With Earth Day having just passed it got me to thinking about how a Game Night can be a great way to help your kids unplug and play green. All too often I hear parents complaining that their kids are addicted to their computers, handheld devices, and video games. Well here I will show you how you can teach them the fun of board games and family time.
Don’t Under Estimate The Draw Of A Board Game
Since I started this site my family has spent more and more time playing various board games and having a lot of fun. There were many times that I was surprised to find my kids and their friends playing the same board games when I came home from work. You see board games have a natural draw to them that most people will enjoy.
One of the reasons so many people enjoy board games and having a game night is because that generally most of us are social beings. We enjoy being in the company of our family and friends, especially when we are doing something fun together. While all of our electronic outlets can be fun too, they rarely give us the social interactions that we crave.
Outside the social aspect of it, there are still many other benefits to sitting down to play at the table. To me one of the biggest is that board games can challenge the mind and allow you to be more creative. In electronic gaming you are handcuffed by the code and rules of the game. With a board game, you can play the way you like and add house rules as you see fit.
Leave Your Handheld Devices Behind
At first your kids may not want to leave their devices behind, but before you know it you can have them engaged with the game and they will have forgotten all about them. I would highly suggest that everyone, yourself included, leave their devices in another room all together to avoid the temptation of picking it up.
Also, it is important that you let your kids know in advance that there will be no devices at game time. This will help to avoid conflicts as you have set a clear expectation with them. By doing this, you give your kids time to end conversations with their friends and to be ready to give their full attention to whatever game you decide to play.
Tabletop Gaming Is Very “Green” Friendly
Outside of having appropriate lighting to play, that is the only electricity that you will need to play games at the table. This can be a very effective way of reducing your footprint and you electric bill overall.
Having a family of three kids myself, I often come home to find both computers in use along with the TV by the third. When I can get them all to sit down for some gaming together, that is three major devices that we can turn off and save with.
You can even take the “green” effort a little bit further with your gaming. Try playing during daytime hours so you don’t even need to use a light. Also, if you kids are old enough you could even play by candle light as well when it is dark out.
Needless to say, I think you can see how having a game night or day could be a great way to help you get your kids unplugged along with saving on the old energy bill. Add in on top of that the fun that you will have together as a family and you would be hard pressed to spend your free time any better.
I would love to hear how you and your family have used games to help live a more Green friendly life. Please share your stories with us in the comment section below. Also, please feel free to ask any questions that you might have and I will be sure to answer them as promptly as I am able to.
James W D