Family Game Night with Toddlers & Preschoolers

Family Game Night with Toddlers & Preschoolers | Twin Cities Moms Blog

One of the best decisions our family has made recently is establishing a game night. Originally, we were hoping for a family movie night–something of a night off for my husband and I, where we could all just snuggle together on the couch, under a warm blanket, and eat deliciously salty popcorn while watching a movie. An evening where we could catch our breath as parents, but still love on our kids. Unfortunately, our 3-year old daughter would rather play than watch a movie, which is awesome, but also sucks. So we’ve instigated family game night, and we are having so much fun!

The first game night was born in the wake of a failed family movie night, and I wasn’t super thrilled about it, “Fine. I guess we’ll just play a game instead? Pour an extra large glass of wine, please!” We pulled out a deck of Go Fish cards I bought for $1 at Target, explained the game to our daughter (anticipating needing to explain it several more times), and started playing. To my surprise, she understood the game, she was good at it, and it was FUN! Not fun like this-is-fun-for-my-kids-so-I’m-happy-and-calling-it-fun. It was genuine smiling-and-laughing-stress-relieving-blow-off-some-steam-FUN! My daughter constantly asks, “Is it family game night tonight?” because she loves it, but I actually look forward to it too!!

Before family game night starts, there are a couple “rules.” All the toys need to be put away, and jammies need to be on. Usually, we’ll pop some popcorn. Last time, she just had a cup of (extremely watered down) hot cocoa. If I’m thinking far enough in advance, I may pick up a couple cheap “prizes” at the store, but most nights don’t have prizes. The only other requirement is a beer for Daddy and wine for Mommy!

Here are our favorite games to play (also a great gift idea!):

Family Game Night with Toddlers & Preschoolers | Twin Cities Moms Blog

**For card games, we use a chip clip as a card holder. They also sell card holders at Target for around $5.**

1. Sneaky Snacky Squirrel ($14.44 on Amazon)

2. Chutes and Ladders ($4.82 at Walmart)

3. Jigsaw Puzzles ($1 at Dollar Tree from 16-650 pc sets)

4. Don’t Break the Ice ($4.82 at Walmart)

5. Don’t Spill the Beans ($4.82 at Walmart)

6. Go Fish (3/$1 at Dollar Tree)

6. Crazy 8s (3/$1 at Dollar Tree)

6. Old Maid (3/$1 at Dollar Tree)

7. Hungry Hungry Hippos! ($12.99 on Amazon)


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