Pull out those board games, pop some popcorn and have a game night! As we talk about individuality, why not play the game of Life? We are all different and have different paths to follow in our life, so why not have fun, with a game that celebrates all the different roads we can take in our lives. Hit the road for a roller-coaster life of adventure, family, and unexpected surprises! Want to take the family path, start a career, or venture down a risky road? In this game, players can make their own exciting choices as they move through the twists and turns of life. Move the car token around the game board from Start to Retirement, and experience unexpected surprises related to family, career, and other milestones of life. You’ll have so much fun together as a family!
When you serve others you cause a chain reaction in your own life and community for the better. Let’s make a chain reaction by playing with dominos. Gather together as many sets of dominos as you can, as a family set up your own epic chain reaction! Line up dominos in lines, circles or any other creative way you can. Then pick a family member to knock over the first domino to start the chain reaction. Watch as the dominos race around. Then come up with another way to lay them and do it over and over. Keep going big, taller and longer. Enjoy working together as a family, creating your own chain reactions and laughing as the dominos fall.
It’s fun to play games as a family, most games end up with everyone laughing… but you don’t want to be the one laughing in this game. In “No Laughing Allowed” you will have to use all the self control you have in your body to keep a straight face. Gather the family in the living room and place two chairs facing each other. Choose two family members to sit in the chairs. Now they will face off in a round of “No Laughing Allowed!” (play rock paper scissors to decide who goes first to make the other laugh). Now that person has to try to make the other person smile without touching them. They can make funny faces, tell jokes, act silly, anything except touching the other person. Meanwhile the other person needs to do their best not to smile, which will take a lot of self control. The round lasts one minute. At the end of the minute the winner is either the one who didn’t laugh or the one who made the other laugh. Pick two new players and keep playing. Switch up pairs and have fun! The person who wins the most is the ULTIMATE WINNER!
Have fun guessing which Christmas item is in the bag! To start you will need 10 brown paper bags, then one person from your family will place a Christmas item in each bag without anyone else seeing. To play one family member at a time is blindfolded and has to feel what’s in the bag and then guess what it is, only one guess per person, per bag. If they guess correct they get a point. Then the blindfold is passed to the next family member and given a different bag. This game can be played in multiple rounds allowing each family member to be the one to pick the items that are placed in the bag. No need to buy anything to play this game, use things you have already decorated your home with for the holidays!
Christmas item ideas to get you started: Candy cane, ornament, Christmas village house, small tree, bells, candle, pom poms, bows, Santa hat, pinecone, tinsel, ornament hooks, fruit cake and garland.
Balloon Bop is such a fun game for all ages! Great for the younger kids to begin learning cooperation, but also great for the older kids and adults to master their cooperation skills!
First you will need a balloon. Have the family stand in a circle, holding hands. Someone drops one balloon into the circle. The goal is for everyone to see how many times they can tap the balloon into the air (you may tap the balloon with hands, arms, heads, shoulders, chests, or knees—but NO feet), keeping it up in the air, without losing connection (everyone must continue to holding hands). In order for this to work effectively, your family has to work cooperatively, each of person making sure they are not letting go of each other’s hands. You will soon figure out that you must all move together, as a group, to make sure you do not lose connection. If the balloon falls to the ground or a someone taps the balloon with their feet, the count begins again. Once you’ve gotten the hang of things you can add to the fun by adding more balloons!
Being busy can steal our contentment. We fall into the trap of needing to do more, have more and get more. Slow down as a family and enjoy what you have, it’s time to just stay home. Turn a week night into a Fun Night! Don’t wait for the weekend to have fun as a family. No need to go out and spend money or get things you don’t need. Pull out your favorite board game and enjoy a night in. Or pull out the football/baseball and play a game in the back yard. Enjoy what you have and turn this into a weekly/monthly family event.
