Family Games

8 Family Games to Reinvigorate Family Game Night

By: Alissa LaSovage
Family playing chess on the floor of their family room for family game night.
Ages 3+
Critical Thinking

As we all know, family game night is an easy way for parents and kids to reconnect and have fun after a long week of school and work. Yet, once we’ve played our way through our closet full of puzzles and board games, it’s even easier to let the event fall by the wayside. 

Well, get that date back on the calendar, because now you’ve got all you need to reinvigorate game night in a big way. With these 8 family games and ideas, your family will have weeks of fun to choose from, and you’ll all easily remember how meaningful it is to explore, create, laugh and get moving – together.

Up and At ‘Em

Game night doesn’t have to involve actual games – any activity you do together will create memories and recharge the whole family as you slip out of the routine and into the creative.

1. If it’s light outside (or if you have a sizable basement), take game night off the table and into your own hands. 
These 15 Family Games to Play Outsidelike Hot Potato, Ghost in the Graveyard and Mother May I, require few (if any) materials and can be played by kids of all ages – with hilarious (and sometimes cardio-beneficial) results.

2. Your turn to contribute to the bake sale? Tackle this task AND family night simultaneously by making treats together! 
Kids can decorate to their hearts’ content (yes, a cupcake should have 4 gummy worms on top) and — bonus! — you can feel good doing a kind deed for your school or community. Need a little help to get started? The Highlights Kindness Baking Kit comes with all necessary dry ingredients – plus a cookie cutter, instructions and bonus activities – to make heart-shaped cookies for any occasion.

3. If cooking’s not your thing, pick any kind of project you like and do it together as a family. 
The Highlights Things to Do Set will give you more than a year’s worth of inspiration for projects like making bath fizzies, building water microscopes, drawing a family crest and starting a neighborhood newsletter.

Fun with Little Ones

Even if you’ve got tiny tots at home, there are still plenty of ways for the entire family to play together.

4. Put a spin on snuggle time and let your tyke be the storyteller. 
If your little one loves books, make an evening activity out of telling stories. Ask kids to tell you tales about their favorite stuffed animal, pet or action figure, and write down what they say. You’ll love reminiscing over the adorable anecdotes for years to come. If you need inspiration, you can set the storytelling stage with these Stick With Kindness Reusable Sticker Playscenes.

5. Make your way through a big activity book. 
Create friendly competition as family members take turns completing challenges, or go head to head to see who can finish first. The Great Big Book of My First Puzzles lets even preschool-age kids join in the fun!

6. Burn off energy with active play. 
Sometimes the tried-and-true classics are the most fun. Have a dance party, play hide and seek or pick another of these 7 Indoor Games for Little Kids to Play to help your kids giggle and move their way to a sound night of zzzz’s.

Games on the Go

Parents know that these days, you’ve got to grab quality time when you can find it – whether it’s on a visit to grandma’s house, at dinnertime, or even during a car ride.

7. Go back to the basics — no materials or batteries required. 
Some of the best games to take along are the ones that families have been enjoying for generations. Print this refresher of 7 Family Games to Play Anywhere, and have it handy in the car as your answer to the inevitable question, “Are we there yet?”

8. Take an adventure without leaving home. 
Even if you’re planning on staying put for the foreseeable future, there are plenty of games that can satisfy your wanderlust right from the kitchen table. The Highlights Which Way USA Subscription lets you explore two U.S. states every month with puzzle books, maps, souvenirs and more. The best part? You don’t have to pack a thing.

Alissa LaSovage
By: Alissa LaSovage

Alissa LaSovage has been writing for kids and families for more than 20 years. When she's not in the midst of a parenting adventure with her twin boys, she likes to read, travel, and spend time outdoors.