Yes, you can get your kids to play board games, here is how

Kids to play board games

Are you on an eternal quest to entice your kids to play board games and take a break from the screen-induced trance? 

I'm that mum who convinced my kids that board games are cooler than video games (most of the time). From the days of endless Candy Land sessions to epic Monopoly showdowns that led to more dramatic negotiations than a UN summit, I've been there, rolled the dice, and emerged victorious in the battle against digital distractions.

From cultivating a positive mindset around board games to selecting suitable games for different age groups and interests, here are my practical tips to make family game nights an eagerly anticipated tradition. 

So, if you're ready to trade screens for smiles, competition for camaraderie, and virtual worlds for the real, engaging world of board games, read on!

Lead by example

As a fellow mum who's cracked the code on turning game night into a screen-free delight, I can vouch for the power of leading by example.

Kids often mirror our behaviours, so if they see you excited about board games, they're likelier to jump on board (pun intended). 

Show genuine enthusiasm, share memorable gaming experiences, and emphasise the quality of time spent together. Your contagious excitement can turn an ordinary evening into an eagerly anticipated tradition.

Make it special (add snacks!)

Ramp up the excitement by throwing in a bit of culinary magic. Snacks have this sneaky power to turn a regular game night into a little fiesta. 

I mean, who doesn't light up when there's a spread of their favourite munchies, right? So, rustle up a snack platter with all those goodies your gang can't resist. 

Not only does it keep their energy from plummeting, but it also adds a sprinkle of celebration to the whole deal. 

Oh, and did I mention? 

It's like this cool backdoor to remind them that board games are not just about winning – they're also about good company and creating some seriously awesome moments.

Find the best games for your kids

Selecting the right game is key to getting your kids to play board games. Consider their ages, interests, and attention spans. 

For younger children, opt for games that involve colours, shapes, and simple rules. As they grow, introduce more complex games that challenge their strategic thinking. 

Engaging themes also make a difference – whether it's a detective mystery, outer space adventure, or fantasy quest, there's a game to captivate every imagination.

Give them lots of choice

You know how kids are … right? 

They totally dig being the boss sometimes. So, here's a cool trick: spread out a bunch of game options and let them do the picking. 

It's like handing them the steering wheel of fun. They get all empowered and jazzed up because they're calling the shots. 

And guess what? It's not just about picking some game; it's like they're joining for the whole experience. 

Oh, and the best part?

When you mix up the games, it's like injecting a dose of freshness into each game night. 

No yawns of boredom here, mums – just endless adventures.

Pick games with quick wins

Kids, especially younger ones, thrive on immediate rewards. Opt for games that offer quick wins and instant gratification. 

These could be games with short rounds or challenges that lead to frequent victories. This helps maintain their enthusiasm, as they experience the joy of success more frequently. 

Balancing these with longer, more strategic games ensures a well-rounded gaming experience.

Invite their friends to join in

Turn game night into a social affair by inviting your kids' friends over.

Playing with peers adds a layer of excitement and competitiveness that can't be replicated with family alone.  It also encourages teamwork and communication.

Plus, what's better than a house filled with laughter and friendly competition? Just be prepared for a bit of friendly banter and cheers as they strive to outdo one another.

Stop arguments by explaining the rules

To dodge those "But I thought..." moments, lay down the law beforehand.

Keep it simple and throw in some visuals if needed – you'd be surprised how a simple drawing can save the day. 

See, when the kids are in the know, they're in the zone – no squabbles, just pure fun. Plus, it's like a secret recipe for good sportsmanship; they learn the game and the art of fair play, all in one go.

Celebrates the wins

Let’s face it … we play to win.

So, whoever wins the game, make sure you celebrate with them. This includes encouraging them and telling them how proud you are (in an age-appropriate way, of course!). I find a little victory dance around the room works for toddlers to teens. Note: Teen eye-rolls will ensue, but they will be secretly delighted with their victory.

Winning doesn’t always mean coming first. If one of your children has beat their personal best in the game, be sure to acknowledge that too.

And what if you win? Well, that’s great too. Do a happy dance and give yourself a pat on the back. 

Playing board games together is the perfect opportunity to teach your children to celebrate their own wins and the wins of others. So, make a fuss over every win.

Offer games rewards (runners-up too!)

Oh, the winner gets the spotlight, no doubt. But hey, let's not leave our awesome runners-up hanging! Here's a nifty trick: sprinkle in some rewards. 

I'm talking about high-fives for the "Best Strategy" or a mini-fist bump for the "Most Creative Move." Not only does it shout out their effort, but it's like a secret ingredient that stirs up their strategic juices. 

You see mums, it's not just about the winner's dance – it's about everyone feeling like champs. And guess what? Sneakily, they're learning that success isn't only in nabbing the trophy; it's in growing their brainpower and soaking in every drop of fun.

Embrace the learning moments

You know, board games aren't just kid stuff – they're like little trainers for life skills. 

While the kiddos are giggling their way through a game, they're secretly becoming these awesome thinkers and problem solvers. 

It's like they're levelling up their brainpower without even realising it. And guess what? That teamwork they do in games? It's like a practice run for real-life tag-teams. 

So, here's the scoop: when they're crushing it in a game, chat about how those skills are like secret keys for life. 

They'll be learning and having a blast at the same time – total mum win!

Make it a tradition

Consistency is the secret ingredient that turns sporadic game nights into a cherished tradition. Kid's of all ages thrive on routine, as do adults.

Pick a specific day of the week for your kids to play board games, and stick to it as much as possible. 

When kids know that Friday (or whichever day you choose) is game night, they'll eagerly anticipate it. It becomes a stable, comforting routine that creates lasting memories and strengthens family bonds.

Reflect and adapt

As your kids grow, their interests and preferences will evolve. Be ready to adapt your game choices if you don't want them to lose interest and all your work getting kids to play board games to be wasted!

Keep an ear out for their feedback and suggestions, and don't hesitate to explore new game genres or styles. Flexibility ensures that game night remains exciting and relevant, catering to their changing tastes.

In conclusion: How to get your kids to pay board games

Transforming game night from a mere pastime to a beloved tradition isn't rocket science; it's all about weaving fun, bonding, and learning into a single activity. 

Remember, you're not just rolling dice or moving pieces – you're creating a haven of laughter, camaraderie, and memorable moments. 

So, fellow mums, gather your little competitors, shuffle those cards, and embark on a journey to build lasting connections through the magic of board games. Your family will thank you for it, and your kids might just discover a lifelong love for analog adventures!

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Beanstalk Single Mum Team

About the author

Beanstalk is run by a team of single mums who share their expertise about single motherhood to help other women on a similar journey to them. This article was written from experience and with love to help single mothers in Australia and across the world.

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