As our children settle into their sleeping bags on the living room floor tonight for a camp out–a frequent Friday night occurrence–we bring to a close a full week of nightly family game times.
We didn’t do this on purpose, no one dared us to, it just sort of evolved and took on a life of its own. It all started last Saturday night when we were all laying on the floor together. My husband started copying our six year old, Leah and we all laughed.
Not one to be outdone by her older sister, Sarah (2) wanted us to follow her. She had us flipping from our backs to our fronts, spinning circles on our butts on the floor, dancing conga-style through the house. Up-down-up-down. Over and over and over. We giggled and giggled. If the neighbors were watching through the windows, they probably thought we were nuts!
After we all settled down and relaxed, our 9 year old, Noah, asked me if we could do something together the next night. Sure!
So, the next night we played a game together. I think it was Jenga Max. It was our first time to play since Noah had just gotten it that day for his birthday. I don’t like to brag, but we totally mastered the game first time out! We rock!
When that game was over, our oldest son, 11 year old Zachary, looked at me and said with a smile, “That’s two nights in a row.” I said, what do you mean? He replied, “Two nights in a row that the whole family did something together.”
And so it went, an impromptu game of follow the leader led to a week of game play including charades, Sorry Sliders, Wii games/Wii fit and more.
I feel it important to mention here that we do eat dinner together as a family EVERY night. And 6 of seven nights are at the dining room table. We talk about the day, say nice things about each other, laugh and all too often, get silly. So it’s not as though we don’t have family time nightly. But clearly, game time was different, special. Our children recognized it as such and it meant enough to them that they commented on it. (That’s a big deal, especially from the boys.)
So what used to be Family Game Night–where we would try to cram as many games as possible into one evening every few months, has evolved into Family Game Time–a nightly event lasting 15 minutes to a couple hours.
The lesson to be learned here, I think, is that everything doesn’t have to be an EVENT to be meaningful and fun. Some nights we have homework, activities, etc., so we only have time for a quick game. Other nights, like tonight, we have a couple hours.
Either way, we connect in a fun way as a family.
Let the games continue!