When we heard on the news that one of the iconic game pieces from Monopoly—the boot, the wheelbarrow, the Scottie dog, the hat, the race car, the iron, the thimble, the top hat or the battleship—was being sent into retirement, it made us think.
First, about which one we would vote for to stay (on the Facebook page Hasbro set up for the public to have a say; the token with lowest vote gets the boot, no pun intended), then, which new token we would choose to replace it (the choices are toy robot, diamond ring, helicopter, guitar and cat).
And then, we just thought about Monopoly and other fun and fabulous board games that are sitting stacked in a closet somewhere, being ignored in favor of iPads and iPhones with their myriad apps, Instagram, Facebook, Xbox, Playstation and more.
What happened to good old fashioned family game night? We are so busy with activities, errands, homework, emails and the dreaded electronics—who has an hour to spend with dice, a board, cards, hourglass timers, questions, and answers. Well, we all do or we should because it’s important to make that time.
There are actually benefits of family game night, as corny as the term sounds (maybe should think of another name so as to not significantly turn off any tween/teens in the house).
Here at The List, we will spell out (Scrabble, anyone?) the top benefits and why you should try to schedule an hour a week with your crew.
Perks of Family Game Night
1. Spending Quality Time With Your Family
Games, by their very nature are fun and focusing on them means you are focusing on each other and the moment, rather than TV, homework, social issues, office politics, emails or the latest pic to post online. Reconnecting with your family with a shared purpose is fun and rewarding and builds the bonds of family—whether your are working with or against each other getting around that board.
2. Inexpensive Entertainment
Rather than a movie and dinner, bowling or other family jaunt that can cost some cash, hanging around the dining room table playing a game will keep your family entertained and all it will cost you is the popcorn and hot chocolate you make to go with it.
3. Teaches Your Family Lessons
Some games have cards that need to be read, spaces that need to be counted, trivia that needs to be answered, points that are won and lost. All of these are good lessons that build on what your family learns at school and at home.
4. Establish Tradition
Making a standing weekly game night gives your family something to look forward to and to count on. It also promotes a sense of responsibility as this is part of your kids’ schedule that cannot be missed or changed just because something better comes along.
You’re not signing your children up for an activity or dropping them at an after school sport. You are taking the time out of your busy schedule to spend quality time with them. It’s a set time when they will be hanging with you and get your undivided attention doing something fun.
Our suggestion for starting off (and this is the only time we will be okay with electronics on Family Game Night!), play a game of Monopoly (or any one of the original’s variations depending on the age or interests of your crowd) and then together go to the computer and vote on your out and in token choices—just be sure to do so before the February 4th deadline. Have fun!
For more on family game night and other tips to keep your family close, check out Poshmom!