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Having 3 autistic kiddos, it can sometimes be really hard to get them to get along! One of the best way we have learned to help them connect is through Family Game Night!
We’ve all heard about having a family game night. Chances are, you’ve tried to make it into your routine but it fell off the schedule as new things came along
Today, we’re going to go over the benefits of scheduling (and doing) a family game night weekly. This is great for all families, but especially for neurodiverse families.
Having a family game night each week is great for helping siblings connect. Bringing in a variety of fun games will help build relationships and laughter!
Family Game Night
Benefits of Having Family Game Nights
When it comes to family game nights, there are a multitude of benefits. My favorites revolve around family, but there is much more! Check out all these great benefits of scheduling family game nights.
Benefits for The Whole Family:
Helping Siblings Connect Through Games
One of the biggest benefits I have seen from family game night is sibling relationships. It is so easy for the kids to go their own ways through out the day. Between homework, electronics, and friends in the neighborhood, it is easy to grow apart these days.
Getting together once a week over games they all love refocuses on family relationships. Many times, my kids bond over trying to beat me at the game!
Scheduling a Family Game Night promotes Routine
For any child, routine is important. For autistic children, routine is key! Most autistic children (and adults) prefer to know whats happening and when.
By scheduling a family game night, it helps them look forward to playing games. On the other side, it also helps to avoid extra meltdowns because it is not a surprise that you are stopping a preferred activity to play games as a family.
Creates Family Traditions
Playing games together creates bonds and memories for all involved. When they are adults, they will remember back to times playing games and laughing with family. It might even be enough to make them want to carry on the family game night traditions with their families!
Another great thing is listening to your children talking about memories during the games! I always here a line from one of my older kids saying “Remember when mom said “put on your coat.” It was a moment they thought was funny, and now keep the joke going years after!
A special thanks to Goliath Games for sending us some free games to play and inspire this post!
Benefits of Family Game Night for Children:
Playing games help with problem solving
By playing games together as a family, you are spending quality time with your kids. During game play, you work with them to help them create positive outcomes.
Whether they are learning how to play a new game, work through puzzles, or even how not to be a sore loser, they are learning essential problem solving skills. These will help them at school and outside the home as well!
Develops Strong Character
By playing games together as a family, kids learn how to be a graceful loser and celebrate other’s wins. They learn great sportsmanship, all with a great laugh!
Games help with motor skills
No matter what game you play, there is always some for of motor skill they are practicing! Just think about it! They have to roll the dice, shuffle cards, and count in almost ever game!
For example: Lucky Ducks require the child to try to pick up a moving object (the duck). Then they have to match the shape on they chose with the duck t in order to keep it. If it’s not their shape, they have to place the duck back on the moving surface. Then they have to count to 3 for how many ducks it takes to win.
Another great activity for motor skills is painting. The down side is the pain getting everywhere. That’s why I love the Paint-Sation Easel by Goliath Games. It’s real painting, but completely mess free. Well, until you son decides to paint the wall instead of the paper….lol.
There Ya Go!
That was all of our top benefits of why to schedule a family game night. Helping siblings connect through game play is a benefit every family could use! What is your favorite family game to play? Let us know in the comments below!
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Alicia Trautwein is an autism parenting coach living in Missouri. She is the creator behind The Mom Kind, a website dedicated to parenting neurodiverse families. She is one of the head creators behind the #WeLoeveMoms campaign and is also featured in the “Amazing Moms” coffee table book by Hogan Hilling & Dr. Elise Ho. She shares her expertise along with her experience in parenting children, both with and without autism.