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5 Great Games for the Whole Family

Having a family game night is a wonderful way to strengthen family bonds and create lasting memories.

Here are some reasons why families should have regular game nights:

  1. Quality Time: Family game nights provide dedicated time for the entire family to come together and engage in shared activities. In our busy lives, finding moments to connect and spend quality time with each other can be challenging. Game nights offer a designated space where everyone can disconnect from distractions and enjoy each other’s company.
  2. Fun and Laughter: Games are inherently entertaining and bring joy and laughter to the family. They create opportunities for friendly competition, jokes, and unexpected moments that can generate laughter and create a positive and joyful atmosphere. Sharing these moments together strengthens family bonds and creates a sense of happiness and unity.
  3. Communication and Conversation: Games promote communication and conversation among family members. Whether it’s discussing strategies, negotiating game rules, or simply chatting while playing, games provide a platform for open dialogue and interaction. It encourages family members to share thoughts, ideas, and experiences, fostering better communication skills and understanding within the family.
  4. Teamwork and Cooperation: Many games require teamwork and cooperation to achieve a common goal. Working together towards a shared objective encourages family members to collaborate, listen to each other, and support one another. These collaborative experiences build a sense of unity and teach valuable skills like problem-solving, decision-making, and effective teamwork.
  5. Learning Opportunities: Games often involve rules, strategies, and problem-solving elements. Playing games as a family can be a fun way to learn new skills, enhance critical thinking, improve memory, and develop cognitive abilities. Educational games can also be incorporated to make game nights enjoyable and intellectually stimulating.
  6. Building Traditions and Rituals: Regular family game nights can become cherished traditions and rituals that create a sense of stability and routine within the family. These shared experiences can be passed down through generations, creating a sense of family identity and nostalgia.
  7. Strengthening Relationships: Engaging in activities together, such as game nights, helps to strengthen family relationships. It fosters a sense of belonging and creates a safe and nurturing environment for open communication, understanding, and support. Building positive connections during game nights can have a lasting impact on family dynamics and relationships outside of game nights as well.

Remember, family game nights can be adapted to fit your family’s preferences and interests. Whether it’s board games, card games, outdoor activities, or video games, the goal is to come together, have fun, and create meaningful connections. So gather your family, set aside regular game nights, and enjoy the benefits of this special time spent together.

5 Great Games for the Whole Family

5 Great Games for the Whole Family


This fallback party game can be equally fun when you play it with the family, although you may have to temper it to the knowledge base of your kids.  But since it doesn’t require any prep work or equipment you can play it at the drop of a hat.  And really, the game could go on for as long as everyone is having fun, which makes it an ideal choice for a family game night. 

Charades is a classic guessing game that involves acting out words or phrases without speaking.

Here’s how to play:

  1. Gather a group of players: Charades is best played with at least three or more participants. The more people, the more fun it can be.
  2. Prepare the charade cards: Write down words, phrases, book/movie titles, or famous characters on small pieces of paper or index cards. Fold or shuffle them and place them in a container.
  3. Split into teams: Divide the players into two teams. Each team will take turns guessing and acting out the clues.
  4. Determine the order: Decide which team will go first. You can flip a coin, draw straws, or use any fair method to determine the order.
  5. Start the round: The first player from the team that is currently up comes forward and selects a charades card without revealing it to others.
  6. Act it out: The player then silently acts out the word or phrase on the card using gestures, body movements, and facial expressions. Remember, no speaking or sound effects are allowed!
  7. Guessing the answer: While the player is acting, their teammates try to guess the correct answer. They can call out their guesses or use hand signals. The actor can nod or indicate when someone is close to the correct answer.
  8. Time limit: Set a time limit for each round, such as one or two minutes. If the team guesses correctly within the time limit, they earn a point. If they don’t guess correctly, the opposing team has a chance to steal the point by correctly guessing the answer.
  9. Rotate turns: After each round, teams take turns, alternating between acting and guessing, until all players have had a chance to participate. Keep score to determine the winning team at the end.
  10. Optional variations: To make the game more challenging, you can add additional rules, such as using only one-word clues or limiting the number of gestures. You can also choose specific categories for the charade cards, such as movies, animals, or famous quotes.

Remember, the primary goal of charades is to have fun and enjoy the creative and often hilarious acting performances. It’s a game that encourages teamwork, communication, and quick thinking. So gather your friends or family, let your imagination run wild, and get ready for an entertaining game of charades!

Rock band. 

