Technology has created a world we could only dream of a few decades ago, even if we’re still waiting for the flying cars. We walk around with computers in our pocket – even on our wrists – that can play games, make phone calls, and bring up our loved ones on screen for a live video chat.
It’s never been easier to stay in touch with family, but sometimes we keep our noses in our phones, even when we are all in a room together. Luckily, planning some family bonding time can salvage our need for quality time. So, mark your calendar apps for a screen-free family game night (or day). Here’s a list of popular offline games sure to make you laugh and forget your phone is in your pocket.
1. Make a DIY obstacle course
Obstacle courses can be full of fun and laughs as you do silly things like crab walking. Obstacles can challenge your strength, hand-eye coordination, agility, balance, or puzzle solving skills.
Some of the stations you could use:
- Toss a ping pong ball into a cup
- Toss a football through a suspended hula hoop
- Solve a math problem
- Choose a starting point and finish line, then move an egg over that distance with your nose
- Do 5 pushups
- Place some rocks on the ground and alternate running to the left or right around each rock
Include the dog and cat! Agility courses provide mental stimulation for your dog and give them great exercise. You can purchase the equipment, or you can use a little elbow grease and make your own customized course.
2. Set up a scavenger hunt
Fun for all family members – furry ones included! Write a list of items for players to find around the house or in the yard. Set a timer and release the players to collect as many items as they can from the list. When the timer runs out, the player who found the most items from the list wins. Feel free to add some twists like searching in the dark with flashlights.
An alternative to gameplay could be to hide items around the house or yard and provide clues about the hiding place. Hide tennis balls and dog toys and let the dog play, too!
3. Giant Tic Tac Toe
Giant Tic Tac Toe lifts this classic game off the page to make it tangible for players. You can place the game pieces in the squares, or add some difficulty by aiming for a square and tossing your game piece. If you miss, you could give the game away to your opponent.
Get crafty! Get creative and make the game pieces! You can set up the board using sticks and paint rocks to use as game pieces. Even the time together making the pieces equals bonding time.
4. Yard Dice
Yard Dice are available as giant versions of the classic 6-sided die. This version includes six large dice and a bucket for storage and to scramble the dice. Dump them to play classic games like Yahtzee or Farkle. Of course, you can also choose to sit around a table and play with the classic size dice, too.
5. Ring Toss
Ring Toss is a classic game that is fun for the whole family. This version comes with a travel bag and colorful rings and pegs. Assembly is quick and easy for children or adults, and you can choose your difficulty level by deciding how far away you want to stand for the throwing spot.
Or make your own! Set up hula hoops in a pattern similar to the ring-toss and throw tennis balls. A dog can play along and fetch the balls – a fun twist on fetch with points to keep score for the humans.
6. Sticky Ball Darts
Sticky Ball Darts is a fun twist on the classic game of darts, safer for children. This game comes with a dart board made of fabric. The balls have a velcro surface that sticks them to the target. And the pup will love playing fetch when you miss the target! A win-win for all!
7. Hide and Seek Teams
Here’s a twist on the classic game from our childhood that everyone loves. Split into two teams – one will start as the hiders and the other will be the seekers. The doggos should join as seekers, too.
The seekers will close their eyes and count to 20 while the other team each finds hiding spots. After counting, the seekers try to find the hiding spots of the hiders. But they have to be quick about it, because the other team can sneak back to home base where the seekers started from to end the search. The game ends when everyone is either found or a player reaches home base. Then you can play another round with a different set of hiders/seekers. For a fun twist, you can play the game in the dark and give the seekers a flashlight.
8. Play your favorite table-top game
Table-top games are the classic option for game night. Choose your favorite board game, card game, or dice game. They are fun for everyone in the family, no matter the age or physical ability. You can play on teams or individually, and you can choose games designed for young children or after-dark versions that use adult humor. No matter what atmosphere your family loves, there’s a table-top game to match.Some pro tips to keep family game night all about the fun:
- If you want to add a layer of repellency against indoor bugs and have your home smelling great, use Wondercide’s Indoor Pest Control. It comes in four fresh, plant-powered scents.
- Have a flying insect trap plugged in nearby so the bugs don’t interrupt game time. This one has zero chemical insecticides and is pet and people friendly.
- Stay hydrated. Having water on hand is always a smart idea for any activity.
Family game nights are bonding nights that everyone loves. You can plan for indoor, outdoors, camping, or to a tailgate party. The only limit is your imagination. What games will be your family favorites?