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 amazon.com. 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!