Now that the kids are older (they’re 14 and 12 now) I feel like it’s even more important than ever that we find the time to come together and spend time as a Family than it ever has been.
Sunday is family day here which means that we’ll have a nice family breakfast and then decide together what we want to do that day. Usually we’ll go out somewhere for the day (I always have some ideas up my sleeve) but even if we’ve had a busy week and the general consensus is that a chilled relaxing day is needed we’ll still always do at least one thing together – whether it’s a trip to the car boot sale, a game of bowling or even just a walk with the dog.
Through the week it’s not so easy to get that family time in though and often, even sitting down together for a family meal is impossible with everyone’s busy lives although we try as often as we can. Between after school clubs, football, homework, friends and work patterns it can often seem like we don’t see each other as much as we used to.
That’s why I developed a plan about a year ago now to take advantage of any time that we were all at home to have some family fun. I started to build a collection of Board Games – mostly from car boot sales – that I knew the kids would like to play and whenever we were all at home on an evening, I’d set up a board game on the dining room table and ask everyone if they wanted to play it with me which they always did.
My plan worked so well that these days, we have a mini games night a few times a week and it’s not always me who sets them up either! We now have a bookshelf fille with games that we’ve collected inthe garage and a shelf in the dining room filled with the games we like to play often. Our favourites at the moment are games like Dobble and Uno as they don’t need much setting up but we also love Rapidough and Jenga right now too as they always make us laugh so much. We also love Pie Face but it’s not the best game to play when you don’t have long as it gets quite messy!
The times we spend together playing board games are some of my favourite family times so I thought I’d give you a few tips today on how to have a great family board games night of your own….
- Don’t make it compulsory – if someone doesn’t want to join in then trying to make them is never going to turn out well.
- Don’t set rules for the sake of it – will it really ruin the fun if your teenager wants to bring their phone to the table while they play? I don’t stop mine from bringing their phones but I do make it so fun that they don’t want to go on them. The only time Miss Frugal looked at her phone the other night when we played was to send a snapchat of herself showing how much fun she as having playing Jenga.
- Take it in turns to choose the games you play so everyone gets a turn at choosing their favourite.
- Have some games that you can play quickly so you can squeeze in some games fun when you have hardly any time. Sometimes Mr Frugal finishes work at 8pm but we can still have a quick game of something when he gets home.
- Read and learn the rules yourself to new games before you get everyone else around the table.
- Know when to stop – my two can have fun together and get on really well sometimes but other times just looking at each other the wrong way will cause a fight. When they’re in that mood I know that there’s not much fun to be had so we just finish the game were in the middle of and then we stop.
For our quick games nights I specifically choose games that are fun and will make us laugh rather than long drawn out games and the newest addition to our collection is Jenga which we were sent recently to have a go at. We had Jenga when the kids were little but I was never really a fan – maybe because the games never lasted more than a few turns thanks to the kids lack of hand eye co-ordination at that point!
In case needed any more reason to hold your own family board game night, the 8th to the 14th of May is National Board Games Week. To celebrate this Pork Farms are hosting a National Board Games Championships in micropubs across Britain, as they did in 2016. You don’t have to go to the pub to join in though, you and your family can get involved by downloading a free family bundle to help you plan your own board games activity night at home – you could even win prizes in the process.
Here’s the link if you fancy signing up.
You can also follow them on their Facebook page and on Twitter as they’re planning to share lots more family board game ideas in the run up to National Board Games Week!
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