Playing board games is a great way to pass the time and have fun together. Nearly every household has a closet or chest full of games to play at parties or on rainy days, and many families have weekly or monthly “game nights” where they sit down together to play. Some games are better for a parents and kids to play together than others, though, so the kind of games that get picked to play should be chosen with care.
Virtually any board game can be played as a family, even if there are too many players for that particular game. The solution then is to split up into teams, like one or two children and a parent per team, for example. Then, all decisions made during the game can be made as a team, with the children’s input, but parents can still help them through the more difficult aspects of the game, like strategy. This allows kids to join in games that they would otherwise be too young or inexperienced for, and still be able to feel that they’ve contributed toward winning. Things like trivia games for adults should be avoided, though, since most kids will spend the time feeling frustrated at not being able to answer many questions.
Few games that appeal to young children will appeal to parents, too. A lot of these games try to teach skills like colors, shape recognition, or counting, which parents are likely to find hard to sit through. Many of these games are also less competitive than games for adults, since young children can find it harder to handle being good losers than adults can. While almost all games are competitive, really cutthroat games should be avoided, since they might end with hurt feelings and upset kids. There aren’t too many games where everyone is a winner, however, so try to choose a game that keeps your children’s individual temperaments in mind.
Lastly, keep a few classic games on hand, like checkers or Chinese checkers. These never go out of style, and are just as much fun for kids and parents today as they were years ago. Chinese checkers is an especial family favorite, since it allows for either two, four, or six players, while many other classic games only allow two. Chess is a perennial favorite, as well, but is probably better taught to older children who will have an easier time remembering all of the rules.
Every child and every family is different, so games that some kids get into with excitement might produce nothing but yawns and snores from others. Whether you have a family, game night once a week, once a month, or once in a blue moon, the important thing is to find a game or rotation of games that you and your family enjoy playing together, and spend quality time enjoying each other’s company and having fun.