Playing a game at home with your kids, with yummy homemade food, and other friends joining in the fun and laughter sure seems nostalgic, doesn’t it? For you, it might even harken back to a simpler time, a time before video games and all eyeballs became glued to the Smartphone screen. Maybe game nights are the way we can make America Great Again. Starting a family game night tradition doesn’t need to be expensive, stressful, or inconvenient. And best of all, you don’t even have to keep it ‘all in the family.’
As a parent, you probably miss having adult interaction, especially if you’re of the stay-at-home or work-from-home demographic. When you have kids, it’s also hard to make time to hang out with other adults. But, starting a family game night tradition can net you quality time with your kids, plus, you can invite other families and parents to join you.
But if you’re panicking at the prospect of having to host a get-together, that's understandable. But we've put together four simple tips for starting a successful family game night tradition. Check 'em out below!
Come up with the game line-up ahead of time.
Before you start sending out the invites, plan the games you want to play ahead of time. Also, keep in mind the ages and skill levels of everyone who’s invited. Make sure your games are age appropriate. If you have a diverse group of game players, you can split people up based on their ages or skill levels.
Don’t stress about the food. Have a potluck!
Potlucks are awesome. Everyone gets a say in what they want to eat, and best of all, you can get other people to supply the goods. This way, you’re not solely responsible for the planning, buying, cooking, and serving of the entire meal. Potlucks are fun, too. You’ll get a diverse menu, and your kids might even get to try something new to eat. When you send the invites, tell everyone it’ll be a ‘potluck’ style dinner and to please bring a dish.
If you're anxious everyone will bring chips and dessert with nary a main entrée in sight, you can get a little more specific with your requests. You can ask one person to bring a dessert, or another person to supply a simple main entree. Some guests may even prefer to bring disposable plates and cups for everyone. There really are no set rules in place. The whole point of making a family game night tradition is to make it your own and just enjoy your time with your children.
Everyone is busy, so you’ll want to send out invites about a week in advance. Less than that and people probably won’t have space in their calendar, and more than that and people might forget. Don’t worry if people are late or are no-shows and try to focus on having a good time with your children. Try to keep the start time flexible for those inevitable late arrivals, and consider serving food and snacks that can be kept at room temp or in a crock pot if people can’t get to your place on time.
Get your kids involved.
Getting your kids involved in a family game night will teach them responsibility, planning, hospitality, and also give them a healthy sense of pride and boost their self-confidence. Your children can have fun helping you plan and cook the meal and getting your home ready to have guests over. Your kids can also get involved in picking out the games. If you have more than one child, they can take turns planning the game line up or the meals. This will also teach your child communication and teamwork skills.
Starting a family game night tradition can bring your family closer together, and even forge new or strengthen existing relationships with your child’s friends and their parents. By getting your kids involved in the planning and execution of activities, you’ll teach them valuable planning skills and responsibility that will help them when they’re adults.