4 min read

Level up Your Family Game Night with These 10 Tips | COVID-19 Edition


Written by Kim Rain

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 01/06/2021, edited: 10/26/2022


Enjoying time at home with the family is something most of us look forward to all day. But when Covid-19 hit, no one realized just how much time that would be! With so many of us now working and attending school at home, the days and nights can seem monotonous. 

While family game night has always been a time for fun and relaxation with our loved ones, with month after month of social distancing, even our favorite games may begin to seem a bit… well, boring. Spice up family game night with these tips to bring the fun back, and enjoy your time together again!

Tips to Level Up Game Night!

House rules

Most of us know about stacking Draw cards in Uno, but any game can get more interesting when you make house rules. Introduce a separate dice that can add or subtract spaces to move rolled by the adjacent player, blindfold players who play certain cards for a turn, or make a rule that switches card hands or players’ places on the board. The possibilities are endless!

Punishments and rewards for winner and loser

Make interesting stakes for the ultimate winner or loser to take an ok game to the next level. You could have the winner get to choose what movie to watch on movie night, or what game to play next. The loser might have to clean up, make popcorn for movie night, or even do the dishes. Have fun with it, but don’t make the punishments too harsh or no one will want to play!

Have fun with bets

Like in the movie “Benny and Joon,” use slips of paper to make bets on card hands, or who will win, or place second or third in any game. You can even use bets inside the actual game in various ways, so get creative! Bets can be trading chores, making brownies, doing another player’s laundry, or even for items you’d like to get rid of.

Murder mystery game

You’ve seen it in movies, and may have heard about others playing it, so if you haven’t given this interactive game a try, it may be the Saturday night save you’ve been looking for. Each player gets to be a character in a story where one person gets “murdered,” while the others have to decide who among them is the murderer. Set up clues around the house, get out the costumes, and GET INTO CHARACTER! The “murdered” can also still play by returning as a ghost to give clues!

Scavenger hunt

This game pits players against each other or in teams to find items around the house. Up the fun by introducing clues to the next item players need to find as they check off the list, create themes, make a story to go with the clues, or even add yummy treats with each found item. If you’ve got a dog who loves to find things, they can join the fun too, just be sure to have treats waiting for them with the items. 

Hide and seek with dogs

Playing this childhood game can get even more interesting when you have an expert sniffer involved! Take turns hiding and seeking, making sure the seeker is teamed up with the family pup. Hiders should have treats with them to give the dog when found. Once your snifftastic friend gets the game and can stay until given the “Go Find” command, everyone can hide and wait for their best furry pal to find them!

Balloon toss with dogs

Active pups love this one! Blow up a balloon or two, and play balloon toss. Dogs can easily learn to hit the balloon with their nose up into the air to help keep it from falling to the ground. Get into teams, or go solo hitting the balloon back and forth, and to your pup.

Tag with dogs

Training your dog to play tag

 is easy, and once they learn, there’s instant fun and exercise to be had indoors or out! Last one not tagged wins a reward, be that a small gift card, movie choice, treats, bone, or even a massage!

Football or soccer with dogs

These two puptawstic sports can be played inside or outside too, just be sure to have some boundaries inside to keep things safe. Buy a cheap net and soccer ball, and teach your sporty pup how to play soccer, or get a few footballs and show your doggo how to play football. Flag football may be a better option indoors, as dogs can bite off the flags from your belt without tackling you. 

Tag with cats

Let’s not furget our feline furiends! Kitties love to chase and hunt, so use those instincts for fun! Play laser tag where one family member “tags” another with a laser pointer until the cat pounces on them. Once pounce tagged, that family member gets to “tag” someone else! Or get several feathers or feather cat toys that you can tuck into belts, pockets or socks with most of the feather sticking out. Entice your kitty with the feather, and let them chase you around the house till they tag you by getting it. If your cat doesn’t seem interested, try rolling the feathers in catnip first. 

With these FURBULOUS tips, your family is sure to be looking forward to game night again! Play on!

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