Coming up with fun family game night ideas is no easy feat and half the night can go by just trying to decide what to play. The challenge is finding games that will provide an atmosphere of fun and camaraderie for all family members, be of interest, and a challenge to everybody, and can be played by people at various ages. It is also a challenge to get family members (kids and adults alike) away from their devices.
Game night doesn’t have to be complicated! Our list of the 5 best games for family game night easily brings the family together to play, communicate and share in good old-fashioned family time – “sans tech”. Chill, laugh and learn together, and discover each others’ sense of humor!
1. Puzzles – Great for Bonding While Building Concentration Skills
During COVID 19 lockdowns, puzzle sales went through the roof. Puzzling? Not really. Let us help you put the pieces together. Many families re-discovered the fun and challenge of working together as a team and talking to each other at the same time. Part of the fun is shopping for the puzzle. You can find puzzles at many levels of difficulty or puzzle pieces. There are also some 3D puzzles that build a physical structure.
Here are some ideas for finding fun puzzles for your family:
- Pictures that are particularly meaningful to your family – such as a landmark you’ve already been too, or are planning to go to
- Animals that your family loves, or look like one of your pets
- Hobbies that your family or kids enjoy
- Famous characters
Alternatively, for a really unique and personalized approach, you can take a photo and have a jigsaw puzzle created from it. Take a family favorite image, and make it into a puzzle or take funny pictures of family members, which they will only see once the puzzle is completed.
The bottom line is having your family working together around a table is great for bonding. The conversations that will come out while you are all searching for that evasive piece of the blue sky are sure to be precious moments.
2. Treasure Hunts – Great for Team Building and Action
This suggestion is a real hidden gem! This family game is limited only by your imagination and the effort you put into it. It can be played by the individuals in your family or by breaking into pairs or groups – it’s usually a good idea to pair up an older and younger member of the family. It can be played in your house, at the local park, a mall, etc. The way it works is that all parties (teams) are given a list of things to find, and a time limit to report back with the results. Different items can be given different point levels. After the time limit is reached, all parties return to the home base, the findings are reviewed and points are allocated.
Part of the fun of this game can be making the list of items to find. The only challenge is creating a list that is realistic for the space you are playing in.
3. The Newlywed Game for Families – Build Fact-Finding Skills
How well do you all really know each other? This game is not originally a family game – it was a TV game show about Newlyweds from the stone age (i.e. before the internet). But, this game is very easily adaptable as a family game. During each turn, a couple of family members are paired up and challenged via a series of questions to see how well they can predict what the other person will say. For example, if a dad and a daughter are paired up, you can ask the dad to leave the room (or put on headphones blasting Metallica) and ask the daughter 5 questions that she needs to predict how Dad will answer.
Following that, you would do the reverse, and ask the Dad the questions about his daughter (without her hearing). Finally, you would ask them both the same questions for themselves and compare how well the other person predicted the answers. Does dad know his daughter’s favorite song? Does the daughter know her father’s favorite flavor of ice cream?
You can make the questions as edgy or innocent as you like. Either way, it’s sure to generate lots of laughs and maybe some tiny arguments (such as “you always order chocolate ice cream!?)
4. Charades – Great for Social Skills Building, Creative Thinking
You can’t go wrong with this classic! Split up into teams and assign one person to act out a word or phrase without speaking. The rest of the same team will need to guess what the actor is trying to express. Have the teams alternate between them until each team member has had a chance to be the actor. Turn up the challenge factor by setting time and gesture limits.
Since there could never be too many Frozen references, check out this Frozen 2 clip that perfectly shows how the game is played. Aren’t you glad this list isn’t about ideas for building a snowman?
5.Kids Against Maturity – Great for Hilarious, Belly Laughing, Silly Fun
Kids Against Maturity is for fun-loving parents who don’t take themselves too seriously. Made by parents for parents, it’s unapologetic toilet humor, sprinkled with fun innuendoes for the adults in the room is the ultimate combo for a crazy fun, family game night.
The rules of KAM are simple to learn. And with all due respect to the other activities on this list, we think this is the go-to-game for family game night.
A game that will have the kids bursting at the seams laughing from certain poop or fart related phrases – or better yet, to hear their parents say them is sure to be an instant classic in your household. Laughter is contagious so once one of you starts, it’s only a matter of time until the whole family is ROFL.
An award-winning game, it was voted one of the top 20 family games of 2020 by CNN. The game is also travel-friendly, making it the perfect companion for that family road and camping trips. Now with the availability of expansion packs, we can unabashedly say that Kids Against Maturity is one of the best games for family game night. Boring, humorless parents aren’t invited to this party!