Do you know what tonight is? I'll give you a clue:
Ok, so that wasn't so much a clue as completely giving it away, huh? Yep, tonight September 23 is first official National Family Game Night. It's put in on conjunction with the turnoff week, and it fits right in. Go grab someone and play some games tonight. It's one of those things that we don't do as a family nearly often enough, but we love it when we do.
I was lucky enough to be sent some games for my family to play last week, and oh boy have we been taking advantage of this!
I have an "adult night" set up with some friends this weekend to test out The Game of Things, and I can't wait. Basically, you get prompts and have to write down your response. All the responses are then read aloud, and you have to figure out who said what.
For example, "What would you do with chocolate?" While I could go with the easy "eat it" answer or the staid "bake with it" response, I think if I were playing I'd have to write down "swim in it." Now, this isn't as weird as it sounds -- working in Chicago, there is a chocolate factory west of the loop that you can smell on humid summer days. It always smelled so good and was so thick in the air, it felt like you were swiming in it. That's always stuck with me. And really -- who would guess that would be my response?
My personal favorite game so far is Bop It. I haven't shared this with anyone else yet. The game shouts out commands (twist it, pull it, bop it), and you have to do what it says, a new twist on Simon. It's a great stress reliever when I'm frustrated with work, and I'm happy to say that I've passed the novice level with flying colors.
Mister Man's absolute favorite is the new Connect 4X4 game. When we were in Florida in August, the hotel had this game to loan. And we borrowed it more days than not. The little sucker is pretty good and almost beat me the first day! This Connect Four is a little more complex, as you can play with up to four people, and it has two layers you can use to make your row of four. Plus, you can use special blockers to prevent other people from playing in spots. It definitely takes some more strategy, but while the game says it's for ages 8 and up, Mister Man is having the time of his life with this!
We have also tried out the Guesstures game, which is essentially a fancied up charades game -- and may I just say that my husband is horrible at this one? His math brain really shows up when he tries to figure out how to express something. It's a fun party game though, and we may pull this out, too, when we have our friends over this weekend.
And finally, we were sent four new card games from Hasbro. Mister Man is also into go fish, and I was getting a little tired of just the one game, but we now have a few new tricks up our sleeve. There's Monopoly Deal, which is a little above him; Crazy Old Fish War, which has added some fun variety into our old favorite; Scrabble Slam, which he's starting to learn but is a little challenging; and the Littlest Pet Shop Go Fish!, which Little Miss thinks is the coolest thing ever. She's taken this one over as her own personal game and made my parents play it over and over and over.
Those aren't your only options for game night though. Pick up any of your favorite games from Monopoly to Cranium to Sorry! to Clue to Candyland. This is something that we need to do on a more regular basis, and we're looking at setting up a regular game night at our house.
I also got some tips to make family game night more fun, and I'm going to use some of my favorites!
Fun food “pairings”: A special family game night menu will make everyone look forward to the festivities. Serve fun finger foods that are easy to eat during game play, such as hamburger sliders or chicken fingers. A make-your-own sundae bar is a sweet treat for dessert before or during game night. Or, use a family recipe to make your family game night unique.
Create a tradition: Whether it’s the way that teams are selected, a 30-minute bedtime extension, or having everyone play in their p.j.’s, establishing an activity on family game night that becomes a family tradition will create even more excitement around game play for everyone in the family.
Keep a family scoreboard: From week to week, recognize the family member who won the last family game night by posting their name on a special scoreboard that receives a place of honor on the refrigerator. Or, create a family crown that can be worn by the winner at dinner or during the next family game night.
Mix it up with “special guests”: To expand the fun, invite other families in your neighborhood to participate in a family game night tournament. If you have extended family members living in the area or if you are traveling during a scheduled family game night, invite everyone to participate!
Choose your favorite, and go play tonight. Hasbro has updated several of their games this year to make them even more fun and challenging than they were when we were growing up from Monopoly to Clue in addition to introducing new games like Pictureka!
In this economy, I'll take any cheap entertainment I can get, and game night definitely fits the bill. Do you want to play, too? You can win your very own Connect 4X4 here.
To enter, complete the mandatory entry below. Bonus entries are available but will be disqualified if you do not do the mandatory entry. This contest will run through Sunday October 3 at 9pm CDT. The winner will be selected by random.org and will have 48 hours to respond after being contacted, or a new winner will be selected. US addresses only, please. If you don't have your email address accessible via your profile, please be sure to leave it in your comment or you're out of luck.
Mandatory Entry: Let me know what your favorite games were growing up, or what you love playing with your families today.
Bonus Entries (If you do not complete the mandatory entry, these will not count!):
1. Visit Hasbro's website and let me know a game there that you haven't played before but that looks fun.
2. Follow this blog, and leave a comment letting me know (if you already follow, let me know that, too).
3. Follow Honest & Truly! my "regular" blog, and leave a comment letting me know (if you already follow, let me know that, too).
4. Tweet about this contest, and post the link of the Tweet below (one additional entry).
Good luck -- and go have some fun tonight!
Note: While I received the games listed above for my family, I received no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed are my opinions alone.