Family Game Time
Source: Tween Parent Staff
What could be better than being together with family or friends and having a fun and simple night of game playing? It may be trite in this day and age to speak of getting back to simpler times as being a worthy pursuit, but it might just be true.
Benefits to Tweens of a Family Game Time
Beyond the expected fun, family game time offers significant developmental benefits (both social and academic) for tweens. Some are obvious, some are not. Playing games together can:
- Give preteens a chance to socialize outside their peer group to compromise, negotiate rules, take turns, "police" play and challenge each other (without a keyboard or anonymity!).
- Promote cooperation and teamwork, especially if a younger child is involved and can be teamed up with a tween to work together.
- Lead into healthy development oriented discussions, like: the importance of honesty; how to win or lose graciously; and, the value of patience as other players take their turns.
- Offer the opportunity to strategize and problem solve through higher level reasoning skills. Game participants need to think, listen and speak to get an understanding of the game's "landscape" and to figure out ways to win (yes, win!).
- Show your tween that they don't have to be "plugged in" for entertainment to be interesting and fun!
- Give your tween the opportunity to beat you...an empowering experience!
- Illustrate the overall value of a family bonding experience.
Making a Plan
1. Start with selecting a time to begin, gain agreement and put it on everyone's calendar. Even post the date in a high-traffic area.
2. Choose a game to play; think of rotating the choice if you plan to make it a regular event.
3. Plan what to have for dinner or snacks based on the theme of the game or favorite take-out restaurant.
4. Turn off electronics (i.e., cell phones, TVs, computers, etc.). The goal is undivided attention.
5. Turn on the answering machine and let the games begin!
Fun Board Games to Consider
Apples to Apples
Check out this link to Board Game Ratings to see what others had to say about various board games.