In our fast-moving society, it's very easy for a family to get distracted by everyday life. Our high tech world constantly pulls us apart with everyone more focused on their personal digital gadgets rather than each other. In the spring and summer months, it's a little easier to rally your family to take day trips and partake in other outdoor activities, but with those long fall and winter nights just around the corner, it can be a challenge to find ways to get your family to connect. School, work and never ending sporting events keep you on the run, limited family time. Designating a family game night is a good way to connect. If you are looking to start the family game night or continue the tradition in your household you don't always have to break out the board games, you can probably use some of your current devices. Read on to find out what gadgets can help you create a more contemporary and high tech family game night.
1. Amazon Echo/ Google Home. I've installed countless smart-home hubs in homes and businesses, but never really understood the appeal until my wife and I purchased some for our home. Our original purpose for getting a smart speaker was to create a smart-home. Now that we have it, we use our Amazon Alexa for more than just monitoring and controlling devices in our home. Both Echo and Home have an endless list of games that your family can play. You can choose from favorites like 'Escape Room', 'Trivial Pursuit', 'Heads Up', and many, many more. You game options open up more if you have the Amazon Echo Show or the Google Home Hub.
2. Use Apps on Your Gadgets. My family and I play board games from time to time, but not all family have board games in their homes. If you took all of your board games to Goodwill, don't worry, you can download those classic games on your computer, smartphone and tablets. If you have Smart TV, you can also take advantage of the apps on the store for your brand of TV. This also goes for owners of Roku, Chromecast, Firestick and Apple TV. There are tons of family games you can download on that big, beautiful screen.
3. Turn to Your Favorite Streaming Service. Remember those days of going to Blockbuster? I don't miss them, especially since you can stream your favorite movie right into your home. So don't forget good old fashioned movie night. Once your family comes to an agreement on what movie to watch, you can decide how you want to watch it and where. You can watch movies on your TV or take it outside for family movie night on your lawn thanks to devices like the Epson Home Projector. Also, don't get caught up with what's on Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, check out some of the free streaming services like PlutoTV (plutotv.com), Tubi TV (Tubitv.com) and Crackle (crackle.com) to get a wider variety of shows. Bonus, don't forget about YouTube (youtube.com) there are channels full of entertainment for family such as movie and music trivia.
4. Video Game Console Systems. Yes, I own a video game console and I'm sure you have one too ... at least for the kids. Consoles such as the Playstaion 4, Nintendo Switch and the Xbox One have games that are geared for family as well (It's just not all, HALO, Call of Duty, and Fortnite). Many of the titles for these games system are single player, but there are a good variety of multi-player games too. It won't hurt you to learn how to play some of the mainstream games your kids play. Your console can also introduce your kids to the games you grew up with. If you want them to play the old board games you played, check out Hasbro (hasbro.com) and their Family Fun Pack video game which is available for all gaming systems. If its those old video games you played, check out Atari's (www.atari.com) Flashback classics which allows you to play classics like Atari and Asteroids.
Family is one of the most precious things that we have. Don't take them for granted. Thanks to technology, your family can use smart devices to enjoy time together. Despite what you think, there are many interactive games developed to deliver collaborative entertainment. Take a moment to see what devices you can use to create a hi-tech family game or movie night in your household.
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