can learn strategy and creatively, ultmately they push the boundaries of their mind to understand more and think more critically.
Want to implement game and reading nights to connect as a family?
Research shows that read allow time has great benefits for kids of all ages and so does engaging in game play. (No, not video games, board games!) Grab our free download of discussion questions and the benefits of reading together.
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Kara is an author, wife, and mother of 3 children living in Boston, MA. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and even helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!