Family game nights can either involve coercion or care, fun or frenzy, contentment or someone inwardly yelling “get me out of here.” The intention behind family time usually comes from a desire for fun bonding and relationship building. While everyone is stuck inside sheltering themselves from the cold, a family game night (done right) can make the weekend worthwhile. We’ve compiled five games and activities to bring you a fabulous night of family fun.
Who said smartphones only cause family isolation? Ellen DeGeneres’ app “Heads Up” proves otherwise. This fun-filled app includes the entire family by taking the game of “Headbandz” and mixing in charades, animals, music and more. The game can be played with any iPad or iPod. You simply pick a category, place the device on your forehead and try to guess as many words as you can, while everyone else spews out clues. But the game does not involve only talking, the music category has everyone sing part of a tune, while “act it out” is all about body language. This game can be played with the whole family (as long as everyone can read), and for those who can’t read, you can play where you whisper the word in that player’s ear, so that he or she can give clues too. At the end of the game, you can watch a video of everyone acting and yelling things out. It’s a hoot!
This activity has high rewards. Split up your family into two teams, and each team will have to bake the same type of dessert. Be it a cake, cookies, or brownies. Then, each team will set off to bake the most original shapes they can. You could cut your cake into pieces and build a tasty tower or make a family of bears out of brownies. Anything goes! In the end, there will be a vote based on originality, creativity and taste. It might be a good idea to keep someone unbiased, that could be a parent or one of the smaller kids, whose not afraid to tell it like it is.
If sports are your thing, and the cold weather is getting your family down, a harmless game of indoor volleyball could just be the trick. There’s only one catch: it’s played with your feet. And instead of using a ball, a gentle balloon will keep the lamp and television in tack. Again, break up into teams and hang a string between two walls as the net, keeping it about 1 foot off the ground. The teams will then get into crab position, and kick the ball back and forth using their feet only. Whenever the ball drops, the other team gets a point. Go ahead and play to 25!
Whether it’s life-sized Pac Man or Scrabble, bringing board games to life switches things up for everyone. For homemade Pac Man, take tape and form a famous Pac Man board, making sure you don’t forget the home base. Then, tape chocolates, quarters or anything else you can find at home that resembles a pellet along the board. Everyone takes turns being a ghost or Pac Man. Pac Man reaches down and tries to collect as many pellets as he can without being caught, while making the “waka-waka” sound after every acquisition. Meanwhile, the ghosts are blindfolded and try to catch Pac Man before the board is empty.
Every kid revels in the chance to build a fort with their friends, but I bet they never thought about building one with their parents. Building something together and then camping out in the living room instills a sense of security and camaraderie. Grab pillows and blankets from all over the house, and try to fill an entire room with the fort you will all sleep in. Before bed, you can make smores on the stove and build a scene of adventure by telling a story together. Have each person say a line of the story and see where it takes you.