This classic game of strategy traces its roots to Africa. You may already own this fun board game. If not you and your family can craft a homemade version that works just fine with an egg carton and a few beads or marbles! Before you know it, you’ll boost your strategy skills to become an expert at the traditional rules.
What you need:
Two small bowls
48 beads, coins, seeds, marbles, M&Ms or other small objects
Give the beads, coins, or other objects to your child, and have him place four objects in each trough of the egg carton. Have her place one small bowl or box at each narrow end of the egg carton. These start out empty.
The game is played with two players, and the object of the game is to capture as many beads (or other objects) as you can.
To play, choose who goes first with a quick round of rock-paper-scissors. The first player picks up the beads from any trough on his side and carries them clockwise, dropping one bead in each subsequent trough. The bowl or box to that player’s right—called his store—also gets a bead dropped in it. Each player skips the opposing player’s store. The player’s turn is over unless the last bead he drops lands in his store. If it does, the player gets another turn, starting from wherever he wants. Once the player’s turn is over, the opposing player gets a turn. Whenever a player lands a bead in an empty trough, he gets to collect the opposing player’s beads in the trough opposite the one he landed in. The opponent’s beads and his last bead get placed in his store. Play continues in this way until one player is out of beads on his side. He then gets to collect the opposing player’s remaining beads. The player with the most beads in his bowl or box at the end of the game, wins.
Help your kids learn what they should do and do it. This fun and active game not only brings laughter, but also gives space for good conversations about making wise choices.
What you will need:
Balloons at least two per person playing.
Strips of paper
Write down scenarios that your children could experience in their day to day like:
*You see s kid at school eating alone.
*A friend is talking making fun of someone in your class.
*There’s trash on the ground.
*The class is acting up because there’s a substitute teacher.
*You’re at a friends house and they want to play a video game you know your parent’s don’t want you to play.
*A friend doesn’t understand the homework and asks for help.
*There’s dishes filling up the sink and you mom has a lot of other house work to do.
*You see a dog all by itself walking down the street.
*A family member is sick.
*Your elderly neighbor lawn is over grown.
Write on strips of paper, roll up and place inside of balloon. Blow up balloon and tie up. Place balloons on the ground. Have everyone stand on the other side of the room and on a count of three have everyone run to grab one balloon and run back. Then everyone has to pop their balloon, but with their bodies. Using their feet, hands or bottom. Once the balloons are popped read the paper and talk about what you would do in that situation.
It’s time to move the furniture to make some room, and to turn that music up! Because we are going to play FREEZE DANCE! Be confident in your groovy moves and have some laughs as a family as you play this old favorite. In this game, everyone dances their best movies as the music plays. When the music stops, each player must freeze immediately and hold that position until the music begins again. If a player does not freeze immediately, they are out. Last dancer standing wins. Play this over and over until you can’t dance anymore. Create new dance moves as a family and enjoy being active together.
Put away the board games, let’s try something new and throw a Family Talent Show night. Invite the grandparents or maybe a few friends and have everyone sign up to show off their talents. Make a special area for a “stage” in the back yard, in front of the fireplace or on the front porch. Pop popcorn for the audience and enjoy a night of fun seeing everyone’s God given talents (singing, jump roping, magic, dancing, juggling, yodeling etc.).
Who can play this game with the most honesty?
Deal the cards out evenly to each player. Play begins with the player to the left of the dealer. They place the Aces in their hand face down on the discard pile and announces their play to the table: “One Ace.” If the player does not have any Aces, or if they wish to get rid of more than one card, they may bluff and play non-Ace cards while announcing: “Two Aces.” The next player plays 2s, the next player plays 3s, and so on. If a player doesn’t believe an announcement, they can call out, “I doubt it!” The person who played the cards must turn them over and show the challenger whether he is bluffing or not. A player who is caught bluffing must pick up the entire discard pile and add it to his hand. If a challenged player is not bluffing, then the challenger must pick up the discard pile. When the rank to play reaches Kings, it then goes back to Aces and the numbers start again. The first player to get rid of all his cards wins.
