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Title: Games for Everybody
Author: May C. Hofmann
Release Date: July, 2005 [EBook #8439]
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*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK GAMES FOR EVERYBODY ***
Produced by Kevin Handy, Dave Maddock,
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.
GAMES FOR EVERYBODY
MAY C. HOFMANN
Every one is fond of having a good time when invited out to a party or
social. Sometimes a stupid evening has been spent because either the
guests were not congenial or the hostess had not planned good
games. The purpose of this book is to furnish just what is needed for
a pleasant home gathering, church social, or any other indoor
Very few, if any, of these games require much preparation. Just use
what is in the house, follow the directions given, and a good time
will be the result. Some of the games for "Adults" can be played by
the younger ones, and _vice versa_. Other games, by being changed a
little by the hostess, can be made to suit the occasion.
Many of the good old games that every one has played are here, while
the newer ones, which may be strange at first, will prove most
enjoyable when every one has "caught on," as the saying is. M.C.H.
I. GAMES FOR CHILDREN
Chase The Rabbit.
New Blind Man's Buff.
Blowing The Feathers.
Hide The Thimble.
Spool Flower Hunt.
The Serpent's Tail.
Spinning For 20.
Simple Simon's Silly Smile.
Blind Man's Buff.
Cat And Mouse.
Our Cook Doesn't Like Peas.
Hold Fast, Let Go.
Hide And Seek.
Bird, Beast, Or Fish.
Look Out For The Bear!
He Can Do Little.
Puss In The Corner.
I Have A Basket.
Still Pond, No More Moving.
Ring On A String.
Hunt The Slipper.
What Is My Thought Like?
Oranges And Lemons.
Judge And Jury.
Reuben And Rachel.
Frog In The Middle.
My House, Your House.
II. GAMES FOR ADULTS
Boots, Without Shoes.
Animal, Vegetable, Or Mineral.
What Time Is It?
How, When, Where.
My Father Had A Rooster!
Cross Questions And Crooked Answers.
Scissors Crossed Or Uncrossed.
What Am I?
Pin Doll Babies.
What Would You Do If--?
Find Your Better-half.
Seeing And Remembering.
Bits Of Advice.
Another Musical Medley.
Trips Around The World.
Hunting The Whistle.
The Five Senses.
Peanut Hunt And Scramble.
An Apple Hunt.
Who Am I?
Tit For Tat.
The Prince Of Wales.
Laugh A Little.
Who Is My Next-door Neighbor?
Going To China.
A Penny For Your Thoughts.
Who Are They?
A Study In Zoology.
The Genteel Lady.
Hunting For Book-titles.
III. GAMES FOR SPECIAL DAYS
The Lucky Or Unlucky Slipper.
Hearts And Mittens.
Easter Egg Race.
Flags Of All Nations.
Some More Fates.
Over The Cider Mugs.
Ships Of Fate.
Cake With Candles.
Hunt The Squirrel.
A Game Within A Game.
Toss The Goodies.
Decking Santa Claus.
GAMES FOR CHILDREN.
An amusing game for children is one in which each child is to make
some sort of animal out of vegetables or fruit, and toothpicks.
When all the children have arrived, pass around slips of paper
containing a number and the name of some animal. Each one must keep
secret what his animal is to be.
Let the hostess prepare a basket of vegetables, potatoes, beets,
carrots, and fruits, lemons, bananas, etc., suitable for the occasion,
from which the children can take their choice to make their
animals. Plenty of toothpicks must be provided for the legs, ears and
Allow five minutes for constructing the creatures.
Then collect the specimens, pinning a number corresponding to the one
on the slip, to its back, and arrange the "show" on a table. Many
queer sights will be seen.
The children, having received pencil and paper, should be told to
write down the number of each animal, and opposite it what the animal
is intended to represent.
A prize can be given to the one who has guessed the greatest number
CHASE THE RABBIT.
All the children kneel on the floor in a ring with hands on each
One is chosen to be the "rabbit" and runs around outside the ring and
touches one of the players, who is to chase him to his "hole."
The minute the player is touched he must run to the left, while the
rabbit goes to the right, must tag the rabbit when they pass each
other and try to get back to the "hole" again. If he fails, he
becomes the "rabbit," and the game goes on as before.
Provide each child with a clay pipe and prepare two basins of soap
suds for the game. If a little glycerine is put in the water, the
bubbles will last longer.
