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How to Have Fun During a Family Game Night

Updated on November 23, 2012
My game closet is overflowing!  We are ready for family game night.
My game closet is overflowing! We are ready for family game night. | Source

Why Family Game Night?

I have fond memories of family game nights while I was growing up. Now that I am a parent, I am hoping to continue that tradition. Family game night helps kids learn about winning and losing, taking turns, and encouraging others. It also serves a way to bring families closer and get them engaging with one another.

Family Game Night How-To's

Trying to make family game night a success? Here are the family game night basics:

  • Pick the Right Game - Choose a game based on the skill level of your family, but don't be afraid to push the limits. More on choosing the right game below.
  • Be In the Moment - Turn off technology, including iPads, cell phones, and the TV.
  • Relax - Don't focus solely on winning, just try to relax and have fun with your family.

Perfect Games For Family Game Night

Picking the Right Game For Family Game Night

Picking the right game is critical for a fun family game night. Here are my top picks:

  • Bananagrams – A crossword-puzzle like word game where you try to use all your letter tiles before your opponents. I was honestly shocked at just how much fun the game was. This is the go-to game when I get with my niece and nephew. Who knew some letters in a banana shaped bag could bring hours of entertainment. There are lots of variations on the game, too, so you can find a version that works for any skill level.
  • Catch Phrase – Try to get your team to guess the catch phrase so you can pass the console to the next team. Don’t get caught with the console in your hands when the buzzer sounds. The great thing about Catch Phrase is that everyone can play together. It is the prefect team game and can accommodate lots of players. We spend hours laughing and giggling when paying Catch Phrase.
  • Scattergories – A perennial favorite, my family has been playing this for almost 20 years. Pick a list, roll the letter dice and see who can come up with the most unique words for each category before the time runs out. The only disappointment I have is that Hasbro hasn’t updated all the lists. They have a newer version out, but it only adds some lists, it doesn’t replace the old lists. This gives a slight advantage to those who have played it for years.
  • Monopoly – No family game night list would be complete without Monopoly. The classic game of money and real estate. Just be prepared to play for hours per game.
  • Cranium – With a little bit of everything, Cranium will keep you entertained for hours. One round might have you humming a hit tune, while the next round will have you sculpting something from clay. You never really know what’s next. This is a great way to offer something to suit everyone’s skills and interests.
  • Sorry – Another classic, but one that is great for younger and older kids to play together. Mainly a game of luck, but just enough strategy to keep older kids playing, too.
  • Imaginif – Imaginif Uncle Bob was a shoe, what would he be . . . a flip flop, a running shoe, a high heal , a work boot . . . Try to guess the most popular answer to move forward. This is so much fun to play with family and gives players a glimpse of how others see them. Get ready to laugh.

Family Game Night Lessons Learned

Family game night is about much more than winning and losing. It's about teaching kids how to be a team player. It's about teaching kids how to win with style and how to lose with grace.

It's also about just spending time with your family. It's about dedicating time to spend with one another, while turning off the technology that crowds our lives.

I hope your family game night is a fun as the games nights I grew up with and still enjoy today. Someday you and your family will looks back on these fun times with a smile and a fondness that only family can bring.


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    • Written Up profile image

      Written Up 4 years ago from Oklahoma City, OK

      Glimmer - Life and Yahtzee are both great! I spent a lot of time plauing those when I was younger. So much fun.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Another useful hub here! We love family game night, but sometimes have issues figuring out what to play. We love The Game of Life and Yahtzee, but others sneak in all the time. It's such an easy way to get away from the TV and bond.

    • Written Up profile image

      Written Up 4 years ago from Oklahoma City, OK

      I heart Bananagrams! ESPeck, you should give it a try. Thanks for reading!

    • ESPeck1919 profile image

      ESPeck1919 4 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      That banana game looks like fun, and I'm not much of a game player. Family game night can be lots of fun. The last time we had one was after Hanukkah dinner, and that was just playing dradel in honor of the holiday. :)

      Nicely done!

    • Written Up profile image

      Written Up 4 years ago from Oklahoma City, OK

      Thanks eHealer. I'm a board game junkie! Do you play?

    • eHealer profile image

      Deborah 4 years ago from Las Vegas

      Lots of info here Written up. These games are great and you'd be suprised how many kids don't know how to play them. I love monopoly! Great hub and shared!