How Family Game Night Can Build Joy and Resiliency at Home

When was the last time you felt good about a decision you made that affected your family’s wellbeing? How many minutes has it been since you scoured today’s social posts and questioned your value as a mom? Let that go and focus on creating good vibes. You can do it just by adding a family game night to your household routine.

You may be thinking, “Seriously?” Absolutely.

It’s easy to get lost in the demands of the day that force us to focus on checking the boxes rather than finding fulfillment in the little things: the smell of freshly brewed coffee, the fragrance of fresh-cut flowers, a child’s first words, or a puppy’s first yelp.

If obsessing or FOMO about time spent away from cellphones, iPads and laptops has you feeling a tad out of touch, family game night to the rescue! Make it a regular, essential piece of your lifestyle puzzle—and connect with the people that matter most, in more meaningful ways.

Beyond increasing the joy felt by every member of your home, game night helps build positivity each day by giving your family something to look forward to, and so much more.

There’s Actual Science Behind the Benefits of Fun

According to the American Institute of Stress*, our lifestyle choices can directly impact our wellness. In fact, many of the health challenges people face are rooted in the stress we allow into our lives. 

While some stress is good, like performance-based activities and sports, other types of stress are unavoidable (dealing with kids, work, or both). Too much stress can make you feel out of control— and you know how counterproductive that is to a mother’s calming nature. 

Stress overload can impact the body and the mind’s ability to find and maintain balance, which is essential to making sound decisions. If you’re a parent, you know that already gets tested every day. 

The signs and impact of personal wellbeing are found in our health at the cellular level. Unmanageable stress is the baggage we choose to carry. Ultimately, this stress will dictate what we do and how we do it, while slowly depleting our ability to find joy in life and thrive. 

A family game night gives you an opportunity to connect with your loved ones on a regular basis, which is good for your body, your brain health—and helps to strengthen family bonds. 



Rediscover the Benefits of At-Home Family Gatherings

As the household go-to fixer, organizer, confidant, storyteller, counselor and entertainment director, moms need seamless solutions to help them run day-to-day operations without a hitch. Life may not always work the way we intended, but we can own—and feel great about—the decisions we make that increase our family’s wellbeing. 

Starting a family game night is a great way to care for the wellbeing of the ones you love (not to mention yourself!), and its benefits are immeasurable:

Reduces Stress 

No matter what games you choose to play during family game night, the activity spurs a natural, internal chemical response through the release of endorphins. Much like the “runner’s high” a runner experiences after going a five-mile distance, or what it feels like after a long-winded belly laugh, endorphins are responsible for the body/brain feel-good rush. Yay endorphins! 

Family game night also ensures time away from the daily grind, opening a gateway for shared family fun without distractions, along with laughs, and those aforementioned endorphins we’re so fond of—which are instrumental in relieving our stress. 

Fosters Better Communication

Think about how you feel at the end of the day: over-wired, overtired, and likely like you’ve spent the last 12-16 hours being pulled in a million different directions. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, the end of a workday may just sound the alarm on the start of your second work shift. Chances are that everyone else in the family is pressed for patience and energy as well.

Many discussions across chat rooms, board rooms and coffee bars include suggestions about how to compartmentalize thoughts and relationships, to help you better handle the weight of life’s tasks and get through them. Family game night is an ideal forum to let loose and talk about the things within the family dynamic that make you—or others—uncomfortable. Aside from having fun together, you can use it to explore new boundaries that not only help strengthen relationships but set a course for keeping the lines of communication open, and creating a supportive, empathetic environment.

Builds Stronger Bonds

Sometimes, we expect a lot of ourselves and others. We overcommit, underdeliver and leave little time for the ones we care about most. iPhone and Google calendars lay out our days like the handlers we wish we had. In the process, it’s easy to find ourselves “rescheduling” family time for things like hair appointments, grocery runs, and getting that work deadline met. Making a commitment to making family game night a part of your weekly or monthly regimen tells your children and your partner they matter and serves as a tool to build trust and strengthen bonds within your family. 

Promotes Healthy Competition

When asked about the single most important wish for a child, many moms would give a one-word answer, happiness. Reaching a state of happiness often comes through learning and practicing coping skills that can help us get past circumstances that don’t go our way. 

Board games, interactive experiences, virtual reality sessions and other family game night ideas can teach survival skills, strategic and critical thinking, collaboration, and the art of winning and losing.  

