Family Game Nights & Childhood Development
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Family Game Nights & Childhood Development

Finding time to spend with our families has become more important than ever in the midst of our hectic daily schedules. Enjoying Family Game Nights together is a great way to build relationships and support your child’s growth. Beneath the fun and healthy competition, there is a wealth of benefits that profoundly affect kids’ development and well-being.



Table Of Contents

How Does Family Time Impact Children’s Development?

Are Family Game Nights Good For Kids?

What Should I Do If My Child Doesn’t Want To Participate?

What Kinds Of Games Are Good For Families To Play?

The Bottom Line





How Does Family Time Impact Children’s Development?


It’s simple to undervalue the significance of family time spent together in our fast-paced society. However, family time has a good impact on kids’ development which is continually shown by studies (Frosch et al., 2019; Jones, 2017; Upali, 2017). The emotional, social, and cognitive development of a kid is greatly influenced by high-quality interactions with parents and siblings.


Numerous research studies have indicated that consistent family time improves communication abilities, fortifies family ties, and gives children a feeling of security. These elements support increased psychological resilience and a happier perspective on life (American Psychological Association, 2002; Grevenstein et al., 2019; Hosokawa et al., 2023; Thomas et al., 2017; University of Delaware, n.d.; Vandeleur et al., 2009).


A child’s growth has also been connected to the quality of parent-child relationships in a number of ways, such as academic achievement, self-esteem, and the capacity to build good connections in the future (Harvard University, 2009; Li et al., 2022; Wang et al., 2021). Family Game Nights are one kind of fun, structured activity that helps to build stronger bonds amongst family members through quality time and friendly competition.





Are Family Game Nights Good For Kids?


Family game nights are an excellent way to support your child’s overall development because they provide so many benefits. Including frequent game evenings in your family’s schedule is a terrific idea for the following reasons:


Cognitive Development: Critical thinking, problem-solving abilities, and strategic planning are stimulated by board games, card games, and puzzles. Children’s intellectual development is promoted by these enjoyable and stimulating brain-training exercises (O’Neill & Holmes, 2022).


Communication Skills: Effective communication is necessary for many games, whether it’s to explain a plan, bargain with teammates, or express emotions when things don’t go according to plan. The development of effective verbal and nonverbal communication skills is facilitated by these interactions.


Social Skills: Children learn the value of cooperation, sportsmanship and teamwork through multiplayer games. They pick up valuable life lessons like sharing, taking turns and respecting other people’s viewpoints.


Emotional Resilience: Games have an intrinsic element of winning and losing. Children learn coping skills and emotional resilience when they go through both outcomes. It trains them to face accomplishments with grace and accept disappointments with optimism.


Quality Family Time: A great way to spend quality time with your family is to have family game nights. Spending time together through activities for the whole family fortifies ties and produces enduring memories in a society where screens and other electronic devices rule.



Family Game Night and child development

Photo by Kampus Production



What Should I Do If My Child Doesn’t Want To Participate?


Children frequently go through stages when they might not be as interested in taking part in family activities. It’s critical to identify and deal with the underlying causes of their resistance. The following techniques can help persuade kids who are reluctant to join in on the fun:


Offer Choices: Give your kids some freedom to select the family night’s game or activity. Giving kids a voice in the choices they make can increase their enthusiasm for taking part.


Create a Positive Environment: Make sure the idea of family game nights is one of fun and relaxation. Refrain from placing undue emphasis on winning and instead concentrate on having fun.


Peer Participation: Invite your child’s friends or other family members who are around the same age to come over for a game night. The presence of peers could add to the attraction and defuse the sense of intimidation.


Select Age-Appropriate Games: Make sure the games you’ve selected fit your child’s age and interests. Excessively complicated or dull games make a child feel disengaged


Model Enthusiasm: Kids often imitate their parents’ actions. When you act like you’re having a good time on Family Game Nights, your child will follow suit and get into the spirit of things.





What Kinds Of Games Are Good For Families To Play?


For Family Game Nights, picking the appropriate games is crucial to making sure everyone has a nice time. The following is a list of entertaining games that are appropriate for families:


Board Games: Timeless options that appeal to all age groups include Monopoly, Scrabble, and Clue. They encourage both logical reasoning and strategic thinking as well as vocabulary development.


