In my house, we like quite a few things. When we aren’t on the road or traveling, our favourite things are family game night and taco night. As our family moves into the new year, we have talked a lot about resolutions. Mine is to make sure we have a family game night at least once a month. Here are 6 easy tips for a successful family game night plus the ultimate family game night recipe: Ice Cream Tacos with Old El Paso.
When people think family game night, I find that they often start too late. My kids are 8 and 6 and our family game nights tend to start around 4 pm. The reason is simple, we can get to at least 4 games before their regular bedtime. Tired kids don’t always make for the best game players.
Prep An Easy Dinner
Before we sit down to our first game, I have already prepped dinner. The reasoning is simple. I don’t want to miss out on any games! I find that for us, tacos have the highest success rate for a family game night. This is twofold. My kids have never ever complained about having tacos and it’s a sit down together as a family kind of dinner. While my kids are traditionalist and prefer an Old El Paso beef taco, for more adventurous families there are plenty of amazing slow cooker options like these slow cooker pineapple pork tacos. To make dinner work, we break after our second game and gather in the kitchen as a family. The kids remove all the pre-cut toppings from the fridge and set the table. I grab an Old El Paso Dinner Kit and start cooking. While I prepare the taco meat, I also warm the taco shells and our favourite Old El Paso Mini Tortilla Bowls. In about 15 minutes, we are ready to eat and discuss which game is next.
Choosing Family Games Night Games
Planning a successful family games night involves choosing the right games. I find that if you are doing a monthly games night, you need a healthy rotation of games. We often reach out to our neighbours and friends before family games night to see which games they love and arrange to borrow some. We like to try a range of games from classics like Sorry to laugh out loud games like Pie Face Challenge.
Just because it’s family games night that doesn’t mean you should always restrict the guest list to just your family. We like to invite friends over and find that it helps to liven up the night with fun conversations of favourite games. We play games that pit the kids against the adults for an even more fun atmosphere. My only rule is that everyone who comes plays which you may have to explain to some adults beforehand.
Leave the “Best Games” for Last
I find that leaving what my kids deem as the “best games” for last tends to make the night go smoother. Boom Boom Balloon and Pie Face Challenge are their absolute favourites. I like to keep those options off the table until after dessert. It gives the kids something to anticipate which means that if they aren’t so into one or two of the games, they still tend to hang in there.
End With a Sweet Surprise
Besides birthdays and holidays, I can’t really remember a night that we have had dessert in this house in the past year. Still, family game night is the perfect time to break the rules and have fun with food as a family. My favourite thing to do is to follow up taco night with a surprise taco ice cream bar. What I love about ice cream tacos is that you can make them as simple or as elaborate as you would like. You can also prep everything ahead of time. Plus, I’ve never seen my kids more excited for food as the night I made them the following recipe.
Ice Cream Tacos with Old El Paso
- 12 Old El Paso Crunchy Taco Shells
- 2 cups of chocolate chips
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
- 2 bananas, sliced
- 4 cups of assorted ice cream
- 1 cup chocolate or strawberry sauce
- 1 cup whipped cream
- 1 cup sprinkles
- Heat oven to 325ºF. Place taco shells on pan and bake 6-7 minutes until crisp.
- Melt chocolate chips using a double broiler. Bring an inch of water to simmer in a saucepan. Set heatproof bowl or double broiler on top of saucepan. Stir chocolate as it melts. Remove bowl from heat.
- Remove shells from oven.
- Dip taco shells one at a time in melted chocolate. Use spoon to spread chocolate inside of taco shell. Let excess chocolate drip off taco shell and then stand the shell upside down on a platter to cool. Repeat with remaining shells.
- Place upside down shells in the refrigerator to set for 20 minutes.
- Set up toppings, ice cream and whipped cream in separate bowls on a counter or table.
- Remove shells from fridge. Invite family members and friends to assemble ice cream tacos as they desire.
- Eat immediately and enjoy!
This recipe can be tailored as needed to fit every member of the family. Charlie, my youngest, is allergic to dairy and we are able to still make this recipe using our favourite dairy-free ice creams and coconut whip cream. Check the organics section of your local grocery store to find dairy-free chocolate chips.
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Enter here before February 24, 2017 to win a prize pack valued at $175 which includes a $150 gift card to Walmart and the following Old El Paso products: Regular Tortilla Bowls, Stand n Stuff Taco Dinner Kit, Mild Taco Sauce, Taco Seasoning, Thick n Chunky Salsa Mild and Mexican Rice. Canada Only. No QC.