Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Family Game Time

If you would stop in at our home on any given night, chances are pretty good that you'll find us playing either a card game, dice game, or board game.

Playing games together as a family is a great bonding tool. Old-fashioned board games encourage us to think, to be together, and are also conducive to teaching our children the virtues of honesty and fairness. Trust me, we've had many tear-filled learning opportunities when we could talk to our kids about winning and losing (you know, you win some, you lose some.) And we've also had opportunities to discuss the importance of playing fair and honestly. ; )

We're not much of a t.v. family. We rarely have the television set on. I know that there are many different opinions on the inclusion of television entertainment in the family routine, but we are definitely on the very conservative side of that argument. We strive to find non-media routes to entertain ourselves and our kids. And playing games together as a family is one of those routes.

We all currently have our favorites. Lily loves playing UNO and Jenga. Ian really enjoys Monopoly and Life. Sergei and I enjoy playing Yahtzee and Farkle together. Brad is a big chess guy, as are Ian and Sergei. I just started learning how to play chess several months ago, and I must say that it is a fun game. And it's also a great game for encouraging strategic thinking in your children. I'm far from a stellar chess player, it takes years to become that, but I am enjoying the occasional game with one of my boys (in which I usually get my bum kicked!)

And for the adults out there, Brad and I recently discovered a strategy game when visiting new friends of ours over New Year's. It's called "The Settlers of Catan" and it's a great game to play with other adults or teens. Actually the suggested age range on the box is 10 and up. Ian already has been begging me to let him play!

We have a pretty large collection of games. WalMart has a good selection at relatively good prices, but I've also purchased some online through And I've bought a lot at thrift stores. When buying from thrift stores, you just need to make sure that all the materials are included - I do this by checking the "contents included" list on either the box or the direction sheet and counting the contents that are actually in the box.

So I encourage you all to take an hour or so a week and try to incorporate some family game time. It's great fun, and you'll be amazed at how much one-on-one conversation can occur during that time!
Have a blessed day!


Wendi said...

We enjoy games also. During warmer weather we like to play them on the back porch table in the evening. Two of our favorite things; enjoying dusk and playing games!

April said...

How old is Ian now? Jacob is 8 and LOVES Monopoly. We've been playing it a lot this winter - Disney version and Baseball version. :)

Another one to check out is Bananagrams. That's become a favorite as well since we played it for the first time when we were home for Christmas. Ian might need to be on a team (Jacob needs to be for spelling of advanced words and for a broader vocabulary), but it's amazing for spelling and vocab building. It's great when Jacob uses a word he learned from playing with us. Plus, I know you and Brad are big Scrabble fans and it has a lot of similarities! Happy gaming!!

Musical Maggie said...

My son is grown up and on his own now. We still enjoy playing games when he and his wife come home. They quite often bring a different game home for us to try out together. They are really good at finding games that I can play on my own because I am disabled and have limited use of my arms.

The McEacherns said...

Right now our game time only consists of a quick game of Candyland or Memory, but I'm looking forward to more depth once Isabel is a little older and Sister is home! We played Settlers of Catan several years ago at a friend's house and totally enjoyed it! said...

Do you guys have Quelf? It's pretty crazy and you definitely have to be ready to be outrageously ridiculous while playing but my family loves it! Lots of silly bonding and funny memories from Quelf at our house, and we've only had it for a little over a year.

Empty Nest Full Life said...

I am with you on the TV thing. We gave it up when my daughter moved back home, and we have had much more meaningful interaction as a family. My two kids are now grown, but it makes for much better visits without the constant noise of TV. You are wise. We can get into game time too, and I want to do more in the future. Jackie

MarshaMarshaMarsha said...

Eeeeeeee! We {heart} Settlers!