Family Night Fun

Fill long evenings with fun and games for you and the kids!

By FamilyTime


A family game night is one of the easiest and most satisfying events you can plan with your kids. If you make it a regular occurrence, even better! Weekends and school vacations are custom-made for family fun nights. Weekends are great times, too.

Plan a game night once a week, twice a month, or monthly -- but schedule the evening so that everyone knows to be home, ready for some belly laughs and good-natured competition.

Turn off the television, let voicemail pick up the phone, and fix some simple snacks. This time is just for your family.

Getting Started
Decide on several dates for family nights. Make sure everyone is available and willing to be home.

Mark the dates in the family calendar just as you would other appointments. Let your kids write in the dates -- they might want to decorate the calendar with stickers or colored markers.

Remind everyone a day or two before the first game night. It's important that both adults and children clear their schedules well in advance of family night. A last-minute conflict can be distressing for everyone. After the first evening, you and the kids will eagerly look forward to the next and reminders won't be as crucial.

Before you begin, check that your family's board games are intact. Buy new ones if necessary. Nothing spoils a game night faster than an unplayable game!

Setting Up
Plan on a simple, easy evening meal. It might be fun to order pizza or cook a favorite pasta dinner as a family night tradition. Eat together and then, once supper is over, clear the table.

Put out several board games and as a group, decide on which one to play. Or let one child choose the game, alternating the privilege as the weeks progress.

Encourage everyone to play, regardless of skill level and age. Healthy competition is lots of fun, and when you're playing board games, easy laughs and harmless teasing are the norm.

Reap the Rewards
A family game night will be something your kids remember as they grow up. Experts agree that relaxing family get-togethers are extremely beneficial to children as well as to parents.

This is a way to insure a few hours of time with the kids -- and time for them with you. We tend to be so programmed in our daily lives and our children are so committed to outside activities, family time suffers.

Pleasant evenings spent playing Monopoly, Clue, Sorry!, or Yahtzee may be just the ticket to your family's sense of harmony. Plus, everyone will have fun!