It’s getting colder. The days are getting shorter. We’re indoors more. I’m incredibly aware of the holidays and school break looming. I wish I could say my family was going skiing, or surfing in Hawaii, or really anywhere.
The reality is that the bulk of our break will be spent hanging out in pajamas, together, in the middle of our living room.
The other reality is that I’m actually okay with that.
Aside from the inevitable sibling bickering over who has control of the “main” TV in the downstairs family room, those slow, semi-slothful vacation days are a perfect counterpoint to our normal hectic schedule. This is really a good thing for us, especially when we find things to do all together, and enjoy each other’s company.
We all just need to chill!
Video games might not be the obvious activity choice for a family with kids that range from 4-16 years of age, but we’ve learned that this is actually a great way for us to all have fun together. It’s just a matter of picking the right game. We love the selection of games available on the Xbox 360 + Kinect. The fact that your body is the controller and that there is nothing to hold, charge, or click is an added bonus that makes these games whole family friendly.
Here are the games and game types that are our go-tos:
Dance & Fitness Games
Dance games are perfect because the older family members don’t always have the advantage. Dance moves can be copied by anyone in the family. Just make sure everyone turns off their cell phones if you don’t want to see a video of your bad self on your teenager’s Facebook feed.
Sports & Carnival games:
Everyone gets a rush from these games that combine physical and mental challenges that aren’t too tough for littler kids or too babyish for big ones. It’s a good idea to pair little kids with big ones when there are teams involved.
These are especially fun in multi-player modes. Even the more juvenile themed racing games can be fun for big kids and adults too. We all love the idea of racing like the cars in the movie Cars and it reminds us of one of our favorite Disneyland rides.
Classic Board Games:
Playing classic family board games with the Xbox 360 + Kinect is great fun with a huge bonus: no lost game pieces!
- Family Game Night ($29.99)
Nature, Exploration and Fishing Games:
It’s like a family outing in your underwear. We can explore our favorite theme parks, go fish for the big one, and play with cuddly wild animals.
Games to avoid:
Violent, Military/War & Shooting Games
Preschool, learning, and more juvenile licensed character games
This, of course is a matter of opinion. Your family may feel differently, but I would urge you to look for a game that doesn’t put anyone in particular (youngest or oldest) in the position of having to “go along” with something that is clearly not meant for them, merely to be a part of the group.