Bingo! Here’s the Clue to Gaining a Monopoly on Family Game Night, Risk-Free.

I am so excited to write about family game night. My family loves playing games. We play cards at dinner (and yes, we even bring them to restaurants when we eat out). We play verbal games in the car while we’re driving. We play I Spy while we’re waiting in line at the bank. I’ve mentioned in previous posts that we often do nature scavenger hunts and other outside games to encourage discovery and build curiosity. We even play games with the dog, like treat pinball, where we all go to different rooms with treats and call his name, and he runs around from person to person like a lunatic and we get points when he comes to us. Much amusement is had.

As old-fashioned as it may sound, we devote a monthly family game night to playing games together. One of our favorite games is Dixit, a fantastic French game that encourages using your imagination, creativity, and vocabulary to make up sentences or stories about really interesting art on cards. We also play traditional games such as Clue, Monopoly, Munchkin, and Uno. We have a first-name-basis relationship with the local game shop owner, and we have seen every episode of “Tabletop” online. We play Wii games, Xbox games, and computer games as a family as well.

I could give you an idealistic view of this and say this is all fantastic family bonding and that we all huddle around a roaring fire and look at each other adoringly as we roll the dice and laugh. In reality, it’s not always perfect. We’re all competitive. Things don’t always end well. We will get into fights over cheating, interpreting rules, or who sneakily ate the rest of the snacks. Often, someone ends up stomping away, raising their voice, or in tears. I won’t pretend it’s never me.

So why am I excited about talking about family game night? Why do I keep subjecting myself to this? Because no matter how much we trash talk while we’re playing, no matter who started it and whose fault it was, and no matter who shoved all the M&Ms in her mouth when no one was looking (sorry, that was me), we come back each and every family game night to play again.

With the advent of phone games, we’ve extended our family game bonding to play together even when we’re not together. And it’s reassuring that after a stressful morning of rushing around, snapping at each other, and leaving in a general huff, I always love to hear the little chime from Words With Friends, Trivia Crack, or Draw Something notifying me that one of my kids took their turn. I know this is another way of them saying, “I still love you. Let’s play!”

Want to add some family game night excitement to your family’s routine? Check out the puzzles and games section of our webstore and pick up a great new game to get the ball rolling. You can also check out this great Pinterest board for more ideas.

Cricket Media Mama would like to apologize for upending the table and refusing to cook dinner for a month. You’re not grounded anymore. She knows you didn’t really cheat. All is forgiven. See you next month at family game night.