Family Game Night

By Silver Dolphin Books on November 28, 2011
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How do you reconnect with your loved ones?  How do you make your time together into quality moments that are relaxing and fun? Here are some ideas you could use to spruce up your family fun time:

Cook Together

Make a plan to have a night in together at least once a week.  You can choose a family favorite or choose a family recipe.  It can be a fun and a chance to really connect.  You could also try a new recipe and get the whole family involved.

You can make it an educational experience by discussing nutrition and helping kids learn to make good, healthy choices.  Kids that have frequent family meals have healthier eating habits overall and carry them with them outside the home.  Cooking together is an opportunity to role model the habits you want your child to practice.

According to research compiled in an article by Washington State University:

Better nutrition. Mothers in the Nutrition Education Network of Washington’s focus groups said, “When we eat together, we eat better” (11).Cullen and Baranowski found that students in grades 4 to 6 who ate dinners with their families consumed more vegetables, more fruit and juice, and less soda. When children ate with their families, they used more low fat practices (such as trimming fat from meat and using low fat foods at meals) (19). In the Harvard study children who ate family dinners most days consumed more fruits and vegetables and less fried foods, saturated fats and trans fats and soda than children who ate dinner with family members never or a only a couple of days a week. Children who ate dinners with family members most days had substantially higher intakes of dietary fiber, calcium, iron, folate, vitamins B-6, B-12, C and E. No differences were found for whole grain foods, whole dairy products, red and processed meat or snack foods. An interesting finding was that children who ate family dinners more frequently had more healthy eating habits that were not related to eating family dinner, such as food eaten away from home.

Have a Family Favorite Dinner

Pizza is most kids’ favorite food.  Making it together, however, can be a fun family activity.  English muffins make great dough.  You can make your own sauce or use store bought pizza sauce.  Kids love to choose their own toppings and make their own pizzas!

Taco Tuesday or Sunday Sundaes are some examples of fun traditions you could start with your family.  You can get the whole family in on the action making tacos on Tuesday or ice cream sundaes on Sundays.  Make it fun!  You can make your family night the same night each week so the family comes to expect and look forward to the evening together.

Game night

What better way to bond than with a little family cooperation or competition?   Gathering around the table playing board games is a terrific way to foster social skills and good sportsmanship.   Here is another opportunity for parents to role model the kind of behaviors they want their children to learn, such as problem-solving, cooperation, sportsmanship, taking turns, sharing, and basic communication skills.

Unplugging from digital devices and diving into some classics like checkers, charades, or chess can be a lot of fun for any family.  Or, try something new.  There is a wide array of games that can be entertaining for the whole family, depending on your interests.

Another idea is to use the family gaming system such as Xbox, Wii, or Playstation.  Bowling, golf, or even Hasbro’s Family Game Night can be a wonderful way to have fun with the family.

Choose a night that works for the whole family.  Try to keep the schedule free so the night can become a traditional for the family through the years as children and interests grow.

Are you looking for some family games?  You can try a yard sale, thrift store, Ebay, and Craigslist for gently used and inexpensive games.

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