Family Fun: Video Game Tournament

We’re all about books around here…but that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy a good screen time break every now and then! Now that you can pick up materials from the library, check out our video game selection. We have games for the Nintendo Switch, Wii, DS/3DS, PlayStation, and Xbox.

Whether you use one of our games or a favorite from home, set up a round of healthy competition for your family fun time with a video game tournament! Of course, this will look different depending on the size of your family, ages in your family, the gaming systems you have available, and how the games are played, but you can make it up as you go! The most important parts are consistent scoring (you decide what that looks like) and, of course, the prizes!

You could go all out and set up a bracket, with elimination rounds and face-offs between players. You could go head to head to see who comes out on top; maybe if it’s a one-round game you could set a certain number of rounds to determine the winner (best of 3? Best of 5?). You could use scores generated by the game, or keep your own score chart in a notebook or on a whiteboard. Let your kids be the experts and teach you a new game – maybe they can do the math and act as scorekeepers too!score board

You also set the timeframe – are you going to play all weekend until you finish the tournament, or is playing one round of the game a special after-teeth-are-brushed bedtime treat each night? Do you play as regular screen time, or do the kids get to complete their usual screen time allotment, PLUS play a round of tourney with you?

In my house, all this looks like a whole lot of MarioKart that unfolds over a couple of months. We give points for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place at the end of each Cup (as opposed to using “official” scoring from the game). When we play is hit-or-miss depending on our schedules, but with three rounds of eight Cups each, it takes us weeks to work our way through all of these rounds, and the back-and-forth for first place throughout that time leads to quite a bit of excitement (and only the occasional argument…).

A tourney is a great excuse to put off washing those dishes and spend a little time focused on your kids. I don’t know what it’s like in your house, but around here I know I’m not going to win, so the fun of it is just the experience of playing together (and for the kids, getting to beat Mom!). As for the prize… it’s all about food! The winner of each round is rewarded with the “special chocolate” (that they’re not usually allowed to touch!), and the overall winner from all three rounds picks any dessert they want Mom to make…fun playing together + a sweet treat at the end of it all? I’d say that’s a win-win for everyone!

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