Frugal Family Fun: Game Night

A regular family night is important to us — to step back from the everyday, enjoy spending time together, and create lasting memories for our girls. Last year, we scheduled a monthly excursion, paid for primarily through family memberships, gifts, and daily deal sites. Because we’re stepping up our debt elimination plan, this year’s family fun will have to be even more frugal.

This year, we’ve decided to be homebodies, while still enjoying our time together. Some months we’ll stick with our old favorite, movie night. But, I’m determined to make a go of family game night, too!

On New Year’s Eve, we spent the evening playing board games and Wii games — and had an absolute blast! Last night, my family joined us for a rousing extended-family game of Wii Pictionary. We hung out for hours — playing, laughing, and creating the inside jokes that become the stuff of family legend, with a big batch of Chex Mix to share. The inexpensive snack just makes anything feel like a party.

Family Game Night is officially a keeper — and it doesn’t cost a thing!

Our collection of board games, video games, and movies will make for free family nights all year long. The only trick is come up with games the teen will enjoy that are simple enough for our 6-year-old to understand. It’s a bit of a challenge with such an age range (not to mention that most kids’ board games basically suck).

Card games are often a hit — especially with this brilliant card holder for kids. I can’t believe it’s never ocurred to me to use a chip clip to help the girls keep their cards under control. Here are a few games that have been the biggest hit so far:

  • Kerplunk 1 of 10
    Older kids (and adults!) will enjoy the challenge of choosing just the right pixie stick, while younger kids will just love the "kerplunk!" when marbles fall. My youngest kinda doesn't mind losing this one!
    Buy It
  • Just Dance 2 of 10
    Just Dance
    Available for the Wii, Xbox, and Playstation, this video game will get the whole family moving! There isn't a single game in this entire series that I don't love. Just Dance 3 is the latest, and my current favorite. I end sweaty, exhausted, and laughing out loud every time.
    Buy It
  • Jenga 3 of 10
    This is another one that all ages will love for different reasons. Older players will enjoy the actual game. Younger players will probably prefer to use them as building blocks — but it's all the same to me.
    Buy It
  • Rock Band 4 of 10
    Rock Band
    Also available for the Wii, Xbox, and Playstation, this one is a blast every time we set it up. Set the younger players to No Fail, and rock on!
    Buy It
  • Wii Pictionary 5 of 10
    Wii Pictionary
    Okay, so the regular board game style is probably just as fun, but the teen got this for her birthday (after getting the accompany UDraw tablet for Christmas). The younger ones will need assistance reading their clue, but are just as good at guessing!
    Buy It
  • Uno 6 of 10
    While the kids have several versions of Uno, I still prefer the classic card game. Check for the waterproof version, if you're playing with especially young children prone to spills.
    Buy It
  • Mastermind Tower 7 of 10
    Mastermind Tower
    This is such a fun game — we have the original animal version and a Disney version. It works well for a variety of ages because you can remove a tile or two to make it less challenging for younger kids.
    Buy It
  • Yahtzee 8 of 10
    Kids of all ages can roll dice — some just may need an adult to help with addition. It's great for math skills, especially as they get old enough to count their own points.
    Buy It
  • Disney’s Sing It 9 of 10
    Disney's Sing It
    We tried a game of Glee Karaoke the other day, but it didn't really work because the youngest couldn't read the words to the songs. With Disney's Pop Hits and two older sisters? She already knows the words!
    Buy It
  • Dominoes 10 of 10
    I just love dominoes, and there are so many different variations to the game. Plus, it's another one that is fantastic for math skills. Or, just let the little kids stack them up & knock them down.
    Photo Credit: Flickr

What are your favorite family games?

Photo Credit: Flickr


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