Boost Your Mood With A Family Game Night

With the pervasiveness of video games and television competing for everyone’s attention, board games have been relegated to something we did with our parents. It was a simpler time when we didn’t have cool high-tech gadgets and ‘always on’ internet. Why not dust off that stash of old board games and enjoy a unique family bonding experience? It’s not only fun, but studies have shown that it can improve kids’ mental and emotional development, and help them perform better in school and social settings.

Hosting a good old-fashioned game night is a both fun and affordable way to spend time with your kids. According to sociologist {and happiness expert} Christine Carter, over 90% of families who partake in family game nights report that playing games together improves their mood–even for 13-17 year olds. In fact, a recent survey (commissioned by Hasbro but conducted by an independent research company) found that the more a family plays games together, the more satisfied parents tend to be with their family time.

She suggests deciding ahead of time and setting a specific day to be your weekly game night, and then be consistent so that it becomes a ritual anticipated by everyone. In order to make the most of family game night Christine offered these 3 tips which we thought were very helpful:

  • Don’t feel compelled to play games that bore you. Make sure you have a selection of games that work for everyone in your family, no matter their age. Family game night should be fun for everyone.
  • Don’t keep score or automatically let kids win. Although rivalries can be really fun (47 percent of those polled said the fiercest rivalries were between parents and kids during family game play) they can obscure the benefits of family game night. Once everyone is enjoying the process and fun of playing games together {without obsessing over who is winning or losing} then feel free to go back to keeping score. This teaches kids the important skill of winning and losing gracefully.
  • Be the fun family in your neighborhood. As kids get older, time with their friends becomes more important to them than time with their family. Don’t let these priorities conflict! Instead, encourage kids to invite a friend or two to come to your family game night. Let the teens choose the food and the music (but ask that they check their smart phones at the door!).


Having dusted off our own family hidden stash of board games which included Monopoly, Risk, Scrabble, Yahtzee and Sorry we wanted to find some newer family games for those who might be curious to try some new challenges. These 9 popular board games {that you may never have heard of} are our picks of the best family games for 2015 {thus far}.  Images are courtesy of Amazon and Walmart (where these games can be purchased).


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