The Spring Issue of Today's Family Is Out!

You can find the latest issue of Today's Family magazine — inside the March issue of Today's Woman ! That's two magazin...

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Great Game Ideas from a Large Family

By M. Lynn Willing
Photos by Patti Hartog

Six of the eight Thibeadeau children played volleyball outside on spring break. From left: Eva (9), Hannah (16) , Faith (14), Rhonda (7), Guy (18), and Grace (10). Hannah and Faith play volleyball for their school team.

The Thibaudeau family in the Westport Road area is big on choosing fun and games that involve the whole family. With eight children — five at home, two away at college, and one married — Tricia and Steve have had plenty of opportunities to find their sweet spot in the world of entertainment options.

Tricia, a part-time nurse educator, admits that doing fun things together can be challenging with the age span. Factor in their two other priorities and it becomes even trickier: “We’re a larger family so we try to find things that are inexpensive, and because of our faith we look for things that don’t compromise our values.”

Through trial and error they’ve landed on a handful of favorites that usually include several family members and occasionally include screens. “There is a time and place for alone time, but generally we encourage togetherness rather than isolation because screen time tends to make our children more grumpy. Besides, in real life you have to work with others, problem-solve, and build relationships.”

Steve and Tricia have learned that if they take time to have fun with their kids, building relationships one-on-one, behavior and attention improves. Perhaps the biggest benefit is the foundation it lays for later years. “We won’t regret the time invested connecting and building individual relationships early. It really pays off.”

Family fun at home:
  • Cranium board games
  • Bezzerwizzer (trivia, tactics and trickery)
  • Quelf (players answer crazy questions and perform ridiculous stunts)
  • Card games of all kinds: their current favorite is Five Crowns
  • Wii games such as Mario Cart and Just Dance
  • Drawception (combo of Pictionary and Telephone)
  • Family-friendly movies on blankets with popcorn (for reviews)
  • Perusing YouTube for funny posts
  • Watching old family videos

The board game Quelf is a good indoor activity for a wide age span.

Family fun around town:
  • Exploring at Joe Ley Antique Store
  • Ice skating
  • Bowling

Middle and High School:

  • Playing house or camping
  • Trampoline
  • Puddle-jumping after rains
  • Picnics
  • Memory games
  • Legos
  • Making chores fun with laundry “fold fests” and “5 minute room clean”
  • Summer reading aloud: The Borrowers series (5 fantasy novels about a family of tiny people who live secretly in the walls and floors of an English house), The Giver (also great for teens, a morally driven story about a dystopian world), The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (hope and belief amid impossible circumstances) and Hero Tales (true stories from the lives of Christian heroes)
  • Action figures, Barbies, and dolls
  • DVDs of old TV series (such as I Love Lucy and Dr. Who)
  • App for drawing: Draw Free
  • Indoor playgrounds: Chick-fil-A (younger) or McDonalds (older)
  • Outdoor playgrounds: Parklands/Beckley Station and favorite is Brown Park

Young ones (up to age 5):
  • Sit on the floor and play!
  • Puzzles
  • Coloring
  • Reading books


  1. That's my wonderful, amazing family! All great ideas, I personally love all of them, coloring, games, many ways to spend time together, grow and love each other more :) <3

  2. Wonderful ideas, very inspiring!!

  3. Nice to know how play Great Game!! I really recommend other to read this article .
    Keep up the good work .


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...