When I was a kid, I LOVED to play board games. My brother and I would play them together all the time. Guess Who, Stratego, The Game of Life – we had a stash of board games and we pulled them out every chance we got! And sometimes, our parents would join in and we’d have a family game night. And that was the BEST! I mean, who doesn’t love to beat their parents at a board game if given the chance?
Our go-to family game was usually Monopoly – I was always the top hat – and I have very fond memories of the fun we had, how competitive it got, and the crazy deals we’d try to make to stay in the game. It was a blast! When I was a teenager, we played cards for dimes and nickels with my grandmother on Sunday afternoons. And at every holiday gathering, you can bet there was a Euchre table set up. My parents also had card parties with their friends on Saturday nights and sometimes…I joined in!
So, as you can see, I come from a family that loves to play games. So, it was important to me that my husband and I introduced board games and card games to our kids. And lucky for me…they love them as much as I do! So now, we make it a point to try and have family game night every week. Whether it’s a few hands of Go Fish or Crazy 8’s, or we break out Scrabble Junior or Disney Family Feud – it’s always a lot of fun! Not only am I a big fan of this weekly event, but the boys look forward to it too. Plus, there’s some other advantages as well.
- Time away from screens – With technology these days, screens are everywhere. Kids always want their face in some kind of screen! Family game night is an excellent way to show your kids you can have fun and play games WITHOUT a screen in your face.
- Learning – Kids will learn as they play. Our youngest couldn’t even read yet when we started doing family game night, but he loved to play! So, we helped him and read things for him. Now, he reads the cards himself, and he’s pretty darn excited about it! With board games, kids are counting spaces, they’re practicing reading skills, and they learn patience while waiting their turn. The best part? They don’t even realize they’re learning because they’re having too much fun!
- Friendly Competition – Just like in sports, you have to teach your children it’s okay to lose. At first, our youngest would cry every time he didn’t win one of our game nights. He’s still not a big fan of losing, but he understands that he can’t win every single game we play, but maybe he’ll win next time.
- Family Time – This is my favourite thing about family game night – spending time together. Our kids will only be this age for so long. In a few years, they might not even want to hang out with us! But right now, they still think we’re pretty cool. So, I will continue to encourage having a family game night for as long as they’ll have it!
I know with work, school and sports, it’s hard to find time to break out the board games and play as a family. But I highly encourage fitting it in if you can! We usually play on Sunday nights or whatever night we don’t have a sport or activity. Some weeks it doesn’t happen, and some weeks…we play twice! It all depends on our schedule. The point is, introducing board games to your kids and playing WITH them is something they’ll absolute LOVE doing! And something they’ll look back on with fond memories for years to come. I know I do.
By Linsey De Ruysscher
Linsey is a happily married mother of two living in Plainfield, ON. When she’s not busy chasing her two crazy boys, she’s running her own freelance writing company, Little Miss Creative. In her downtime, she enjoys tea, backyard BBQs, watching Friends reruns, and hanging out with her family and friends. Oh, and candy.