Are you including the kids in your New Year’s celebration this year? For most of us, that means we bring the kids to the party, but send them off to play with their friends while we mingle with ours. It’s like having two separate parties under the same roof. This year, bring the two parties together with laughter and entertainment for all ages. These eight family-friendly games will help you get it started.
Tablet – like Telephone, but for today’s world – Write down an object and an action (like a monkey climbing a tree) on an index card. Using a dry erase board, the first person picks a card and draws a picture based on what he reads. He then shows the picture to the person next to him without letting anyone else see the picture. That person will erase the board and write what he thinks was drawn. He will then pass it to the third person who will draw what he reads. This continues around the circle until it gets back to the first person.
The Human Knot – Everyone stands in a circle and puts both their hands out, grabbing a random hand from someone else. While not letting go of anyone’s hand, try to untangle the group. For less of a challenge, try using just one hand.
Doubles – Ask every guest to bring two small, wrapped gifts. This can either be white elephant or dollar store items. Pile all the gifts in the center of the table. Everyone sits around the table and rolls a pair of dice, trying to get doubles. If they get doubles, they choose a gift from the center. If not, they pass the dice to the next person. If you are playing with younger children, you might want to limit the amount of gifts each person will get.
The Balloon Game – Write down funny actions, tasks or riddles on slips of paper. Roll up and insert into balloons. You will need two balloons for each person as you need to tie one to each person’s ankles. On go, everyone tries to stomp and pop a balloon. If your balloon is popped, you have to read the riddle, do the task or perform the funny action. This game is guaranteed to keep everyone hopping!
The Silent Snowman – This is a game that goes on all night. Make a snowman out of paper or felt. Attach two sided tape or removable adhesive putty on the back of the snowman. One person starts out with the snowman on his back. As the night goes on, someone tries to steal the snowman and put it on their own back. The person left wearing the snowman at midnight gets a prize.
Auld Lang Syne Scrabble – Write the words to this popular New Year’s Eve song on separate index cards. (You will need two sets). Break your guests into two teams. On go, ask the teams to put the words in the correct order. The first one to get it correct wins. For a real challenge, do both verses. For a variation, use the words to a current top forty song that the kids know.
Line Up Blind – Break your group into teams. Blindfold one of the teams and have them stand in the middle of the room. Now, ask the team to line themselves up in order – alphabetically, by height, by age, etc. The unblindfolded team can tell them if they are correct or not, but cannot say why. When they are in the correct order, the teams switch places.
Cherry Pie – Place a maraschino cherry in a pie plate. Tell the guests the object is to pick up the cherry without using their hands and eat it. Alas, things are never as easy as they seem. Before the challenge begins, fill the plate with whipped cream. This is a great photo opportunity!
By Pam Molnar, a freelance writer and mother of three. Parties at their house include good food, lots of laughs, and of course, games.