6 Ways to Make Family Game Night Fun
1. Plan a weekly game night. Designate a specific day and hour every week for family play. A set routine helps everyone make the commitment—one that's worth scheduling into your busy lives.
2. Include the entire family. To ensure family participation, assign teams so younger kids aren't left on the sidelines. Or pair younger children with a parent or older sibling so the expert player becomes a mentor rather than the undefeated champ.
3. Encourage collaboration. Foster cooperation between team members and, in a pinch, let opposing teams "help" one another. Create a spirit of friendly rivalry, not cutthroat competition. The idea is to have fun as a family, without leaving kids or younger ones feeling trumped.
4. Keep the game going. Think of holding a month-long UNO tournament—your own version of March Madness. By playing round after round, you maintain a sense of on-going involvement, keep up the suspense, and diminish the importance of winning any one game.
5. Be a good sport. Help your kids by modeling how to play fair, make an effort, and follow the rules—and how to let go and move on after the game is over. Discourage gloating, pouting, and grudges.
6. Laugh! The funny things that happen during games create wonderful bonding moments among all age groups. As long as games are played for fun, they can reduce stress, encourage communication, and create treasured memories.