I love our family game nights.
I don’t know how things are for you, but I never spend as much time with my kids as I would like to. Between working part time, managing the house, driving them to play dates and to after school activities and making sure they do their homework, we rarely find the time to just spend time together and have fun.
Bedtime helps. We start bedtime routine well in advance, to make sure it is not rushed. Lately, bedtime routine includes reading to my kids a chapter from a Nancy Drew mystery, talking about their day, then snuggling together before tucking them in and kissing them goodnight. This routine can take at least 45 minutes – and that’s a good thing, because my kids are already 8 and 10 and I’m keenly aware of the fact that I should cherish the way they still cling to me and want me to stay in their bedroom forever! Soon they will become teens and start pushing me away.
Back to family game night. Just like our prolonged bedtime routine, family game night allows us to forget about our rushed existence and simply relax together. We started this tradition a few months ago, when I realized that ever since I went back to work, I don’t really sit down to play with the kids much anymore.
Family game nights are simple: once a week, after a family dinner, one member of the family picks a game – usually a card game or a board game. We all play together, then share a dessert. The idea is to shut off the outside world with all its distractions for a little while and spend quality time together.
Family game nights are about disconnecting from technology and creating memories. Playing games together also provides us with some important learning opportunities – through games, my kids are learning patience and turn taking, following directions and –from time to time – losing gracefully. An important life skill, for sure.