While it can be tempting to stick to the board games you understand, you should think about making the evening a little more entertaining for the kids by choosing a game that is familiar to their generation.  Yes, we’re talking about video games.  Although you probably aren’t keen to try your hand at skill-oriented options like first-person shooters or racing games, four (or more) can have fun with Rock Band (depending on how many instrumental controllers you have on hand).  And even Brady-Bunch-size families can participate, considering that turns are only as long as a song (allowing for frequent trading of place).  If kids can’t get on board with board games, try an electronic option they’re sure to prefer.

The rock band video game is a great choice for family game night for several reasons:

  1. Inclusive and Multiplayer Experience: The game allows multiple players to participate simultaneously, making it an inclusive experience for the whole family. Players can take on different roles like lead singer, guitarist, bassist, or drummer, creating a sense of teamwork and cooperation.
  2. Musical and Creative Engagement: Rock band immerses players in the world of music, allowing them to unleash their inner rockstars. It offers a wide range of songs from various genres, providing something for everyone’s musical taste. Players can explore their creativity by customizing their band’s appearance and creating unique performances.
  3. Fun and Energetic Gameplay: The game combines music, rhythm, and gameplay mechanics to create an energetic and entertaining experience. Players must hit notes or play along with the song’s rhythm, which can be challenging but also highly enjoyable. It encourages friendly competition and can lead to lots of laughter and excitement.
  4. Skill Development: Playing rock band can help develop various skills. It improves hand-eye coordination, timing, and rhythm as players try to hit the right notes or drum beats. It also enhances teamwork and communication as players need to coordinate their actions to achieve a high score or complete challenging songs.
  5. Social Bonding and Quality Time: Family game nights are an opportunity for bonding and spending quality time together. Rock band provides a platform for shared experiences and creates lasting memories. Whether it’s cheering for each other’s performances or celebrating a high score, the game fosters a sense of togetherness and strengthens family connections.
  6. Replay Value: With a vast library of songs and downloadable content, rock band offers plenty of replay value. It can be enjoyed over and over again, allowing families to revisit their favorite songs or discover new ones. The game’s progression system and various difficulty levels also provide room for growth and improvement.
  7. Parental Involvement and Support: Rock band can be enjoyed by players of different ages and skill levels. It provides an opportunity for parents to join in the fun and support their children’s musical interests. Parents can guide younger players, share their love for music, and create a positive and engaging environment for everyone involved.

The rock band video game offers a unique and interactive experience combining music, gameplay, and family fun. It promotes teamwork, skill development, and memorable moments, making it an excellent choice for family game nights that cater to a wide range of ages and interests.

Forbidden Island. 

Many parents are tired of the tantrums resulting from one kid (often the oldest) winning every game.  Luckily, a new slate of cooperative games is hitting the market (and the mark).  Forbidden Island has all the players working together to rescue artifacts from an island that is slowly sinking into the ocean.  So everyone either sinks or swims together (so to speak).

Forbidden Island is a cooperative board game where players work together to collect treasures and escape from a sinking island.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to play:

  1. Setup:
    • Lay out the island tiles in a predetermined pattern to form the game board.
    • Place the four treasure figurines on their corresponding treasure locations.
    • Distribute role cards to each player, determining their unique abilities.
    • Give each player their corresponding pawn and place them on the “Fool’s Landing” tile.
    • Shuffle the treasure cards and deal two face-down cards to each player.
    • Place the flood cards in a separate deck and draw the number of cards based on the water level.
  2. Gameplay:
    • On their turn, a player can take up to three actions. Actions include moving their pawn, shoring up a flooded tile, giving a treasure card to another player, or capturing a treasure.
    • Players can move orthogonally (up, down, left, right) to adjacent tiles. Diagonal movement is not allowed unless a player has a specific role ability.
    • Tiles may become flooded during the game. If a tile floods, it is flipped to its flooded side. If a flooded tile floods again, it sinks and is removed from the game board.
    • After taking actions, the player draws two treasure cards and adds them to their hand.
    • After drawing treasure cards, the player draws a number of flood cards equal to the current water level and follows the instructions on each card. This may involve flipping or removing tiles from the game board.
  3. Collecting Treasures:
    • To collect a treasure, a player must be on a tile matching the treasure’s symbol and discard four matching treasure cards.
    • Once a treasure is collected, it is placed on the corresponding treasure figurine.
  4. Sinking Island and Escape:
    • As the game progresses, the water level rises. This is indicated by the water level meter.
    • If Fool’s Landing sinks or if any player is on a tile that sinks, the game is lost.
    • To win, players must collect all four treasures and move all players to Fool’s Landing tile.
    • Once all players are on Fool’s Landing, a player can play a Helicopter Lift card to escape and win the game.

Remember, Forbidden Island is a cooperative game, so communication and teamwork are essential. Players

Once Upon a Time. 

