Do you find yourself sitting in front of the television every evening while your kids sit on their tablet or smartphone? If so, it may be time to round everyone up for a family game night. Whether it be Scrabble, Uno or even a good old fashioned game of tag, games have the ability to bring people together and create a strong bond between you, your spouse and your children. But, if you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary for your next game night, here are a few simple and affordable ideas.
1. Magic Show
Who doesn’t love a good magic trick? Gather all your handkerchiefs, black hats and cards and put on a family magic show. If you or the kids need a little inspiration you could get on the internet and watch a few demonstrations. Or you could pick up a magic kit from your local bookstore or the game aisle of any supermarket. These usually come with some type of instruction, so you’ll be magicians in no time.
2. Hide and Seek
While you might think hide and seek to be more suitable for younger children, this family game can be fun, no matter how old you are. Gather everyone into one room and choose a seeker, then count to 10 and run and hide! Or, put a spin on this classic by choosing one person to hide while everyone else seeks. And, as each seeker finds the one hiding, they join them, squishing into the hiding spot like sardines until only one person is left to look.
Switch up the scenery and get out of the house. Head to the nearest putt-putt golf course and tee off together. Keep a score sheet if you want to encourage some healthy competition. When you’ve finished the last hole, either go for another round or hit the batting cages. Many mini golf courses also have go-karts, an arcade or other fun things to do, so be sure to explore the place while you’re there.
If you’re looking for a calmer alternative and a night in, opt for a puzzle. If you have small children, choose a simple, thick puzzle. But if your children are older, you can take them along to pick out a more challenging one. Then take it home and work on it together. Give yourselves a time limit to make things more exciting or buy two puzzles and split into teams. Who will finish first?
5. Laser Tag
Indoor playgrounds can be fun for the whole family and laser tag is no exception. Suit up in a blinking vest and split into teams, then run through the obstacle course, taking out the opposition. Your whole family could easily spend a few hours playing laser tag, so this family game night may be a sweaty one. Be sure to plan ahead for showers!
6. Think Outside Boxes
Explore the great outdoors with Think Outside Boxes, a monthly subscription box that encourages you and the kids to get away from the screens and into the green. These boxes include a few pieces of outdoor gear, resource cards, an educational booklet and fun activities and challenges for the whole family. The contents of the box are suitable for children four and older and up so even your littlest ones will enjoy them.
Put on your aprons and oven mitts. It’s time for a bakeoff! Pick a fun prize for the winner before you begin to motivate your bakers. Then, choose a category — cupcakes, cookies, cake — and give supply everyone with the right ingredients. Finally, set a time limit and get baking. When the time is up and the desserts are complete, judge each entry by tasting them. Award the winner their prize and be sure to indulge in some desserts.
8. Backyard Olympics
Head outside again for some family backyard olympics. You can choose or make any kind of family games you’d like. Water balloon tosses, egg carries and races are a good place to start. Bobbing for apples, ring tosses and hula hoop contests are also great ideas. You or your spouse can judge or take part in the games too but have some fun medals or prizes on hand so you award the winners.
9. Minute to Win It
It’s all about speed with this game. Similar to the olympics idea, Minute to Win It consists of a series of different 60-second challenges. Contestants have to successfully complete each challenge to move onto the next round. The best part about these games is you can tailor them to best suit your kids depending on their age. If they struggle to complete the challenges, you can always extend the time to help them out a bit.
10. Storytime Campout
While this idea isn’t technically a game, it is super affordable — and fun! Spend the evening camped out in a cushion fort or even a tent in the backyard. Slip into your pajamas and cozy up in some blankets. Read stories to each other or, better yet, take turns making them up. This is sure to be a favorite among your kids so get ready to have sleeping bags and the tent on hand at all times.