Overview: Plan a kid-friendly game night with these fun ideas that everyone can enjoy.
With work and life responsibilities hanging on us, it can be challenging to set aside quality time with our young ones. Our kids will be the adults of tomorrow, and it’s essential to build relationships with them now that will last throughout their childhoods and beyond. And how do you make connections with people who are important to you? By doing things together that you both love! Playing games with kids is a great way to make memories and strengthen bonds.
A game night is perfect for interacting with your family and kids. Playing games together is an entertaining way to spend a few hours at home. And it might even enhance your children’s analytical thought processes and sharpen their language skills! (Yes, really!)
Here Are Our Tips to Plan a Successful Game Night:
Schedule a Day:
Choose a date when every member of the family is home – a weekend might be best. Try to find a consistent day for game night once a month, so you’ll be excited for it the rest of the month. For example, you could designate every first Friday as game night, or every third Saturday.
Decide on a Game:
Here comes the tricky part. Playing a game that everyone likes isn’t easy — but we aren’t going to let this stop us from playing! If you don’t have a wide selection of games already, purchase a few before you start and gradually add to your collection. Board games are a great way to foster analytical thinking and improve reading and writing skills in kids.
The right game should be easy enough that everyone in the group can learn and follow the rules, but not so easy that anyone gets bored. Not sure what to play? Take inspiration from our list of best tabletop games to enhance kids’ gaming experiences in a fun way.
Who wants to play games on an empty stomach? Not us! You’re going to want something to nosh on while you’re waiting for your turn, so make your game night memorable with an easy-to-eat meal, snacks, or desserts standing by!
Try making pizza, tacos, or your favorite guilty-pleasure desserts! The kids and grownups both love to take breaks in-between games to eat.
Ditch the Electronic Devices:
We know. In this electronic age, it’s hard to turn off your phone – especially when you’re trying to keep that Snapchat streak going. But for a truly fun game night, we urge you to ditch your cell phones for a while and focus on the games at hand. Place your phones in a basket, and let the night begin. They’ll still be there when you’re done!
Related Reading: 20 quick family game night ideas for better bonding
Fun and Simple Games for All Ages:
Here comes the hard part – planning fun games for all ages requires some research, but we’re here for you. Like road trip games, clever party games should be tailored to the crowd playing them, and these game ideas are practically guaranteed to ensure that everyone has a great time.
What’s in the Box:
You might’ve seen celebrities playing this game on TV or YouTube. It’s a very simple game — you just stick your hands into a box, touch an inanimate objects, and guess what it is. You can recreate it at your next game night with your kids!
The best part of this game is that you can literally put anything into the cardboard box. Just look around the house and find something interesting, put it in a box, and blindfold the player. If you’re playing with younger kids, you might want to help guide their little hands to feel around and give them hints. If you have some time to prepare in advance, you can go out and buy some food items with unusual textures. How will your family members react when they reach in the box and feel an artichoke, a lychee, or some Jell-O?
Never Have I Ever:
This one is often played in decidedly adults-only settings, but it can easily be adapted to be kid-friendly.
Sit in a circle and begin with one person saying, “Never have I ever…” and finishing the sentence with something they have never done. Maybe it’s traveling abroad, eating sushi, or riding a roller coaster. If someone in the group has done the activity named, they’ll hold up one finger; but if no one in the group has done it, the person confessing must hold up a finger. The game is fun when you come up with some creative prompts, and you’ll get to know more about each other. Continue around the circle until one person has three fingers up: they’re out.
As we alluded to above, this fun game can get as racy as you make it, so play carefully and ensure that you set ground rules ahead of time – you don’t want to end up accidentally teaching your little ones about grown-up topics!
Related Reading: 150 Never Have I Ever questions for kids
React and Act:
Do you need a good icebreaker to get your fun game night started right away? Well, this game is for you! In React and Act, your friends take turns demonstrating what their reactions would be to various situations – like winning the lottery, getting fired, or being surprised by an aggressive bear in the woods.
This game is kind of like charades – but you can use words and noises to make it even more hilarious. Trust us here – seeing one of your family members running around screaming as if a wild bear is chasing them is definitely a sight you shouldn’t miss out on!
Would You Rather:
Gather in a circle and ask the person next to you, “Would you rather…” and present two challenging situations to them. (“Would you rather drink grapefruit juice every morning, or give up pasta for a year?” for example.) After their response, it’s their turn to ask the person sitting next to them. Continue until you’re out of ideas.
This game is similar to “Never Have I Ever,” in that it can be played in a more adult version, but you can also prepare fun, child-friendly questions for your kids to ensure the game is appropriate for them.
Related Reading: 250 engaging questions to get kids talking
Preparing Your Home for Game Night:
To prepare for a fabulous game night, you don’t have to be a professional event planner. It’s all about organizing and bringing your creative self out to ensure you have everything you need to present your guests with a good time.
Determine the guest list: Planning the best game night for your kids may sound intimidating, but the first step is determining who to invite. While this feels like a reasonably easy step, it often overwhelms people when finalizing the list. From budget to your home space and menu, there’s a lot to consider. It’s fine to keep the guest list for your game night small. Inviting your kids’ favorite cousins and one or two friends should be enough to let the good times roll.
You could invite your guests over text, messaging, or email… or if you want to get fancy, you can make some DIY inviatation cards with your kids and drop them at your potential guests’ houses!
Ace your space: If you want to go all out for your kids’ game night party, decorate your house! Light twinkle lights, blow up some balloons, or make waves by hanging some twisted streamers from the ceiling to add some visual interest.
Know your backup plan: Sometimes, you may find that a group of players just doesn’t take to a particular game, or the game isn’t as fun as you hoped. Don’t be afraid to end a game (with the players’ consent, of course) and move on to the next one or some other activities.
Planning a game night for kids takes a little bit of effort, but it’ll all be worth it when you see the smiles on your kids’ faces — and on your own! Kids love to learn new games, and they’ll play them again and again so they can constantly improve their skills.
A foosball game table makes for a great addition to your game night rotation. Multiple family members can play simultaneously, and kids love watching the fast-paced action. At Games for Fun, we have a variety of foosball tables and accessories at great prices. Check out our selection and order a foosball table for your next kid-friendly game night here!
And enjoy your game night!