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February 6, 2017
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Tips for a Successful Family Game Night with Teens & Tweens

It’s pretty hard to get everyone together at home lately. With the kid’s sports and social schedules dictating much of what we do – or don’t do – on the weekends, having a few hours to be together and unwind is rare. The last thing I want to do on a free evening is sit in front of the television (yet another screen!) with all of us less than engaged. Take a proactive approach to make sure your Family Game Night is a tradition that is anticipated and super fun.

Here are some tips on ways to make your Family Game Night a huge success.


Start Small. Nothing is worse that announcing what you think is a great idea to your family and getting looks of despair. This is typically followed by lots of excuses why they are not available or don’t want to take part.

  • I have found that by blocking out the date about a week out and giving a start and end time makes a big difference.
  • Since we have a shared electronic calendar, I even started sending everyone an invitation, making the title something that gets their attention.
  • My rule is to keep it to no longer than 1 ½ hours.
  • You can typically get around 3 or 4 games in during that time.
  • The short commitment seems to be a good amount of time for the teens, who can then plan to do something after with friends if they would like.


Involve Everyone in the Game Selection. My sons ages span 10 years, so their interests are pretty different, except when it comes to games. They are all willing to try something new and are pretty competitive with each other. Be sure and have some fun planning together.

  • The interactive “Minute to Win it” type games are always a hit.
  • Buy a few new games. Budget and plan for a 3 or 4 new games a year, then swap with friends to use on their game nights.


Use Food to Engage. One thing that is really important – but sometimes overlooked – is the Family Game Night menu.


  • Popcorn Bar – Have popcorn ready in small bags, with toppings of M&M’s, Gummy Bears, candies, nuts, and flavored salts
  • Game Table Theme – Display your goodies on a table with open boards for tablecloths and Scrabble tiles displaying the name of the item in front of it.
  • Finger Snacks – Make eating while playing easy, with small bite-sized sandwiches and easy to pop in your mouth food items.

Most of all, be sure and have fun yourself. If your kids see you are having a great time, they will, too. That is a sure sign of a successful Family Game Night!