Have A Game Night To Help Your Kids Unplug And Play Green

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Green Earth Paper Map
Help the Earth by having more Family Game time

 

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.

Handcuffed By The Rules
Board games allow you to be flexible with rules and not handcuffed by them.

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

Save Money On Your Electric
Having a Family Game Nights can be a great way to help lower your electric bill.

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.

Wrap Up

Keep Our World Green
This is a fun way to help keep our Earth Green.

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
james@familygamenightideas.com

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16 Replies to “Have A Game Night To Help Your Kids Unplug And Play Green”

  1. Board games are an excellent way to socialize and unplug. Plus they are a lot of fun, and have the potential to offer a different experience each time you play (depending on the game). A great way to mix it things up, and get everyone away from their devices for a while.

    • Excellent points Ian. Those points are what make board games such a valuable asset to any family. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Hi James, good read. I myself have been working on the past few months getting a site up as well in the same genre as this.
    I do agree that playing the “old school” way of games is much more entertaining than the video games be it on the laptop or iPhone. Knowing that I have kids as well makes those moments memorable and we all learn a thing or two in the process. ”
    It does help to keeping everyone away from the television for a while and to help save energy around the house.
    Again, nicely written, keep up the great work and continue having fun with your family. Should you get a chance feel free and drop by my site. I will do likewise on returning here

    Michael P.

    • Hey Michael, thanks for stopping by and providing the feedback that you have. As a parent of three I am always proud to see my kids rather play a board game together as a family versus defaulting to the electronic games. All too often I see on social media people complaining about kids and the video games, when if they just realized that a board game will bring them to the table for all kinds of fun and merriment.

      I will definitely stop by your site and check it out!

  3. As an advocate of going green and good home education, I couldn’t agree better with this post. Back at my days, we had TV curfews so we traded that for some fun at the playground and we won’t come home until it’s dark. My brother loves board games but I didn’t like playing with him because I lost most the time.

    • Cathy, Thank you so much for your agreement. I had not thought of it in this light before Earth Day came around this year and then I realized at how I was already subconsciously using board games at home to help keep the electric bill down. I am thankful that my kids have learned the benefits of playing outside still and given the opportunity they will do that versus playing electronic games. If parents would take a little more time with their kids they can easily break them away from the video games as kids would much rather have the personal interactions.

  4. I remember family game nights as one of the best times with my family always loved it and this post really highlighted that for me 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing that Luca. I have many memories of Game nights when I was a kid and many now with my kids. Glad I was able to help rekindle some of them for you!

  5. Great to see the the good old days pre-facebook etc. are still alive. There’s something special about a game of Monopoly or something with the family that computer games lack. Thanks for the post! Chris

    • Chris, Electronic games lack the social interactions that we enjoy so much. Add in the flexibility and creativity that comes along with table play and there is plenty of fun to go around.

      My oldest and I used to play the online game World of Warcraft a lot. Then I took him to play table top D&D and I was worried that he would not like it. When we got in the car to go home, before I could ask, he promptly stated that he had loved playing D&D as it allowed him to do with his character what he wanted to do and not just what the computer would let him do.

  6. When my kids were younger and living at home we would have game nights too. It was a great time to reconnect with the kids and just have fun with each other.

    • Thanks for sharing Michael. I am sure you have plenty of stories from those nights! I know the game nights we have had have already given birth to several legendary moments that we will not forget easily.

  7. Love this site and love this post!
    Two summers ago when the Hurricane took our power for a week, we had game night every night…no power meant no hand held devices ( or computers, or TV…). We played scrabble by candlelight and my 7 year old thought it was great! It was bitter sweet when the power came back on:) Since then we have had several “unplugged” nights where we pretend there’s no power and play board games instead.

    • Way to find the silver lining in that dark cloud there. I am always saying that everything happens for a reason and just look at all of the benefits your family is getting now from that one bad thing that happened. As I wrote this post I wondered if my youngest two would be able to handle the candle bit, I may just have to try it out now as I think they would just love it.

  8. This is a good post. My stepchildren only get to come over every other weekend, they too are getting older and are addicted to their video games. But once in a while, we like to bring out the good old game of Risk. I love that game and could play it all of the time, but unfortunately, the rest of the family doesn’t share my enthusiasm.

    Kimberly

    • When it comes to Risk, I have found that you either love the game or despise it. I would try talking to them and see if you can figure out what kind of games they like. You can be direct about it or find out what types of video games they like and then see if you can find some board games that are in the same genre. If you would need any help with that, please just let me know and I will be more than happy to help.

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