• Donae

How to plan a family games night

Updated: Feb 22

I do believe in having fun as a family every once in a while when my schedule allows me to just relax and bond with them in new ways. This is a way for me to help my family to see life for what it is, than for what it's not.


Life was meant to be celebrated and treasured for what it truly is and not what society tells us that it is. That means the times that we get to spend with our families are by far more important than a career or hobby etc.


With that being said, I wanted to help you to really take this time to plan more meaningful events with your family that you would love to do and enjoy together.


Do you also have any ideas that you would recommend? If so let me know? Please feel free to share your own experiences or ask your questions or concerns in our FORUM section. I will be happy to help you!


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Kids playing connect 4 at family games night
FAMILY GAMES NIGHT


1. MAKE A LIST

Your first thing to do is to make a list. Write what you want to do down, that way you will be organized and ready to plan your games night.


On your list, have activities that you want to do, the food you intend to have prepared, or purchased, and the people or family that would be participating in your event.



2. FOOD PREPARATION


My favorite food to serve at games night
MY FAVORITE GAMES NIGHT FOOD

It's games night, so I would think more finger-like foods than maybe traditional dinner foods. Finger foods are great to have because they are so easy to grab and go in between games.


They also provide variety for your family or guest to be able to have as they like. It's also easier for you to be able to do it quickly and with much less effort than planning a full-course meal.


Meal ideas include:

  • Chicken wings (my favorite!)

  • Meatballs on a stick

  • Quesadillas

  • Fruit medley

  • Chinese pot stick dumplings

  • Mini pizzas for kids

  • Vegetable salad

  • Snacks

  • Bread or rolls

  • Desserts such as cakes, ice cream, etc. (I love to make banana bread from the leftover bananas at the end of the week)

  • Assortment of fruit juices

When choosing what to serve, be reminded that you want to be able to prepare these way in advance before the event, so that you are not the one in the kitchen for the most part, when you could be having fun with everyone. So plan with time to spare, before the start of games night.



3. GAMES

There are so many games to choose from based on your family size and age group. When we planned the last games night, we had both family and friends over along with their kids.



Playing games with the grown ups
GROWN UP GAMES


GROWN-UP GAMES

  • Uno: Uno was a hit at our family games night and I had to put it first on the list. Our family could not get enough of this fun game. It really had some strange territorial moments with the men in the family, but I loved it, and that is what matters.


  • Monopoly: Monopoly is a classic and something I grew up playing my entire life. So I wanted to continue this tradition with my family.


  • Clue: Clue is new to me. I probably only played it once before, but I wanted to learn this game and teach my kids the same as well.


  • We purchased a deluxe vintage 2 in 1 monopoly and clue game that we know will be with us for many generations to come.



  • Cards: Card games are here for a lifetime and will not be going anywhere soon. It's something I have fond memories of and I want to continue this tradition with my kids as well. Any cards will be perfect, but here is a suggestion on Amazon.



  • Ludo and snake and ladder: Ludo and snake and ladder are classics, especially for the Caribbean and African culture. It's so much fun teaching our kids these "old school" games that we enjoyed as kids. Our Ludo and snake and ladder games were actually purchased in Ghana, but you can find really good options on Amazon.



  • Dominoes: Oh boy! My dad loves dominoes. He used to eat, sleep and repeat this game day in and day out, while I was growing up. So how am I not to have this on my list! I will be teaching my kids this classic game as well. Any Domino's pack will do, but here is a suggestion of one that is on Amazon.



  • Scrabble: Mom this one is for you! My mother's all-time favorite game while I was young. She used to play this morning, noon, and at night. So in honor of her, I will have to add this to my list of games.



  • Chess: Also in honor of my brother in law who is a chess fanatic, I had to get this one in the house so that he can teach the younger generation this classic game.


  • We purchased a deluxe vintage 2 in 1 scrabble and chess game from Costco that we know will be with us for many generations to come. But here are a few suggestions on Amazon.



  • Jenga: Good old fashion Jenga is an awesome game to play that can definitely get the party started before the games that you know, takes the entire night to finish (hint: monopoly). So use this as the ice breaker for sure to get everyone excited.



  • Sorry: I played this game for the first time at the last family game night and I must say I was impressed. It was a really fun game to play and has now been added to my games list.




KIDS GAMES


Kids playing the mouse trap game
KIDS PLAYING THE MOUSE TRAP GAME

  • 6 in 1 fun pack: This is an amazing game for kids to learn and play all at the same time. One of my favorite card games especially for kids. It has all the fun games such as old maid, crazy eights, memory, go fish, etc. The kids love it!


  • Connect 4: This is also another popular game that many have seen or played before. I love it especially for kids because it helps them to think carefully about their choice. It, therefore, develops their critical thinking and understanding.


  • The floor is lava: Where do I begin with this game. I love it so much when they just started playing it. It's fun and very entertaining. A must-have for any games night, just to get people loose and having lots of fun and laughter.



  • Mouse Trap: This game is definitely kiddies approved. Oh boy, they love the mice-catching device on this game and just the fun of playing it and collecting cheese as you go around the board. It's definitely fun to play with your family.



  • Indoor Cornhole: To change things up a bit, I highly recommend this game. It's fun and engaging! It's basically throwing pouches into holes and from a distance and seeing who can get their pouches in the hole the fastest. It's really easy to teach and fun!





4. INVITES


Games night invitations made on Canva
GAMES NIGHT INVITATION

If you are extending the invitation to not only immediate family members but extended friends and family, then it would be nice to make it "official" and "super cool" by sending out invites via text messages.


I like to use Canva to make my invites. It's free to use, so you really don't have to pay anything for it, and you can use a template that is already there and just tweak it with your own information.


Canva is my go-to for everything, including birthday cards and decor, craft ideas, t-shirts, etc. I purchase it for the long term to do all my projects. It cost only $12.99 a month or $119 yearly, and it provides unlimited access to all their designs and functions. There is also an app available that you can use on your phone.


For projects that I have used Canva for, read my blog post on:



5. HAVE FUN

Don't forget to have fun. This is not just for them but for you to also enjoy your time spent with your family. Once you get started, you will realize that it's so important to have this dedicated time for that to just have fun and to enjoy being with everyone. So prepare well in advance and put your feet up as well.


Kids playing the floor is lava
KIDS PLAYING THE FLOOR IS LAVA


Overall I do hope that you have found this article helpful and you're ready to plan your own family fun games night.


Did you find the strategies listed in this article helpful? What were some of your favorite tips? How have they worked for you? Leave a comment below, I’d love to know what you think.


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