Game Night: Simple Living, Simple Fun!

Game board pieces for game night

photo courtesy of woodleywonderworks via Flickr Creative Commons license

From Monopoly to Scrabble to a lively game of Hearts, I grew up playing card and board games. Here in the dead of the Wisconsin winter, there’s nothing better than getting together with friends to play games.

Game night parties are experiencing a resurgence across the country as the weather grows colder and our pockets get thinner.  In fact, some of the board games we play today were among the most popular in Depression-era America including Monopoly, Sorry and the Game of Life.

Tips for a good game night:

  • The number of guests to invite depends on your space.  There’s no hard and fast rule, of course. Most games can be played by two to four people. Think in terms of about four players a game.
  • If you have more than four players, try to have a couple of games going at the same time. Borrow a few card tables and extra chairs if you have the space.
  • Gather a few of your favorite games — or ask your guests to suggest a game and bring it along if you don’t have it. If you have a regular game night, people could take turns hosting and selecting games.
  • Have lots of finger food on hand. It’s easier to fit a small plate or napkin on the table while you’re playing.
  • Consider game variety. Word games like Scrabble and drawing games like Pictionary are a lot of fun. If you have the space and like something a little more physical, haul out your old Twister game or try your balancing skills with Jenga.

Game night doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. If you don’t own any games, you can find tons of them second hand on Ebay or at Goodwill — just be sure all the pieces are there.

Hunderds of games can be played with only a simple deck of cards. Check out a copy of the Ultimate Book of Card Games: The Comprehensive Guide to More than 350 Games by Scott McNeely or Hoyle’s Modern Encyclopedia of Card Games: Rules of All the Basic Games and Popular Variations by Walter B. Gibson for game ideas and rules.

Make your own board game! The Love to Know website has complete instructions and there are even ready-made boards and kits out there. Making the game could be a fun family project.

I love game night because you are doing an activity that requires concentration but you have plenty of time to visit, chat and laugh with friends — it’s a simple living way to keep warm and have fun this winter.

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