Cozy up to the table this winter with family game night

(BPT) - Feeling disconnected from members of your own family lately? You’re not alone — a 2018 study by 72 Point for Visit Anaheim found that 60% of parents with kids between 4 and 18 described their daily lives as “hectic.” Sadly, the survey also found that today’s families only spend about 37 minutes of quality time together per weekday. Between digital distractions and our often over-scheduled lives, even sitting down for dinner together can feel like a miracle to pull off, especially as children head toward the tween and teen years.

What’s a solution? Gather around the table.

Set aside the gadgets and gather around the table together for a good old-fashioned family game night. Even if you start out with a monthly game night with the kids, chances are it will soon be popular enough to enjoy more often. Putting your family’s game night on the calendar will ensure everyone keeps their schedules clear for a night of fun — and connection — all together.

Today’s games provide a huge range of choices to suit any age range, interests or gaming styles, so there’s truly something for every family to explore and enjoy together. The added benefits will astound you: Kids can learn important lessons about sportsmanship and fair play, develop communication and collaboration skills, increase their fine motor, logic and strategic thinking abilities — and have a blast doing it. When was the last time you all just let loose and enjoyed laughing and being silly together? There’s no better way for kids and parents to relax and have fun together than a game that brings out the best in everyone.

Here are some examples of how games can boost specific skills, while also providing plenty of giggles and excitement.

Test your knowledge, quick thinking and creativity

A game that’s always up-to-date, kNOW! uses the latest technology to help test the brain power of three to six players, ages 10 and up. Games go way beyond trivia — there are also puzzles such as identifying a sound provided by Google Assistant, or creating a question to ask Google Assistant to prompt it to say a provided word or phrase. This fast-moving game provides constantly changing questions depending on where and when you play.

Enjoy the wicked side of strategy

For a fun twist on everyone’s favorite movies, Disney Villainous: Evil Comes Prepared allows two to six players age 12 and up to choose a sinister character to play: Scar from "The Lion King," Ratigan from "The Great Mouse Detective," or Yzma from "The Emperor’s New Groove." Players put strategy and logic to the test to achieve their own diabolical goals — and stop other villains from completing their own dastardly objectives. Games like Disney Villainous are especially fun because they can be expanded and played with other characters in the series. Players can choose from a treasure trove of villains including Maleficent, the Queen of Hearts, Ursula and more.

Create suspense while working cooperatively

JAWS brings the classic movie and infamous shark to life in your very own living room. In this asymmetric, two-act board game, one player takes the role of the shark while others take on the parts of Chief Brody, Quint and Hooper and work together to defeat their toothy foe. For two to four players ages 12 and up, play JAWS to recreate the excitement and tension of the blockbuster film as a family!

Boost problem-solving and small motor skills

A brain-bending game for all generations, Invasion of the Cow Snatchers is an ‘out of this world’ introduction to playing games at different levels of skill while challenging players as they learn how to follow directions and maneuver their flying saucer around obstacles. Though designed to be a one-player game, others can join in on the fun too by collaborating to solve puzzles together and taking turns being the magnetic "UFO.”

Schedule a family game night and turn that 37 minutes into an entire hour or more! This holiday season is a perfect opportunity to turn off the phones for an hour or two, put some hot chocolate on the stove and stock up on some of the newest games that your kids will love to play. Enjoy hanging out together this winter, and reconnecting as a family.

For more fun games and puzzles to enjoy, visit Ravensburger.com.

(Copyright © 2019 APG Media)

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