3 Great Games for Holiday Get-Togethers
Meet Your Match
By Michelle L. Dozois
Does your grandma have an outie belly button? Which sister-in-law has a tattoo (and where)? Chances are, you don't know — they're not topics that usually come up in polite conversation. But wouldn't your next family get-together be much more fun if you did know where all your relatives fell on the innie-versus-outie spectrum?
1. Meet Your Match is a good warm-up, mingle game.
Prep: You'll need pictures of things that belong in pairs, one picture for each family member. Think: peanut butter and jelly, bird and birdhouse, cake and candles.
Setup: In a room away from most of the guests, lay the pictures out and stick a piece of tape at the top of each. (Packing tape works best.) Invite the kids to take one picture at a time and stick it on someone's back, then take turns taping them on each other's. (They have to be sneaky — not so sneaky that they startle Grandpa, but sneaky enough so he doesn't see which picture is on his back.) Warn everyone (not just the kids) not to talk about other people's pictures.
Play: Everyone asks each other questions to figure out what's on their own back. (Examples: Is it something you can eat? Is it an animal, vegetable, or mineral? Is it bigger than a toaster?) Make sure the youngest kids understand that they're not supposed to tell people what picture is on their back until that person figures it out for themselves. Once you discover what you are, you have to find your match: If you're a basketball, look for a net; if you're a mouse, look for cheese, and so on.
Our results: Little kids enjoyed the setup (sticking pictures on people's backs) and the finale (finding their partner), even if they didn't really get the guessing part. Three-year-old Hope went home and reported to her dad: "There was a game. I was a fork. I had to find a spoon." The adults so enjoyed the guessing part of the game that they were still playing by the time others had moved on to the next game. (Or maybe the adults were just bad at it...)
Originally published in Wondertime magazine.