Are you one of those families? You know, the one that packs so many things into the hall closet, that games, puzzles, balls, Lego play sets, and miscellaneous bath items come tumbling out when you open the door?! You are laughing, right? It’s funny, because we are that family or know families that stuff the game closet to the max! Most of the time, it’s easier to keep it closed then try to find what’s needed.
Who cares about family game night anyway? Well, it turns out maybe we should care. In Bringing Back Family Game Night, PBS Parents quotes several educational reasons why kids benefit from playing games with the entire family. And we aren’t talking video games here. We’re referring to cards, board games, word and spelling games, and games that develop motor skills and build cognitive function. Plus, games can be a whole lot of fun!
Do you think if you organized your games and puzzles, you’d actually play them more often? Probably! We know one thing is for sure. If you keep them in disarray, they will stay buried in that cluttered closet and no one in the family will be motivated to play games together. So, here are some tips to get you one step closer to family game night bliss!
- Decide on the best location to store your games. For some families, this may still be in that closet. But for others, a better place might be an storage ottoman in the living room, or bookshelves in one child’s room, or possibly even in under-the-bed storage boxes in the parent’s room. When choosing an ideal place, make sure there is easy access for all members of the family. In other words, make a plan before you start the organizing process.
- Give away or toss. Sort through all your games and puzzles and get rid of ones you don’t like, ones that are missing lots of pieces, or ones that are in bad shape and broken. It’s no fun attempting to play games that aren’t complete.
- Separate your games into categories. Once you’ve reduced your games and puzzles to the ones you want to keep, separate them into like categories (cards with cards, board games with board games, puzzles with puzzles, marbles with marbles, etc.).
- Place the small games in a container and label. It will be easier to find smaller-sized games (like all of the cards) if they are in a container with a label. I like clear plastic because you can see through the container, but plain cardboard boxes or colorful bins work well too. Label each one with a marker or label-maker label, so you know what’s inside!
- Store your games in their proper new home. Now place your categorized games and labeled containers into their new location. Whether it’s on book shelves, closet shelves, or in a larger storage container, the most important thing is being able to see all the games clearly. You want to be able to pick out that 500 piece German castle puzzle without hassle. You also want your kids to find their favorite games easily, so they can play anytime.
- Be intentional about family game or puzzle night. Once you get organized, use your games! Schedule a regular night that works for everyone and enjoy the time together. You might be surprised how much fun you have! It might even become a family tradition with long-lasting memories. I can’t remember how many times my sister would challenge and beat me playing Yahtzee! Another tradition that my husband and I have enjoyed is listening to audio books while we do puzzles together. But now that we are expecting our first child, we will consider scheduling game nights in future years. In looking at these photos, I realize we definitely need some new games!
Thanks for reading!