Start Your Own Family Game Night!
How do we create special family time traditions with school, homework, sports and meetings filling up the calendar?
Our Park Place manager and Toy Expert, Elisa Moriconi, invited one of our game-loving customers to share her family tradition: “We often find ourselves in The Learning Tree looking at the huge game section because we love to play games! We love games so much that our son Colton created “Family Game Night.”
When Colton was 5 years old, he asked our family to designate one night a week as Family Game Night. On this night, we eat dinner, then turn off all electronics. Colton and Kyra pick out four games that we play during the evening.
Some nights we sprawl out on the living room floor and on other nights we pop popcorn and sit at our big, old kitchen table. We refresh our game selection each year as the kids typically find two to five new games under the Christmas tree that we play throughout the school break.
Now that the kids are older and more active in sports and other school activities, we find that our game night occurs every other week, but we are completely committed to Family Game Night.
You can’t go wrong with games. They are fun, you can learn a lot playing games, and it is a perfect way to spend quality time with each other. I highly recommend that you commit to your own Family Game Night. What better way to sit and laugh with your kids?”
Kristin F. lives in Stilwell, KS with her husband Russell, daughter Kyra, 10, and son Colton, 8.
Not sure which games to play? Let us help! We can suggest a game just right for your family. Ask one of our Toy Experts to show you a few games. Then, feel free to play a few rounds in our stores before you choose one to take home!
More helpful suggestions for Family Game Night from Astra:
Family Game Nights
Family fun: the antidote to busy days.
Making a regular time for your family to focus on fun with each other contributes to family bonding and healthy family functioning. Research has shown that parent-child play has positive impacts on many aspects of child development. It helps to develop language skills, attachment among family members, understanding of how to engage effectively in social relationships, exploratory behaviors that kids need to become problem solvers, and much more.
So why not start a fun new tradition in your home by launching a weekly or monthly family game night?
If you like the idea of establishing a family game night in your home, the first step is clearing your calendar once a week or once a month or however often you want to set aside for this type of family togetherness. The frequency is less important than the commitment to do it regularly and predictably. You want your kids to look forward to it and to count on it. Steps for game night success
• Create a game night routine. Perhaps you clean up dinner dishes together—which is another positive parent-child activity—and put a special game night table cloth on the table. Or you go to a special place in your home for this event. Try to engage your kids in deciding the details of your routine.
• Choose a game everyone can enjoy. You need a game that will be fun for everyone—whatever their age, abilities, or interests. Some more advanced games can be played by younger kids if they are paired in a ‘team’ with an older child or adult. As much as possible, have the kids take turns picking what game gets played.
• Avoid interruptions. Turn off the television. Make the rule that phonesare not answered, text messages are ignored, and email beeps wait until later. This is family time, and the whole idea is to keep it that way.
• Focus on fun, not competition. Remember that competition is not the point of family game nights. Laughing together and having a great time is the sole objective. This means that you should set some rules about how people treat each other, like no ridicule or boasting allowed. Everyone must be a good sport—which is one of the ways that play helps build self-regulation and social skills.
Provided By Susan J. Oliver, Tropomedia
This information is provided on behalf of the toy experts at your neighborhood toy store.