After having so much fun playing various board, card and domino games with the family while on vacation this summer we’re instituting a weekly game night into our ongoing schedule of life, work, school, sports, and activities.
Playing games is an easy way to stimulate communication with my kids, but I’m also learning new things about The Hubs — like his favorite board game as a child was an obscure game called Ice Cube!
Here are four easy steps to organize your own family game night:
Pick a night that works for everyone’s schedule. In our house, we do it on Monday nights since it’s one of the only days of the week that the kids don’t have sports or after school activities and us parents have no commitments. Scheduling family game night for the same day each week also ensures that us parents don’t double book anything – because family game night is sacred!
CREATE HOUSE RULES
There are a few house rules that the whole family has to abide by in order to take part in game night. If it’s during the school year, all the kids’ homework must be done, but otherwise, it’s all toys, and stuff needs to be put away, showers taken, teeth brushed and PJs on. For us adults, all electronics must be turned to silent and safely stowed away so as not to intrude on family time. Games are always played at our dining room table where we have room to spread out if necessary and are not distracted by the lure of the TV in the family room. Some of our other “rule” — we alternate weekly as to which family member gets to choose the game we’ll play; decide if any handicaps need to be set for the kids and who goes first, if not indicated in the game’s rules.
CHOOSING YOUR GAME
You want to play a game that the entire family can easily learn and enjoy playing. Games such as Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land and Sorry! were great when the kids were little and couldn’t follow multiple steps. All they had to do was spin and move their pieces forward. Now that the kids are older (a 5th and 2nd grader), those types of games are way too boring for them (and us quite frankly). Lately, the kids have been into games of strategy such as Clue, Monopoly, and Yahtzee.
A funny side note about playing Yahtzee, my son ‘discovered’ the game while reading the book series “Fablehaven” – there was a hermit troll named Bubda who lived in a magical knapsack and LOVED playing Yahtzee. My son didn’t believe it was a real game, so we bought it and played it!
Family game night is something I look forward to each week. There’s always lots of conversation and laughs. It’s a way to forget all the stresses of life and enjoy spending time with family.
Now Hasbro has made creating a family game night even easier with the launch of their Hasbro Gaming Crate – a subscription box that delivers a carefully curated collection of board games, conveniently delivered right to their door. Each crate has three new games to the Hasbro Gaming Portfolio and subscribers will receive four crates annually, priced at $49.99 per crate and you can choose either a family or party game-themed option.
MASK OF THE PHARAOH
(Ages 10 years & up/Players: 2+)
This is a collaborative, virtual-reality physical board game where gamers wear a VR mask (which is included) to build and then navigate through a maze-like path in the mysterious world of the pyramids of Ancient Egypt in order to find treasure. The player must describe a section of the pyramid maze they view during their turn while other the players then try to reconstruct the maze while using the included game board, game tiles, and chips to complete a path to victory. This game requires the Mask of the Pharaoh app which can be downloaded in the App Store or Google Play Store as well as the use of select iPhone, iPod and select Android devices for use in the VR mask.
LEO GOES TO THE BARBER
(Ages 6 years & up/Players: 2)
Get ready for a wild and hairy good time as you lead Leo the Lion through the jungle in order to make it to his hair cut appointment! Players have to work together using their matching skills by remembering the colors and animals depicted on the game tiles along the jungle pathway as you move Leo forward to reach Bobo’s barbershop on time.
(Ages 8 years & up/Players: 3+)This is a quick-play memory game. To win this card game, players need to find three kinds of wishes: one Superpower, one Gift, and one World Harmony. Players can take turns swapping, shuffling, and peeking at card wishes to collect the highest-scoring set. You declare “I Wish..” with a winning hand to make your wildest dreams come true.
It took a bit of back and forth with the game directions in order to figure out the rules and actual game play on all three of these games, but we were pretty quick to get the hang of them.
Hands down, Leo Goes to the Barber was our favorite – since we were all working together to get him to the monkey barber shop. It took us a few tries before we got him to Bobo’s! We’ll be playing this game for quite a while.
Now it’s your turn to share. What’s your favorite board game to play?
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