Family-Based Games: How Games Nights Can Foster Family Connections

Picture this: Your family is seated around the kitchen table. Laughing as they roll the dice and move their Monopoly pieces, everyone bonds over board games and barbeque. These types of experiences are what many of our childhoods were made of. But with the advancement of technology, especially video games, family game nights have become a thing of the past. This is such a shame since family-based games can have such great benefits. Especially when it comes to building stronger connections within our family units. Read on to find out specific reasons why you should bring back family game night in your own home.

Family-Based Games Build Bonds

Bonding with our children is one of the most important parts of being a mom or dad. But generation gaps especially when it comes to interests can make this a difficult task. This is especially true as our children grow older. Thankfully, family-based games can be a link if you will, connecting the younger generation to ours through fun. Family game night will do the following for your family:

  • Bring you all together (quality time)
  • Open up communication
  • Improve social skills (of parents and kiddos)
  • Help you understand each other better
  • Old school classics like Sorry, Life, Scrabble, Candyland, and Checkers
  • Newer games like Family Feud, Uno, and Apples to Apples
  • Outside games such as horseshoes or bowling

Just make sure that the game you choose allows you to communicate during play since talking is what really builds those strong family ties.

Family-Based Games Make Smarter Kids (and Parents)

Believe it or not, there is tons of research that supports the fact that playing games makes kids smarter! In particular, cognitive (thinking) and communication skills are improved by family-based gameplay. For example, Yahtzee can help children become better with numbers while charades can aid in developing bigger vocabularies. Processing and reasoning skills are improved through board games like Consequences and chess while matching games help people of all ages improve their memories. Children also develop socially since they are given feedback by parents during gameplay, get to experience winning and losing, and have to interact with one another while competing. Even the arguments that break out from time to time during the family game night are positive because they help children (and some grown-ups) learn about conflict resolution. Which brings us to one last point—family based games make better moms and dads. Family games are great for parents because they allow us to practice and improve our parenting skills in a laid back environment. Children are more open and willing to communicate with parents when things are fun and flowing naturally. Other research-proven things that gameplay fosters:

  • Higher happiness and overall life satisfaction
  • Larger vocabularies as early as age two
  • More motivation (at school and home)
  • Higher reading levels
  • Stronger peer and parent relationships

Final Thoughts

One last thing about family-based games is that they can be purchased rather cheaply and can be used over and over again. The benefits far outweigh the cost, especially if you look at the games you are buying as an investment in your family. If you want to improve relationships in your household, hosting a family game night is definitely the way to go. The hardest part is deciding what game to try first!

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