It’s the summertime and if you have older kids and teens, you may be balancing a variety of schedules. Older kids make plans with friends by themselves, have jobs (and usually require some parental driving), stay up later than little ones do, and may be asleep long after your first cup of coffee or work email is done.
I love having my teens home in the summer. Despite the lack of consistent early bedtimes and random routines we all have, they are fun to make plans with.
Having teens means your vacation planning looks different too. You get to include them in more specific ideas of what to do, how to relax, where to eat and how to maximize your holiday time (while still appreciating alone time. Everyone loves alone time).
This is the perfect time of year to try some new, or existing, family games that you all can enjoy and love. While I’m going to focus on video games to play in this article, board games – both newer ones and older ones – can make you nostalgic for your own childhood and are perfect for a cottage or at home on a hot summer night. Except Monopoly. Maybe skip that.
Kids love video games, so why not join them? Playing with your kids is a great way of co-viewing. I’m sharing some group video games your family can play if you have access to these systems. If you don’t have the games, your local library may allow game borrowing!
Wii Party (Nintendo Wii)
This is a game that has a variety of modes and the mini game challenges that you play versus each other will have you all laughing and trying to outperform one another. The board game mode gives you the best of all worlds: roll the dice to move along the board AND play mini games along the way.
Wii Party is available on the original Wii platform (and Wii U has a version).
Mario Kart (Nintendo)
I feel like I don’t need to explain more about why this game is amazing because parents of a certain age (ahem, like me) will have played Mario Kart potentially for decades. The Switch version carries all the nostalgia with all of the fun you’ve come to expect from Mario Kart. You’ll be mad every time you hit a banana peel, but excited to try to and beat your family in the rankings.
Perhaps you discovered Jackbox games when we were all Zooming family and friends during the pandemic lock downs. This is an online game with virtual party rooms to welcome only your family or friends who have the code. Games are played on your phones and can be cast to a TV for all to see. The game packs include multiple games so you’re likely to quickly find a favourite.
While I will continue to pull out our board games to play as a family, I also love switching on our gaming consoles and gathering for a little bit of video game fun.