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Families ditch the devices and find game nights making a comeback

The Berner family—aunts, uncles, grandparents, kids—comes together around the dining room table to share some silly times playing board games. (WSYX/WTTE)

It’s a chance to put down the cell phone for awhile and start a new tradition. Family game nights are making a comeback across the country and people are finding there are benefits to gathering for a night of fun.

The Berner family—aunts, uncles, grandparents, kids—comes together around the dining room table to share some silly times playing “Toilet Trouble.” It’s a game for all ages that has players taking turns spinning a toilet paper roll, flushing, and there’s the surprise of who gets doused with a little water. If you get hit you are out. The howls and laughter that can be heard is infectious.

Jackson,10 said full of smiles “when people fail, it’s my favorite part!”

Jackson said devices are put away and the focus is on fun.

“Normally when people are on their phones they don’t even pay attention to people , but when they play games, they are like, hmm, this is fun and they get to be with friends and family.”

Game night is a positive energy outlet for the group. All sorts of games are played that can involve not just academic skills but team building and other social skills. Grandfather Roy McIntosh said they usually have a meal and then everybody gets in the act. “We had a three year old and a 65 year old that participated and we all had fun,” said McIntosh.

“The older you get the more you reflect on you are glad that they are having fun and in today’s society it’s a struggle for kids to laugh and there is a lot of pressure and bullying and things like that this gets children away from that,” said McIntosh.

Tara McIntosh said she thinks the tradition will continue as the grandchildren grow up. “I just want my kids to have fun and they get to see how great our family is and hopefully when they get to become an adult, they have game nights with their siblings.”

Tara said her family likes to compete. “We like to talk a little bit of trash,” she said. “Life is chaotic. It is good just to be able to spend time with one another. We have so much fun. We get to laugh and let loose.”

Mom Kelli Berner makes sure as the hostess everybody is comfortable and involved.

“It’s one of the most fun ways to get to know your family as well.

Sometimes you play games and you think I didn’t know Aunt Glo could be so goofy or I didn’t know Jackson had that side in him.

It brings out the best in everybody. It’s just a fun atmosphere.”

Jason Berner, a Genoa Township police officer knows what on the job stress can be like and welcomes the break with family and friends.

“Incorporate the kids too. It’s an activity that doesn’t involve electronic device or a screen and it gets them involved and they really enjoy it.”

The families said game night is an inexpensive way to have fun. A healthy potluck meal is a nice addition for everybody to enjoy.

“I love the laughter and just how crazy we can be at times and it’s just fun and in a stressful world that we can sit back and actually enjoy ourselves,” said Jason. “What I will remember as I reflect on our game nights is the amount of fun we had. I will remember the amount of people that came and participated and showed up and the laughter.”

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