6 Fun (and Affordable) Family Game Night Ideas

Updated by Shawnna Stiver

Think about the last time you sat down together as a family for a game night. Has it been awhile? A year? Two years? Maybe not since you were a child? Have you ever enjoyed a family game night with your children? We’re talking Uno, Scrabble, Candy Land, Apples to Apples, party games or even an outdoor game like Hide and Seek. There’s a distinct correlation between the popularity of technology and the decline of board games. And while it’s possible to download any kind of game you want on any type of device, there’s a distinct advantage of playing board games, card games and with-other-people games.

When you can sit in front of another person, face-to-face, and take turns in the moment, in real time, with a deck of cards or a popular game, there’s no better opportunity to spend quality time as a family and connect.

Quality time is one of the most important building blocks for building a strong family unit. The more time you can spend together as a family doing positive activities, the stronger your family bond is. If you don’t already have a regular family get together (without any screens in sight), here are some reasons why you should consider it, as well as some fun and affordable game night ideas to try out ASAP!


Why Family Game Night is Important

It’s easy to see why parents have a hard time pulling the ever-present screens away from their kids’ eyes. Combine that with the ever-present need for kids to feel connected as a family and you have the overall reason why family game night is important. Here are some other expected benefits:

Gives families something to talk about.
It won’t be long before your kids would rather talk to anyone else but their parents. By starting a family game night, you can create a safe space for your kids to start talking about things early one, which can break down barriers and build self-esteem and higher emotional intelligence.

A tradition is guaranteed to happen.
A regular game night as a family is the start of a new family tradition. And when it’s something that’s planned and guaranteed to happen without interruptions, it gives your kids something to count on and look forward to. Traditions can also create a sense of comfort and familiarity when all other commitments take a backseat to quality time with family.

Teamwork makes the dream work.
Sometimes it’s hard to do things together as a team when your younger sibling annoys you, or you feel like mom is being a nag. But you can’t play an effective board game without a teammate! Game night can help your whole family find ways to help another win, have your loved one’s back and at the very least much-needed support for anything you may face.

Game night builds confidence.
Who doesn’t love winning at a classic game like charades, Pictionary or minute to win it? And although there doesn’t always need to be a designated winner or loser, it’s a big boost of confidence for everyone in the family to feel like a winner at some point. Confidence can make your kids feel happy and it’s an instant mood lift for everyone.

Work through problems together.
There are some games that can be solved quite easily. But not all games are created equal. Some family board games can be extremely challenging to maneuver. And for kids, not understanding a game can cause a feeling of sadness or self-doubt. When you have a family night and play these games together, you can work together to keep spirits high and self-doubt at bay.


Games can encourage learning.
It’s easy to introduce a new concept through a simple game. If you can help your kids learn a new skill through a game, even better. By beginning with playing and then learning a skill it can become a natural transition and not quite as scary.

Reading and playing games is good for child development.
Games can inspire intellectual conversations and push the boundaries of what your kids already know. In turn, it can inspire creativity and encourage your kids to understand and think critically. Research has also shown that a fun family game night can be good for your children’s motor skills, problem-solving skills, relationships with peers and motivation. Plus, games can help develop your child’s vocabulary skills and lead to better grades.

Games are just plain fun!
Everyone needs a dose of carefree play and silly fun. Make the most of the time you spend together for a family game night and make amazing memories.

Family game night can create lasting memories and foster a sense of belonging. In the busy hubbub of life with screens on 24/7, nothing beats having tech-free, face-to-face time with your kids.