Old Fashioned Family Games Promote Family Unity

Do you want your family to spend more time together? Is a deeper family relationship on your wish list? Does this dream seem unattainable?

Many homeschool families are so busy with earning an income, schooling, house and yard work, along with church and sports activities that there doesn’t seem to be enough time to think about building strong and healthy relationships.

While the desire for quality time is great, the best way to achieve this is simply by spending as much time together as possible. As homeschoolers, we know this and cherish the idea. After all, that’s one of the reasons we choose to homeschool. While vacations and other special times are good, a regular weekly time of togetherness can help fulfil your desire for family unity. One way to achieve this is by having a weekly games night where everyone can join in.

As an example, our family sets aside Wednesday nights as a family games night. We have a special meal and then play games for an hour or two. While there are many commercial games you can purchase, such as Monopoly®, you could also play a different game every week for a year using nothing more than a handful of dice and a deck of cards.

As a personal example, our family played the simple dice game Pig earlier this year. It can be played by any number of players of any age using only one die (dice is the plural of die). A player continues to throw the die and add their score until they choose to stop for that round or they throw a One on the die. The aim is to build your score to reach a total of fifty points. A player who stops keeps their score and adds it to their next round’s score. A throw of One cancels their score for the round and ends their turn.

It was very amusing to see the different strategies of two of my sons. One played carefully and stopped if he got to ten points in a round while the other tried to score the full fifty points in every round. He would often score over thirty points before throwing a One and crashing back to zero for that round. We had so much fun watching them that we decided to continue to 100 points. At the end of the game, neither son actually won!

Other activities are useful for building family unity but games have the advantage of allowing everyone to play together, no matter what their age. Indeed, it can be very amusing to see a teenager or adult being beaten by a six year old. As well as having fun and building relationships, children learn many life skills (such as reading and/or counting) and social skills (like communications and team work). That sounds like an ideal combination – education, fun and family!


Andrew is a homeschooling dad of seven children. He owns Family Games Treasurehouse which has rules for over a hundred family friendly games. Visit Family Games Treasurehouse, sign up for our monthly newsletter and you can download our ebook, “25 Family Dice Games” for free. This article is copyright but may be freely republished provided the text, author credit, site links and this copyright notice remain intact.

avatar Andrew Low (3 Posts)

I am an Australian homeschooling father of seven children and married for 22 years. Our eldest son is currently studying Computer Programming at university. Our kids are very musical, studying piano, trumpet, guitar, violin and saxophone. It gets quite noisy during morning practice before they get into their school work!


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