I’m on a mission to get more families playing board games. Board games have the power to bring families closer together and strengthen relationships. As our children get older, they naturally become more independent and as parents we begin to crave more time together.
Board games are a great way to reclaim family time. But, if playing board games isn’t a normal activity in their home, it’s sometimes hard for parents to get started. Luckily, family holidays can change the pattern.
Here are 6 reasons why family holidays are a great time to start playing board games.
- There are far fewer time pressures. In most families, there is a fairly rigid schedule of school, work, clubs, meetings… Things that have to be done at certain times. On holiday, that structure disappears and days are more fluid. Time can be made for new activities and non-essential tasks. Time is one of the biggest reasons families give for not playing games (and learning new ones). Starting to play on holiday will draw you in and make you more likely to find time to play when you get back home.
- Everyone is more relaxed. Work, study and chores have been put on hold for a week or two and after a day or two the family begins to unwind. Everyone gets used to a new pace the stresses of normal life begin to ebb away. You can’t play games when you’re stressed – it will almost always end in messy explosions. But when you’re relaxed, board games and card games will be a positive experience that brings you together as a family.
- Holidays are time for family activities. The whole family knows they will be spending time together and taking part in joint activities. An expectation is already set. If you’ve not played many board games as a family, it won’t seem as strange to do this on holiday as it might at home.
- There are fewer distractions. At home, it always feels as if there are a million jobs to do and these will often be on a parent’s mind. It’s hard to give over time for a board game when you feel you should be hoovering or mowing the lawn. Likewise, in normal life, children may be itching to get to the XBox in the evening, whereas on holiday the pattern changes, which can be used to our advantage.
- The setting is different. It’s much easier to do new things in a new setting. At home, in a very familiar place, we tend to stick to our normal patterns of behaviour. In a new place, there’s an opportunity to forge a new pattern, one that includes games!
- The options are limited. Everything you have with you has been brought in suitcases. At home there is a wealth of choice of activities, but on holiday you’ve only brought a carefully curated selection of these. If a board game or card game makes it into the case, it is much more likely to be played than it would be sitting on the shelf at home.
I’d love to speak to travel agents and family friendly holiday providers about how to delight visiting families by providing brilliant games in unexpected places. Please do get in touch.