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Top 10: Family Game Night

Welcome to the September installment of Top 10! In honor of Olathe Family Week, this month’s Top 10 is dedicated to activities and games you can do with your family as we focus on building stronger familial relationships! Playing games together allows families to get closer, understand each other better and improves communication and interaction as well as making new memories.



1. Paper Plane Contest

A paper plane contest is a fun way to spark some family fun. Start by going over how to make a paper plane with your family, if needed there are videos online so you can brush up your skills. Then find a space you can let them fly, the player's plane who goes farthest wins!


2. Top Chef Night

Engage your whole family in the kitchen. You can split off and have a person/team on appetizers, main course and dessert. This is a fun opportunity to give your kids a say in the kitchen and teach them how to make their favorite meals. You can do taste tests and pretend to be critics and rate and review the food as a family and think up ways you can make the meal even better.


3. Charades

A classic! Have some goofy fun with your family. Divide yourselves into two teams and prepare a bowl with slips of paper containing phrases or titles. In turn, one team member has to act out their word without talking while their team guesses. Set a timer and the team to correctly guess the most wins.


4. Pictionary

A similar formula to charades! Split your family up into teams and prepare a bowl with slips of paper containing phrases/titles/movies, whatever category you choose. Designate one person from each team to be the artist. Have each artist select a paper with a phrase and let them draw. First team to guess the drawing correctly wins the round.


5. Scavenger Hunt

Create a scavenger hunt or find templates online to play. You can play this around the house, around the neighborhood or around town. Split off into teams on the hunt to find items, the first team to find them all wins!


6. Indoor Bowling

Find a space in your house where you can set up an indoor (or outdoor) bowling lane. Next grab 10 empty plastic bottles and arrange them in a triangle. Get a ball and you are ready to bowl!


7. Jenga

Another fun family game night activity is Jenga. Players will take turns removing a block from the tower and stacking it on top, making the structure taller and more unstable. The player to make the tower fall loses. You can add extra elements, like allowing the winner(s) to sign or decorate a block. My family likes to play dancing Jenga where you have to do a new dance move while taking out/placing a block to add a little challenge.


8. Corn Hole

How about a family game of cornhole? Split off in teams and battle it out for “bags” champion. If you are playing with younger kids you can allot points for getting the bag on the board to make the game easier for them to participate.


9. Minute to Win It

Based on the game show, put together a series of 1 minute challenges for your family to complete. You can play player v. player, team v. team or player v. clock. For examples and ideas of minute to win it games to play click here.


10. Play Cheat.

Cheat is an easy game to play with a family as it only requires a deck of cards and the rules are very simple and easy to pick up on.

To play, deal out an entire deck evenly to players (some people may end up with an extra card). The objective is to get rid of all of your cards which you do so by playing the cards facedown in order from Ace to King. The catch is eventually you won’t have the card you say you have so you’ll have to lie and since people can’t see your cards they won’t know if you’re lying.

If someone suspects a player is lying they’ll call out “cheat” which will lead to the cards played being exposed. This will lead to two outcomes:

  1. If the player who played the cards was telling the truth, then the person who called “cheat” collects the discard pile.

  2. If the player who played the cards was lying then they have to collect the discard pile.

The game ends once a player has discarded their entire hand.


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