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How to plan for a family games night

Cheap Board Games

Get ready to create the perfect Family games night that will be a cherished tradition in many households where you and your loved ones can get together and create some special memories with a bit of friendly competition. With the right board games and a dash of creativity, these evenings can create memories that last a lifetime. Black Friday is the perfect time to stock upon all your favourite games for a special family night in. Planning is key to ensuring everyone has a blast. 


Step 1: Choose the Right Board Games

Selecting board games that cater to all ages and interests is crucial. Consider the age range of your family members and look for games that are engaging for both the young and the young at heart. Some all-time favourites that can bridge the generation gap include classics like "Monopoly" for the aspiring tycoons, "Clue" for the mystery solvers, and "Catan" for the strategists.


Tips for Choosing Games:

  • Look for Age-Appropriate Challenges: Games should be complex enough to keep adults engaged but simple enough for younger players to understand.
  • Variety is the Spice of Life: Include different types of activities – some that rely on luck, some on strategy, and others on teamwork.
  • Consider the Playtime: Opt for games with varying lengths. A mix of quick 15-minute rounds and longer, more involved games can keep the night dynamic.


Step 2: Get Creative with Toys and Activities

Incorporate creative toys into the mix to spice up the night. These can be great ice-breakers or fillers between more intense board game sessions. Toys like building blocks, interactive puzzles, or craft kits can foster a spirit of creativity and teamwork.


Embracing Creativity:

  • Craft a Story: Use story dice or storytelling cards to create group tales between games.
  • Build Together: Have a quick building challenge with blocks or Lego to engage the hands-on participants.
  • Artistic Breaks: Include drawing or colouring as a calming interlude, especially good for kids.


Step 3: Plan Your Space

The physical space where you play can greatly influence how enjoyable your night will be. Make sure your space is comfy for all players and you have enough room to play.


Setting Up:

  • Comfort is Key: Make sure there are enough chairs and that the area is well-lit.
  • Accessible Game Station: Keep a side table or shelf nearby with games and creative toys, so you can easily switch activities.


Step 4: Fuel the Fun with Snacks and Drinks

No games night is complete without a spread of tasty snacks and drinks. Keep the fare simple and not too messy—finger foods are perfect as they're less likely to damage your board games. Think sliced veggies, popcorn, or pretzel sticks. For drinks, have a variety of options, from juices and sodas to coffee or tea for the adults.


Snack Ideas:

  • Sweet and Savoury: Offer a balance of flavours to cater to different tastes.
  • Easy Access: Use trays and cup holders to minimise spills.


Step 5: Schedule and Timing

Having a rough schedule can help in transitioning between games and activities without losing momentum. Dont forget to take a break for snacks and drinks you will need to keep your energy up.


Crafting the Perfect Timeline:

  • Welcome Window: Allow time at the beginning for everyone to settle in.
  • Main Event: Schedule the longest board game for when everyone's most alert.
  • Flexible Ending: Keep the end of the night open-ended with lighter activities.


Step 6: Include Everyone

Family games night should be inclusive. Ensure that there are games and activities that everyone can participate in. If there are non-gamers in the group, having creative toys or simple card games can keep them involved without overwhelming them with complex rules.


Inclusion Tactics:

  • Ask for Input: Let each family member choose an activity for the night.
  • Rotate Roles: Have different family members be in charge of different tasks.


Step 7: Look Ahead to Black Friday Deals

With Black Friday around the corner, keep an eye out for deals on board games and creative toys. Retailers often offer significant discounts, making it the perfect time to grab some new options for your family games night at a fraction of the cost.


Black Friday Shopping Tips:

  • Make a Wishlist: Know which games you're interested in beforehand.
  • Compare Prices: Check different retailers for the best deals.
  • Online vs. In-Store: Decide if you want to brave the crowds or shop from home.


Step 8: Don’t Forget the Fun

The most important aspect is to have fun. Not getting too caught up in the competitiveness can make the evening more enjoyable for everyone. Remember, it's about spending quality time together, not just winning or losing.


Embracing the Joy:

  • Celebrate Good Plays: Encourage and applaud strategic moves and good luck.
  • Laugh it Off: Keep the atmosphere light, even if it doesn't go as planned.


Step 9: Capture the Memories

Take pictures or even keep a score diary of the night's events. These memories will be valuable in the years to come and can be a great way to reflect on the fun had by all.


Memory-Keeping Ideas:

  • Photo Album: Create an album dedicated to family nights.
  • Leaderboard: Keep a running tally of wins for a bit of friendly competition.

 Cheap Creative Toys

Step 10: Reflect and Adjust for Next Time

After everything is packed away and everyone has had their fill of fun, take a moment to reflect on what worked and what didn't. Each games night can be a learning experience to make the next one even better.


Post-Game Reflection:

  • Feedback Loop: Get everyone’s opinions on their favourite parts of the night.
  • Game Rotation: Keep things fresh by rotating out games that weren't a hit.


Planning the perfect family night in is about inclusivity and having a great time. Having the perfect games, creative supplies and tasty food will make this experience the best and your children will be happy for hours with a full stomach and family time. Have fun and make games night a regular family activity.


What is your favourite family games night activities?



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