Gain Quality Time  

Mom guilt is real. When personal and work-related obligations take over free will, it’s easy to go all out to make up for lost time with the kids. Being that extra may not score you points with the family.  

Instead, dedicate uninterrupted time with family to recharge the energy between you and your partner, your kids, and other family members (the dog counts, too). Put “family game night” on household repeat and be a part of a very healthy transformation. The shared memories you create will serve as building blocks toward strengthening family ties today and well into the future. 



Improves Emotional Well-Being

Home and family, ideally, create a “safe space” to flourish and thrive. Special time for fun, laughter, and family-focused engagement is like therapy—readily available at your convenience. 

Medical professionals at the Mayo Clinic* tout the benefits of laughter. Giggling increases oxygen intake supporting heart health. Muscles relax, releasing pent-up stress. Long-term wins include boosts to immune system health and emotional wellness, while promoting family harmony. 

Design That Perfect Family Game Night Space 

Now that the advantages of family game night are obvious, finding that perfect place to create them, through personalization, is the next step.

Woodside Homes understands the importance of family, and how crucial it is to have spaces in your home that can evolve along with your needs as they change over time. Our Living Well Solutions give  you options that let you truly build upon your dreams. Because no two families are alike, we embrace and empower your individuality by how we design our homes, and the options we give you to choose from. 

Consider All the Ways a Flex Room Could Improve Your Lifestyle 

No one knows your family better than you do. Experts and influencers may make helpful suggestions, but happiness within your home’s four walls comes down to the choices you make.  

Family game night is one of many opportunities that maximize the use of a Woodside Homes flex room. Our representatives can help bring your household vision to life. Prop healthy relationships by exploring the options available in any of our communities across the southwest. 

What Makes You Stronger

Family game nights aren’t just for the entire family. They can be just for you and your partner. Setting aside exclusive time together can help take the noise out of shared time and rekindle the beauty of being. 

By scheduling alone time as a couple, you can reignite romance, reinvigorate personal connection on a regular basis and strengthen the relationship as a unified and loving force. Family game night can take on a whole new meaning.

Moms Deserve Time For Self-Care 

Every person has a love tank—a place that holds deposits of love given by others. But where’s the love you give to yourself? 

With all the to-dos devoted to our children’s and partner’s needs, our love tank can hover just above "E" on the fuel tank.   

With a Woodside Homes flex room, the options for self-care and creating mom time are endless. Wouldn’t you enjoy… 

  • an indoor/outdoor garden,

  • a soaking tub,

  • a wellness hub, or 

  • a meditation retreat? 

Imagine the difference 30 minutes or an hour would make to your day by spending time here, in the flex room you create for yourself. Your flex room can be designed with multiple uses in mind. For example, an indoor play gym with soft, cushy padded mats for flooring is the perfect material for daily yoga practice or a free weights session with your better-not-really-better half. 

Family Game Night Ideas That Can Change With Your Needs

Planning for your family game night will be fluid, as what may be intriguing and exciting one week may seem passe the next (family can be fickle). 

Beyond the details of “what should we play,” the family game night space will need to allow your family room to grow. What your kids enjoy when they’re in elementary school will be far different than what sparks their interest at age 13. But you already know that, don’t you?

In addition to considering areas for family enjoyment, get creative with the corners of a room and design those spaces with different age groups in mind. Family game night comes with the best of intentions but children, like adults, may not always be in the mood to play together. Corner game spaces invite individual, private play amid the larger family dynamic. And as your older kids age out of one game, a younger one could step into it, so you don’t have to change the entire space.



Game Room Must-Haves 

One of the many goals in game-room design is to ensure it’s welcoming to participants and promotes open lines of communication. Be sure to include age-appropriate furnishings, toys, gadgets, and equipment that create curiosity but aren’t overwhelming.

Prompt Imagination – Big and little kids alike need time to daydream and use their imagination. An area equipped with a mock stage (ideal for puppeteering or improvisational play acting), props, and costumes engage the mind, encouraging creativity and curiosity.

Art Expression – From fingerpainting to chalk or watercolor, self-expression through art provides a great escape and soothes the soul. Stock up on supplies, including cleanup materials—and consider adding a sink to make cleanup that much easier.

Reward Center – A job well done should be showcased on a wall or bulletin board for the entire family to see, cherish, and revisit those family game night wins. Place the reward center high enough to keep younger ones away from thumbtacks. 

Right-Sized Table and Chairs – In the adult world, children are constantly reminded of their smaller stature, physically and intellectually. Make the game room a place where they shine, with furniture fit for their world.

