With Christmas just around the corner, you’re probably beginning to plan your family get-to-together. Christmas is a lovely time of year, but it can certainly get quite stressful. Most people feel some degree of stress surrounding their families at Christmas time, which rest assured is a very normal thing to feel and not something you should feel guilty about. If you have little ones, keeping them entertained whilst the dinner is being cooked or the adults are watching their programmes on the TV, should help to take some weight off your shoulders. Fortunately, there are loads of great games out there to keep your kids happy over this festive period.
For this one, you’ll need a deck of cards and at least three players sat around a pile of candy canes which contain one less than the number of players in the circle. Everyone takes turns drawing cards with the goal to be the first to draw four of a kind, e.g. four Queens or four Kings. Once a player manages this, they take a candy cane from the pile as quickly as possible, and the other players must then race to grab one of the remaining candy canes. The player who doesn’t get one is eliminated, and the game continues in the same way until only one winning player remains.
Why not make your own Christmas Bingo game or download the bingo cards online and print them out in paper copy. The cards feature mini festive challenges, such as “sneak a quote from a Christmas film into a normal conversation” and “Put Elf On The Shelf into the most hilarious situation you can think of”. Players check these challenges off as and when they complete them, and the first to do so wins!
Charades is a classic game for Christmas day, and one that is perfect for all age groups. Get your family and friends into two teams, and take turns acting out words or phrases written on a slip of paper. Typically, there are six common categories in charades: book titles, films, TV programmes, song titles, plays, and well-known quotes / phrases. The purpose of the game is to get your team to guess what’s on their selected slip of paper using only gestures. When your team gets the answer correct, or the timer runs out, your round is up and it’s the other team’s go. The team that manages to guess the answers most efficiently throughout the game wins.
An easy way to keep the little ones happy and to mix up your Christmas Day malaise is with some classic board game fun. Monopoly, Scrabble, Ludo, and Trivial Pursuit are all great fun, and most people probably have at least ones of these board games already tucked away in their cupboards somewhere.
Stocking Guessing Game
For this game, simply fill up a stocking with different objects, such as toy cars, candy canes, pinecones or a bouncy ball. Let the players feel inside the stocking and try to identify its contents. The player with the most correct guesses is the winner! You can make the game easier or trickier depending on age range, by popping more obscure objects into the stocking if your players are older, and simpler objects if they’re younger.
Father Christmas Limbo
This game is pretty silly, and definitely one that the kids will enjoy. Have the players put a pillow underneath their shirts as a “Father Christmas belly”. Next, place a limbo stick at a starting height and have the players one by one try to limbo underneath. Once each player has had a go, lower the stick again, and after every time to see who have make it underneath the lowest. Anyone who fails to make it underneath the stick with their Father Christmas belly still in place at any point in the game is eliminated.
Christmas Memory Game
To play this game you need to first pick eight Christmas themed images, such as Father Christmas, a Snowman, a Reindeer, etc. Draw or print out two of each of these images, so you end up with a total of sixteen cards. Place the cards face down on a table or the floor in a 4 x 4 layout. Then, take it in turns to pick out a card and then try to find its partner in one go. The first player to match up the most pairs wins. You could also do this with objects – cover them up and then see how many you can remember.
Having a handful of preplanned games for the kids to play at Christmas should make the day run much more smoothly while allowing you to enjoy the grown-up parts of Christmas in much-needed peace and quiet! (…or joining in and getting very competitive yourself!)