Anyone for a games night? With winter coming up, nights in are about to be all the rage (since nights out are about to be too cold to bother). The start of winter coincides with the start of #PrimaGamesFest – a celebration of family fun and board games – which really plays into my favour.
With this in mind I thought I would share my “secrets” to an epic family games night. Or at least one that won’t leave anyone (apart from maybe a sore loser) in tears
When planning a games night
Look at your age group
I have a “young extended family” meaning that most of my cousins have kids under the age of three. For games night we only involve the ones three and up (and even that’s a stretch because you know attention spans). So we look at games that are simple and fun like the gigantic snakes and ladders. This old school game is easy to explain and easy to play. The size adds extra whimsy and excitement and because it’s made of plastic it can be used outside as a lawn game for when it’s not crazy cold out there.
For the adults a few bags of chips and dip or ordering pizza is fine, but I like to be a little more deliberate with the kids. To avoid fights and keep an eye on portion control, I make “party packs”. Fill brown paper bags or lunch boxes with individual portions of chips, popcorn and sweets . I also make sure to fill their water and juice bottles – it reduces the amount of times you need to stop the game because they need a drink.
Team up with the little ones
Games like The Lion Guard Surprise Slides Roaring Rescue, is set up for pre-schoolers (3+) but some adult supervision is helpful at first. Team up with a kid and you can guide them along with “teamwork” instead of ending up with the “noooo I do self” tears and pieces going missing before they even get a chance to “race around the pride lands and help their animal friends”. The game has nice chunky pieces and the premise is pretty easy. You play as one of your favourite characters and instead of a dice you use a spinner. The spinner indicates a colour and you move to the next space matching that colour.
There are also exciting little additions like surprise route changes and the chance to rescue animals on the way. Its ideal to play together because it’s simple enough for kids to play yet competitive enough for the adults.
Get your head in the game
After taking a few insta snaps put away your phone and actually experience the games with your kids. It’s so easy to get caught up in social media while “playing with your kids” but this isn’t about keeping them busy so you can get a well deserved rest, it’s about focusing and making memories. Coincidentally my favourite games for making memories are memory games. Games like The Lion Guard Matching Game requires your full attention. You need to put all the cards picture side down and then try to pick up the most matching pairs. This is one of my favourites for mom and son time. We have had a few matching games over the years but this particular one has the most cards of any of our sets (72) and is actually quite challenging, challenging enough that I may have called it a draw half way in.
Make it a regular thing
We have a board game collection. We started it back when it was just me and Rob. Some nights we would chill out with a couple of glasses of wine and chat over a game of Ludo or Jenga. We are continuing the tradition with Aidy and his cousins because a family who plays together stays together (and learns that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose)
*This post was sponsored and inspired by Prima Toys they have an insane collection of games which you can find at all top toy stores…Here is a list of options for these cool winters nights, follow them on FB for more:
Twist & Turn
Disney 4 in 1 Game
Frozen Matching Game
Frozen Activity Packs
Lion Guard Surprise Slides
Lion Guard Matching Game
Peppa Pig Dominoes
Disney junior Surprise Slides
Minnie Play & learn educational game
Disney Princess Brainstorm
Sofia the First my nail studio
L.O.L. Surprise Game