In this new (temporary) reality, many families are rediscovering the long-neglected game closet. But when you’ve exhausted the old classics like Monopoly, Sorry, and Apples to Apples, what can you do to keep game night fresh? The Your Teen staff put our heads together and polled our friends for some suggestions for Forced Family Fun. Read on for inspiration!
Fun Family Games
We splurged and ordered a Nintendo Switch for our house. The kids are loving the chance to play Mario Kart, and my husband and I are reliving fond memories of this game from our college days. Get even more Forced Family Fun by having your teens teach you how to play their favorite videogame!
Poker, ping-pong, Mahjong, Liar’s Dice, or Minute To Win It (there are tons of examples online.) If we can make a competition out of it, we’re down for it!
Board game round-up:
We have friends who are playing every game in their house and then deciding whether to keep it or “vote it off the island.”
Replace PE with a family sit-up or wall sit challenge. If you’re in a warm climate, jump in the pool and have a lap challenge, or do timed walking or jogging laps around the block (maintaining a safe social distance, of course). Perhaps the artist in the house could design and create the medals.
Family “Chopped” challenge:
Everyone creates a recipe using the same ingredients and then votes on the winner. Bonus: dinner is done!
Family jam session:
Did your teens bring home instruments from school? (We know at least one family who is pretty glad their fourth grader left their recorder at school.) Extra credit: Record it and share it with grandparents. Extra-extra credit: Teach the grandparents how to use YouTube or Zoom.
Project Runway-style fashion challenge:
Using non-traditional materials. Get out the hot glue gun and the Bedazzler and go to town. No t-shirt is safe!
Are jigsaw puzzles your jam? Find the hardest one and bring it on! Challenge another family to a duel to complete the same puzzle—who can complete it first, without killing one another?
However your family rolls, the name of the game is to have some fun while staying safe, and hopefully, sane. Game on!