The Village - Fool proof ways to make sure family Game Night is a win for everyone!

Helping to raise parents with our own blend of parenting stories, advice and cool finds.
The village: helping raise parents with our own blend of parenting stories, advice, hacks and cool finds
Two kids playing a game.

PLAY

Foolproof ways to make sure family Game Night is a win for everyone!

By Mastermind Toys

Family game nights are a fun way to bond as a family and help your children develop their cognitive skills. We’ve partnered with Mastermind Toys to bring you a solid plan to champion Game Night with kids. (Insert woo-hoo here!)

How to keep it fun

Game Night tips to guarantee fun for the whole gang

When it comes to starting family game nights on the right foot, don’t leave it up to chance. We have 5 easy and creative ways to set up any game night for a win. (High five!)

Learn 5 tips for a super fun game night

Here are 5 fun ways to start off family game night right:

  1. Have the kids pick a game they like
  2. Keep a small number of games in the rotation to allow your children to become really familiar with the rules
  3. Offer games at a level the youngest player can participate in
  4. Team up kids with adults
  5. Switch team members each time you play
  6. Offer fun (and unmessy) snacks while you play, such as: plain popcorn, jelly beans, or baby carrots

“Have you ever heard anyone say that they’re playing to lose? Never, right? Explain to your children that YOU understand how they’re feeling. These emotions are very real and they shouldn’t be dismissed.”

Challenges to overcome

How to take the edge off when kids have a competitive spirit

Family game nights are a fun way to spark kids’ strategic skills–but sometimes (just sometimes), parents may need a side strategy to help highly competitive players control their own game. (Breathe!)

Learn how to help children manage their emotions during a competition

Here are a few great ways to address emotional awareness during a competition

1. Acknowledge that being competitive is natural

Have you ever heard anyone say that they’re playing to lose? Never, right? Explain to your children that YOU understand how they’re feeling. These emotions are very real and they shouldn’t be dismissed.

To show your support, you can use phrases like:

“Everybody wants to win so I get how you feel.”
“I hear you buddy, do you want to replay and try again.”
“It’s OK to feel sad that you lost, but not everyone can win every time.”
“The most important thing is that you tried your best and that you have fun.”
“Is there something you would do differently next time?”
“Don’t give up. Practice makes perfect. Keep trying and you may get it next time.”

2. Call out negative behaviour

Many kids want to win to get praise and acceptance. If they cheat, are being unkind, or have a tantrum, here are 6 ways to help children regain their cool.

When negative behaviour enters the scene, it’s important to tell children:

  1. It’s OK to want to win, but it’s not OK to be untruthful or mean
  2. Breathe and count to 10 or teach them other calming techniques
  3. Take a break from the game if necessary
  4. Model positive behaviour
  5. Reinforce that playing is meant to be fun for everyone
  6. Acknowledge and praise them for trying and compliment good behaviour

How to avoid sore-loser-syndrome

Model a healthy way to lose

A wise coach once said, you can lose or you can learn. As tempting as it may be to let the child win every time (wink-wink), there’s more value in learning how to deal with losing. Playing family games is an amazing opportunity to teach kids how to lose (or win) with grace and how to learn from each experience.

Teach kids how to feel like a winner when losing

Here are 8 ways to help kids feel like a winner on family game night!

  1. Model good sportsmanship
  2. Focus on the positive plays
  3. Explain that winning or losing may have to do with chance
  4. Show the child breathing and calming techniques
  5. Remind kids that it’s not nice to brag about winning
  6. Encourage kindness and congratulate the winner
  7. Tell each other how fun it is to play together
  8. Teach kids about the power of “yet” and how practice makes perfect

Mastermind Toys recommendation of games

Level up family game night

Whether it’s a rainy afternoon or the kids have said “I’m bored” a gazillion times, playing games as a family strengthens bonds, while building social and cognitive skills. Our friends at Mastermind Toys definitely know a thing or two about this! Here is a curated list of their favourite family games. These great picks will help children learn how to follow rules, understand good sportsmanship, develop strategic thinking skills, and of course, have lots of fun.

Games

1 Floor is Lava Hot idea to spark gross motor skills with imaginary lava. Age 5+
2 Peppa Pig Muddy Puddle Game It’s a pig deal to see which Peppa character will win the race. Age 4+
3 Hungry Hungry Hippos Have a ball & develop fine motor skills while catching marbles. Age 4+
4 Chutes and Ladders Ladder up to great fun when you move up or chute down. Age 3+
5 Monkey Around Game Go bananas on building gross motor skills with fun moves. Age 2+

Games

6 Jenga Build family bonds & eye-hand coordination with a block tower. Age 6+
7 Jumanji The Game Fan of the movie? You’ll be a bigger fan of racing to be rescued. Age 6+
8 Throw Throw Burrito Picture dodgeball and a card game all rolled into one. Literally. Age 7+
9 Exploding Kittens Try your hand at a prrrfect kitty-powered strategic card game. Age 7+
10 Gnomes at Night Cooperative Game Players work together to maneuver gnomes around mazes. Age 6+

Games

11 Clue Game Bring out detective skills by solving mysteries and cracking codes. Age 8+
12 Upside Down Challenge Game 1 pair of upside down goggles. 25 challenges. Endless fun! Age 8+
13 Catan Build cities & settlements with this award-winning game. Age 10+
14 Forbidden Island Game Adventurers love planning how to collect treasures and escape. Age 10+
15 Amazing Labyrinth Game Create a path to find lots of treasures with this award winner. Age 8+

PLAY

Foolproof ways to make sure family Game Night is a win for everyone!

