• Lydia Margot

Parlour games

Updated: Apr 15, 2020

All you really need for these fun group games are pen, paper and at least three or four players. These sorts of games are generally good for children 7+ and most adults enjoy them too!

1. Fake artist. For 4+ players. Children 8+. This game is a both a drawing game and a hidden role game that is a good exercise in bluffing and detective work. There are 3 possible roles to take - games master, artist or fake artist.

- The games master privately chooses something that the group is going to draw together. E.g. "house". The games master writes "house" on pieces of paper and give them out to all players except to the person who they have secretly select as the 'fake artist', who receives a piece of paper marked 'x'

- A blank A4 paper is passed round and one by one the players draw the secret object together. They can draw only one line each at a time. The fake artist doesn't know what they are supposed to be drawing, so they have to bluff and join in the drawing without being discovered.

- After two rounds of this, once each player has drawn 2 lines, the players have to guess who the fake artist is. If they guess correctly the fake artist loses. If the players get it wrong the games master and the fake artist win.

2. The egg cup game. For 3+ players. Children aged 7+. This game is a high tension game that children absolutely love because they get to throw water in each other's faces indoors, which is obviously incredibly thrilling. In this game players takes turns in being the games master. For every round a different category is chosen. If the category is, let's say "chocolate bars", the games master thinks of a chocolate bar brand and writes it on a piece of paper, folds it up and hides it until the end of the round. Then the games master takes an egg cup of water (or very small cup of water) and stands in front of each player as they say a type of chocolate bar e.g. "snickers", "mars" etc. The games master continues with this until a player says the chocolate bar that they had written down at the beginning of the round. When this happens they throw the water in the players face! Other categories ideas: modes of transport, school subjects, animated movies, football teams, countries, pop singers...

3. The hat game. For 4 + players. This game is a mix of 'charades' and 'articulate'. Each player is given a stack of little papers and on these they write 10-15 names of famous people or people everyone knows, real or fictional. The papers are placed in a hat. The number of names depends on the attention span of the children. Now split into teams. The game works in 4 rounds:

- Round 1. Each player has 30 seconds or 1 minute (you decide) to describe the people on the papers (without saying their names obviously!) to their team. For every correct guess the team gets one point. Once all the papers have been used up you put them all back in the hat ready for round 2.

- Round 2. You do the same process but this time the players can only say 3 words about the person on the paper. E.g. for minnie mouse "female, rodent, disney". Once all the papers have been used up you put them all back in the hat ready for round 3.

- Round 3. The same process but this time players can only say 1 word about the person on the paper. E.g. for minnie mouse "disney". Once the papers have been used up you put them back in the hat ready for round 4.

- Round 4. The same process but this time the players are silent, and act out the people on the paper, like charades. Once all the papers have been used up add up the score.

Variation: if I'm playing with younger children who don't know a lot of famous people or fictional characters the game works just as well with actions, people and places. E.g. "jumping, cooking, the beach..."

4. The last letter game. for 2+ players. Although it has a very simple premise I find that some children can get really into this, and it's a great chance to expand their vocabulary. The first player says any word and the next player says a word that starts with the last letter of the the first player's word. And the chain carries on, as simple as that. For children who are geography fans you can play this with the categories of "countries" or "cities". Players lose if they hesitate or make a mistake.

5. Stop the bus/categories. for 2+ players, children ages 6+. This game is a categories-based game that works for a variety of ages. It's great because children can choose the categories they want to do and get the opportunity to show off their knowledge of their specialist subject. Rules here:

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