There are a lot of games out there, but not all of them are suitable for all ages to play together. The kind of games that young children are likely to enjoy are likely to be tedious and boring for adults, while the kind of games that adults enjoy are likely to go right over young kids’ heads. What can parents do, then, to get their young kids involved in family game night?
To begin with, ignore age ratings on games. Unless a board game contains violence or other adult concepts, parents can pretty much choose a game based on their own child’s mental state. Little kids have good memories, and often know and absorb more than they’re given credit for. If your child is well-read, fairly intelligent, and enjoys boardgames, then feel free to choose a game recommended for slightly older children. If they aren’t, you’re probably better off staying within their age range when it comes to choosing a board game.
Parents and older kids should consider splitting into teams for some games. This can help reduce the advantage that adults have over younger kids, without having to play the kind of games where adults and children are on equal footing all of the time. Things like strategy games, trivia games, and other games that are more likely to appeal to adults and older kids can be played by younger children too, as long as they are on a team with someone who is able to assist them.
Games that depend mainly on chance can be just as easy for little kids to play as they are for older kids and adults. This includes games like Life, where everyone has an equal chance to make it to the end of the board. Games that rely on dice rolls or spins to determine how player progress, instead of relying on things like strategy, are good for younger kids, teens, and adults to play together. In these games, nobody has a clear advantage at the outset, so little kids are just as likely to do well as older people are. Though they may need some help having the rules explained and interpreted for them, younger kids can often play these games easily. Some kid-centric games, like Grape Escape or Mousetrap, fall into this category. Though they’re usually touted as kids’ games, adults often derive just as much enjoyment from playing them.
When it comes to getting younger kids involved in family game night, parents should look for ways to get them involved in fun, interesting games that the whole family can enjoy. Little kids will pick up on parents feeling bored or tired of their games, just like parents can tell when kids aren’t having any fun. By choosing the right games, and setting things up so that young children can be heavily involved in game play, parents can make sure that younger kids get to enjoy family game night just as much as everyone else does.