Looking for something fun to do Friday Night with the family? Why not host a Game Night? Start a tradition in your family that every Friday Night you stay in and play games. You can take turns with each member of your family picking their favorite game. Or invite friends and neighbors over for a casual, inexpensive, and very fun evening.
We’ll give you some ideas on how to host some awesome game nights, as well as our top picks for family fun games.
Why Your Family Game Night is going to rock –
Add some great food.
Keep it low maintenance by ordering in pizza, making chocolate chip cookie bars, or having an ice cream sundae bar. Indulge in your favorite munchies. If you are feeling more inspired, try out some of those appetizer recipes you keep marking and then never making. For the adults, have some beer in the fridge, make a pitcher of margaritas, or try out that new drink recipe. (See Rachel Ray’s site for some great drink recipes.) Make non-alcoholic versions for the kids. If you are inviting friends over, have them bring an appetizer or dessert to share.
Serve up some silliness!
Play some games that are just downright silly so everyone will be laughing. Some of our favorite gut-busting games are:
3 Years Old and Up:
– This card game will be a hit with your pre-schoolers, but the rest of the family will love it too. This is a wild, loud, and fun card game where you throw cards down and then react quickly based on which card is showing. You’ve got to tweet for the birds, clap for the bugs, and toot for the beans. Who doesn’t love making raspberry sounds for the Bean cards???
6 Years Old and Up:
. In this game, you’ll have to use your creativity and imagination to answer crazy questions and do silly stunts. For example, you might have to take off your socks and shoes and have your two big toes talk to each other about potato chips. Crazy characters like Super Ninja Monkey, Pirate Luigi Pepperoni and the Platypus help you cruise around the board. This game is a huge favorite with our kids.
8 Years Old and Up
This game is perfect for larger gatherings since 8 people can play. We’ve played it during Holidays when the relatives are over. We’ve taken it on vacation for some evening fun. In the game, each player chooses the sound of a typical farm animal. As cards are quickly flipped over, tongue-tied players stumble and stutter to blurt out the animal sounds of the other players. The fun part of the game is that the animal on the card is not the animal sound you need to make so you get all confused and tongue tied. This game is hilarious. (It’s also a great drinking game for adults but you didn’t hear that from me.)
Put on a Costume.
Why just play a game when you can play the game in a silly way? For example, if you are playing a pirate game, have everyone wear pirate hats or eye patches. If playing Snorta, wear an animal mask. Make them out of paper plates before the game begins.
If you invite a few families over for Game Night, have them each bring their favorite game. Set up a game in the kitchen, one in the family room, and one in another room. Each person then moves round robin to the next game as they finish playing. That way you’ll end up playing a few different games and not end up stuck playing the same thing all night. Have a kids game table and adult game table if you want and make sure everyone knows which table to move to at the end of their game.
Get those cards out!
Whatever happened to the fine art of playing cards? My parents said that when they were just married and having babies, one of their main forms of entertainment was to invite over friends, also with babies, and play cards. I believe they said they used to line us babies up and throw us snacks as they played cards, although I could be imagining that.
The poker craze brought a newfound attention to card playing again, but it’s not the only card game in town. There are some other very competitive games to try. My husband’s family is from Iowa and they play Eucher. In Iowa, Eucher is treated as if it were a religion. Wikipedia has the rules. Backalley Bridge is another favorite. When playing for cards, use pennies or macaroni noodles for “betting” or keeping score.
(I’ve included links to the rules here but if you are like me, I have a hard time reading the game rules and then actually figuring out how to play it. So, a better strategy is to invite someone over who knows how to play. Create your guest list based on who knows how to play what.)
If you are going to play games, you’ll need prizes. Large chocolate bars or movie-theater size boxes of candy are great prizes to give to the game winners. If you are playing with younger kids you’ll need to make sure that everyone is a winner but for older kids and adults, let the competition begin. You can also play for chores or activities as prizes. If Mom wins, she gets to give a chore coupon to someone in the house so they have to empty the dishwasher. Before the game, have each player write down 2 – 3 coupon ideas. If they win, they get to hand in their coupon to another player. The other player then has to do what it says on the coupon. (You might need to set some limits but feel free to be creative.)
If you have a Nintendo Wii, you can always have a Wii Game Night. We’ll do a separate post on that in the future.
We hope these ideas have inspired you to stay home and play games one night soon. By adding some creativity, you can make sure everyone will want to come to your house on Game Night. We’d love to hear your ideas on how to have a great Game Night at home. What are some of your favorite games?