10 Games Perfect For Your Next Family Night

You know what they say, “A family who plays together stays together!” By “they,” I mean me. I say that. Playing games together as a family can be incredibly valuable in building relationships and developing character.

I love playing games: board games, card games, interactive games—you name it!

Playing games is one of our family’s favorite things to do together. I have fond memories from childhood of playing games with my immediate as well as extended family. Part of my love for game playing could be that I beat all my teenage cousins at Rail Baron when I was maybe 8 or 9. And now, of course, my son is doing the same thing. He’ll never let us forget that he beat us at Settlers of Catan when he was only 5 years old.

While it’s fun to win, we can often learn a lot more from losing. Win or lose, playing games with others creates an environment for growth and bonding. What 10 games can you and your family play at your next game night to bring you closer to each other and build godly characteristics? Before we get to the list of games, let’s look at how we can bring Jesus to the game table.

Opportunities for Christian Growth Through Game-Playing

We all know family game nights can be a lot of fun, but how exactly can game-playing point us to Christ? As with most things in life, if we’re intentional about it, we can find opportunities to teach ourselves and our children about God.

Relationship Building

Playing Games together as a family gives us a chance to bond with our children and enjoy their company. It creates an environment where conversation can flow freely without pressure.

Maybe your kids don’t open up around the dinner table when questioned about their days. They might respond with short answers, like “good” or “I don’t know.” When you’re involved in a mutual activity with others, where your hands and brains are busy, everyone tends to speak what’s on their mind naturally.

Playing games gives families a low-key connection point.

Character Development

Who doesn’t love a good opportunity for character development? Just kidding. Don’t tell your children about this, or they might not want to play games anymore!

For real, though, playing games gives us a chance to grow in godly character. Games can test our patience as we wait for others to take their turns, grow our grace as we extend it to others who are still learning, and humble us when we don’t do as well as we planned.

While none of those feel good at the time, patience, grace, and humility are all important characteristics in our Christian walk.

Conflict Resolution

It’s all fun and games until someone gets upset. If you’re at all competitive, like I am, it’s easy to get caught up in the game, get frustrated or take other’s moves personally.

While this can result in negative situations, I believe it’s another opportunity for growth. When this happens, we need to take a step back, realize it’s just a game, admit our wrongs and resolve the conflict with others.

There are going to be times in life when we get frustrated and respond poorly to situations; it’s good for us to be able to work on responding more like Christ. If we can practice reacting well to the little disagreements in games, it can prepare us to respond better to the bigger conflicts of life.

Utilizing God-Given Abilities

Games may bring out some of our weaknesses, but they can also be a great opportunity to use our God-given abilities, such as creativity, strategic thinking, problem-solving, decision-making, wisdom and more.

10 Games Perfect For Your Next Family Night:

Now that we know a few ways that playing games can point us to Christ, here’s a list of 10 games to play with your family on your next game night:

  1. Apples to Apples. This game tends to be less about accuracy and more about how well you know the person choosing the card. Are they going to pick literally or go for the more humorous answer? (Creativity, Word Association, Vocabulary Building, Relationship Development, Laughter/Joy)
  2. Relays/Team Challenges. If you have enough people in your family to split into teams (even teams of two), I’d encourage some hands-on relay games. (Teamwork, Relationship Building, Communication, Grace, Humility, Patience, Perseverance, Laughter, Interaction, Family Bonding)
  3. (with Biblical Words!) Take regular Scrabble up a notch by using Biblical characters, places, events or stories. All true Scrabble enthusiasts might want to close their ears for this, but a dictionary, a Bible, and proper nouns should all be allowed and encouraged for this version! (Biblical Knowledge, Patience, Creativity, Educational Opportunities (math, spelling, vocab, Biblical history),
  4. Talking Point Cards. While this may not be considered a “game” by some, having a deck of cards and choosing a question at random can make the discussion seem more fun than just asking the kids questions directly. There are different editions of this, like Kids, Family, and Christian. (Open Sharing Opportunities, Relationship Building, Spiritual Growth, Bonding, Vulnerability, Understanding, Communication)
  5. Bible Pictionary. You can make up your own words using common Bible themes or characters (The Garden of Eden, Jonah, Noah’s Ark, The Burning Bush, The Resurrection, etc.), or if you’re up for a challenge, try out the real version. There are difficult cards in this game, even for grownups, but it provides a great opportunity to ask questions and crack open your Bible! (Teamwork, Bible Knowledge, Learning, Creativity, Encouragement, Bonding, Laughter, Humility)


For the older kids

  1. Settlers of Catan. Catan is a great starter strategy game! There are multiple components to think about without being overly complicated. Once you get the base game down, you can add in other expansions. (Planning, Strategic Thinking, Resourcefulness, Problem-Solving, Patience, Decision-Making, Conflict Resolution)
  2. Clank! Travel into a dungeon to collect treasure without getting eaten by a dragon. What could go wrong? Don’t get too greedy, or you could run out of time! (Planning, Patience, Strategic-Thinking, Self-Control, Decision-Making, Life Lessons)
  3. A game where the rules are always changing. (Adaptability, Rule-Following, Quick Thinking, Patience, Cause and Effect)
  4. Code Names. As long as you and your teammate have telepathic abilities, you’ll do great! (Relationship Building, Teamwork, Grace, Creative Thinking)
  5. Mario Party. You won’t often hear me encourage video games, but this is an exception- as it’s a turn-based game the whole family can play together, with a lot of interaction. (Patience, Humility, Laughter, Bonding, Teamwork)

If you have older kids and are looking for more strategy games to add to your game nights, these are some more of my family’s favorites: Seven Wonders, Ticket to Ride, Red Rising, Roll Player, Axis and Allies.

Playing and Learning

Games can be so much fun! Just remember, the relationship is always more important than the game at hand. Use your next family game night as an opportunity to point your children to godly character traits and spiritual growth.

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