Divide the company into two sides, an even number in each. Stretch a
cord or rope at a medium height across the middle of the room. Two
children, one from each side, play at a time. Each stands on his side,
blows the bubble from the pipe and blows it toward the opposite side,
and over the rope if he can. If it goes over the rope without
breaking, he has won one point for his side, if not, his side has
lost. Tally is kept as each set plays, and the side that has the most
points, wins, and surely deserves a prize.
Any child can play this simple game. Take a full blown rose and hold
it up where all can see it, then let them write on a slip of paper how
many petals they think are in the rose.
The petals are then counted by one of the children and the one who
guesses the nearest, receives a prize.
Any flower with many petals, can be used.
NEW BLIND MAN'S BUFF.
The one who is chosen for the "blind man" does not have his eyes
bandaged as in the old game.
Stretch a sheet between two doors and place a light, candle or lamp,
on a table some distance from the sheet. The "blind man" sits on the
floor or low chair in front of the light facing the sheet, but he must
be so low down that his shadow will not appear on the sheet.
The children form a line and march single file between the light and
the "blind man," who is not allowed to turn around. Thus their shadows
are thrown on the sheet and as they pass, the "blind man" must guess
who they are. The children may disguise their walk and height, so as
to puzzle him.
As soon as the "blind man" guesses one correctly, that one takes his
place and becomes "blind man," while the former takes his place in the
procession, and the game proceeds as before, but the children had
better change places, so the new "blind man" won't know their
A very simple game for children is one played like the old-fashioned
Two children with joined hands stand opposite each other, and the rest
form a ring and pass under the raised hands, while they repeat,
"We're seeking a pansy, a pansy, a pansy,
We've found one here."
As they say "here," the raised hands close around the child who was
passing by, and "Pansy" takes the place of the one who caught her, and
she names some other flower which is to be found, and the game goes on
as before, substituting that flower for pansy.
Then it continues until all the flowers are "found."
Prepare an even number of bean bags of
moderate size, half of one color and half of another.
Appoint leaders, who choose the children for their respective
sides. There should be an even number on each side. The opponents face
each other, with the leader at the head, who has the bag of one color
at his side. The bags are to be passed,
1st, with right hand,
2d, with left hand,
3d, with both hands,
4th, with right hand over left shoulder,
5th, with left hand over right shoulder.
Before the contest begins, it is best to have a trial game, so all
understand how to pass the bags.
At a given signal, the leaders begin, and pass the bags as rapidly as
possible down the line, observing all the directions. The last one
places them on a chair, until all have been passed, and then he sends
them back, observing the same rules, until all have reached the
The side who has passed them back to the leader first, and has done so
successfully, is the winning side.
BLOWING THE FEATHERS.
The children are seated on the floor, around a sheet or
tablecloth. This is held tight by the players about 1 1/2 ft. from the
floor, and a feather is placed in the middle.
One is chosen to be out, and at a given signal from the leader, the
feather is blown from one to the other, high and low, never allowed to
The player outside runs back and forth, trying to catch the
feather. When he does succeed, the person on whom it rested or was
nearest to, must take his place.
The players sit in a circle, and each takes the name of some article
found in the schoolroom, such as desk, rubber, blackboard, etc.
One of the players stands in the center and spins a plate on end; as
he does so, he calls out the name of an article which one of the
players has taken.
The person named must jump up and catch the plate before it stops
If he is too slow, he must pay a forfeit. It is then his turn to spin
HIDE THE THIMBLE.
All the players but one, leave the room. This one hides a thimble in a
place not too conspicuous, but yet in plain sight.
Then the others come in, and hunt for the thimble; the first one
seeing it, sits down and remains perfectly quiet until all the others
have found it.
The first one who saw it, takes his turn to hide it.
Make two balls, one red and one blue, out of paper thus--
[Illustration: A drawing of three identical circles of paper. No. 1
should have slits on the top, bottom, left, and right. No. 2 should
have slits on the left, right, and a vertical slit in the center.
No. 3 should have vertical and horizontal slits intersecting in the
Slip No. 1 in No. 2, and No. 3 fits over and bisects the other two.
Appoint two leaders who choose their teams; each team takes a ball and
a palm leaf fan.
GOALS--Three chairs, one at each end of the room and one in the
center, at equal distance from others.
