In increasingly busy lives, it can be a rarity for the family to gather together to enjoy one another’s company. It’s sometimes only around the dinner table before everyone retreats to their room or to the TV room to see the evening out. Happily, organizing a games night is one of the best ways to get the family enthusiastic about spending time together in the spirit of fun competitiveness. From a game of cards to a lengthy board game, here are some of the best ideas for moms looking to create a wonderfully enjoyable family evening around the table.
Everyone knows a parlor game or two, such as the likes of charades, which are often associated with Christmas or Thanksgiving meals. However, there are a wide and enjoyable variety of such games that require very little instruction and no equipment to perform. One of the best features of many parlor games is their relative non-competitiveness, which is a good thing if your family can get a little heated in the fray of battle, and their general bend towards hilarity and fun.
Search for some of the best games online and introduce your family to them after dinner around the table, or sat on the couch in your living room. You usually won’t need a tabletop to perform a parlor game. If you are a family that likes to play games regularly, there’s plenty of scope to invent your own game. Alternatively, why not adapt an existing game with new rules or practices that will make the game you play unique to your family, something you involve your extended family in during large family meetings, or friends in when they come to stay.
No house that’s serious about playing a game or two a month should be without a deck of cards, and the near-infinite possibilities they contain for family gaming fun. From competitive poker to a simple game of pontoon, learning and playing card games as a family means that wherever you are in the world, you’ll have a litany of fun games in your back pocket to pass the time, whether that be in stuffy airport lounges, empty roadside diners, or during cozy evenings in your home. A card game book is an astute purchase for those looking to make card gaming a regular thing in their family’s life, or else the world’s card games can be easily found and learned online.
To add a touch of individuality to your card gaming sessions, why not visit personalisedplayingcards.com to create your own unique family set of cards, boasting pictures of the family together, or textual in-jokes that are appreciated by your family. They make a great gift for birthday and Christmas presents, which can be the perfect springboard to leap into more card gaming! It’s a little difficult to set new rules for existing card games, but with the huge variation in games and the ability to tweak the rules slightly, you’ll find no end of unique family variations to play and enjoy.
Variously the bane of the lives of parents or one of the best ways to pass the time in the company of your loved ones, board games have been for many decades a staple of those families who appreciate the fun that can be extracted from playing a game. Traditional board games such as Monopoly and Cluedo have been so successful due to their relative simplicity and the large element of luck that they involve, making them perfect for involving younger children. Simply watch their glee as they collect all those bank notes when someone lands on their property with a hotel!
For families with older children, there’s a world of board games out there which range from medieval civilization building to world conquest, from fantasy quests to futuristic trade negotiations. There are some excellent revive websites for board games, as well as YouTube channels that teach you quickly and painlessly how to play even the most intricate and difficult to master of games. By doing your research, you’ll be able to buy and present your family with the perfect board game to get everyone in the mood to sit around the table and spend a pleasant evening in board-based combat. Some can be educational; some just plain fun!
This one’s requiring, probably, some additional people in the form of your extended family or your friends and the friends of your children, which is all for the better as a murder mystery takes some planning and therefore will be a rare joy in your family repertoire of games nights. A murder mystery involves assigning everyone a character in a plot in which you have to ascertain who the murder is. It can involve as much costume-dressing and role-play acting as you all feel comfortable with, though of course the more you invest into it, the more you’ll get out. You can set them in Victorian London, a futuristic world, or in your favorite family film; the choice is yours!
Murder mysteries follow a similar formula, which you can easily find online. It is a difficult position of responsibility to create a plot outright without having done at least one murder mystery that’s already been created for you and can be downloaded from the internet or ordered from games websites. That said, a huge part of the fun is in curating the shape of your evening by making the plot and the direction of play specific to your family in a way that will get everyone involved, from oldest to youngest. If you can get your head around the mechanics of a murder mystery evening, then by far the most rewarding form of this game is to create it yourself.
As a parent, you may have a complicated relationship with video games, especially if it’s one of the main activities that draws your children away from family time. However, getting involved in their gaming by doing it as a family will grant you access to their private play in a way that can be beneficial to the whole family. You’ll need, of course, multiple controllers on the console that you own, and some multiplayer games (maximum four, ordinarily) to try out. Alternatively, you can compete in single-player games, for example in setting a time trial time on a racing game. If it’s your child who owns the console, run these ideas by them to see what they think, and which games they think would be best to buy and play as a family.
One of the all-time favorites of families is the Mario Kart that was released a few years ago on the Nintendo Wii. With purchasable steering wheels which you can fit the Wii remote into, you can sit as a foursome on the family couch and lean around each bend in a fairly easy game to get to grips with. Xbox and Playstation provide cheap (and sometimes free) games by independent developers on their stores which you’ll be able to check out and see if they suit your family’s various levels of gaming. It can be presumed that the children will wipe the floor with the parents in most games, which could get tiresome after a while.
You may be the sort of family that enjoys gathering around the TV to watch your favorite quiz-based game shows. Or, you may simply enjoy learning and teaching general knowledge. Quiz games, however, are a lovely educational option for families who like to unite work and play in games that involve the use of logic and learning capabilities. Thankfully, you’ll be able to find quiz sets in games stores or online that cater for the specific age group of your children. For younger children still at school, questions are often based around what they will have learned on their school curriculum, which means they’ll have to fish around in their memories for their school learning before applying it satisfyingly to help them progress in the quiz with points. As a parent, it’s wonderful to watch this in your children.
Another fun and unique way of conducting a quiz is to have everyone in the family write 10 or 20 questions, delivering them to the rest of the family in a round-based quiz. You could assign different family members different categories, from sport to pop music, nature to ‘family stories.’ Or, simply have each person contribute their own individual questions that can range from ridiculous to smart. This method allows parents to have slightly more control over the difficulty of questions while getting a fascinating window into the knowledge of their children and how they apply it in the form of quiz questions. In these quizzes, everyone feels equal, and everyone enjoys the question master role as well as the role of answering questions.
Games nights are one of the most rewarding and organic ways of bonding as a family and can prove especially enjoyable for children whose love of play it taps into. Bear these tips in mind so that you’ll have a healthy variety of games to play for the next free evening you have together.