My husband surprised me with an oversized checkers set the other day after lunch at Cracker Barrel. We took it home and our family ended up playing for two solid hours! We had such a great time, it made me think back to my childhood and all the silly family games we played together.
There were no phones or tablets because they were not invented yet. My dad was a pro at thinking up fun games that required nothing but us being together. I continued his tradition of these silly family games with my kids and thought you and your family might enjoy them also!
Silly Family Games We Play
“The Question Game”
This game is best played in a pool that the kids can jump into but you could modify it for indoor play with a pile of pillows to jump into (safely of course!)Before your child makes the leap into the pool or pillows, ask them a question. They shout the answer into the air before going underwater or landing on the pillows.
For younger kids, I will ask them a super simple question before they begin their jump and then they must answer as they are in the air in the middle of their descent! For older kids who can jump higher and longer, I ask the question as they are in the air. They have to think super fast and the answers are hilarious!
Examples of questions include: What color is the sky? Name your favorite dessert. Roar like a dinosaur! What’s your mom/dad’s name? What color is your bathing suit/shirt? Name your favorite superhero! My personal favorite: Tell me something your mom/dad says all the time!
Every group of kids I have played this with absolutely loves it-even the teenagers! It is a great way to get to know your kids and spend quality time. We have even used it to practice our multiplication times tables. Beware: The kids will want to keep playing for a long time and get really worn out from all the exercise! They might fall asleep quickly and easily!
“The Other Game”
“What do you want to play?… Let’s play the other game!” – That is how this silly family game got its name. All you need is some scrap paper and something to write with. This is great to play on rainy days or maybe on long car trips.
Give everyone small pieces of paper (at least 4 but the more the better!) On one piece of paper write an action (examples- sharpening pencils, running a marathon, feeding the cat, flying a plane etc) then fold the papers and put them in a pile. On the next slip of paper, write a thing/noun (string cheese, baby raccoons, beach ball, motorcycle.)
Next write down a place (examples- grandma’s house, Disneyworld, a haunted mansion, Australia); fold and put it in another pile. Then repeat and write the name of a person on the last sheets. The person could be in your family, a friend, or a famous person (Elvis Presley, grandma, Brian Harris, Barney the Dinosaur, etc)
Then you designate a “reader.” Start with anyone in the game and you will make up a story about them using the words randomly pulled from each pile. Using myself as an example, the story could go:
“Beth is sharpening pencils with baby raccoons in a haunted mansion with Brian Harris!”
“Beth is feeding the cat with string cheese in Australia with Grandma!”
Silly and crazy scenarios emerge and it is fun to see their creativity happen!
“The Song Lyric Game”
“The Song Lyric Game” is best played with older kids who know the words to many different songs. We played this game around the dinner table. Someone picks a subject and then each person must sing the lyrics of a song that has to do with that subject. A couple of examples:
“Don’t go chasin’ waterfalls!” – TLC
“Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” – Otis Redding
“Cry me a River”- Justin Timberlake
“Achy Breaky Heart” – Billy Ray Cyrus
“My Heart will Go On!” Celine Dion
“You’re a Heartbreaker!” -Pat Benatar
The broader the subject the easier it is. Other broad subjects include: “Fire” “Smoke” “Dogs” “Ice” and “tears”. Start broad then get more detailed!
Note: Can you tell that I turned 40 recently and played this game as a child? I know these songs are dated!
“Roll the Ball in the Hall”
“Roll the Ball in the Hall” is great for really young children. You need 6-10 paper or plastic cups (unbreakable cups) and a ball. If you have two sets of this it is even better. In the hallway, close all the doors and then stack the cups up into a triangle-shaped tower on one end. Sitting on the opposite end of the hall, someone rolls the ball to knock the cups down.
If you have two sets then someone sits at one end and someone at the other. They can easily take turns and set up the cups again after each round. Yes, it is a lot like bowling but it entertains the kids and is easy to clean up!
“Feet on the Floor”
“Feet on the Floor” is a variation of current day “The Floor is Lava.” If you have very accident-prone children or furniture that is easily broken this may not be the best game for your family. It sure is fun though. The object of the game is not to get caught with your “feet on the floor” by the tickle monster.
Limit it to just one room and place some pillows down to step on while the kids jump from couch to chair etc. Try your best to catch them but be sure to have plenty of “close calls” to add to the excitement. When you catch them, the tickle monster attacks!
If you don’t want to chase the kids then loudly announce “The floor is lava in 3, 2, 1!” and they have to move around the room without touching the floor (it is hot lava after all!) After each round, remove a pillow off the floor to make it harder!
Do You Have Any Silly Family Games?
If you have a family game that you and your house really enjoy, I would love to hear of it. I am always adding to my collection! The key to getting the most out of playing silly family games is to go ALL in! Never act like you are bored and smile a lot! Make the most of the quality time and words of affirmation!
You might also find some silly family games inspiration in our previous post “Fun Field Day Activities for Kids.”