Family Game Night. Three words that can bring sheer joy or agony to my home. Not sure about you but many of our family game nights in the past have gone awry. And I take responsibility for it.

Looking back, it was the family game nights where I imposed my agenda on the family that typically went off course. Trying to get all eight of us to sit around the kitchen table to play a classic board game from my youth sounded great in theory but things seem to get unraveled during the execution. “This is boring,” “my mom hates this game,” “this game is to hard for me to play,” and the list of complaints went on and on….

I love and believe in family game night! As a mom and stepmom, I am committed to building family memories and know that family game night helps do just that. The word “step” adds some extra complexity to plans and I knew it was important to be flexible in what I defined as family game night. Determined to make it fun, I asked the kids to plan a night. From food to games…. they got to do it all.  Guess what? It was great!

While we feasted on M&Ms and potato chips (not what I would have cooked up) we also played video games. At first, I wanted to resist as I was a die hard board game player but had committed to trying things their way so I gave in and grabbed a Wii controller. 

That first video game night was amazing! My husband and I played video games with the kids and it was fun and enlightening.

During video game night, we all take turns playing and the games adjust to levels so age isn’t as much of a factor in game choice. We are active. We are laughing. We are in the same room. We are getting exercise. Best of all…. WE ARE CONNECTING!!!! We are making memories. We are building a family history for our stepfamily.

I have to admit that I am a video game convert now. My brothers who would play pong for hours years ago would be proud of me and my conversion.

There are so many great and interactive games out there. I love the active sports games like Mountain Sports (I get to go tubing and skiing without injury and getting cold) and I love playing the games my kids like. While I don’t get Skylanders, playing with my boys is a way to connect. My girls love Puppy Luv and giggle when I do it “wrong.” My husband loves to race the kids playing Hot Wheels and Ferrari Challenge. With the holidays approaching, I’ll definitely be looking to add some games to our list. My boys have already put Giant Skylanders and an Xbox Kinect on their list.

While I love playing these games with my family, we have not abandoned the board games. My husband and I find ourselves playing board games with one or two kids and that affords us more one on one time with the kids. And we are still known to pull out Apples to Apples, Beat the Parents, Monopoly, Life and Clue for the family. Games in general are great for families and being flexible in what, when and how we play makes a difference!

Because I have come to love playing video games with the kids I was so excited to see that Activision is hosting a Family Game Summit November 13th. I will be attending and hope you will be too. Here is the info to register to attend this free online family game summit:



Activision’s Family Game Summit is an event to learn how Activision is transforming family game night with the hottest video games this holiday season. Hosted by actress, author, entrepreneur, and most importantly mom, Soleil Moon Frye! Supported by a panel of experts in their field including Nicole Armstrong from Activision, Suzanne Kantra from, and Patricia Vance, President of the ESRB. You’ll walk away with a wealth of knowledge on how to use video games to bring families together.

Sign up to attend the event online and view the live broadcast at at 1 PM EST on November 13, 2012.

Please join us. As stepmoms, we are committed to our family and always looking for ways to connect. Playing video games with your kids and stepkids is a great way to laugh, connect and build memories. It is those common memories that build a family history. See you Tuesday for amazing tips and ideas on Family Game Night!!!

Note: When I saw the summit, I applied to be an online hostess. Please know I am not receiving any financial compensation for being an online hostess or for sharing this information. I will be receiving some items to test out for taking part in the summit. The views in this post are completely my own. I believe in Family Game Night!
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