Family game nights are a great way for you and your children to enjoy a delightful evening together away from the glow of the television while getting in a bit more activity than a busy schedule usually allows. With board games, video games and outdoor activities to choose from, there is a family game night option for every group.
Monopoly — the quintessential board game that teaches valuable life lessons like counting money, the economic value of free parking, and the life changing consequences of going to jail simply for being in the wrong square at the wrong time. Monopoly comes in many variations now, so you can find a set that matches your family’s preferences, like the Iowa Hawkeyes, Star Wars, or Dr. Who.
If your family loves words and your kids are close enough in age to not overwhelm each other in the vocabulary department, Scrabble is a fun way to pass a rainy evening because it requires both knowledge and cunning. “Oxtail” may be an awesome word, but the easy alternative “Axe” on a triple-word score always wins.
Twisting yourself into a pretzel with your kids on a slippery mat is never a mistake when it can lead to impromptu tickle fights and exclamations about body odor, flatulence, and stinky feet. Keeping yourself upright while laughing can be trickier than reaching a blue circle with your right foot.
Who Shook Hook?
Have pre-schoolers? The relatively new board game Who Shook Hook? provides a fun challenge for children in the 3-8 year old department while not being too tedious for adults (I’m looking at you, Candy Land). The object of the game is to snag pirate’s booty from a hammock without tipping Hook into the water. The item you use to grab your treasure provide the challenge.
Yahtzee is the opposite of Scrabble — it is mostly chance but does require strategy. Is it smarter to take 24 on your 6’s or a really high score on four of a kind? It depends on the dice and your strategy.
Uno is the classic card game for people not playing with a standard deck – of cards, not grey matter. The easy rules of same color or number make it easy for most gamers, and who doesn’t love yelling “Uno?”
Like Monopoly, Clue has a number of variations but all focus on solving crimes and all are fun in different ways. Clue Mysteries is a personal favorite that lets you find clues across the game board as you try to solve cases slightly less serious than murder.
If you want to get more active, croquet is a great family game night option. You can grab a cheap set of mallets, balls, and wickets at most retailers for around $15 to $20. As long as your children are tall enough to hold a mallet, they can play croquet!
Jenga is a great game for the entire family. If your kids have a steady hand and the ability to strategize, they can remove blocks from the tower until it falls. In fact, your children will probably end up beating you – particularly if you are a coffee drinker.
Our last entry is the only video game, but it is a great family entertainment option. Wii Bowling is active fun and a good way to learn the basic rules of bowling before taking to a real alley on a family game night field trip.