The holidays are family time; they’re also a wonderful time for board games. Board games challenge the mind, get kids and adults off their devices, and give everyone a break from politics and family drama.
One of my favorite family game night games is Monopoly. This classic board game, originally designed by Elizabeth Magie in 1902, has been enjoyed by millions over the years. Monopoly is both challenging and fun, and even very young kids can join in. It’s the perfect way to gather friends and family together as the holiday season rolls in. Here are some suggestions for making the most of it.
If you’ve ever played Monopoly, you know the game is more of a marathon than a sprint, so you’ll want to have some provisions on hand.
Offer snacks that aren’t too messy and drinks that won’t ruin the board if they spill. Or, alternatively keep food and beverages away from the game table and take frequent snack breaks.
Teaching Tool for Kids
Younger players may not understand what the game is all about, so consider doing a little warm-up before family game night. Get out the Monopoly board and play a casual practice game, providing step-by-step instructions and explaining unfamiliar terms and concepts (like “utilities” and “mortgage”) as you go. Kids will still have fun if they don’t grasp all the concepts, but a little pre-game prep will help them keep up, and turn the game into a learning opportunity.
Make it Short
Every Monopoly box comes with instructions for how to play a shorter game, since Monopoly can last for hours. You can still have fun without investing hours of time.
You can also come up with your own rules for a quick match. Just be sure that everyone agrees on the improvised rules (you may want to write them down) to prevent disputes.
Keep it Civil
Be sure to keep family game night friendly and fun. Play holiday music, enjoy snacks, and be a good sport if you’re the one who is winning—or going bankrupt. Remember that it’s just a game!
If you enjoyed Monopoly in the past but the novelty has worn off over time, consider picking up a new version to freshen things up! Not only can you buy versions that feature electronic banking (no paper money!) and international themes, you can also find special editions based on Doctor Who, Pokémon, and Game of Thrones!
So put away the phones, shut down the screens, and have a festive family game night. You can’t put a price on quality time—and if you finally trounce your know-it-all brother, all the better! Have fun!