Two play at a time, one player from each side. The player stands in
front of his goal and at the word "ready," fans his ball to the
opposite goal. It must go through the back of the chair in the middle
of the room, and through the opposite goal, in order to win. When all
have finished playing, the team which has the most successful players
in it, wins the game.
SPOOL FLOWER HUNT.
Gather together as many spools as possible, marking each with a
separate letter, which, when put together, will form the name of some
flower, such as: rose, violet, daisy, pansy, etc. Stand all the
spools in a row, those forming names standing together.
One child, the gardener, gathers up all the spools and hides them in
all the corners and out-of-the-way places in the room, only one spool
being in each place. When all are hidden, the children are summoned in
to hunt for the flowers.
The object is to find such spools as form a name. As the spools are
found, the children see if the letters on them spell a flower.
When the hunt is over, the one having the most complete sets of
flowers is the winner.
Cut five holes of different sizes in the lid of a pasteboard
box. Number the largest hole 5; the next largest 10; the next, 20; the
next, 50; and the smallest, 100.
Place the box on the floor and give each child an equal number of
marbles. The object of the game is to see which child can count the
most by dropping the marbles into the box through the holes.
Each player in turn stands over the box, holds his arm out straight,
even with the shoulder, and drops the marbles one by one into the
box. If one goes through the largest hole it counts 5, if through the
smallest, 100, and so on, count being kept for each player. The one
scoring the greatest number of points is the winner.
An amusement for children on a train, or at home when it is raining,
is the following, and it will help to while away the time.
If there are several children, choose sides and appoint one to keep
the count for his side. Each side sits by a different window and
watches the passers-by. Every man counts 1; every women 2; baby 3;
animal 5; white horse 10; black cat 50.
As a child sees someone passing, he calls out the number for his side;
if a woman, he says 2; if a man and woman together, it will be 3, and
If the children are looking upon the same street the side that calls
its number out first adds it to its score. It is more exciting if the
different sides have different streets to look out on.
If on a train, one side sits on the right and the other on the left,
and when an object is seen, they call out right, 5, or left, as the
case may be, for the mother, or older person to put down on the score
The side which succeeds in reaching 100 first is the winning side. If
the trip is long, 500 can be the limit.
THE SERPENT'S TAIL.
This is a Japanese game, and is played this way. All the children form
a line, each resting his hands on the shoulders of the player in front
of him. One child is chosen out, and is called the "catcher." The
first child of the line, or "serpent," is called the "head," and the
last one, the "tail."
The "catcher" stands about three feet from the "head" and when someone
gives a signal he tries to catch the "tail" without pushing anyone, or
breaking through the line.
The children forming the "body" defend the "tail," by moving about in
any way they choose, but the line must never be broken, as the "tail"
is considered caught if it is.
When the "tail" is caught, the "catcher" becomes "head," and the
"tail" is then "catcher," the last child in the line being "tail," and
the game goes on as before.
Dress the little girl in whose honor the party is given as little
Bo-peep, with a little crook.
Hide small toy sheep all over the room in every nook and corner. As
each child comes, give her a little stick fixed up like a crook, and
tell the children to find the sheep.
After the hunt is over, award the child who found the most sheep some
little prize. Each may keep the sheep she finds.
If the party is in honor of a little boy, change it to "Little Boy
Blue," and have horns instead of crooks.
Children may derive a lot of fun from a large supply of empty spools
of all shapes and sizes. Pieces of cotton batting stuck in the
opening at the top may serve as heads.
For the "army" gather together as many spools of the same size as you
can, numbering each one. Choose a large spool for the general.
Arrange them in rows with the general at the head of a chair or box. A
small ball, or pieces of muslin knotted into small balls, will serve
as ammunition. When the battle begins, each child aims at the general,
endeavoring to knock him over, and as many others as he can. The score
is counted after each attack. If a spool has fallen over, but not off
the chair, it counts but half its number; if on the floor, it is
"dead," and the whole number is counted.
SPINNING FOR 20.
On a board or piece of cardboard, mark with pencil or ink, the design
illustrated, the size of the circles varying with the size of the
[Illustration: 4 concentric circles, numbered 20, 15, 10, and 5.]
A top may be made out of an empty spool by taking one end of it and
sticking a piece of wood, pointed at one end about an inch long,
through it. Each spool makes two tops which are spun with the thumb
and forefinger. A penny may be used to spin, in fact any small thing
that spins will do for a top.
Number the circles as in the diagram. Place the top on the dot in the
center of circle 20 and spin it. The number of the circle the top
stops on, is the number scored. If on a line it counts for the circle
next it. If outside the line of circle 5 it counts nothing.
Any number can play and any number, such as 100 or more, may be the
Shoes, four inches long, are cut out of cardboard, from patterns found
in catalogues. The pairs are mixed and hidden all over the room, high
and low, behind pictures, under mats, etc.
The girl or boy finding the greatest number of shoes that prove to be
pairs receives a prize.
To add to the merriment, several pairs of real shoes may be hidden,
too, and the children will enjoy hunting for the mates.
Fun for the children is in store when they play this game. All stand
in a circle, not too near each other. One player stands in the center,
holding a rope, or stout cord, at the end of which is attached a
weight of some kind.
At the word "ready" the one in the center whirls the cord rapidly
around near the floor. The players, to prevent it from touching their
feet, hop over it as it approaches them.
In a short time every one is hopping and a lively time ensues. The one
whose feet were touched takes the center place and endeavors to hit
some other player's feet.
This is played similarly to "Stage-coach." Any number of children can
play it. One is chosen out and is called the "gardener."
All the children sit in a circle and the "gardener" gives each one in
turn the name of some flower. When all are named the "gardener" stands
in the center of the circle and tells how he has gone to the woods to
gather certain flowers, how he has transplanted them to form a lovely
garden, the care he has to take of them, and so on, telling quite a
long story and bringing in the names of all the flowers he has given
to the children.
As a flower is mentioned, the child who has that name rises, turns
around, and sits down again. Anyone who fails to rise when his flower
is named must pay a forfeit. When the gardener says something about a
bouquet, all the children rise and exchange seats. Then the "gardener"
tries to get a seat, and if he succeeds, the person who has no seat
becomes the "gardener" and the game goes on as before.
Make a square or rectangle of dots, as shown on page 26.
Provide the children with pencils. Each one makes a line joining two
dots but tries to prevent the others from making a square.
. . . . . . .
. . . . . . .
. . . . . . .
. . . . . . .
. . . . . . .
. . . . . . .
. . . . . . .
.-. . . .-. .
|A| | |
.-.-.-. . . .
|A| | |
.-. . . . .-.
|A| | |
.-.-. .-. . .
. .-. . . .-.
| | |
.-.-. . . . .
For a while it is easy, but soon the number of dots is scarce, and it
requires careful marking to prevent the squares from being formed.
Finally all the chances are gone and the next player completes a
square, as a reward he is given another chance, thus completing
several, then he joins two dots and the next player continues.
Each one places his initial in his completed square, so the score is
easily counted. The one who has succeeded in making the most squares
is the winner.
SIMPLE SIMON'S SILLY SMILE.
All the players sit in a circle and one who is bright and witty is
chosen as leader. He stands in the center of the circle and asks the
most ridiculous questions he can think of.
The players when asked any question, must always answer "Simple
Simon's silly smile." No other answer will do and whoever laughs or
fails to say it correctly, must pay a forfeit.
One player leaves the room, and while he is gone the rest decide upon
some word which has several meanings, which he must guess when he
The rest of the players converse about the word, but instead of
mentioning it, say "Tea-pot" in its place. Suppose the word chosen is
"vain." No. 1 may say: "She is altogether too tea-pot for me." (vain)
No. 2 says: "The tea-pot pointed North yesterday." (vane) No. 3: "The
tea-pot is blue." (vein), and so on, each in turn making some remark
about the chosen word until the player has guessed it correctly. The
person who gave the broadest hint about the hidden word must leave the
BLIND MAN'S BUFF.
It is hardly necessary to describe this game as almost everybody knows
how to play it. There may be some who do not know, however, so it is
Clear the room as much as possible, pushing all the chairs, tables,
etc., against the walls. The child chosen as "Buff" is blindfolded,
and is asked the following question by the other children. "How many
horses has your father got?" He answers "Three." "What color are
they?" "Black, white, and gray," is answered. Everyone calls out "Turn
around three times and catch whom you may."
"Buff" turns around, and then tries to catch whoever he can. The
children try to escape him by dodging him until finally one is caught,
and before the handkerchief is raised, "Buff" must guess whom he has
caught. If he guesses correctly, the one caught becomes "Buff."
CAT AND MOUSE.
The children sit in two rows facing each other, with a space
between. Blindfold two children, one being the "cat" and the other the
The "cat" stands at one end of the row and the "mouse" at the
other. They start in opposite directions and the "cat" tries to catch
the "mouse." The children may give hints as to the direction the
players are to go in. When the "mouse" is caught, he becomes "cat,"
and another child is chosen as "mouse."
Musical Chairs, or Going to Jerusalem, is a favorite game of the
children. Someone who plays the piano well starts up a lively tune and
the children march around a row of chairs which have been arranged
facing alternately in opposite directions. There should be one less
chair than the number of players.
When the music stops, each child tries to find a seat. Someone will be
left out, as there is one chair short. This one takes another chair
from the row and the game continues until there is one child left with
no chair. This one has won the game.
All the children sit in a circle with hands placed palm to palm in
their laps. One child is given a button and she goes to each in turn,
slipping her hands between the palms of the children. As she goes
around the circle she drops the button into some child's hands, but
continues going around as long after as she pleases, so the rest will
not know who has it.
Then she stands in the middle of the circle and says: "Button, button,
who has the button?" All the children guess who has it, the one
calling out the correct name first is out and it is his turn to go
around with the button.
Arrange all the children except one on chairs or a bench. This one is
the leader and she stands on the floor in front of the children.
Beginning at one end of the row, she pulls each child from the bench,
letting her remain in whatever position she falls. Sometimes she can
tell them how to pose, for instance, she will say "Like an angel," and
that child will fold her hands and look upward. Another might be
"cross school-teacher," and this child may pretend to be scolding
someone. Each child remains perfectly still, posed in the attitude
suggested, until all the children are on the floor. Then the leader
selects the one she thinks has posed the best and that one takes the
leader's place and the game goes on as before.
OUR COOK DOESN'T LIKE PEAS.
All the players except one sit in a row. This one sits in front of
them and says to each one in turn: "Our cook doesn't like P's; what
can you give her instead?"
The first one may answer "sugar" and that will suit her, but the next
one might say "Potatoes," and that will not do, and he will have to
pay a forfeit because the letter "P" comes in that word.
There is a catch to this as everyone thinks that the vegetable "Peas"
is meant instead of the letter. Even after everybody has discovered
the trick it will be difficult to think of words, and if a player
fails to answer before 5 is counted, a forfeit must be paid. "My
grandma doesn't like tea (T)" is played in the same way.
HOLD FAST, LET GO.
A simple game for small children is the following. Each child takes
hold of a small sheet or tablecloth, the leader holding it with his
left hand, while he pretends to write with his right hand.
The leader says: "When I say 'Hold fast,' let go; and when I say 'let
go,' hold fast." He calls out the commands one at a time and the rest
do just the opposite of what he says. Whoever fails must pay a
One child is selected to be Simon. The rest of the children sit around
in a circle. Simon stands in the middle and gives all sorts of orders
for the children to follow. Every order which begins with "Simon says"
must be obeyed, whether Simon performs it or not, but if Simon should
give some order, such as "Thumbs down," whether he puts his thumbs
down or not, it must not be obeyed by the others because it was not
preceded by "Simon says."
All sorts of orders such as "Thumbs up," "Thumbs down," "Thumbs
wiggle-waggle," "Thumbs pull left ear," etc., are given. The faster
the orders are given, the more confusing it is. A forfeit must be paid
by those who fail to obey the orders.
One child, who represents the old soldier, goes around to each child
in turn and begs for something, saying that he is poor, hungry, blind,
etc., and asks what they will do for him.
In answering the old soldier no one must use the words, "Yes," "No,"
"Black," or "White." As soon as a child is asked, he must answer
immediately. If he does not, or says any of the forbidden words, he
must pay a forfeit.
HIDE AND SEEK.
One child is chosen out. This one stands by a post or in a corner
which is called "base," and hides his eyes. The children decide among
themselves how much he shall count while they are hiding. Suppose they
choose 100, then he counts 5, 10, 15, 20, etc., until he reaches 100,
and then he calls out:
"Ready or not,
You shall be caught."
Each child having hidden in some place while he was counting, remains
perfectly still while he is hunting for them. If he passes by some
child without finding him, that one can run to the "base" and say
"One, two, three, I'm in free!" As many children as can try to get in
"free," but if the one who is out tags any of them before they reach
"base," the first one tagged is the next to hide his eyes.
