In an over-scheduled, screen-crazed society, it is time we bring back a timeless tradition – Family Game Night! The commitment is small and the benefits are many. It is one of those traditions that your kids will love and even pass onto their own kids one day. Family game night is a simple and fun way to build a stronger, happier family! It is as easy as Hot Potato or Simon Says to start, simply pick a weekly time, choose games everyone can play, grab some snacks and have fun!
In case you need more convincing, here are our top 5 reasons to bring back family game night:
1. Reconnect With Real-Life People
This may not apply to our youngest family members but sadly it applies to most of us (even to my 6 year-old). We live in a disconnected world where interactions with real-life people are limited. When was the last time you called someone versus texted? How much time do our kids spend playing video games versus actually playing with each other? Family game night helps us set aside a time each week to put down our devices, turn off the TV, and spend time in real-life 🙂
2. Build Life Skills
Games teach great life skills like how to follow directions, being patient and waiting your turn, various levels of strategic thinking, and how to be a good sport in winning and losing. I joke that my oldest son only knows two types of games – those he wins and those that are unfair. This is why it is important for me to keep family game night. One day he will understand how to lose 🙂
3. Increase Communication
Kids often don’t share about their lives when we ask. They tend to open up during unexpected times. I find that in play is where I gather most of my “kid intel”. Game night tends to bring out fun stories from everyone at the table. The kids especially love when the parents share stories about when we were “young”.
4. Create More Laughs
It is scientifically proven that laughter has many health benefits (reduces stress, increases resistance to infection, lowers blood pressure, etc.). Family game night is bound to generate many laughs! Bottom line is it is good for us to laugh and game nights are great at bringing laughter, so we should do more of it!
5. Make Memories
As parents, we often do elaborate things to create wonderful childhood memories for our kids. There are so many ways to “buy” memories… birthday activity places (crazy $$), holiday must-do events (e.g. Polar Express) and the mothership Disney World (even crazier $$$). These are all fine things to do, but I often find the hype doesn’t live up to the reality. It is the simple things like family dinners and family game night that our family creates the best memories. In the ordinary is where you often find the extraordinary.
There are so many benefits to family game night. The hardest part is just starting and making it a habit. Each family member can suggest a favorite game, or you can start with an easy one like Jenga and watch the fun times begin. For your family, give it a try and enjoy the laughs!