It’s 6:30 p.m. on a Friday night. Dinner is over, but it’s not quite time for the kids to get ready for bed. While the golden hour sun streams in through the window in the kitchen, your kids are wired, running laps around the living room.
If only there was a way to get them to calm down without squelching their fun.
There is! The solution you’re looking for is a good ol’ fashioned family board game.
Family Board Games: Fun for Everyone
I will forever champion board games. Not only are you creating valuable family memories around your kitchen table, but you are also practicing fine motor skills, teaching basic concepts like colors or numbers, and encouraging critical thinking.
There are endless benefits!
Plus, as an added bonus, game night doesn’t have to be reserved for only the big kids in your house. There are options for toddlers, preschoolers, and even babies, so with some family teamwork, you can make sure everyone gets to play along to some extent.
Here are some options to help you kick start your family game night off right!
Best Family Board Games for Toddlers
Simple games are best for toddlers given their often short attention spans and tendency to be less than thrilled when things don’t go their way (see: tantrums).
In my experience though, toddlers are eager learners when it comes to games, especially if they have a big sibling leading the way.
Here are some great game ideas for the toddlers in your house!
Best Family Board Games for Preschoolers
Preschoolers are fun to play games with because they’re learning and developing in so many ways and are capable of playing games that will be more fun for you as well.
We just taught our daughters to play Uno and it has been bringing our family endless amounts of delight (as well as some life lessons on how to be a good loser).
If you’ve got older kids, encourage their creativity by introducing them to roleplaying games. Amazing Tales is a non-violent adventure perfect for kids and their families from age 4 and up. All you’ll need is the book and a lucky pair of dice!
The Best Family Games for Babies
I know, I know. Babies can’t play board games.
But that doesn’t mean they should be left out of family game night! Baby games are an important promoter of both brain and social development and can be a fun intermission between losing to your toddler at Memory Game and waiting for dad to set up Zingo!
Plus, most of them can be played with items you already have laying around your house. Here are some ideas if you want to add baby laughter to game night.
If you want to go beyond peek-a-boo and gotcha-nose, check out 24 Magical Games to Play with Your Baby: From Birth to Beyond the First Birthday
A predictable suggestion, yes, but did you know that playing peek-a-boo with your baby helps teach object permanence? Throwing that blanket over your face or on top of her favorite bear, shows her that things are still there even if she can’t see them.
Fill an empty bottle with things like rice or water mixed with liquid soap and then let her shake it all around. Just make sure to secure the lid with packing tape so small pieces don’t get out.
Cook up a box of spaghetti and then let your baby dig her fingers through it while the rest of the family puts a new puzzle together.
A Win for Game Night!
Call those kids back into the kitchen! There are games to be played and memories to be made for everyone in the family.
All you need now is a big bowl of popcorn and you’re all set for a great night.
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