I use to be one of those “no game Janes” kind of mom. In case you’re wondering where that term came from, I totally made it up — ha! But you get my point.
Games seemed pointless.
Time wasters. Juvenile.
But then our family landed in a third world country where almost everyone was a stranger.
Our confused faces, light skin and American clothes made us the official “foreigners.”
That was a strange feeling…
We couldn’t speak the language and definitely didn’t know where to buy toilet paper…which is kind of important.
And since we felt utterly alone, we learned that crazy-fun family nights were an absolute must — for ALL of us!
That got my creative juices flowing…
How could we make family night super-fun — every single week?
Simple, but giggly games would help us connect and be refreshed.
It would fill that “I need friends and fellowship” hole until we learned the language and culture of the people.
We chose family games that encourage talking, giggling, interaction and creativity. They always seem to be a huge win!
And we started our family nights on a skinny budget…so no excuses if that’s your season in life right now! ;0)
If the weather is beautiful in your neck the woods, be sure to check out these outdoor games for families!
Don’t worry about trying to remember all these games! We create a Family Night Kit that includes games and snack ideas you can download and print!
25 Epic Family Games for Family Night
- Direct a family play. Use sheets, old costumes, left-over Halloween gear, jewelry, make-up, face paint etc. and create a super simple, but FUN family play! You can even have a director, back drop crew and of course a camera man!
- Try body tracing. Grab huge pieces of paper and trace each other’s body silhouettes paper. Everyone can choose one person to finish drawing — add eyes, ears, a nose, clothes etc. Then, present your finished work to each other! Definitely want to snap a pic for a family keepsake!
- Play balloon tennis! Fill a couple of balloons with regular air – not helium – and create a couple of paddles by gluing popsicle sticks to paper plates. Take turns hitting the balloon back and forth, and don’t let it drop!
- Enjoy a game of Zap! Here’s a heart-shaped version of Zap, but you can use any type of shapes to create a Zap game that’s perfect for your family! You only need markers, construction paper and a tennis ball! It’s super fun!
- Laser booby trap course. I played this with a baby-sitter when I was only six years old — I had so much fun I never forgot about it! Here’s how to play: tie string to doorknobs, windows etc. to create “laser beams.” Divide into two teams and each one has to capture the other team’s object — it can be a flag, a stuffed animal or a snack! If someone touches the “laser beams” they’re OUT and can’t continue the journey. Whichever team captures the other team’s object
- Set up an indoor scavenger hunt. Send your kids on a mission to solve riddles and find objects hidden throughout your home. Check out over 75 printable scavenger hunts here.
- Break out the old board games! Sometimes we forget how much we love Monopoly, Sorry, Risk, or Scattergories! Several these “classics”might actually new to your modern kid..;0)
- Play indoor hopscotch! Use masking tape or painted numbers on squares of cardboard to create an indoor hopscotch game.
- Have a paper plane race! Fold paper airplanes and see whose can fly the farthest! To make this even more of a game, create rings for the planes to fly through or targets to hit for extra points.
- Play charades. We use our Head bandz game to play charades. I know it’s totally against the rules to use an established game to play, but we’ve LOVED playing it this way! We split up into two teams and use the cards to play classic charades. The winning team gets a little game chip for each answer they get right. If they don’t answer correctly, the opposite team gets to guess!
- Sing some songs! Challenge the kids to a karaoke battle and transform your living room into a stage. Choose one or two people to be the official karaoke judges. ;0)
- Build HUGE structures! Use spaghetti and marshmallows, popsicle sticks and whatever else you can find around your home to build ginormous, complicated structures. See who can build the tallest tower or the strongest cube!
- Set up an indoor bowling game! Use empty water bottles or paper towel tubes as your pins and roll a ball to see how many you can knock down at once. If you use empty, plastic bottles, be sure to fill the bottoms with sand, baby powder, or water to weigh them down a smidge. You don’t want them too heavy, but a little bit heavier so it’s more challenging. About 1/4 cup of sand or water is a good amount to aim for!
- Play hide and seek. This classic game is an easy way to keep the kids busy – especially if they aren’t typically encouraged to play this one inside.
- Dart competition. I had NO idea this would be such a HUGE hit! When we host birthday parties or fellowships, it seems the dartboard calls everyone! Definitely be super careful if you have small children around. But if your house is full of tweens and teens, this will be a hit! You can grab a dartboard, darts and official dart game instructions here.
- Have a bake or cook-off! Definitely choose an unbiased judge beforehand and assign two teams a dessert or side dish to create. Keep it simple! The judge chooses the most beautiful and tasty recipe and crowns the creator of the recipe the new, official “CHEF” of the family!
- Try minute-to-win it games! These are games that only take minute to complete. They’re normally super fast and crazy fun for two or fifty people! You’ll find lots of creative minute-to-win-it games here!
- Start a book reading extravaganza. Everyone grabs their favorite book. The first person reads the first sentence from their book, then the second person reads the second sentence from their favorite book and so on. Then, switch to the last sentence of the book, second to last sentence of the book etc. Pretty interesting for book nerds! (Guilty as charged!)
- Have a “nailed it” competition. Choose a recipe or craft off and break into two teams. Complete the recipe or craft and decide after completing the recipe or craft who truly “nailed” it. Take pictures too and add those to the family memory book for laughs! I’m glad my husband took a quick pic of my no-good, very bad attempt at my first sewing project. It definitely needs to be featured in a “nailed” it article! ;0)
- Build a movie-themed fort! Each person or team builds a pillow, blanket and sheet fort that’s based on one of your family’s favorite movies. After the forts are built, everyone gets to guess which movie the forts represent! Then, the family can watch those same movie favorites inside the forts!
- Try an over-sized classic game. You can make your own over-sized Jenga or oversized checkers game! This fun twist takes classic games to a whole new,crazy-fun level. Definitely a must if you have tweens sand teens at your house!
- Be a cooking show host Set up your kitchen like a cooking show and give each person a a chance to make their own recipe — cooking show style. Have your camera ready to film the “cooking show”!
- Toss it! Take turns throwing bean bags at a target of your choice – a shoebox, a piece of paper taped to the floor, or something else. Whoever has the best aim wins!
- Build and conquer! Grab two decks of playing cards per person. Each person has one deck to build with and one deck to demolish with. Give everyone time to create a playing card fortress, and then everyone can attack each other’s fortresses at the same time. After fortresses are demolished, play again! My two brothers and I played this over and over when we were kids!
- Have a bubble blowing marathon. Create giant bubbles with this recipe or colored bubbles with this recipe. Then, you can create paper bubble blowers to have family night bubble blowing adventure!
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Which epic family night games will you try first? I recommend ALL of them — obviously!
Don’t forget to grab your printable family night kit to make pairing snacks and games super easy!
Referral links have been added to some family night helps!