If you haven’t tried having a family game night, you’re missing out.  A couple of weeks ago we finished dinner and I waited for Miss O to ask to watch “her shows”… but she didn’t.  Instead she went in her play room and came out with a box.  Candyland! (The Disney Princess edition)

Family game night is a great way to spend quality time as a family without going out or spending a ton of money.

I’d never really thought about it, but there are a lot of benefits to a family game night.  First, it’s really nice to have a night where we don’t just sit and watch tv.  It’s great to bond over a little friendly competition.  And without the bright, flashy light and strange sounds coming from an electronic device, our conversation is much more involved – go figure!

Games are also a fun way to develop real-world skills, like strategy, following rules, and being a good sport (we’re still working on that one).

After 2 rounds of getting my ass handed to me in Candyland by my 5-year-old – she ALWAYS wins – we decided to try a few new games.  We wanted something the whole family could enjoy, and games we hadn’t played before.  With that in mind I came up with a few ideas, some we’ve tried, some we will have to wait a few years to try.

Happy Salmon.  This super simple card game for 3-6 people is addictingly fun.  The best thing is that it can be loud and raucous or totally quiet, great if you have a sensitive child

Escape the Room.  Love the idea of those breakout games, but can’t spare the money or time to try it?  Try this home version in which you have to solve the mystery of Stargazer Manor.

Lion Guard Protect the Pridelands Game.  The Lion Guard is the new star of Disney Jr., so it’s no wonder this game is so popular.  Players have to work together to save the Pridelands and make it safely to Pride Rock.

Bop It.  I originally got this game to use with my middle school students, but it’s been a ton of fun to have at home, too.  There’s 3 modes of the game, with a solo and a pass-it version of each.

Tapple 10.  For anyone 8 and up, Tapple 10 includes 10 different games and is perfect for an on-the-go family.  This game engages everyone and always ends up being a good time.

What’s your favorite game for family game night?  Share in the comments.

Family game night is a great way to spend quality time as a family without going out or spending a ton of money.