You’ve finally tied the little tikes down to one idea, your best idea yet: A kids game room. While they’re busy inviting their friends over for the most awesome time ever, you feel relatively sane knowing where they are, what they are doing, and who they are with. Simple and easy, so far. Now, what to put in your kids’ new game room?
1. Air Hockey Table. Air hockey is safe, competitive and really fun to play. You won’t have to dish out the money for a pool table, and you won’t have to worry about it getting ruined by your kids’ attempts to not scratch. Kids can watch, compete against each other, hold “best three out of five”, and the pieces are light and non-injuring if they get accidentally flung across the room. It’s a win-win situation. Put the table in the center of a small game room, or in the center of one end of a large or long game room. If your kids become experts, you can always get a bigger hockey table. Game Table Hero has a list of some good air hockey tables for kids.
2. Gaming Console. Whether your kids are fans of XBox 360, PS4, or the ever charming Wii, you will want to make sure that they have something to sit down and do after they get in from outside. It’s a great way to get them eating and spending a lot of time curled up in one place, if you need a nice long break without worrying about them. Thanks to game theory, your kids and their friends can go on and on without noticing the time, while you and your neighbors relax out on the porch with martinis. Just remember, parenting is a full time job and eventually they will become active again.
3. Card Table or Multi-Game Table. Whether it is a simple six person card table where your offspring can refine their poker playing while betting with candy, or it is a multi-game top with options for chess, checkers, backgammon and so on, you are going to want them to have something in their game room where their tactical and strategic skills can be honed. These are your minions, after all. Make sure the chairs are comfortable, there is plenty of room for them to sit with all their friends, and that you have small tables or socket bags hanging down where they can stick their snacks.
4. Television with DVD Player. Now, we all want to encourage our little hellions to be more active, but everyone knows that people go back and forth between active and passive states. Make sure your kids have the kind of DVDs you approve of and that their TV privileges are monitored by some sort of parental spy chip. This is a great way to make sure their passive time is healthy and emotionally viable. Surround the TV area with bean bag chairs, squishy armchairs, or just soft, colorful rugs. Kids are versatile and will take whatever set up you give them.
5. Ping Pong Table. In the other half of their game room, you’re going to want to set up a ping pong table. We know that everyone is notoriously bad at ping pong, but that is where the insatiable tenacity of children comes in. They will keep trying, even if they fail over and over again. This will also improve their hand-eye coordination, keep their bodies extremely active while staying indoors, and is highly entertaining for whoever is watching.
Rest assured, however you stack your kids’ game room, they will be delighted. Children love to have adult privileges and an entire room of their own, just for entertainment and play, is an extremely healthy thing. And if your kids are older, then maybe a foosball table would make a good addition.