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If grandparents, parents and kids are in the immediate bubble of safety in the middle of this pandemic, try a family night to combat boredom, including a game night.

As holidays are keeping families inside and kids are frustrated with filling time, indulging different hobbies and forms of entertainment has long been a way to stave off the cabin fever that often accompanies cold weather and spending increased time indoors.

Now these activities also are ways to pass the time in safe manners when social distancing from others. Reconnect with the joys of playful interaction afforded by any number of board games, video games, movies, and other activities. There are many great methods to getting the family together in entertaining ways. Consider the following ideas.

Themed movie night

Set aside one night each week for a family movie night.

The twist is that each week the movie selection must fit a particular theme or contain a certain criterion chosen randomly from a jar. For example, if “animal” is selected, then the movie must be about animals or have an animal as a main character or component of the film. A theme helps add some variety to the movie selection process.

Classic game night

Many homes have a closet or drawer filled with various games. Chances are many of them are classic offerings that have withstood the test of time, such as Monopoly or Scrabble. Revisit these beloved games and see if you can improve your strategies.

Action game night

Look for games that involve action and give all ages a chance to win. Action games combine a physical activity and family interaction.

Games can be commercial offerings with regimented rules, or freestyle games that the family creates. Relay races, timed scavenger hunts or physical games like Twister are some options. You also can divide up into two groups and engage in a heated game of charades.

Puzzle or trivia night

Puzzles can put the brain to the test. Research shows that puzzle and trivia work can strengthen cognition.

Puzzling actually stimulates the brain and can potentially ward off Alzheimer’s disease, according to a recent study published in the Archives of Neurology.

If you like to do jigsaw puzzles, you can improve visual-spacial reasoning by figuring out where pieces fit into the big picture. Spending time at home can involve movie or game nights that become part of families’ weekly routines.

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