Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Two more favorite party games

In June I posted some of my favorite party games. Here are two more that are really fun:


Play this game with 10 to 20 players. You will need two 18X24-inch manila drawing pads and two thick black markers. If you have artist’s easels to attach the drawing pads to, that is ideal. Alternatively, you can use a whiteboard and a marker.

Before the party, come up with a list of about 50 nouns (persons, objects, places, movie and book titles, slogans and sayings, or abstract ideas), and write each on a 3X1-inch strip of paper. Fold each strip of paper in quarters, and put in a hat, basket or box.

As the host, you will be the quiz master during the party. When your guests arrive, divide them into two teams. Have each group sit together on an opposite side of the room. Give each team a drawing board (or pad) and a marker.

To start, pick one of the folded up strips of paper from your hat or basket. Show this piece of paper to one player on each team, who will have to draw it for his or her teammates. The artist may draw on the board, and even gesture, nod or point, but may not talk. No letters, numbers or symbols can be used in the drawing. The first team to guess the word or phrase wins a point.

Round two begins with choosing another piece of paper from the hat, and showing it to the next person who is acting as artist for each team. Players on each team will take turns each doing the artwork. You can play for a certain number of rounds, such as 10 or 15, or for a certain period of time (such as an hour or hour and a half). The team with the most points after the predetermined number of rounds or playing time is the winner.


This is a game you might play when you have a group of people over who all know each other pretty well. However, as you’ll discover in this game, there’s always something new to learn about others—even people you’ve known a long time.

Before your party, email or call each of your friends, and ask them 10 questions about themselves—their personal lives, experiences, perspectives, childhood and family background. Some possible questions you might ask are: “What was the first job you ever had?” “What’s the habit you’re proudest of breaking?” “What’s the sickest you’ve ever been?” “How old were you when you got your driver’s license?” “What did you like best about high school?” “What is the dumbest thing you have ever done?” “What was the last item you regret buying?” “What is your ethnic background?” “If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?” “What did your family do for fun when you were growing up?” “What’s the last movie you saw?”

Ask each of your guests a different set of questions. This will make the game more interesting for your guests. You can customize questions for each person; for instance, if the guest went to college, received a specific type of award in high school, is a parent or has lived in many different states, you can ask questions specifically relating to those experiences.Tell each guest to not discuss his or her answers with anyone else who will be at the party.

After you’ve gathered all your information via phone calls and emails, write multiple choice questions about each of your guests. For instance, “Rhonda’s declared major when she started freshman year at college was what? A. Accounting, B. Travel & Tourism, C. Journalism or D. Retailing.” Depending on how many guests you’re having over, and how “interesting” each respondent’s answers are, you may make multiple choice questions for each of the 10 questions you had asked, or just pick out 4 or 5 of the funniest or most surprising answers.

Have an index card for each multiple choice question you come up with. Write down the question and the four possible answers on the front of the card. On the back of the card, write out the correct answer and corresponding letter. Put all the index cards from all the guests in a pile and shuffle them together. Assign each index card a number.

At the start of the party, give each guest a numbered sheet of paper (corresponding to the number of index cards). Read the question and answer choices on each index card. Have the guests write down their answers. When you’ve gone through all the cards, read out the right answers for each question. Guests can grade their own papers, giving themselves a point for each correct answer. (Obviously they’ll all get at least a few questions right—the questions that pertain to them!) Hand out an award to the guest with the most points.

This game is a great way to learn something new about your friends…and enjoy some laughter too!

Have fun!

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