Extract from: Dix, Ellie (2019). The board game family: reclaim your children from the screen (Wales: Crown House) pp. 42-43
To include board games and make it part of the family identity introduce some rituals. These rituals can be simple to make everyone happy and comfortable, or they can be elaborate to increase anticipation, excitement, and delight. If you are struggling to engage your children in board games, you might like to experiment with more unusual rituals to add an element of mystery to the activity, deliberately elevating the status of board gaming in the family.
Here are some rituals you can try:
Always sit in the same places around the table. Perhaps create name cards to go in each place. You could even make these out of spare playing cards. Make place cards for frequent visitors too: grandparents, friends, and neighbours.
Choose a game-night theme tune. Play this tune when you are setting up and clearing away. “Games People Play” by Joe South or “Play the Game” by Queen.
Choose a special game-night food, drink, or snack combo. Make this a special treat that you only have on game night.
Allocate special game-night roles – for example, official photographer, reporter, score person, banker … The roles can be written on counters and placed in a drawstring bag to add an element of randomness to the pre-gaming ritual.
The players are made to feel part of something special, something that matters. The shared experiences create shared memories, continuing to have an impact for many years.
Recommended board games for the family:
Other interesting resources:
Books to read: