In this age of hand-held electronic devices and short attention spans, it can be a challenge for families to gather in one place at one time to engage in any type of bonding activity.
The Pickerington Public Library is doing its part to bring families together by offering a free "Family Game Night" the first and fourth Tuesday of each month from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Library Assistant Director Kenton Daniels said games are a great way for families to interact.
"Playing games is not only a lot of fun but it's also a great way to connect with your child, and can teach kids important skills including cooperation, teamwork and problem solving," Daniels said.
He said several tables are set up in the library's main conference room to accommodate an array of board games.
"We have classic board games like Monopoly, Apples to Apples, Settlers of Catan and the junior versions for younger kids," Daniels said.
The main objective for every game, he said, is not to win, but to simply have fun.
"There is no tournament. This is great for people who want to learn how to play a particular game or just hang out with a group of friends," Daniels said.
He said staff members from a gaming store called Dave's Club House in Reynoldsburg will be on hand to lend their expertise and "teach people how to play different games."
Daniels said other games offered include Magic the Gathering, Munchkin, Small World and Ticket to Ride.
"It takes a little time to learn them," Daniels said.
"If you're not into reading the instruction booklet, (you can) learn from people who already know how to play."
He said those who prefer modern technology won't be left out of the mix.
"If you want to go high-tech, there is a Wii and X-box, (there's) something for everyone. But the emphasis really is on the table-top games."
The two next drop-in "Family Game Night" programs are scheduled for Tuesday, March 5 and 26 at the Pickerington Public Library, 201 Opportunity Way.
The event is free and open to all ages. Games and refreshments will be provided.
Daniels said those who want to find out more information about game nights or "other fun programs for kids and families," can go to the library's website at www.pickeringtonlibrary.org.