Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Family Game Nights: The Family That Plays Together, Stays Together

Family Game Nights: The Family That Plays Together, Stays Together

Too quickly, family time is fading into the pages of history, a quaint term from long ago. Modern families gather in their living rooms not to engage with each other, but to engage with laptops, cellular phones and blaring television sets. It doesn’t have to be this way. Many families are resisting the trend towards disconnection. They are finding ways to enjoy each other’s company by basing their interactions around fun activities. An example of these activities is family game night.

Trivia games are a particularly fun and educational way to bring the family together. Knowledge-based games challenge and excite people of all ages. They give parents a sense of what their kids are learning in school, and they make the best of sibling rivalry by pitting children against each other in a constructive competition. The following are just a few more of the benefits of family game nights:

Games Encourage Families to Unplug:
Until a family has gotten used to their game night ritual, it may take some work to focus everybody’s attention. Phones are always ringing; somebody’s favorite TV show will always be on. On game night, be sure that all non-essential electronic devices are turned off. There may be resistance at first, but when the fun starts, nobody will miss them anymore.

Games Give Families a Common Hobby:
Trivia games have come a long way in recent years. No longer demanding the dry regurgitation of tiresome factoids, today’s trivia games inspire creativity with innovative ways of asking and answering questions. Families will enjoy working together to find new and fun trivia games to play together.

A few of these popular games can form the basis of a well-rounded trivia game collection: Cranium Family Edition, Trivial Pursuits Family, and Pictionary Junior. These games are all designed for players of multiple ages. Questions are asked and answered in unique ways, using mediums such as clay or music.

Families can also work together to create their own trivia games. They can personalize their games by composing questions based on family history. For example, “When did Johnny lose his first tooth,” will make Johnny feel special, and will help families bond over shared memories.

Games Make Learning Fun:
Trivia games are educational. Kids don’t need to know that. Just as parents slip vegetables into their child’s favorite food, they can also slip teaching moments into game night. Not only will trivia games teach facts and other bits of information to younger family members, they will also impart fundamental life lessons about patience, sportsmanship, pride, and competition.

Today’s educational institutions are suffering. We see it on the news every night, and we see it in teachers’ weary faces every day. Our schools are stretched to the limit. While changing the state of education is beyond the immediate reach of a typical family, extending their child’s education to the home is not. Learning through play comes naturally to children, and parents should work hard to exploit this natural tendency. They may even rediscover their own innate affinity for playing!

Games Keep Kids At Home:
Parents enjoy a limited amount of time in their child’s limelight. Soon, their influence wanes and is eclipsed by the looming shadow of peer pressure. The longer a parent is able to exert a positive influence in their children’s lives, the better. Family game nights are one example of something parents can do to improve home life and make the home inviting for their children.

It is never too soon to bring a family together. Tight-knit families can institute a family trivia game night as just one more form of family bonding. Families that have drifted apart might use game night as the first step towards reestablishing fading connections. In the end, no one will care why game night started. They will be having too much fun!

Author Dena Fisher is an avid fan of trivia games and activities, such as movie quizzes and music trivia questions.


Marcie Salguero said...

Here's to family game night (and not the kind where everyone's plugged in to their electronic device sitting next to each other).
It may be a good idea to think about having a game board or game table made for the family to play at. You could play backgammon or chess or checkers. It looks nice and it could become the family heirloom your kids will fight over. Here are some great ideas
I love the backgammon and the scrabble board :-)


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