Are you thinking about hosting a game night for friends? Or do you already have a regular evening already with your family and simply need some new ideas to freshen things up? Having a list of possibles that you can pick and choose from always makes it easier to have game nights at home.
There’s nothing better than gathering around a table with friends or family and tackling some good old-fashioned board or card games. We live in a busy world, where it can be hard to find the time to get together for some much-needed quality time and scheduling a regular games night makes it easier to ringfence this time.
Families in particular, can benefit from a little planned togetherness. Kids can learn essential skills from more traditional pastimes like Bingo and Pictionary.
The benefits of regular game night
Here are just some of the benefits that should encourage you organise a games night:
- Promotes problem-solving abilities: Almost all games require you to think about what is going to happen and analyse your actions, or those of others. For kids especially, this can be used in other areas of their lives.
- Teaches good sportsmanship: It’s only natural that kids like to win and often so losing results in a tantrum. Regularly play helps them to learn the value of losing gracefully, which is an important attribute. It will help them on the sportsfield, classroom, playground, and eventually in their careers too.
- Develops social and communication skills: In a world where children are subjected to hours and hours of screen time, games can be an essential aspect to help them develop. By putting down their phones and getting away from TVs and computers, they are forced to interact and spend quality time with real people, developing their social and communication skills.
- A whole heap of fun: The number one thing that we love most about family game nights is that they are incredible fun. It’s a time to laugh and bond with your loved ones in a safe and enjoyable atmosphere
What games should you play with family or friends?
You’ve probably seen all the hype surrounding new games like “Watch Ya Mouth”, where you place a device in your mouth that holds your lips back and makes it difficult to talk. Players get cards with words or phrases on them which their opponents must guess via their hilarious explanations. It was one of 2019’s most popular games, but what could you play instead?
There are many different card games you can play with younger and older players.
- UNO: The perfect game to play with friends or family, where you try to put down all your cards down according to colour, symbol, or number. The first person to end up with no cards is the winner. UNO is made more interesting by “pick-up” cards, rainbow cards, and other variations which makes that process harder to do.
- Go fish: This is a great, straightforward card game for young kids. Players are given cards and then ask other players for the cards they need to get four of the same number. If the other players don’t have them they simply say “go fish” and the asking player then has to pick up from the pile. The first person to get all their cards down is the winner.
Board games are interactive and enjoyable which makes them a wonderful choice for games night. Our favourites include:
- Monopoly: Synonymous with family feuds developing over the highly competitive race for real estate, this game is, however, immense fun and, although competitive, is still a family favourite. It’s also great to teach younger children how to work with money. Each player gets a certain amount of cash, with the aim to buy real estate around the board, build infrastructure (houses and hotels), try not to go to jail, and attempt to buy the most highly-prized property from other players.
- Pictionary: Pictionary is something that old and young can enjoy. Players are given words or phrases that they have to draw and then get their opponents to correctly guess in order for them to move along the board. There are different types, with junior options for younger kids.
- Charades: This acting game is still incredibly popular with adults and kids. Players split into teams and one person gets a card with either a movie, song, books or TV show on it that they then have to act out and help the others guess correctly.
- 30 Seconds: Another game that has a variety of levels for different ages to enjoy, there are also country-specific options for players from all over the world to choose from. Players are split into teams and then after rolling the dice, one gets a card featuring a number of general knowledge topics such as people, places, movies, and songst, which they then have to help their team correctly guess without rhyming with or saying the actual word. The fact that this all must be done in 30 seconds forces hilarious errors.
- Bingo: Although technically not a board game, in live or online bingo, players are given a board or card with random numbers on it, which is why we’ve put it in this category. You have to listen as numbers are called out and mark them on your board. When you complete a row, you yell “BINGO!” and you’re the winner. Another great feature of the game is that it can be adjusted to a number of different age groups and difficulties. What’s more, you can print out your own cards and host a games night at your own home – have a look at these cards for some ideas.
Games for young and old
A lot of the games we’ve mentioned already are great for all ages, however, there are some games that are more suited for grown-up game nights.
- Cards Against Humanity: One of today’s most popular games, players are dealt cards with ambiguous or downright dodgy statements on them. One player then reads out a card that the other players must reply to or match up with using one of their cards. The player who reads the question then chooses the card they find the most hilarious. The round winner gets to keep the question card, and the one with the most question cards at the end of the game wins the game. Cards Against Humanity has a variety of expansion packs based on location or specialist subject and is an absolutely side-splitting experience for older teenagers and adults. Be warned though, people without a decent sense of humour should avoid.
- Online Bingo: There’s a plethora of online gaming options from the best online bingo to online scratchcards and everything else in between. It is a great way to add some fun into the evening … and you could win some money too. Remember that you’ll need to use separate accounts for each player, so make sure to sign everyone up individually — you might even be eligible for a welcome bonus when you create your account.
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