Do you have a regular family night?
Our family shares many mutual hobbies so we haven't felt the need to designate one particular night of the week for family time. Instead, we appreciate doing things together all throughout the week.
Our family especially enjoys hiking, gardening, going on walks, reading books aloud, watching movies, and traveling (especially road-tripping).
Now that our kids are getting a bit older, we are slowly venturing into the "game night" territory too.
The thing that seems to work best is to have some board games available for the adults and older kids, while also having a hands-on type activity/game for the little ones.
One of the BEST toys we've discovered for engaging a wide range of ages are called Shape Mags! My girls (ages 4, 7, and 10) have built castles, ranches, Christmas trees, and fashion accessories from these brightly colored shapes. I especially love that this is a "toy" they can easily share with each other and with friends who come over. Collaboration comes naturally. My daughter is holding a small stack of the magnets below, but they come in lots of shapes and sizes. I highly recommend that you click over to Amazon to see more pictures because this is the kind of toy/game that is pulled out daily (for hours of play!).
Another idea for keeping younger ones occupied - Have you tried Kinetic Sand? It's like play-doh, but less messy. Use cookie cutters or your imagination to create cupcakes, pies, animals, flowers, anything you like. Note that if you buy a variety of colors, they are almost certain to get mixed up. I like the simplicity of sticking with the beach-colored sand.
Other games we've been trying - Reverse Charades (one guesser, while everyone else acts out the cards), Hedbanz (another hilarious guessing game), Cranium's Disney version (best for ages 9+), and Quick Cups (ideal for early elementary, grades K-5...no reading required).
Jenga, Crazy Eights, and Uno are other games in our closet.
Eventually, I'd like to introduce word-y games too - Scattegories, Boggle, that kind of thing.
Playing games with a wide range of ages can be difficult, but I have discovered that my kids appreciate the attempt - even if things can be chaotic and there are interruptions (to nurse the baby, etc).
It's also nice to have games around for when my older daughters invite friends to our house. We're finally getting to the stage where kids can play without adults - which is pretty exciting.
For an extra special treat on our recent game afternoon, we scooped up Graeter's ice cream. The Ohio-based ice cream company stocks pints at most grocery stores nationwide - and it's one of my very favorite brands! The ice cream is made with premium ingredients, ultra creamy and pure. No need to add toppings because you really want to be able to taste this ice cream. It's that good.
We also sampled (and savored) Graeter's dessert sauces on vanilla bean ice cream - butterscotch, bittersweet chocolate, and black raspberry. All three were outstanding.
Tell me about your family game night traditions. What games are your favorite? Can't wait to chat with you in the comments.