Our board game and puzzle closets are getting more use than ever. And not just around the kitchen table—we’re taking them digital and making them life-size.
“My sister Amy has set up a weekly family game night. Every Friday at 7, our whole family piles on our couch, then we get on a call to play a game. It’s pretty amazing. After the games are over and the kids are tired, the grown-ups stay on to talk about everything going on. It’s one of the few times throughout the week where I feel like I can think or talk about everything going on without overwhelming anxiety, because I’m ‘with’ my people.” —Zach L.
Pro tips for family games
Many classic games can work for “video call” playing (and don’t require a board).
- Charades and Win Lose or Draw can be played with paper or white boards and the timer on your phone
- Yahtzee and Pictionary can be easily adapted. Check out this article from New York Magazine.
- Question/answer games are great, too—Table Topics, 3 Truths and a Lie, Truth or Dare, etc.
- Try word games like Crambo and these improv games recommended by The Second City.
“Make an obstacle course in the backyard. We made a kid version of American Ninja Warrior: Run to the swing set, jump over both swings, jump eight times on the trampoline, hang from the third branch on the tree, and go up the slide—all while trying to get the best time.” —Amy T.
“My kids had a ton of fun when we did carnival games. We set up in the driveway and used what we had on hand. We did a ball toss into buckets, knocking down pins (two-liter bottles), ring toss, etc. I decorated it all with sidewalk chalk to make it more exciting and to set the scene. It was a hit!” —Sarah M.
“We did casino night: We taught our tween boys blackjack, craps, and poker. We made mocktails, distributed poker chips, then just set up the casino tables in our kitchen.” —Kelly H.