Story by: Lynne Choate on February 5, 2016
With the #SB50 right around the corner, many families are planning their game time festivities. If children will be attending your party, be sure to plan activities to keep them occupied. Mother, grandmother and child advocacy expert Erika Janes, R.N., shares a few tips on making game night a super celebration for all ages.
Designate an “end zone” — a safe play area for the kids. Keep in mind the ages and abilities of the kids attending and plan your space accordingly. Be sure all stairs and other potential hazards are blocked from access, especially for toddlers who like to explore.
Plan kids’ activities. Don’t assume toys will keep the kids busy — that never works! Plan ahead by getting craft supplies or coloring sheets, setting up a scavenger hunt or having outdoor activities (if weather permits). A great idea is to have the kids star in their own half-time talent show. They can use the first half of the game to get their skit together and practice. Then turn the third quarter into a pajama party where the kids get ready for bed. This also prevents hassle when you return home with sleeping kids in the car. The ideas are endless; just do some planning ahead of time to think about what the kids will like to do.
Take turns being “referee.” Even if they are playing nicely, kids still need supervision. Parents or responsible adults should take turns watching the children. Divide the night into 15 or 30-minute shifts so that no one misses too much of the game (and commercials!), and the kids steer clear of timeouts, personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct.
Score big with the snacks. Have finger foods that are kid-friendly and not too spicy. If serving hotdogs, fruit or cheese cubes, these can become choking hazards for children. Getting the kids involved in making their own snacks, such as personal pizzas or decorating sugar cookies, is always a win. But just like with adults, kids can eat too much and end up with a bellyache. Pay attention to what your child is eating so you can encourage them stop when they are full. Check out these healthy game night recipes.
Get your family home safely. Never drink and drive. If you’ve had too much to drink, call a cab or ask someone else to drive you and your family home.
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