heartsSweet Family Fun Nights

By Beth Engelman

Celebrate Valentine’s Day as a family. Make the evening a little sweeter with these easy to make games that double as dessert.

Edible Dominoes

This idea comes courtesy of Shannon Payette Seip and Kelly Parthen, authors of “Bean Appetit” (Andrews McMeel, 2010) and founders of Bean Sprouts Café & Cooking School. Be sure to check out their website beansprouts.com for family friendly recipes and updates on their soon-to-be opened café in Deerfield.

You need:

  1. Graham Crackers
  2. Cookie Icing
  3. Chocolate Chips


To make a domino, draw a line with icing down the middle of the graham cracker. Place a dot or dots (ranging between 0-6) on each side of the cracker. Repeat steps until you have made 28 unique “dominoes.” Need a refresher on how to play? Visit Domino Games.

Candy Chess

This tasteful game comes from Sharon Bowers’s fantastic book, “Candy Construction” (Storey Publishing, 2010). For more information about this book as well as others by Bowers, visit Storey.com.

You need:

  • 2 Kinds of Chocolate Kisses
  • Structurally Interesting Candy (such as licorice allsorts, chocolate truffles, mini peanut butter cups and marshmallows)
  • Chess Board
  • Frosting


Use chocolate kisses as pawns. Be sure to choose a different color for each player such as white-striped or dark chocolate. You need 8 pawns per player. Use frosting as glue to build castles, knights and bishops with licorice allsorts and /or peanut-butter cups. Top each piece with a corresponding chocolate kiss. Be sure to make 2 castles, 2 knights and 2 bishops per player. Add royal flair to your kings and queens with chocolate truffles, marshmallows, and any other candy that might inspire you. You will need 1 king and 1 queen per player.

Need a chess refresher? Visit ChessGuru.net for rules, strategies and more.

Cookie Reversi

If you can open a bag of cookies, you can play this game but don’t let the simplicity fool you. Reversi is a game of strategy that’s easy to learn but hard to master. Thank you to Sharon Bowers and “Candy Construction,” for inspiring this idea.

You need:

  • Chocolate and Vanilla Sandwich Cookies
  • Reversi Board (download at pioneerlocal.com/mommy)


Before setting up the game, players must choose their flavor (chocolate or vanilla). Give each player approximately 30 cookies.


Each player places 2 pieces diagonally in the middle of the board. Players take turns placing game pieces on the board so that a line exists between their new piece and another like-colored piece, while also being next to an opposing piece. After placing the new piece on the board, all pieces within that line are flipped over to
match the player’s color. The person with the most pieces on the board at the end of the game wins (and gets a cookie!) For more information, visit Reversi Mahjongg where you can learn the rules and practice online.

Candy Matching

A great game to play with leftover holiday candies and treats, this game is perfect on days when you’re looking for something different to do with the kids.

You need:

  • 12-20 Small Paper Cups (the more cups you have, the more challenging the game)
  • 6-10 Pairs of Candies (such as kisses, gummies, licorice allsorts, etc)


Set up the game by placing one piece of candy under each cup. Slide the cups around to mix up the board. Just like a traditional matching game, players take turns turning cups over to find matches. If a player finds a match, she gets to keep the candy and play again. The person with the most candies at the end of the game wins.