Game Night Helps Families Bond and Thrive

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Many people think that “play” time is fun but not necessary or mportant for children or families. However, play is a child’s work and is critical for their development. Engaging with children during playtime is beneficial for the entire family, as it promotes bonds between siblings, opens the door for sharing of values, increases communication and allows for teachable moments, and assists in problem solving. Having regular family game nights is super important for children AND families. As PBS Kids points out, games are good for motor skills – children develop hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills by rolling dice, shuffling cards, and moving game pieces – all of which can lead to later success in sports, playing instruments, writing, and more. Games can actually lead to better academic success, can help your kids solve problems, and is an excellent opportunity to promote family bonding. Numerous studies have shown that children from families who maintain strong lines of communication through frequent get-togethers like game nights and family dinners enjoy benefits to nearly every aspect of their lives, including:  larger vocabularies at age two, higher reading scores in elementary through high school, more motivation in school, better relationships with peers, a more positive perception of the parent-child relationship, and better emotional well-being and life satisfaction. Although many parents are concerned about fixing certain aspects of their child’s behavior, research shows time and again that is imperative that you build the relationship before you work on changing the behavior, especially when you are forming new stepfamilies. Game night is just one way that you can positively build these relationships.

For all of these reasons, we hosted Family Game Night as part of our Summer Adventures series on Friday, July 9, 2021. Ten families came together for a night of board games, fellowship, and fun. It was great to see families interacting and laughing without cell phones or other forms of digital engagement. The feedback was clear – they want more family game nights. Even though we encourage them to continue this activity in their own homes, there’s also benefit in coming together as a community to share these fun nights. For this reason, we are hoping to sponsor Family Game Night once a quarter moving forward. Our next event will be held Friday, October 1 from 6–8 p.m. There will be a small charge of $10 per family to participate in order to provide a light supper and snacks during the event that is due by Monday, September 27. However, if $10 will be cost-prohibitive for your family to participate, please contact Rhonda Peters or Tracy Blake to discuss other options. We NEVER want cost to prevent anyone from participating in any of our programs. Pre-registration is required and can be completed at the Family Game Night registration link or accessed directly at go.ncsu.edu/familygamenightoctober2021.

Written By

Rhonda Peters, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionRhonda PetersExtension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences Call Rhonda Email Rhonda N.C. Cooperative Extension, Montgomery County Center
Posted on Aug 11, 2021
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