Family dinner time can be rushed or routine. Sometimes you may need something to liven up your dinner and keep everyone at the table, and away from the TV.
We’ve found that there are some great games out there that could be the perfect way to break out of your rut and get the whole family playing together. The great thing is that you don’t need to spend any money to have a good time with the family at dinner.
Here’s some dinner table games to bring the family together at dinner time.
The Famous Person Game
This is a dinner party favourite. Each person must wear a sticker on their forehead with a famous person’s name on it and then, by asking the other family members questions, guess who they “are.”
What You Need:
- Blank white stickers or mailing labels
- A marker pen
- Your imagination or a list of famous people.
How to Play:
Create a list of famous people and write names on each mailing label or sticker. Once people are seated, place a sticker on each person’s forehead, taking care that they don’t see the name.
People then take turns guessing who they are by asking questions of their fellow players who can all but reveal their identity to them. The game is over when the second to last person guesses who they are correctly.
The object of charades is simple: communicate a word, noun, action or phrase to the audience, without using any verbal communication. You need to prepare for this game, but don’t worry: it’s quite easy! Here’s how to play charades.
What You’ll Need
- Strips of paper
- A container to place the strips of paper in, like a bowl or a hat
- Imagination and a sense of fun
How To Play
Cut out strips of paper, and think of different movies, famous actors, quotations, songs, TV shows, and others. Base your chosen words on these categories alone. One tip: make sure everyone in the group is somewhat familiar with the words or the categories, otherwise, they’ll all find it hard to guess.
Put the strips of paper in the hat, and make sure nobody sees them. If you’re the one who thought of the topics, you must not join in the game anymore, but instead just moderate it. You can also hold the timer for the game.
Divide the group into two teams, with each team having at least two members. If there’s too many people, you can make more than two teams.
Ask each team to pick a representative. They must do this for every round of the game. The representative picks a paper and reads the topic. He or she is then given a specific time limit to communicate and “act out” the word to his or her team mates. If they guess the word before time is up, they earn a point. If not, the other team or teams are given a chance to guess the word and “steal” the point. If they get it with their first guess, they get the point.
The game continues until everyone had a chance to act out in front of the group. The team with the most number of points wins the game.
Charades Hand Gestures
Aside from acting out the words, you should also know how to give your teammates clues about the word, through hand gestures. There are several ones you can use, such as:
- Film – Using one hand, form a O, as if it’s a camera lens, then crank the other, as if you’re turning an old-fashioned movie camera.
- TV show – Make a box using your fingers.
- Quote – Make quotation mark signs using your fingers.
- Book title – Put your palms together, like in a prayer, then unfold them, as if you’re opening a book.
- Famous person – Make a pose like Napoleon, with a hand on your chest, and your fingertips tucked into your shirt, partway.
- Syllables – Make chopping gestures on your arm, to let your teammates know how many syllables there are in the word.
- Number of words – Hold up your fingers, to let everyone know how much words are going to be guessed.
- Short or long word – Make a pinching gesture with your forefinger and thumb.
- Sounds like – If the word sounds like another word, pull on your ear, then proceed to act out what other word it sounds like.
- Getting cold – If the team is getting further from the correct word, cross your arms and make shivering gestures.
- Getting warm – If they are nearly guessing the word, wipe your forehead with the back of your hand.
- Correct – If they guessed correctly, tap your index finger on your nose, and point to whoever made the right guess.
Guess the Ingredients
This is a pretty simple game and can be played with any dinner. Ask the family to guess the ingredients in one of our yummy pies.
Why not make a side dish with an offbeat spice or flavour element into a meal with a dash of cinnamon, a splash of lime juice or a hint of mint.
And don’t be surprised if children are better at this game than the adults, since we lose half of our taste buds by age 20! The prize at the end could be a yummy dessert like a Sticky Date Pudding!
The Name Game
We’re sure a lot of people have played this game. This is where you name someone famous, but the trick is: the first letter of the celebrity’s last name dictates what the first letter of the next person’s first name must be.For example, if the first person names “Otto Plarre,” the next person might say “Peter Costello,” or another celebrity whose name begins with P then you keep going until someone gets stumped. When someone is stumped, why not suggest that they have to wash up their own plates, or clear the table.Here’s a special challenge: if you can name someone whose first and last name starts with the same letter—here, like “Peter Parker”—then the direction reverses and the person who just went has to name the next celebrity. You could even use food items, for example “Party Pies” would go back to the person who just had their turn and they could counter with “Passionfruit Slice”
If you wanted to add an educational twist to the game, it also works with geography—simply use the last letter of the place named as the first letter of the next place. For example, “Melbourne” could lead to “Epping” or “Elsternwick”