How To Plan a Video Game Night Your Kids Will Love
When we think of family game night, board games usually come to mind. However, with the right games, a video game night can be just as much and – and it will probably win you major cool mom points with your kids!
Even if you’re not a gamer, you’ll have loads of fun playing together. Plus, your kids will love that you’re taking part in an activity that they already love. Do it up with snacks, cool gaming consoles – and even matching team “uniforms” – and you’re good to go.
set the date
Pick a day and time when everyone is home and get ready to game. Between sports practices, after-school actitivies and homework, weekends may be best. Friday nights are particularly good, when everyone is ready to unwind after a long week. Decide if your family video game night will be a weekly ritual, or if you’ll have one family video game night per month. Either way, mark your calendar (and the calendars of everyone else in your house who keeps one).
Set the Scene
You might assume that kids want to play their video games on their own, locked away in their bedrooms. The reality is that most kids love it when mom and dad play with them. To set the scene, choose the best place to play. While it might be tempting to set up your kids’ gaming systems in their bedrooms, it’s often best to keep the gaming console in a common family space, such as a family room or living room. This will not only make it easier for you to keep tabs on what your kids are playing, but it will also make it more likely that the entire family will want to join in and play together.
And since no team sport is complete without uniforms, have some fun by getting matching graphic tees or even lounge sets. Keep some cozy blankets on hand, too, for chillier evenings.
Grab All the Snacks
Make sure everyone’s favorite snacks are on hand. After all, what’s a game night without snacks? Choose snacks that kids already love to eat, like popcorn and chips. You might also want to get a bit creative with the foods you serve and cook up some snacks that follow the theme of the video games you’ll be playing. Bake some Pac-Man cookies or prepare a couple of Minecraft-themed Bento Boxes.
Choose the Perfect Video game… or TWO
It’s ideal to choose from multi-player games that everyone can play. Pick family-friendly video games that the entire family will enjoy. Start by considering your kid’s favorite video games at the moment. In our house it’s Minecraft, so we play it often. There are lots of trusted online suggestions that can help you find age-appropriate video games to play as a family. Parenting media review website Common Sense Media is an excellent resource, and you can filter for games by age group.
In addition to Minecraft, here are a few other favorites. Note: some are single player games, but that doesn’t seem to stop kids from having group fun.
Mutiversus (characters from Warner Brothers properties such as Superman, Batman, Tom & Jerry, etc.)
Overcooked! (think The Bear meets a burning building deadline)
Mario Party – like a board game but on a video game console.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Snipperclips (Nintendo Switch) is great for younger kids.
Jackbox – an online game perfect for game night that’s good for older kids as well (though some games are more kid-friendly than others).
Single-player games with online multiplayer capabilities
Animal Crossing New Horizons
Single-player games (mobile)
Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted This single-player game is fun to play with other people (Note: prepare for some semi-frightening jump scares)
Make Sure Everyone’s a Player
Besides the console and video games you choose, you’ll also need to consider having additional video game controllers on hand, so that each member of the family can play. It may even be fun to choose customized controllers. You can choose themed remotes or ones that are just right for little hands. Make sure every member of the family can play.
Go ahead and put away the usual board games and plan a video gaming night for your family. Playing video games is a great opportunity for you to enjoy more time together as a family. Plus, your kids will think you are the coolest mom ever.