In our increasingly screen-filled world, we are always searching for ways to spend actual face-to-face time with our people. Nothing builds relationships like sitting in the same room with a person, having an actual conversation. Sometimes it’s nice to have a purpose for getting together, a reason to set aside the devices and come to the table. One of my family’s favorite screen-free activities is playing games.
Yes, we have a Wii and my kids love a rousing round of Mario Kart with their dad. But there is something special about unplugging and playing a board or card game together. Not only do these games help us connect with each other, there is research that says they can also improve critical thinking skills. Educational, fun, and analog? Brilliant!
I’m guessing most of you know the old stand-by games, like UNO, Dominoes, and Monopoly. But in 2016, there are so many amazing games you’ve probably never played! Our family of 5 loves Sleeping Queens, which is great for younger kids as it doesn’t involve reading. Munchkin (a simple and very silly role-playing game) is another fun one. Forbidden Island is an excellent cooperative game where everyone succeeds or fails together. And Spot It is our go-to travel game because it is small enough to fit in a purse and can be played while waiting at restaurants, doctor’s offices, etc.
Once your family gets into gaming, it is super fun to find other gaming folks! Fortunately, you have some seriously fun options in the metro-Atlanta area. Our family’s favorite is the monthly Game Night at Reformation Brewery in Woodstock. Yes, it’s at a brewery, and yes, it’s family friendly! The Atlanta Public Library and the South Cobb Regional Library both host Tabletop Gaming Groups. Heroic Gaming in the East Cobb/Woodstock area offers game nights and an ASP program. And if you’re in the Athens area, I highly recommend The Rook & Pawn, which calls itself a “Board Game Cafe”.
Of course, you can also host your own Family Game Night with your Neighborhood Group, co-workers, or the folks on your street. Games are a great way to connect with your kids, your spouse, and your community. What are your favorite family games and where do you play them?