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Successful Game Night Strategy

Turn off the television...unplug the phone...ignore the "to do" list. Instead, focus on your family by planning a night filled with a winning combination of fun, food, and games. (Kids have a skill for being silly, so be sure to include them in the planning!)
First, pick a night when no one has to work and doesn't have mandatory meetings or events. If possible, try to make Family Game Night a regularly scheduled occasion.
Use a score sheet from a game to write out "invitations." Send them along in briefcases, backpacks or lunch boxes. You can also place them on bed pillows, tape them to a mirror or set them on breakfast plates.
Resist the temptation to include other families and just concentrate on having fun with your immediate family.
For the winners of each game, have on hand inexpensive door prizes, such as decks of cards, hand-held games and books of crossword puzzles or sudoku.
Plan your menu. For extra fun, use recipes (like the ones in this chapter) that tie into the theme.
Use a game table to display the food. Or decorate a dining table with playing cards, dice, game pieces, game boards, etc.
Starting with the youngest family member, let each person choose a game to play.
Keep a running tally of the winners and post it on the refrigerator or family bulletin board. Award a larger prize (like a new board game) to the winner after a few weeks or months.

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