See who in your family has the most patience and can wait to laugh. Pair family members up. Have them sit facing each other. The rules are they must look their partner in the eye. They cannot move their bodies or talk, however they can move their face, eye brows, nose, wiggle ears (but NO smiling). Try not to LAUGH. The first person to smile or laugh is out. The winner moves on to play against another family member. Have fun seeing you can wait the longest to laugh!
Puzzles are fun and challenging all on their own, however this time when you put the puzzle together it will have an extra challenge. Choose your families favorite puzzle or head to the local dollar discount store and pick a new one, when you put it together you’ll do it picture side down! Not only will this be a challenge on it’s own, but the bigger challenge is to work as a family and keep the peace while putting all the pieces together. Work as a team, have patience with one another and remember that your relationship means more than winning an argument or a disagreement. Once you’re finished be sure to take a photo of your great accomplishment and talk about how you solved problems together as a family and kept the peace.
Give each family member several pieces of paper, each person must write down several acts of kindness, one on each piece of paper. Throw everyone papers into a hat or bowl. Pick one person to go first, they must pick a paper and without talking must act out the act of kindness. They have one minute to get the group to guess as many acts of kindness as possible. Once the minute is up add up how many they were able to get the group to guess and that’s how many points that person gets. Keep playing rotating players. The family member with the most points wins! If acting isn’t your families forte, you can easily adapt this game to be Kindness Pictionary. You just have each person drawn on a white board or large paper instead of acting it out.
Ideas for Acts of Kindness:
Mowing the lawn
Cooking a meal
Picking up trash
Helping someone cross the street
Carrying groceries for someone
Praying for someone
Have the kids plan a treasure hunt for the parents! They will have so much fun planning, and watching their plan put into motion. You can go small scale and do your hunt around the house and yard or you can create a more elaborate treasure hunt around town. Have them make a map or list with clues on places and areas they need to go. Maybe there’s a land mark the parents have to find or a small treasure at each location that needs to be found. Or come up with a list of items for parents to find at each location. Have fun together and always remember to treasure these moments.
You’ll need a pencil and paper for this game. One person should volunteer to go first. At the top of the paper, have person number 1 write down one nice thing a person can do for someone else (example: “I can make cookies for my neighbor”). Don’t let anyone else see the phrase.
Person #1 then passes the paper to their right. Person #2 will read the phrase then fold the paper over so no one else can read what is written. Person #2 then gets 1 minute to draw a picture that depicts the phrase.
Person #2 then passes the paper to their right. Person #3 looks at the picture and writes down what they believe the original phrase was. This pattern of writing and drawing continues until the paper goes all the way around the table and ends up back in front of person #1. At the end have person #1 show and tell the “book” you have now created.
NOTE: If you have one or more players who cannot read yet, simply put them in between two players who can. If the young player gets passed a sentence, have the person who wrote the sentence whisper it in their ear so they can draw the picture from that. If the young player gets passed a drawing, ask them to whisper their guess for the sentence to the person on their right.
Remember “Pick up Sticks”? Well here’s a twist on the classic. You can use the store bought game if you have it or you can make your own out of bamboo skewers you have colored. When you play the Grateful Game, every time you pick up a stick you have to name something you are grateful for. Each color represents a different type of thing. This is a fun way to get your family thinking about what they are all grateful for.
To play, you hold all of the sticks in your hand and drop them, let them fall where they may. Then each player takes a turn pulling a stick from the pile. You cannot make any other sticks move or you lose your turn and do not get to collect the stick. The player with the most sticks at the end of the game wins. Here are the list of colors to say you are grateful for with each color:
Red- A food you are grateful for
Green- A person you are grateful for
Blue – A place you are grateful for
Yellow- A thing you are grateful for
White- Your choice
Is there a better way to learning about taking care of what you have, then to play a game of Monopoly!? Set aside a weekend afternoon, pop some popcorn and enjoy the game. When dividing up money for each player remember to talk about taking good care of what you are given and thinking hard before spending it in the game. Talk about making wise choices in buying property and such. There’s so many opportunities to talk about stewardship and to set the example while playing Monopoly, if you actually finish the game you’ll family will be the real winner.