By Mastermind Toys

Family game nights are a fun way to bond as a family and help your children develop their cognitive skills. We’ve partnered with Mastermind Toys to bring you a solid plan to champion Game Night with kids. (Insert woo-hoo here!)

How to keep it fun

Game Night tips to guarantee fun for the whole gang

When it comes to starting family game nights on the right foot, don’t leave it up to chance. We have 5 easy and creative ways to set up any game night for a win. (High five!)

Learn 5 tips for a super fun game night

Here are 5 fun ways to start off family game night right:

  1. Have the kids pick a game they like
  2. Keep a small number of games in the rotation to allow your children to become really familiar with the rules
  3. Offer games at a level the youngest player can participate in
  4. Team up kids with adults
  5. Switch team members each time you play
  6. Offer fun (and unmessy) snacks while you play, such as: plain popcorn, jelly beans, or baby carrots

“Have you ever heard anyone say that they’re playing to lose? Never, right? Explain to your children that YOU understand how they’re feeling. These emotions are very real and they shouldn’t be dismissed.”

Challenges to overcome

How to take the edge off when kids have a competitive spirit

Family game nights are a fun way to spark kids’ strategic skills–but sometimes (just sometimes), parents may need a side strategy to help highly competitive players control their own game. (Breathe!)

Learn how to help children manage their emotions during a competition

Here are a few great ways to address emotional awareness during a competition

1. Acknowledge that being competitive is natural

Have you ever heard anyone say that they’re playing to lose? Never, right? Explain to your children that YOU understand how they’re feeling. These emotions are very real and they shouldn’t be dismissed.

To show your support, you can use phrases like:

“Everybody wants to win so I get how you feel.”
“I hear you buddy, do you want to replay and try again.”
“It’s OK to feel sad that you lost, but not everyone can win every time.”
“The most important thing is that you tried your best and that you have fun.”
“Is there something you would do differently next time?”
“Don’t give up. Practice makes perfect. Keep trying and you may get it next time.”

2. Call out negative behaviour

Many kids want to win to get praise and acceptance. If they cheat, are being unkind, or have a tantrum, here are 6 ways to help children regain their cool.

When negative behaviour enters the scene, it’s important to tell children:

  1. It’s OK to want to win, but it’s not OK to be untruthful or mean
  2. Breathe and count to 10 or teach them other calming techniques
  3. Take a break from the game if necessary
  4. Model positive behaviour
  5. Reinforce that playing is meant to be fun for everyone
  6. Acknowledge and praise them for trying and compliment good behaviour

How to avoid sore-loser-syndrome

Model a healthy way to lose

A wise coach once said, you can lose or you can learn. As tempting as it may be to let the child win every time (wink-wink), there’s more value in learning how to deal with losing. Playing family games is an amazing opportunity to teach kids how to lose (or win) with grace and how to learn from each experience.

Teach kids how to feel like a winner when losing

Here are 8 ways to help kids feel like a winner on family game night!

  1. Model good sportsmanship
  2. Focus on the positive plays
  3. Explain that winning or losing may have to do with chance
  4. Show the child breathing and calming techniques
  5. Remind kids that it’s not nice to brag about winning
  6. Encourage kindness and congratulate the winner
  7. Tell each other how fun it is to play together
  8. Teach kids about the power of “yet” and how practice makes perfect

Mastermind Toys recommendation of games

Level up family game night

Whether it’s a rainy afternoon or the kids have said “I’m bored” a gazillion times, playing games as a family strengthens bonds, while building social and cognitive skills. Our friends at Mastermind Toys definitely know a thing or two about this! Here is a curated list of their favourite family games. These great picks will help children learn how to follow rules, understand good sportsmanship, develop strategic thinking skills, and of course, have lots of fun.

An Image

1 Floor is Lava Hot idea to spark gross motor skills with imaginary lava. Age 5+
2 Peppa Pig Muddy Puddle Game It’s a pig deal to see which Peppa character will win the race. Age 4+
3 Hungry Hungry Hippos Have a ball & develop fine motor skills while catching marbles. Age 4+
4 Chutes and Ladders Ladder up to great fun when you move up or chute down. Age 3+
5 Monkey Around Game Go bananas on building gross motor skills with fun moves. Age 2+

Games

6 Jenga Build family bonds & eye-hand coordination with a block tower. Age 6+
7 Jumanji The Game Fan of the movie? You’ll be a bigger fan of racing to be rescued. Age 6+
8 Throw Throw Burrito Picture dodgeball and a card game all rolled into one. Literally. Age 7+
9 Exploding Kittens Try your hand at a prrrfect kitty-powered strategic card game. Age 7+
10 Gnomes at Night Cooperative Game Players work together to maneuver gnomes around mazes. Age 6+

Games

11 Clue Game Bring out detective skills by solving mysteries and cracking codes. Age 8+
12 Upside Down Challenge Game 1 pair of upside down goggles. 25 challenges. Endless fun! Age 8+
13 Catan Build cities & settlements with this award-winning game. Age 10+
14 Forbidden Island Game Adventurers love planning how to collect treasures and escape. Age 10+
15 Amazing Labyrinth Game Create a path to find lots of treasures with this award winner. Age 8+

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