My favorite way to spend quality time with my husband and kids is to have a family game night. We also get together with other families for game night, too. In fact, I’m working on scheduling the next one right now.

I think the perfect family game night includes fun board games, tasty snacks, and creates lasting memories. I absolutely love it when my daughter talks about things that happened during a previous game night because it shows how impactful those moments are to her.

If you want to ditch the screens for some quality bonding time with your kids, then here are my tips on how to host the perfect family game night.

Set a Date

Whether this is your first time planning a family game night or not, it’s helpful to schedule a date and time. It gives everyone something to look forward to and ensures nothing else gets scheduled during that time.

Since we have younger children (ages 6 and 8 years old), we usually plan for Friday evening or Saturday late afternoon/early evening. When we first started having game nights, we planned for about 30 minutes to an hour. Over time, we’ve worked up to longer as our kids attention spans during board games grew, and we’ve added in snack breaks.

Choose Which Games to Play

I highly recommend pre-selecting a handful of games. We found that trying to pick what to play took up too much precious time that was meant for playing. Instead, we choose two to four games ahead of time. We may not have time to play all of them, but then we know which ones to start with next time.

Select the Snacks

Every good party has snacks, right? We get snacky when we play, so we always plan for some food. It can be fun to pick a common theme for the games and snacks.

We also think about whether or not we’ll be eating while playing or if we’ll take breaks. For example, if we’re playing card games, we steer clear of snacks that make hands too dirty or greasy. When we order pizza, we play a game and then stop to eat before starting the next game.

Some of our favorite snacks include pretzels, chips and salsa, snack mixes, veggies, fruit, and cookies.

Invite Others to Join

Now that you know the basics of hosting your own family game night, why not invite another family over to join you? We have a few families who we get together with to play board games. Sometimes we all play together as a larger group, and sometimes the kids play their own game together while the adults play something else. These seven fun family games are great options!

I hope these tips help you with planning your next family game night. If your family also enjoys video games, check out fellow Toy Insider Parent Andrew Bennett’s suggestions for Video Games the Whole Family Can Enjoy Together.

About the author

Darcy Zalewski

Darcy Zalewski

Darcy Zalewski is an avid gamer who believes gaming is an excellent family activity. Happily raising two little geeklings with her equally geeky husband in the land of cheese, aka Wisconsin. Darcy loves both video and board games, as they provide infinite family bonding opportunities. When she’s not gaming, she’s crafting, reading dystopian novels, or discussing one of her many fandoms. Her writing has also been featured on Babble, CafeMom, and Connect with her on Twitter at @darcyzalewski.