4 Great Reasons to Have a Family Game Night
Gone are the interminable afternoons doing circuits around a Monopoly board. Modern board games are now much more sophisticated while remaining friendly to all age groups (yes, including grown-ups). Whether rescuing the world from the grips of a pandemic or finding the simple joy in stacking farm animals, whatever your age range is, there's definitely a game you and your kids will love.
1) Board games teach valuable soft skills
Board games help to teach a wide range of skills applicable to all ages. They teach simple things like learning how to take turns and having the fine motor skills to pick up and roll dice. They also teach help to abstract concepts like probability, long-term planning, and teamwork.
Apart from neatly defined abilities, games also help ground abstract emotional concepts like fair play, how to deal with being attacked, and understanding the difference between a friendly competition and the real world. They help us learn how to lose gracefully and, more importantly, how to win with grace.
2) It's a social form of play that doesn't involve screens
Board games may not be as flashy as their electronic cousins, but whether for reasons of variety, reducing screen dependence, or concerns about eye strain, board games are an excellent way to get kids engaged without needing a device.
Board games are designed to be fun and engaging in ways that are entirely different from video games (because there's no way they can compete directly). There's nothing quite so tactile in a video game as fanning a hand of cards or carefully stacking some wooden components. Left to their own devices, children will often 'play' with board game bits just because kids love playing with objects.
3) Valuable bonding time for the whole family
While there's nothing inherently wrong with devices, they are mostly designed for single users. Board games are, by design, social activities which require multiple people to come together around a table and work together to have fun.
Even though many board games are designed for kids, titles for older audiences can still be enjoyed through the use of teams - pairing an older and younger player, for example. There also exist many co-operative games where all players have to learn how to work together best to achieve a common goal. Want to save the world as a family? Board games will let you.
4) It's a chance to create something that lasts
Whether breaking out a quick game before bedtime or a pre-set weekly session, family game nights can become a household tradition that even cousins and in-laws can get in on. If game nights are a hit, they can become a relatively inexpensive way for you to relax and unwind without even leaving the house. You can even have some grown ups only sessions to explore games that kids aren't yet ready to play.
If you're looking for a game to get you started, Loony Quest draws aesthetic inspiration from video games (levels, worlds, power-ups) and is a load of laughs.
Calvin Wong writes for BoardGamePrices.com. As a writer and writing teacher, he loves games where a strong narrative emerges from elegant systems. He is constantly thinking about stories and storytelling in games, on stage, and on screen.
Image Credit: Haba Games