6 tips for a Successful Family Game Night

We love family game nights. Heck, we love games in general! There is something special about the family connection that comes from playing games together.

Plus all of the thinking and strategy involved is awesome! I’m always impressed with how clever my kids are.

Even as game lovers, pulling off a successful family game night can be tricky. As we’ve waded through a few tearful endings and half-finished games, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to make family game night successful.

family game night tips! Love #3

6 Tips for a Successful Family Game Night

Think about the amount of time you have. This is really important. Every game takes a different amount of time. Choose something that will allow you to complete a game without feeling rushed. Check out this list of family games perfect for the amount of time you have to play.

Make accommodations. Holding cards can be tricky for little hands. Make a cardholder or adjust play enough that laying out the cards is okay. Write (or draw) out rules that are tricky to remember. One of our favorite games is 10,000 dice game, when the kids were just learning we used written rules to make it easier to remember.

Plan for breaks. Potty breaks, snack breaks, stand-up, and bounce breaks. Try to have everyone move at the same time so that other players aren’t sitting around waiting. (That’s the fastest way for a kid to lose interest in playing.)

Turn off the TV. Especially if you have kids who get distracted by it easily. Once in a while, Hubby will try to watch golf or football while we play a game. It always backfires. The commercials are just too enticing.

Bring your patience. Playing games with an 8 and 7-year-old is different than playing with a group of adults, no matter how awesome they are at games. If you come in with the expectation that turns will take longer, silliness WILL happen, and finishing the game isn’t always the most important thing… everyone will have a lot more fun.

Practice sportsmanship. Family game night is a great, safe place to learn how to win and how to lose. Model positive behavior on both ends. Pay attention to cues and be verbal about it. “We were having fun joking about who was going to win, I can see by your body language that we went too far. Am I right?” Keep in mind that some people have a harder time losing than others and this is a great way to work out those feelings.

What tips would you include for making family game night special?


  1. I’ve found that silly games are perfect for my daughters. I like some of the fancier board games but you really need to play something that everyone will enjoy.

  2. I love that you added the patience in there. I find that many parents are astounded at the patience I have with Kindergartners. If you have fun with them, and expect the unexpected, then you will have a ton of fun!

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