As someone who spends a WHOLE lot of time online and always seems to have my head in my phone (my husband being the same) we are trying really hard to try and show our girls that, you know, interacting as a human being face to face is the new black. We make sure we eat around the dinner table most nights and ask questions about our day, or we have an old-school family meeting every so often so we can TALK about stuff, or we all pack down on the couch together to watch a movie (no phones allowed from the parents). Another way to bring back some wholesome family time (and fun) is with a family game night. And why not take things up a notch with a FAMILY GAMES NIGHT. What? Too much?
I have always loved a good board game. I’m one of 4 kids in my family and we were often let loose on a board game on holidays, sometimes lasting days and inevitably with a table flip and complete freak out by one of us.
What better way to get some rivalry going again than to bring back a family game night and introduce our kids to some old school fun?
We have started to get back into the swing of things with a couple of old favourites from Hasbro Gaming. Guess Who, Mouse Trap and Monopoly (or as my kids call it PONOPOLY) have all been slightly tweaked to modernise them, but they haven’t lost any of their charm. Nor their ability to stir up fierce competition between kids. Let the battle begin!
Family game night is a cheap way to have some genuine fun. A post-dinner round of games, or perhaps stretching it out over a weekend, makes sure that lazy habits like grabbing an iPad for a insular game of Minecraft are avoided and everyone is involved and interacting. Best bit is that the dreaded rage that inevitably comes when kids have too much screen time is transferred to sibling rivalry and board flipping. Inevitable as another six is rolled by the younger sister much to the disgust of her older sister. An ongoing leader board (if there’s one thing I embrace with parenting it’s a sticker chart!) ensures that rivalry is channeled into scoring and the kids’ interest piques as the weeks continue.
We started our rounds with Mousetrap. Anything with a ball bearing gets me excited, having been denied this treasure as a child. I may have been a little too feisty and proud as I trapped my 6-year-old’s mouse. The girls love playing this game and are often seen adding a few extra rounds outside of regulation Family fun night competition times.
Guess Who is a stalwart, no doubt about it, and for younger kids the game now features animals to choose from. Rob and I like to dabble in a bit of personality Guess Who (where you can only ask questions based on the perceived lifestyle of the character you have chosen)… for example ‘do you shop at Farmers Markets on a Saturday?’ or ‘are you a Real Housewives fan?’ WE think this is hilarious but the kids, er, notsomuch.
As the games progressed, even the baby was on the table chewing on some Monopoly money as we got into the less serious and kid-friendly Monopoly Junior. Did I say ‘less serious’ – let’s just say Monopoly is where the real family rivalry rages.
Each tally from the week is carried onto the next until we have a Grand Final play-off for a big (ultimately shareable) prize. Clearly we need to get out more, but we had a great old time together and as each week passed, a few less tantrums and meltdowns. It’s also been encouraging to see the girls get the games out when they have friends over…choosing a board game over a device is a big win for me.
I’m going to keep our Family Games Night competition going…eventually we’ll put these board games on hold and get some more in to keep the interest up. Family Games Night is going to become an institution around here as we try and keep those heads out of screens and into some healthy family banter and biffo… just like we did when we were kids!
Do you play board games at your place? Are a table flip or walk off inevitable?
This story is brought to you by Hasbro Gaming.
More ways to make the most of family fun night: