It’s Christmas Eve! Right about now, you’re probably preparing for the influx of family and friends or to go to a family member or friends’ home for holiday celebrations. With that often comes a number of guests of varying ages and interests and possibly relatives who haven’t seen each other in quite some time. That scenario requires two things: great food and great entertainment that everyone can enjoy (well… maybe three things, you may need adult beverages, depending on your family, ha!). My favorite form of group entertainment is games that are family-friendly, funny and require minimal expense/preparation. In case you don’t already have an arsenal of such games prepared for your celebrations, I thought I’d share three of my favorites with you.
Spoons is kind of like the card game rummy and musical chairs had a baby… in the kitchen? Ok, I’m stretching there… but run with it because this game is a lot of fun! You’ll need two decks of regular playing cards (jokers and instruction cards removed) and a one less spoon than the total number of people playing (see, that part’s like musical chairs).
Everyone sits in a circle and is dealt 4 cards. When the game begins, everyone looks at their cards and makes the decision which of their cards they want to try to collect all 4 of. The dealer begins passing a card to their left, face up. If they want to keep it, they keep it, but they must discard one of their other 4 that is not needed for the match they’re going for. The pace is quick, as the person to the dealer’s left does the same, as does the next person to the left and so on and so on. The dealer just keeps passing cards (as does everyone else) until someone has 4 of a card. That person then grabs a spoon (either quickly or stealthily!) and once others notice, they too take a spoon. The last person will not have a spoon and they are the loser of the round. You can keep score by giving the loser of each round a letter in the word spoon until someone spells s-p-o-o-n (like a game of horse) or until you tire of it. This fast paced game is easy to learn and lots of fun to play.
If you’re a visual person and would like to learn from others teaching the game in action, check out this great YouTube video:
You’ve probably played both Telephone and Pictionary before, but, have you played Telephone Pictionary? If not, you totally should. This game is great for laughs and requires just paper and pens. For each round, each player will need a stack of paper (scratch paper, mini notepad sheets work) for each person playing. (8 players = 8 sheets of paper per round, so think small paper.)
The gist of the game is as follows: think of a phrase, song title, movie line, just about any sentence and write it down on the top sheet of paper then pass your stack to your right. Each person must then read the sentence, place that sheet on the bottom of the pile then do their best to illustrate the sentence on the new, top sheet of paper without using any words or letters. Players then pass their drawings to the right, and the recipients attempt to guess the sentence based on the picture and write it on a new, black sheet on the stack (moving the picture to the bottom). This continues until each stack has made it all around the circle of players. Then, each player reveals what their sentence actual was and the devolution that occurred since. It may not sound hilarious written out here, but just wait until you see the illustrations and confused interpretations. We just played this past weekend with a large group and “The Color Purple” became “The Care Bear Stare.” Good times people, good times.
Heads Up! (App)
At the aforementioned get together in which we played Telephone Pictionary, we encountered a great crisis. We brought the game Catch Phrase, but it somehow disappeared! Thankfully, our friend Vanessa saved the day with an app I’d never heard of but that we all enjoyed called “Heads Up!” Apparently this game is the brainchild of Ellen Degeneres and she uses it on her show! (These are the things I miss by not being home for afternoon television I suppose.) Anyway, the game is a lot of fun – everyone splits into teams and takes turns being the “guesser.” They hold the phone to their forehead with the screen facing out, and their teammates act, impersonate and describe to get them to guess the word displayed on the screen. A downward head nod tells the app you’ve guessed correctly and to move to the next word, and upward gesture tells the app to pass. Play for points, by round again your opposing team (guys vs. girls in our case) and then watch the playback videos (yes, it captures your team in action!) for extra laughs afterward. This game is so fun and only 99 cents! (Available for iOS and Android)