There is nothing I love more than spending time with my boys. Whether we’re outside throwing snowballs, inside baking cookies or on the road running errands, we always have so much fun together. But now that Zackary is in Kindergarten, I have already noticed that we don’t have as much time together as we used to.
Once kids start school, finding time for family fun definitely takes more effort. And with so many children choosing to use their free time to play video games, spending time together gets even more difficult. My five-year-old son already has an obsessive love of any type of racing game. I can just imagine what he’ll be like in a few years!
So how can parents and kids both enjoy a little more quality time together? Tech expert and father Marc Saltzman has a suggestion…take Family Game Night to a new level by enjoying your child’s beloved video games together!
Of course, not every parent may feel capable of grabbing a controller and diving into the fun, but with a little effort, a high-tech Family Game Night can be something that everyone enjoys. For those that are interested in giving it a try, Marc has some great tips to help hesitant parents feel more comfortable:
- Don’t knock it ‘til you try it: Parents may not want to look like complete “noobs” in front of their kids, but just as you might watch TV or read together, why not engage in interactive entertainment with the kids? Some parents may prefer to try out the games when the kids aren’t around to get used to them a little. Don’t worry – you can’t “break” the game!
- Pick a genre you all like: Not all games appeal to the same people. Mom might have trouble associating with fantasy role-playing games like World of Warcraft or military shooters like Call of Duty. Discuss genres that cross a common ground (perhaps music games). Many multiplayer “party” games lend themselves to group play – try starting with a digital version of a family board game.
- Do your homework: While kids rarely read game manuals, parents who want to play with their kids might want to do so, as the controls are usually laid out with diagrams and descriptions. Also, most games begin with some kind of tutorial, so start at the beginning of the adventure! This should help alleviate common concerns heard from moms and dads, such as “I die within minutes”, “the controls are too confusing” and “he always beats me”.
- Switch platforms: If TV-based video game consoles and wireless controllers are too intimidating, try engaging with kids on another platform, such as a computer or tablet. In fact, there are many good multiplayer iPad games available for both game-savvy and not-so-game-savvy folks.
- Game (not) over: Don’t beat yourself up if this experiment in gaming with the kids doesn’t work. Remind them it’s just about connecting more and hanging out as a family. Perhaps at the very least you can make an effort to relax in the same room as the kids who are playing games – even though you might be flipping through a magazine on the couch.
Now nothing goes better with a night of video games than a bag of delicious Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn, and because Orville believes in the importance of family time, the company is currently offering an amazing Pop & Win giveaway that is sure to have both parents and kids excited to sit down together!
By buying specially-marked packages of Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn, customers can visit www.orville.ca/popandwin and enter the pin on their package for a chance to instantly win one of two amazing PS3 prize pack containing a PlayStation 3 System, a PlayStation Move motion controller, a 60” Sony 3D TV and more, or one of more than one million secondary prizes! And every instant win entry will also be entered into a grand prize draw for one final PS3 prize pack! One in every six boxes is a winner, so pick up your favourite variety of delicious Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn and see if you’re a winner!
To get started testing out Marc’s tips for yourself, Orville Redenbacher is also offering one lucky Mommy Kat and Kids reader a Pop & Win prize pack containing family-friendly PS3 games, Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn and more, a $50 value! So when it comes to family time, don’t be afraid to get creative! And don’t forget to indulge in a tasty bowl of Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn for your chance to win an amazing PlayStation 3 prize pack!
Buy It: Orville Redenbacher’s specially marked Pop & Win popcorn is available at grocery stores and mass merchandise stores across Canada
Win It: One lucky reader is going to win a Pop & Win prize pack worth $50 containing family-friendly PS3 games, Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn and more from Orville Redenbacher
To Enter (mandatory): Leave a blog comment about your favourite family activity and then let me know you did using the Rafflecopter form below