How to Start a Family Tradition With Family Game Night

by Kathryn Hatter

Connecting with the members of your family requires ongoing effort. One way to make this happen is by instituting a family game night. Everyone in the family -- young and not-so-young -- can take part in this delightful and entertaining family tradition. As you add this activity to your family’s schedule, you may need to work out kinks and bugs to make sure it works for everyone.

Plan a family game night that fits your family. Choose the time and length of the family night -- right after dinner for an hour or two might work for most families. Determine how the family will choose games to play -- taking turns would be appropriate. Set a game time limit so everyone has a chance to choose a game.

Hold a family meeting with everyone in attendance to discuss the new tradition. Encourage excitement about your plan by talking about the various games you might play -- board games as well as electronic games, perhaps. Ask family members to discuss various games they would like to play. Discuss other aspects of the family game night as well, including snacks and food you might serve and a family rule about no phones or other distractions during game night.

Choose a night that works for everyone -- either weekly, twice monthly or monthly, depending on family desires and schedules, advises the First Family Church website. Encourage everyone to plan schedules around the game night to enable everyone to attend.

Purchase special snacks or food for family game night that will appeal to the family. If your family’s selection of board games is low, purchase a few new games to start the tradition on a positive note.

Prepare for family game night prior to the time by making the snacks. Remind each family member about family game night earlier in the day so everyone remembers.

Hold the family game night as planned, serving food and playing games according to your plan. At the conclusion of the family game night, ask everyone for their thoughts and opinions about the game night. If family members have ideas about how to improve the festivities, discuss and implement the ideas as you deem appropriate.

Continue family game nights according to your scheduled plan. Every time the game night approaches, remind family members so they will anticipate the evening. Ask for suggestions for food to serve and games to place on the roster.

Items you will need

  • Board games
  • Snacks


  • If an older child balks at the idea of family night, you might allow him to invite one friend, suggests the Kansas State University website.
  • Institute a policy about fair rules of play to ensure that family game night remains positive and respectful. Suggested rules include good sportsmanship for both winners and losers, rule changes with everyone’s agreement and only positive, uplifting comments between players.

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.

Photo Credits

  • Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images