Listen, Look and Learn – Music, video games and entertainment bring shared experiences to the family and create joy through the magic of doing. Include a variety of musical instruments, CDs (remember those?), and videos.

Storytelling – Get lost in a book, one of many stored in a cozy reading nook stocked with childhood bedtime classics, and include audiobooks, too. 

Adulting – To repeat: family game night can happen without the kids. Gift yourself some cushy, relaxing lounge chairs and cushions to help the adult in you comfortably leave the world behind. 

Downtime – Some days, no matter your effort, the hot mess of family life is real. You may not be able to find your game face, but grabbing some downtime in a purposefully designed calming corner will help you breathe out the stress, and breathe in the emotional balance you’ll need again tomorrow.

Quality Storage – Part of the learning curve in play time is teaching everyone in the family how to handle post-game clean up. Including well-made bins and secured cabinets can keep your sacred play space tidy and clean.

Getting on Board with Game-Time Fun 

Parents like you and other household authorities have tried and tested the best of the board games on the market. Before making a list of kid-friendly activities for family game night, check out these recommendations from the Good Housekeeping Institute’s* 2024 Best Toy Award Winner list:  

  • Best Dressed Banana 

  • Jurassic World Ravenous Raptors 

  • GiiKER Smart Four 

  • Team Digger 

  • Castle Panic 2nd Edition 

  • Meet Mahjong, and  

  • 5 Second Rule Relay. 

The New York Times* took to discovering their own list of top board games for adults, interviewing experts including a Columbia University ludology professor. Their selections included Cascadia, Splendor, Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, Catan, and 7 Wonders. (And don’t feel bad if you don’t know what ludology is—it was new to us, too. For your edification, ludology refers to the study of games and gaming, especially video games.

Never Underestimate the Power of the Snacks

All the preparation and planning for family game night perfection can go sideways if the attention to detail doesn’t extend to fueling your crew with healthy snacks. Some suggestions from Real Mom Nutrition*, a judgment-free zone, are easy to find, good-for-you choices:  

  • Fresh-cut veggies 

  • Apple nachos with drizzled peanut butter and chocolate chips 

  • Popcorn with a dash of flavoring 

  • Guacamole and multigrain crackers 

  • Frozen grapes 

  • Edamame, lightly salted 

Family game night serves up an opportunity to introduce new healthy menu options, which makes your fun, interactive household event even better. Avoid those unsavory hangry moments by having snacks on hand that are made with intention, providing children with the nutrients they need to keep the fun going.

It’s Never Too Late to Upgrade or Upsize 

As a homeowner with a growing family, your needs change. Yesterday’s ideal first-time home purchase may not be ideal today. Modern lifestyles have shifted our perceptions about desired housing locations, architecture, building materials, interior designs, and community amenities. Woodside is committed to meeting the evolving needs of homeowners and their families, with options that fit your life and style while supporting a more sustainable world. That’s something we can all live with, well.

Healthier Home, Healthier You 

As you reimagine the lifestyle of your dreams, consider the possibilities at your fingertips when you choose a Woodside Home. 

There’s more to your ideal home than family game room that brings your loved ones closer, and Woodside Homes got you covered.

Explore Work+Space, Home Oasis, Conscious Comfort, Soothing Spaces and Healthy Homes—all geared to helping you live your best life.

Choose thoughtfully inspired living spaces that seamlessly bring the outdoors in, and give Spot their own spot, with dedicated pet areas that celebrate your cherished fur babies. 

Woodside Work+Space features redefine the work/play/live culture, blending the elements of fun and the necessities of home functionality—with rooms that are quick-change artists, pivoting from work to play environments and back again, to in-home workspaces that surpass the old-school office building set up, for a commute that’s life changing. 

Maximize your use of space and productivity with added nooks, lofts, built-in desks and shelving, and improve connectivity with stronger Wi-Fi signals in every room.

Enhance wellbeing from head to toe with our Soothing Spaces selections: from an extra-large shower in the primary bath to the pampering luxury of a freestanding tub. Enjoy temperature-controlled flooring underfoot, or the details of a walk-in closet that is so you

Take comfort in knowing that our Zero Energy Ready homes help to improve your health and keep you safe while being 40 to 50% more energy efficient than other new-construction homes, which saves you money and increases the value of your home.

When you’re ready to begin searching for what’s meant for you next, look no further than Woodside Homes.



Melanie Stern

Written by Melanie Stern - Mar 15, 2024

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