Winter Series Part 3
You’ve done it! You’ve cleaned and decorated your new home all while minimizing your holiday stress. Now the fun begins! As you have family and friends over for the holidays, enhance the fun and holiday spirit with these holiday games to play!
Holiday Games for Kids
If your nieces, nephews, and friend’s children will be stopping by for some holiday cheer this year, consider playing some of these kid-friendly games with them:
Find Santa’s Reindeer
A fun holiday game for children of all ages, Find Santa’s Reindeer only requires a reindeer figurine and a few good hiding places. If you don’t have a figurine available, you can easily make one with a few materials lying around your home.
To play, make sure the children are in one room with their eyes closed. Take this time to hide the reindeer somewhere in your home. Hide it in plain sight for younger children or place it in a harder spot to make it difficult for older kids to find. Once the reindeer is hidden, the kids can roam the home to try to find it. The first one to spot the reindeer wins!
Snowball Relay Race
This is a great game if you have four or more children coming over for the holidays. All you need is cotton balls, plastic spoons, and a few bowls.
Use these directions to get started:
- Divide the group of kids into two teams and have them line up on one side of the room.
- Fill a large bowl with cotton balls and set it on a table near the teams.
- On the other side of the room, place two bowls on a table or the floor.
- Provide the first person in each line with a plastic spoon.
- Set a timer for 5 minutes.
- When the timer begins counting down, the first member of each team will use their spoon to scoop up a cotton ball and transfer it across the room. Once they get to the other side of the room, they should put the cotton ball in their team’s bowl, run back to their teammates, and hand off their spoon for the next person to transfer a cotton ball. This will repeat until the timer runs out.
The rules are simple for this holiday game. Each team must try to transfer as many cotton balls as possible into their bowl. If a cotton ball falls off the spoon while being transferred, it can’t be picked up again. Instead, the team member should run back and hand off the spoon to the next person in line.
Don’t Forget Your Silver Bells
For this game, all you’ll need is a bag of silver-wrapped Hershey Kisses, two identical packs of small holiday stickers, or some paper and tape! You’ll be creating a make-shift, holiday memory game that will be as fun as it is sweet.
This game can be created a few different ways. If you have holiday stickers, you’ll want to place two of the same stickers on the bottom of two kisses. Then, you’ll repeat the process with about 14 or so pairs of kisses.
If you don’t have stickers, you can cut out round pieces of paper to tape to the bottom of each kiss. Then, draw symbols or write numbers on the bottoms. Just make sure you have pairs that can be matched!
Once you have your kisses prepared, line them up in front of children and have them choose two kisses at a time to try matching up stickers, symbols, or numbers. When they find a match, they can set aside the pair. Once all of the kisses have been matched up, the game is complete.
For even more fun, make enough kiss matches so a group of children can each have their own set. They can race against each other and the first person who ends up matching their entire set wins! Once they’re done playing, they can unwrap a few kisses to enjoy a tasty treat.
Holiday Games for Adults
Are you having an adult-only holiday party this year? Here are a few ideas for holiday games to play as they gather at your home:
Quick Candy Canes
This game is similar to the popular game called “Spoons.” The main difference is that you’re replacing spoons with candy canes. For this game, you’ll need a bunch of candy canes and a few decks of cards!
To play, have everyone sit around a table. Count up the number of players to figure out how many candy canes you’ll need. You need to have one less candy cane than the number of people playing. For example, if you have 10 players, you’ll need 9 candy canes. Once you’ve figured out the number, line up the candy canes across the table.
Choose one person to be the dealer for the first round. Have them deal four cards to each player, including the dealer themselves. The rest of the deck should be placed near the dealer. The goal is to get four-of-a-kind. To begin, the dealer will take the top card off the deck and place it in their hand with their other four cards. They will then discard one to the person to their left. The process will continue with each person thereafter. The player to the right of the dealer will create a “trash” pile of discarded cards that have gone through the entire group.
The object of the game is to get four-of-a-kind in your hand. If someone gets four-of-a-kind, they can take a candy cane from the lineup. When a candy cane is taken, the rest of the players must act fast to grab their own candy cane. The person who ends up without a candy cane gets a strike. If they get three strikes, they’re out of the game entirely.
Holiday Charades is a great game to play at any get-together. Start by providing each guest with three slips of paper. Advise them to write down a holiday movie title on one piece, a holiday character on the second, and a holiday item on the third. Add all of the slips to a bowl and split the group into two teams. Set the timer for one minute and have one member from the first team begin by picking a slip from the bowl. They will make physical motions to get the rest of their team to guess which movie, character, or holiday item they picked. When the team guesses correctly, the same teammate will choose another slip.
The goal is to have the team guess as many slips correctly as possible within a minute. Then, the other team will repeat the process. Once both teams have done one round, it will repeat with the first team, but with another team member. The winning team is the one with the most slips guessed correctly after everyone has had a turn picking from the bowl.
Holiday Games for Families
If you have a mix of adults and children coming to your home over the holidays, you’ll want to have games ready that the whole group can enjoy! Try one of these to keep the fun going:
Christmas Minute To Win It
Minute To Win It games offer fun activities that are easy to create and fun to participate in! Plus, a lot of the materials you need are already lying around your home.
Start by planning for a set number of games. Here’s a list of some creative games that you could try:
- Christmas Tree Stack — You’ll just need green plastic cups and star stickers. Place the stickers on the cups for decoration. Then, have players try to stack them into a pyramid (or tree!) shape and unstack them all in under a minute.
- Red-Nosed Reindeer Race — For this game, you’ll need red pompoms, vaseline, and bowls. Add the pompoms to the bowls at the starting line, then place empty bowls across the room. Participants will put vaseline on their noses and use their nose to transfer one pompom at a time to the bowl across the room. The team with the most pompoms in their bowl in under a minute wins.
- Wrap-It Real Fast — Provide each player with tape, wrapping paper, and box. To keep it fair, the boxes should all be relatively the same size. The first person to wrap their box wins!
Saran Wrap Ball
This one is enjoyable for guests of all ages. You’ll need a lot of plastic wrap and a bunch of small gifts and goodies such as candy and holiday trinkets. You’ll also need to pick up one “good” gift that’ll be placed at the center of the ball.
Before your holiday party, wrap the “good” gift in Saran Wrap. Then, wrap the other candies and trinkets in between layers. Don’t stop wrapping until all of the goodies and trinkets are well covered.
When it comes time to play, have all your guests gather in a circle. Take turns unwrapping sections of the ball. The person who gets to unwrap the center item is the winner!
When you invite your guests over for the holidays, let them know that they each need to bring one gift to the party to participate in the game. Be sure to add a spending limit per gift.
When you’re ready to play, have everyone grab their gifts and stand in a circle. The host of the party should use a phone or a speaker to start and stop playing holiday music. When the music is playing, the participants pass their gift to the left. As the music stops, the players must hold onto the gift they have in their hands. When the music starts up again, have guests pass their gifts to the right. The host should start and stop the music a few times for anticipation. Whichever gift participants end up with is the one they get to keep.