Jolly Fun Family Games

Quick, Easy and Entertaining Games

5 fun family games that are entertaining for all ages and easy to setup with things you'll likely have around the house.

1. Paper Character Game

Take one piece of A4 paper per player. Fold three times to make four even-sized sections. On each paper make small pencil marks across the folds to show where necks need to meet bodies, bodies to meet legs and legs to meet feet. Hand a paper to each player.

Everyone draws a head and neck in this first sectionThe head section is now folded back to keep it hidden and the blank body section of the paper is showing. Everyone passes their paper onto another person for them to draw a body. This section is then folded over and passed on. Next legs are drawn and passed on. And finally feet.

When you have completed all four sections open the papers to reveal the interesting characters you have collectively created - can you think of a good name for each character?

Little ones who aren't yet drawing can team up with adults to help with colouring or character inspiration. You can think of a theme before you start - festive characters, forest animals, super heroes etc - or you can go completely freestyle for the most bizarre results.

2. Active Animals Charades

Putting a silly simplified twist on the classic family game, in this version of Charades you need to act out an animal. The silliness comes in when the animal then does something. For example we have seen a cat playing with wool, a shark brushing their teeth, a trampolining kangaroo - imaginations can run wild!

3. What's Missing?! Family Game

Get a tray and fill it with small objects - examples being; a coin, a small toy, a pencil, a piece of jigsaw, a leaf, a biscuit, a teaspoon etc.

What's Missing?! Family Game

Elect someone to lead the first round. All players look at the board for one minute and then close their eyes while the Leader removes one of the objects and hides it from view. On the Leader's say so, players open their eyes and the first one to notice which object is missing becomes the next leader. The first hidden object is replaced and the second round begins - and so on.

To make the game more challenging, move the objects around on the tray between rounds or swap in new objects.

4. Treasure Hunt Game

This game takes a little more time to setup but is great for encouraging reluctant readers in a fun and thought-provoking way.

Think of a small prize - the treasure! Chocolate coins are an obvious choice but whatever you have to hand. Get some paper and cut it into small clue-sized pieces. Next hide the treasure and write a clue describing the hiding place.

Clues for a Treasure Hunt Game

The clue description can be a picture for non-readers, one word for those learning their first words or a sentence or riddle for older children and adults.

Now hide the first clue and write a second clue describing this new hiding place. Continue writing and hiding the clues until you have hidden 5-10 clues (or as many as you have the time to find hiding places for!).

Give the last clue to the team of players. They can work together or take it in turns to solve the clues and find the treasure.

5. Fortunately / Unfortunately Game

No setup necessary for this funny story game based on the book Fortunately by Remy Charlip (excerpt below). It is a great game for car journeys, waiting rooms, long queues and boring holiday afternoons.

Page from the Book Fortunately by Remy Charlip

Page from the Book Fortunately by Remy Charlip

Someone starts the game by saying, "Fortunately," then continues the sentence with a positive happening. For example, "Fortunately, Tommy got a gift from his great aunt for Christmas". The next person continues the story with "Unfortunately," and a negative outcome. "Unfortunately, the gift was an ugly Christmas jumper". The next person continues with a positive phrase,  "Fortunately, the jumper was too small for Tommy.", "Unfortunately, it fitted his little sister perfectly." and so on.

Unfortunately, you have reached the end of this blog post. Fortunately, you have some inspiration and can go and play some jolly fun family games ;)