Card Games: Simple but fun card games to play are Crazy Eights, Go Fish, and Uno. They improve social interaction, memory, and counting abilities.


Puzzle Games: Puzzles that need collaboration are a great way to promote teamwork. Select puzzles that may accommodate a range of ages and skill levels by choosing varying degrees of difficulty.


Outdoor Games: Play outdoor games like cornhole, frisbee, or badminton for a change of pace. These exercises allow you the chance to get some sunshine and fresh air while also enhancing your physical health.


Video Games: Certain video games can be played as a family, but moderation is crucial. Seek out multiplayer games that promote cooperation and amicable rivalry.


Role-Playing Games: Family Game Nights are enhanced by the creative and humorous elements of games like Pictionary and Charades. They also foster inventiveness, imagination and communication.





The Bottom Line


Making time for Family Game Nights is a straightforward yet effective method to support your children’s growth and well-being in the hectic pace of modern life. Strong family ties, improved cognitive abilities, and emotional resilience are all built on these evenings of laughing, friendly competition and shared experiences.


The impact of these moments, as the statistics indicate, extend beyond the enjoyment of the game itself and influences the family’s future prosperity and happiness. So gather your cards, dust off your board games, and get ready for an enchanted voyage of growth and connection through Family Game Nights.







American Psychological Association. (2002). Family routines and rituals may improve family relationships and health. Https://Www.Apa.Org.


Frosch, C. A., Schoppe-Sullivan, S. J., & O’Banion, D. D. (2019). Parenting and Child Development: A Relational Health Perspective. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 15(1), 45–59.


Grevenstein, D., Bluemke, M., Schweitzer, J., & Aguilar-Raab, C. (2019). Better family relationships––higher well-being: The connection between relationship quality and health related resources. Mental Health & Prevention, 14, 200160.


Harvard University. (2009). Young Children Develop in an Environment of Relationships: Working Paper No. 1.



Hosokawa, R., Tomozawa, R., & Katsura, T. (2023). Associations between Family Routines, Family Relationships, and Children’s Behavior. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 32(12), 3988–3998.


Jones, C. (2017, November 1). What are the Benefits of Spending Quality Time with Your Kids. 10 Minutes of Quality Time.


Li, W., Tan, F., Zhou, Z., Xue, Y., Gu, C., & Xu, X. (2022). Parents’ Response to Children’s Performance and Children’s Self-Esteem: Parent–Child Relationship and Friendship Quality as Mediators. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(10), 6012.


O’Neill, D. K., & Holmes, P. E. (2022). The Power of Board Games for Multidomain Learning in Young Children. American Journal of Play, 14(1).


Thomas, P. A., Liu, H., & Umberson, D. (2017). Family Relationships and Well-Being. Innovation in Aging, 1(3), igx025.


University of Delaware. (n.d.). Buildling Strong Family Relationships. Retrieved February 21, 2024, from


Upali, P. (2017). Impact of Family on Children’s Wellbeing. Journal of Sociology and Social Work, 5, 149–158.


Vandeleur, C., Jeanpretre, N., Perrez, M., & Schoebi, D. (2009). Cohesion, Satisfaction With Family Bonds, and Emotional Well‐Being in Families With Adolescents. Journal of Marriage and Family, 71, 1205–1219.


Wang, Y., Huebner, E. S., & Tian, L. (2021). Parent-child cohesion, self-esteem, and academic achievement: The longitudinal relations among elementary school students. Learning and Instruction, 73, 101467.


















Written By: Dr. Wasif MD

Edited by: Madison Vargas, BS

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Kyle Zrenchik, PhD, LMFT

Published : 02/26/2024


Disclaimer: ALL IN Therapy Clinic aims to improve people’s lives. We do this through providing effective mental health counseling by passionate professionals. Inspired by this, we write content for your own education. Also, our content is researched, cited, reviewed, and edited by licensed mental health professionals. However, the information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Additionally, it should not be used in place of the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.

Written and reviewed by

Madison Vargas

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