Find a beachball left over from all your summer fun and use a marker to write “Get to know you” questions all over the ball. Sit in a circle as a family and toss the ball around, when you catch the ball whatever question your left hand lands on is the question you must answer. Play for as long as you like. Afterward talk about how being a good friend is about asking the right questions and listening, to actually get to know your friends.
What’s your favorite color?
What’s your favorite dessert?
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
What’s your favorite movie?
Who do you look up to?
What’s your favorite animal?
What do you like to do after school?
What have you done that you’re proud of?
Have fun and get a little messy in the process. Head outside and bring a few eggs (NOT boiled). Divide into pairs, face each other with only about a foot of space between the two of you and toss the egg from one person to another. Then take a step back and toss again. If the egg drops or breaks you’re out. Last team with an unbroken egg, wins. If you have more eggs, play again. After playing, talk about how everyone’s feelings can be fragile like the eggs we were tossing. Talk about how we need to be careful with others and think about what we say and do, always remembering to be respectful to others.
Play a fun game of “Guess Who?”. Get the family around the kitchen table (The more family members the better, invite grandparent over) with a stack of index cards, dice, 1 minute timer and pens. Decide who gets to be the “Judge” first by rolling the dice, highest wins, then the game play will go clockwise from the highest roller. Everyone else gets an index card and a pen, they will have one minute to write down something unique about themselves. Something like: I love candy, I don’t eat broccoli, my favorite color is purple, I sing in the shower, I love Christmas. Once the time is up pass the cards to someone who is not the “Judge” and read them out load. Once all the cards have been read the “Judge” has one minute to guess who went with each card. If the judge is right they get one point per right answer. Now it’s the next “Judges” turn, and you give out new cards and write down something different. First to 20 points wins. You’ll find out how unique family really is.
The weather is warming up it’s time to get outside and play! Grab a Twister Game or make your own! It’s always more fun to make your own, using chalk on the ground or Spray chalk on the grass create a twister board and then download a free Twister spinner app from the app store. Then have fun outside laughing and getting twisted up together.
As a family pick a new puzzle to do together, the bigger the better. Decide as a family an evening or weekend afternoon you will spend putting together this puzzle. It may get hard or feel impossible at times, however as a family be DETERMINED to finish! Grab your favorite snack and pop in a movie to help pass the time. It will feel amazing when you finish because you didn’t give up.
Play a game of tag, using an umbrella to identify a “safe” zone.
Pride often leads us to disobey. Humbly following God’s rules,
keeps us safe.
Play this game to teach the concept that God protects us (from pride) like an umbrella. While you play your game of tag, have an adult hold a large umbrella that serves as a “home free” base. Runners can only stay under the umbrella for a count of ten. Ideally, arrange to play this game with a larger group of children in a play-date setting or with friends.
Use the discussion questions below to help your children understand that God wants to protect us. When we are prideful and think we can do things on our own, refusing to follow God’s way, we often end up in trouble. So let’s stay humble.
Questions after playing:
Have you ever thought that you knew better than your parents and chose not to follow a rule? Which rules in our home were made to keep you safe?
If you chose not to follow these safety rules, what could happen to you? Can you think of any rules God gives us in the Bible?
How would life be different if we chose not to follow God’s rules?
Forgiveness can be a heavy but important topic to talk about as a family. Let’s lighten the mood and have a game night. Pop some popcorn, get everyones favorite candy and play SORRY the board game. As you play talk about how it feels when someone wrongs you and how we can all find a way to forgive others. Use this time to laugh, play and learn as a family.