New Years Eve Games for Families

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If you are hosting a family New Year’s Eve party, you must have fun activities. However, purchasing a new party game isn’t always easy.

Most party games are for much older players, and some are downright expensive. By the time you have explained the rules, you have already confused yourself.

The best family party games, however, are ones in which most people have played some variation of previously. That makes it easy to have players of different age groups participate together.

Consider some of these family games to play. You may even have the components without knowing it.

Telephone

The game of Telephone is sure to keep things silly! The game begins with all the players arranged comfortably in a circle, either standing or sitting.

The starting player thinks of a short phrase, about five to seven words long, and whispers it to the person on their left. They then repeat it to the next player until they return to the player just before the starting one.

The final person reveals what they heard to the original player. However, by then it’s almost always something silly!

This game needs at least four players, so it’s great for large gatherings or small events. However, the more people that participate, the more things become lost in translation.

Rock, Paper, Scissors

This classic game of skill, luck, and strategy is easy to teach, and most everyone learns it at some point in their life. Although most people use some variation of house rules, there aren’t too many to keep up with anyways.

Gameplay follows a tournament-style round format, played in some form of “best two out of three” set matches. On the count of three, players will form one of the three titular shapes, each one besting one of the other two forms.

“Paper,” a flat hand, beats rock, “Rock,” a fist, beats scissors, and “Scissors,” a V-shape, defeats paper. Whether it’s only a few of you or several people want to participate, it’s simple to include many at one time.

You may need to have a couple of pairs go at one time if you’re worried about players losing interest. However, if you need to take up more time with an extended form of the game, you can always have a Round Robin-style of play.

This variation has players continue until they are defeated. That way, they either best all the other players, or they keep challenging until someone finally stops them.

Finally, this game can be used for other games as well. If you are playing a board game and there is a disagreement, you could always leave the ruling to a set of Rock, Paper, Scissors.

Secret Phrases

What’s unique about this game is that it can be played all evening without set “turns.” Have each of your players think of a Secret Phrase and ask them to write it on a scrap of paper.
Take all the phrases and put them into a bowl, a hat, or another temporary container. Mix them up, and have each person draw a secret phrase.

All players must naturally work their secret phrase in throughout the night, attempting to use it without the other players knowing. At the same time, all the other players are trying to figure out if they notice any unusual phrases.

Another aspect that I enjoy about this game is that there are several ways to play and win. That can especially come in handy if not everyone wishes to play.

You can play where if you hear a suspicious phrase, you can shout “SECRET PHRASE,” alerting the rest of the party to your potential culprit. Another variation could be to have everyone secretly mark what they think it is they heard.

Prizes may also be included based on how you choose to play. You could give out a piece of candy to every correct accusation, or you could play for points and reward accordingly.

Dots and Boxes

No matter how old your family members or party goers happen to be, it is very likely they played this game in grade school. Dots and Boxes is another classic game that only requires a piece of paper and a writing utensil.

Start out by creating a game map of large, evenly spaced dots. Players spend the game attempting to form a complete box by drawing lines from one dot to another.
The game can quickly become tricky. If you began a box, but the other player finished it, it becomes a point for them!

The game ends when no more boxes are possible and scoring ends. The winner is whoever has the most completed squares.

One way to distinguish between players is to have two different colored inks. Another is to use their first initial, or even an “X” or an “O” in the completed boxes.

Some people play where a player continues their turn until they no longer can create a box. Other families may choose to take turns after each move.

Dots and Boxes is ordinarily a two-player game, although it’s simple enough to have more than one going at once. And if you need a more extended two-person match, you can always create a broader game map, so long as it’s even.

Two Truths and a Lie

This game is fun, especially for family members who don’t visit very often. Each round, a player reveals three facts about themselves – two of them are true, while the third is made up.

The other players try and guess which is false. Whoever is the first to answer with the false truth goes next.

A New Year’s Eve variation is to apply the concept to resolutions for the next year. That could lead to fun ideas about which ones you want to pursue as well. If you are worried about time constraints, you may want to have everyone write some facts ahead of time.

With these games in your arsenal for New Year’s Eve, your family is sure to have a blast! So get out the champagne, and sparkling juice for the young ones, and enjoy a night of fun.

What games do you and your family enjoy playing to bring in the New Year?

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