PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – As families emerge from a year of forced togetherness and start to hit the four winds – something interesting is happening.
“Even though there was a lot of closeness, we’re still looking for ways to keep that family unit together, have some family fun, slow life down and get off of our screens and spend some time together,” says Lifestyle and Parenting expert, blogger and mom of three Amanda Mushro.
She says as schools let out it’s important to plan your children’s summer.
“Turn off those screens, put your phone away, break out an old game or a new game, and just know enjoy life a little,” she says.
While the kids might object to turning off their electronic entertainment Mushro says, “I like my time on the screen too, but I think that it really benefits everyone just to turn off all of your devices stop looking at your phone and just have some fun, have some silly fun together and just laugh and have a good time.”
Creating a family game night doesn’t have to be confined to the immediate family or the family at all.
“Definitely multi-generation, this is for entertaining, our younger kids, if you’ve got teens and tweens and I love a good game night with my friends. Now that we’re starting to be able to get together with more people, I love the idea of having some friends over, maybe having a cookout, and playing a really fun game together,” she says.
While there are the old standards Mushro says the game industry has evolved with the times.
There’s a Showtime Chess game that Mushro says “kids as young as three can learn how to play chess, so instead of saying this is this piece and this is this rule when it moves this way, they have this really fun story for each of the pieces, they’re all characters, and kids learn while they’re playing.”
A game called Exit is like going to an escape room without ever leaving your house.
“So everything you need is inside this box, they’ve got these cool stories behind them, you set everything up and you work together as a team to get out of these different scenarios, it’s so creative. It’s great for your older kids, teens, tweens, and adults,” she explains.
Then there is Pop Under Pressure which uses an inflating balloon as a timer as you take a category and a letter and try to come up with answers.
“You only have a certain amount of time to come up with as many ideas and words that fit into that category, and your timer is a balloon so it’s inflating, inflating, and deflating and then it pops and time is up,” she says.
There are also new games for adults for when the kids go to bed like Socially Twisted and Live Laugh Lose.
“This is for anyone that loves a good dad joke,” she laughed.
Only in this case, you have to deliver the joke in a game-chosen way, like imitating a celebrity, or an accent.
“So the real fun comes in the way that you deliver, and if you can make the other people laugh, you’re the big winner,” she says.
Mushro says besides just being a lot of fun it’s a chance to teach your children sportsmanship win or lose and this mom of three says no matter how competitive it may get, every game should end with a handshake.