Planning a play date that all can enjoy

The Baltimore Sun

Local game-night enthusiasts offer tips for making your event one to be enjoyed by all ages:

The host should make sure that everyone has a good time. Even if it means missing out on the games, the host must work to ensure everyone's comfort. The host must also know enough about the participants to know which games are favored and should be able to convey the rules of the games.

Set the right environment for play. Make sure you have proper lighting -- not too bright, not too dim.

Stock up on plenty of refreshments: chips, popcorn, soft drinks, etc.

Play games that are easy to grasp and don't take most of the night to complete. Games such as Wits & Wagers and Apples to Apples take less than 30 minutes, which means people can either play again or go on to another game.

If you plan to make game night a regular family event, be flexible with the scheduling. Set a time that everyone can agree with, even if it means occasionally revising the schedule.

Don't take any facet of play -- especially winning or losing -- too seriously. The idea is to have so much fun that people want to come back for more.

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