Family Games – quick, easy and fun games to play

Ideas for games when you want something a little bit different to your standard board game…

What Am I Eating?

Blindfold one person and raid the cupboards to find different things for them to taste; honey, soy sauce, mustard, frozen pea, marshmallow etc… all work well.

The blindfolded person must try and guess what they have been given. Make sure you check for food allergies before playing this game. And it is probably best to supervise the food choices!

He Said She Said

Each person gets a piece of paper and a pen/pencil. They write the first few lines of a story, fold the page until the last line or last few words of the previous person’s story is only visible, and pass the paper over the to next person, who writes the next few lines, and so on until the page comes back to the original author.

Since each child cannot see all of the previous person’s story, they must write their lines based on one sentence/word.

Play Alphabet Chat

Challenge each other to talk for a minute each without using words beginning with an agreed letter of the alphabet.

Paper Aeroplane Race

All you need to make paper aeroplanes is paper and pens for decorating.

First fold your paper aeroplane and then the kids can draw the pilots at the front and the passengers looking out of the windows. Have paper aeroplane races and see whose gets furthest.

You could also get a large sheet of paper, cut different sized holes in the paper and give points to each (smallest hole with the largest number of points). Sellotape this across a door way and see who can get the most points.

Build a Bridge

Build a bridge out of straws that is strong enough to hold a glass, book or something similar.

Sock Wars

For this game you will need 10-20 socks rolled up into balls:

  • Split the room into two equal halves, and place the socks on the line in the middle (you could use masking tape to mark). Divide everyone into two equal teams.
  • When the game starts, the object of the game is to get as many socks onto the other teams side of the room before time is up.
  • Team members must stay on their side of the room and toss the socks over to the other sides.
  • A team member cannot hold onto a sock for more than 10 seconds before having to throw it.

Flying Carpet

Each child, or group of children, stands on a rug or cushion in the middle of the floor. This is their ‘flying carpet’ the only problem is, it is upside down! The object of this game is to turn the ‘flying carpet’ over without stepping off it. If you step on the floor you are out!

Balloon Ping-Pong

All you need is some balloons and either table-tennis bats, or make your own bats using paper plates and sticks for handles, or even use your hands.

Indoor Obstacle Course (with a twist)

Set up some obstacles in the room. Blindfold one player and the rest of the players must lead them through the obstacle course by telling them the way to go. Left to avoid a chair, right 2 steps to avoid a table. etc.

Beetle

Beetle is a drawing game which you play with dice. Each beetle body part has a number associated with it, and that number must be rolled before you can draw that particular body part.

  • 6 – Head – one needed
  • 5 – Body – one needed
  • 4 – Tail – one needed
  • 3 – Leg – four needed
  • 2 – antenna – two needed
  • 1 – eye – two needed

Winner is person who gets their beetle drawn first.

Build it High

Using marshmallows and wooden skewers or spaghetti (uncooked!) see who can build the highest stack. You may need a few packets of marshmallows for this game as, if they build it well, they may be able to join several skewers together. The stacks must stay up without help!

Sock Chase

Hide socks all over the house – not pairs but single socks. Give each child a sock, put on a timer and send them off to find the matching pair.

Name that Tune (With a Twist)

Instead of humming the tune, get everyone to gargle a song and everyone else has to guess what it is!

Minute to Win It

There are lots of different versions of this game from all of which tend to get everyone laughing and involved, here are just a few ideas;

  • place a cookie on someones forehead, they then have to move it from there to their mouth and eat in it a minute without using their hands or dropping it.
  • fill a bowl, bottle or pot with something (sweets are normally good), each person then has a minute to transfer as many of the items into a second empty bowl, bottle or pot – you can make this harder by players having to use chopsticks.
  • each player has a potatoe, or similar item and a minute to get the potatoe from one end of the room to the other using only their nose.
  • choose a colour or object and everyone has a minute to find as many of these things as possible, e.g. find as many things as you can that are purple.