Make your next family game night super fun and stress-free with these awesome game night tips and ideas! Make memories that will last a lifetime while sticking to your budget and do it all without even missing bedtime. 😉
Hosting a family game night is a great way to get in quality time with your kids. Make it a tradition they'll remember as they grow and maybe even pass on to their own families one day! We'll give you tons of family game night ideas to keep it fun, easy, and stress-free.
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No matter what kind of family game night you throw, we'll help you do it big while also keeping the budget in check. From planning, food preparation, and games, we've got ideas for it all, for every age, to keep it simple and perfect for your family to enjoy. Let's get to it!
PREPARING FOR A FAMILY GAME NIGHT
Before your family game night, it's important to set some ground rules… especially if you have teenagers! Here are some of our go-to family game night rules and preparation tips.
- Leave Technology in the Other Room – Unless you need a screen to play the game, leave the phones, tablets, and televisions out of the equation! Grab a basket and collect phones beforehand so nobody is tempted to sneak a peek during the middle of the game night.
- Choose a Game or Two Ahead of Time – Pre-picking your games ahead of time eliminates any disagreements that may tarnish the mood of the evening. If you have children who can't agree (don't we all!), make a rotation and allow one or two kids to pick the game each time you have a family game night.
- Make a Snack Plan – There's truly no better way to entice a reluctant child into family game night than with delicious snacks! Make a snack plan ahead of time so you've got something that will please everybody.
- Keep Your Expectations Realistic – Forget all the perfect pictures of families playing games, happy and smiling. We all know what we see online is not always an accurate depiction of life. Whether you're planning a family game night with young kids, teenagers, or any age between, there most likely will be hiccups and sometimes sour attitudes… Take a deep breath and roll with it, mama.
We've found that implementing these rules and preparation tips makes for a more fun and friendly environment conducive to making tons of funny memories! Take what works for your family and leave what doesn't.
SNACKS, SNACKS, SNACKS
Is it even a family game night if there aren't snacks involved? We certainly don't think so. Keep it simple and stress-free with these easy and cheap family game night snack ideas the entire family will devour.
- Charcuterie Board – It sounds and looks fancy, but it's actually cheap and easy. Hooray! Grab yourself a board and add whatever your family enjoys: fruit, veggies, crackers, cheese, nuts, meat, etc!
- Popcorn – Mix it up with a slew of flavor toppings or make it super fancy with melted chocolate on top. Yum!
- Grilled Cheese Squares – Up the fun factor by combining game night snacks into dinner! Serve mini-grilled cheese squares and let them fill up their plates. You'll win the cool mom award for the night, no doubt!
- Hot Dog Piggies – Make your own pigs in a blanket with hot dogs and crescent rolls.
- Snack Sampler – Make a snack tray sampler with a muffin tin or two! Fill each cup with a different snack: popcorn, chips, pretzels, veggie straws, nuts, veggies, or fruit. This is a fun way for little hands to try it all!
- Chips and Dip – This homemade salsa is delicious!
- S'Mores – Tops off the night with these delectable microwave s'mores from Shelf Cooking. That's right… No campfire required!
- Caramel Apple Nachos – These will be your family's favorite game night snack! You can never go wrong with caramel apple nachos and they're so easy. Easy homemade caramel for the win!
Set them up as fancy or as low-key as you desire. Either way, these snacks will be a family game night hit!
FAMILY GAME NIGHT IDEAS FOR YOUNG KIDS
If you're planning on entertaining young kids for a family game night, there are a few things you should know to keep it smooth and fuss-free.
- Keep it Short – Young children don't have the attention span to stick with anything for too long, so plan on a shorter family game night. Not only will this help keep attitudes from going south, but it will also ensure they make it to bed on time! You're welcome.
- Make it Interactive – When choosing the games for a family game night with young kids, pick very wisely. Forget games with abstract concepts and stick to hands-on, interactive games that will keep them engaged and moving! For more tips, check out our best family games post, where we break it all down by age.
- Take Breaks Often – If the little ones are getting distracted, take a break! It doesn't matter if you're in the middle of a game or not. Keeping temperamental toddlers happy for family game night is numero uno priority, right?!
- Know When to Call it Quits – When things seem to be heading in the wrong direction, or little eyes start to look tired, call it off! Whatever you do, don't try to push through a game with a sleepy little one. We want to end all family game nights on a positive note so they'll look forward to the next one! Remember, it's about making positive memories together.
We promise, your kids aren't too young for family game night! Implement these basic family game night ideas and tips for little ones, and you'll be rockin' and rollin' this game night thing in no time.
Pro Tip: If you're hosting a family game night with kids of varying ages, make sure you put the little ones to bed on time and bust out the more challenging games for the big kids after!
FAMILY GAME NIGHT WITH TEENAGERS
If you have a teen, then sometimes an evening playing games with the family isn't exactly high on their list of things to do. If you find yourself with a reluctant child or teen, sweeten the pot a bit with these ideas!
LET THEM INVITE A FRIEND
Yeah, yeah, we know. Seems like a cop-out right? No! Actually, letting them invite a friend over for a game night is a sure-fire way to ensure they have a great time! Plus, you'll get to know their friends better.
GIVE THEM CONTROL
There's no better way to get someone interested in something than giving them control. Put them solely in charge of game night snacks or give them free rein on game choice! It will help them feel like an active participant and give them something to be proud of accomplishing. Sounds like a secret life lesson to us…
RAISE THE STAKES
Who doesn't love a little friendly competition? Raise the stakes, and your kids' interest level, by involving a prize! It doesn't have to be anything you spend money on. Remember, this is a budget-friendly game night, after all. Wager chores, instead! Maybe the winner gets a pass on their least favorite chore the next day. Trust us, they'll love it—even if they never admit it! Before you know it, your older kids and teens will be asking about the next family game night.
These family game night ideas are sure to be a hit! Implement these tips and tricks to make sure your evening goes off without a hitch and remains as stress-free as possible. You deserve it, mama. No matter how big your family is, or what ages you're accommodating, make it special and let the memories be made!
Do you have any special family game night ideas or hacks? Share with us in the comments below!
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Now, go plan that game night, friend!