Are family gatherings as stale as yesterday’s toast?
It’s time to kick it up a notch with family game night. With all your obnoxious cousins around, it’s the perfect time to start a new tradition!
But remember, Pensacola Police Department’s social media game is a 10/10 – do not end up in the headlines. Nobody wants to read, “Man Not Sorry After Sorry Game Goes Wrong.” Keep it friendly.
For a memorable contest, swing by your local charity shop and pick out the most obnoxious and random item possible for a winner’s trophy. Ceramic cat statues, old pageant trophies, and Corelle plates with burnt orange sparkle designs work best.
LEFT CENTER RIGHT – This game comes highly recommended from multiple sources. You must buy the actual game to play because each dice is lettered with either L, R, C, or a dot. You can either play with chips or dollar bills (or more!). L stands for left, R stands for Right, C stands for center, and the dot stands for pass – which are the directions for where you put your chip or dollar. Watch the video here to understand how to play with dollar bills. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGJ4tx4Wz9I
SARAN WRAP BALL GAME – The Saran Wrap Ball Game is not recommended for families with intermittent explosive disorder. The concept of this game is sort of like Hot Potato meets Yahtzee with prizes.
Take a large roll of Saran or plastic wrap. As you roll it like a ball, you can add things to it like candy bars, gift cards, money, small toys, etc. As each item is added, roll more wrap around it until eventually you have a large ball. You can use any method to choose the first “unwrapper,” like having everyone roll a die and the person with the highest number goes first.
The first person with the ball begins unwrapping, while the next person keeps rolling the dice until they land on 6. Once they do, the person with the ball passes it to them and the dice goes to the next person. Then that person attempts to roll a 6. And play continues until all prizes are unraveled. Prizes are kept by the person who unwraps that prize!
HAPPY SALMON – this is the dumbest, funniest, silliest game and it only takes about 90 seconds. It can be played over and over again. This game works for all ages starting at about age 5. But watch out…you don’t want to get slapped! This is a loud, rowdy, fast-paced game. For a quiet change of pace, you could always challenge yourself with a gestures-only round!
MINUTE TO WIN IT – the great news about this game is that anyone can create it with items from around the house. It does take a little bit of planning and forethought but doesn’t require a trip to Target. Leftover crepe paper from a birthday party? Awesome…partner into pairs and the first pair to fully wrap Grandma Betty or Uncle Fred in under a minute is the winner! The key is to plan for 5-10 challenges to determine the overall family minute-to-win-it champion.
Another version is to compete as individuals. With a task at hand, each player tries to accomplish the task in under one minute. Be ready with a stopwatch to record each player’s time to determine who did it fastest.
Ideas for minute-to-win-it tasks:
- Keep 3-4 balloons in the air for a minute
- Shake bells or ping pong balls out of an empty box that is strapped to your body
- With a chopstick in your mouth, attempt to load bolt nuts onto the chopstick
For other minute-to-win-it game ideas, visit this blog: https://www.playpartyplan.com/minute-to-win-it-games-for-kids/
SEQUENCE – this game is a little more time-consuming and complicated, but is a super fun game for sitting around the table. For a detailed video on how to play Sequence, click here: Sequence Instructions on Video
UNO AND SKIP-BO – There are several versions of Uno now, but the original Uno is an easy family favorite that almost all ages can play. With simple rules like matching attributes, the rules are easy to understand and keep the game flow going. Here are the rules for Uno: UNO INSTRUCTIONS Skip-Bo is a similar, classic card game that follows fairly simple rules. For Skip-Bo video instructions click here.
SPOONS – this is another game that requires little to play. With a simple deck of cards and four spoons out of the drawer, you have everything you need. It adds a little excitement and physicality to a regular game of cards and incorporates a HORSE-style scoring system, where you spell out the word SPOONS. For instructions on SPOONS, click here.
CUP PONG – I went to an SEC university, so yes, I know it’s called Beer Pong, but I’m not promoting drinking at the family Thanksgiving. No one needs to hear the full story of Uncle Jack and Aunt Diane behind the Tastee Freeze, okay? Too many spirits and Mawmaw Jean, who’s really just cousin Larry’s common-law wife, will be retelling stories from the glory days.
But this is a fun, easy-to-assemble game that can be adapted for an alcohol-free good time. The easiest substitution is to replace the beer with root beer – but an even better holiday adaptation is to put money, gift cards, and prizes in the cups. Pieces from this game can also be easily adapted for minute-to-win-it tasks.
20 Red Solo Cups (10 per side)
A table approximately 8’ x 4’ in size (or painter’s tape marked to mark the zone on a larger table)
Fun prizes (and some duds for entertainment’s sake) to fill 20 cups
Full instructions here: https://www.wikihow.com/Play-Beer-Pong
TACO CAT GOAT CHEESE PIZZA – ADHD diagnoses would probably prevent this from being a very fun game for my family, but it would be hilarious nonetheless. Playing this game reminds me of trying to rub your head while patting your belly! How to Play Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza
TELESTRATIONS – this one came with a sudden urinary leakage warning. That good, eh? So, this game is sort of like Pictionary but played in a style that passes to the next player. For full instructions, click here. And here is a link to instructions for creating your own Telestrations game without buying the one from the store.
HAPPY PLAYING FRIENDS! We’d love to hear about your favorite group games and what you think of our list!