If you’d like the games you play to foster imagination in your kids, you can’t do better than this story-telling card game.  Each player gets cards with fairy tale elements (characters, places, magical items, and so on) and must work them into an ongoing narrative to be the first one to get rid of all the cards and end with their own “happily ever after.”

Families love the Once Upon a Time card game for several reasons:

  1. Creativity and Storytelling: Once Upon a Time is a game that sparks creativity and storytelling. Players are encouraged to use their imagination to create and tell their own fairy tales using the cards as prompts. This allows families to engage in collaborative storytelling and develop their storytelling skills.
  2. Interactive and Engaging: The game promotes active participation and engagement among players. Each player takes turns contributing to the story, making decisions, and interacting with others. This interactive nature keeps everyone involved and invested in the game, leading to lively discussions and laughter.
  3. Suitable for All Ages: Once Upon a Time is a family-friendly game that players of all ages can enjoy. It provides an opportunity for children, parents, and even grandparents to come together and share a fun and imaginative experience. The game can be adapted to match the age and storytelling abilities of the players, making it accessible to everyone.
  4. Easy to Learn and Play: The game has simple rules, making it easy for both young and old to learn and play. The cards provide clear prompts and suggestions for storytelling, making it straightforward to understand how to progress the game. This simplicity allows players to focus on the storytelling aspect without getting bogged down by complex mechanics.
  5. Encourages Communication and Listening Skills: Once Upon a Time fosters communication and listening skills as players must actively listen to each other’s contributions to build a coherent story. It encourages players to pay attention, respond, and build upon the ideas of others, promoting effective communication and cooperation.
  6. Replay Value and Variety: Once Upon a Time comes with a large number of story cards, offering a wide variety of themes, characters, and settings. This ensures that each game can be unique and different from the previous ones. The game can be replayed multiple times, allowing families to continue exploring new storylines and expanding their storytelling abilities.
  7. Quality Family Time: The game provides an opportunity for families to spend quality time together, away from screens and distractions. It encourages face-to-face interaction, collaboration, and shared laughter. Playing Once Upon a Time can create lasting memories and strengthen the bonds between family members.

Overall, Once Upon a Time is loved by families because it combines creativity, interactive gameplay, and the joy of storytelling. It offers a unique and enjoyable experience that brings families together, encourages imagination, and promotes communication skills in a fun and engaging way.


Not all games require you to stay indoors; a little exercise never hurts.  Although years may have passed since the last time you played this childhood game, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ready to join the geriatric set for Bingo Night at the senior center.  Instead, get the kids outside and running around with a game of kickball (think baseball without the bat).  All you really need is a big rubber ball and some space to run in order to get the fun started.

Kickball is a great family game for several reasons:

  1. Inclusive and Multi-Generational: Kickball is a game that people of all ages and skill levels can enjoy. It doesn’t require extensive physical ability or specialized equipment, making it accessible to everyone in the family. From young children to grandparents, everyone can participate and have fun together.
  2. Easy to Understand and Play: The rules of kickball are simple and easy to understand, making it a game that players of all ages can quickly pick up. All you need is a ball, a designated playing area, and some bases. The simplicity of the game allows for more time to be spent playing and enjoying each other’s company.
  3. Outdoor Fun and Physical Activity: Kickball is typically played outdoors in a park or backyard, providing an opportunity for the whole family to get some fresh air and engage in physical activity. It encourages running, kicking, and coordination, helping to promote a healthy and active lifestyle.
  4. Teamwork and Cooperation: Kickball is a team sport that fosters teamwork and cooperation. Family members must work together, strategize, and communicate to achieve success. It promotes unity and a sense of belonging as everyone rallies together towards a common goal.
  5. Friendly Competition and Bonding: Kickball offers a healthy level of competition that family members can enjoy. The game allows for friendly rivalries and lighthearted banter, creating a fun and exciting atmosphere. Family members can bond through shared experiences, cheering each other on, and celebrating successes.
  6. Social Interaction and Quality Time: Kickball provides an opportunity for family members to interact and spend quality time with each other. Playing the game allows for conversation, laughter, and shared experiences, strengthening family relationships and creating lasting memories.
  7. Flexibility and Adaptability: Kickball can be easily modified to suit the needs and abilities of the family members. Whether you have a large group or just a few players, you can adjust the rules, playing field size, or the number of innings to accommodate your family’s preferences and ensure everyone can participate.

Overall, kickball is a fantastic family game because it combines physical activity, teamwork, and enjoyment. It offers a chance to have fun, bond, and create lifelong memories with loved ones in an inclusive and engaging way. So gather your family, head outdoors, and kick-start a memorable game of kickball!


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