Christmas is a time for family. Getting together with loved ones and sharing food, drinks and quality time is an essential part of the spirit of Christmas.
Spending time with family in close quarters can bring out the best in people, but it can also bring out the worst.
Having a series of fun activities planned for the festive season can help ensure that family members enjoy each other’s company.
It is well documented that sports and games promote social cohesion. Indulging in games with family over the holiday not only creates opportunities for laughter and fun – it also strengthens bonds and solidifies relationships.
Team games help foster community spirit and bring people together, while the competitive nature of many games allows potential tensions such as sibling rivalries a safe and enjoyable outlet.
There are lots of games that can be played by the whole family. Some can be played with no equipment required while others may need a little expenditure prior to the big day.
Adding a unique twist to a classic game can help embed it as part of family culture and tradition for many generations to come.
6 Fun Family Games To Play At Home
1). Poker with a Twist:
Poker is one of the most popular casino games, partially due to the combination of skill and luck of the draw that contributes towards winning. While the rules of poker can be quite complex, it can be adapted to make it a game for the whole family.
Poker bets are usually made with chips. At Christmas, a fun twist when playing with children
could involve substituting those chips for chocolates, ice cream, or lollipops.
To recreate the atmosphere of a real casino, buying a poker table could engage people and help make the game more fun. Poker is featured in many films and television series, so most
children will have some idea of what a serious poker game is supposed to look like and will be excited to sit around the green baize.
Teaching children to play poker starts with learning what the winning hands are. A basic
game of five-card stud helps teach the basics, which can then lead to five-card draw and
eventually, Texas Hold’em.
2). Thinking Games
Coming up with games to play without forward planning is not that difficult, but it often means those games must be such that there is no equipment involved. There are hundreds
of thinking games that can be played with nothing more than pen and paper on the spur of
the moment for family fun without having to prepare in advance.
3). I Went to the Shop game – Each player must add on-to the last player’s sentence by using the next letter of the alphabet. Examples would be “I visited the shop and I bought an apple”, so the next player would say “I visited the shop and I bought an apple and a banana”. The game continues until someone forgets something from the list or cannot think of anything to add.
4). Storytime – Each player must come up with a fictional sentence as part of a story. At the end of each sentence, a new player adds the next one, and so on. For a fun
twist, this game can be played using a folded piece of paper so that no-one knows what the previous sentences are when they write theirs. Once each player has had a
turn, the paper can be unfolded and the story (which will no doubt be ridiculous) can be read-out.
5). Categories – Each player is given a piece of paper with a list of categories on it. This
could include things like a girl’s name, boy’s name, animal, vegetable, country etc. For
each round a new letter is chosen and players are given a set amount of time to come up with an answer for each category starting with that letter. Points are awarded for unique answers only, so players really have to think.
6). Charades with a Twist
Charades is the classic family Christmas game in the UK. It is thought to have originated in
France in the 18th century and has been part of traditional family Christmases in the UK for
many years. The basis of charades is that one team member must act out the name of a
famous book, play, television series, film or other well-known item or event, without using words.
There are certain recognizable gestures that can be used to get players so far, after
which the actor must come up with their own ideas to get the words across to their team.
Ultimate Charades is an app available on Apple devices that allows players to add their own
personalized twist to the game. The app contains over 2,000 suggestions for things to act out but also has customization options. These allow families or groups of friends to add new people, themes other items, and remove those that are unfamiliar.
Other variations of charades include reversing the game, so one person has to guess and
the rest of the team act the suggestion out together, or a home version of Pictionary, where
the player draws the suggestion without using words and other players have to try guess
what it is.
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