Two children may derive a great deal of amusement from this simple
pastime. At the top of a piece of paper write all the letters of the
alphabet. Underneath, the child who has thought of a word or short
sentence puts a dash down for every letter contained in the word
Suppose the words thought of were "Gamebook," it would be written
The other player asks if the word contains "a," and the other puts it
in its proper place, crossing the letter off of the alphabet above.
The other guesses different letters at random, every right one being
put in its place, while for every wrong one a line is drawn to help
construct a gallows for the "hang-man." If there are many wrong
guesses, the "hang-man" may be completed and then the word is told the
other player. The players take turns in giving out and guessing the
The gallows is made thus for every wrong guess:
[Illustration: The gallows and hang-man is drawn progressively, one
line at a time.]
BIRD, BEAST, OR FISH.
A simple little game for amusing two children is the following. Write
on the top of a slate or paper the words "Bird, beast, and fish."
One child thinks of the name of some animal and puts down the first
and last letters of the word, marking dashes for the other letters.
His companion thinks over all the names of animals he knows containing
that number of letters, until finally he has guessed what it is or
else has given up. If he guesses correctly it is his turn to give
either a bird, beast, or fish.
This is an amusing game for children. A blackboard is needed upon
which the verse, "Peter Piper," etc., is illustrated or written so
that the words are mixed up and it will be difficult to point
out. Some older person will be needed to superintend the game.
One child is given a pointer and as the others sing, to any familiar
tune (Yankee Doodle, for instance):
"Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Now if Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where is that peck of pickled peppers,
Peter Piper picked?"
she must point out each word or drawing as quickly as it is sung.
If a mistake is made in pointing, the child takes her place with the
rest and another child is out. Each one is given a turn.
It is an achievement, if done successfully, and some suitable gift
should be given as a prize.
LOOK OUT FOR THE BEAR!
Any number of children can play this game. One is chosen to be the
"bear," and he hides in some part of the room or garden, while the
rest, with their backs turned, are standing at their goal.
As soon as the children have counted 50 or 100, they all scatter and
hunt for the "bear." The child who finds him first calls out, "Look
out for the bear," and all the children run to their goal.
If the bear catches any while running for the goal, they become
"bears." These "bears" hide together and the game continues until all
the children are "bears."
All children love to roll hoops. For a little folks party, plan to
have as many hoops as children, so each can have one.
Bind these around with tape or ribbon. The children contest one at a
time. The child who succeeds in rolling his hoop around the room three
times without having it turn over or stop, wins the prize.
If the room is very large once or twice around will be enough, so the
children aren't tired out.
An amusement for small children, is to gather together as many buttons
of all shapes and sizes, plain and fancy, as can be obtained.
The largest button is the father, the next size is the mother, several
children arranged according to size, and a tiny one for the baby.
Plain buttons are called servants, others animals and pets. The
children arrange their families in pasteboard boxes, using pasteboard
cards for chairs, carriages, etc. All children like to play "house,"
and a whole afternoon can be whiled away making stores out of cards,
to do shopping in, and boats for the button-children to play
in. "School" also can be played and the boys enjoy forming rows of
soldiers and parading up and down.
One child is chosen out. This one stands by a post or door with his
back to the other players. The rest of the children stand in a row at
the other end of the room or porch, as the case may be.
The one by the door counts 5, slowly or quickly, and then turns
around. While he is counting and his back is turned, the others take
as many steps forward as they can without being caught. If anyone is
moving when the player turns around, they exchange places, and the
game continues, the children advancing step by step toward the
goal. When one has reached the goal and touched it, he can go back
again and begin all over. The one who touches the goal the greatest
number of times just by stepping, and has not been caught, wins the
HE CAN DO LITTLE.
All the players sit in a circle. One, knowing the catch, begins by
saying: "Ahem, he can do little who cannot do this." While saying
this, he taps a stick on the floor several times.
This stick passes from one to the other in turn, each one thinking
that the stick must be tapped a certain number of times, but the catch
is that just before saying "He can do little who cannot do this," each
one ought to clear his throat as the leader did at first. Allow the
game to continue around the circle two or three times before
explaining the catch. A forfeit is paid by each player who does not
do it correctly.
All the girls sit in a circle, and the boys stand outside, one boy
behind each girl's chair. One chair is left vacant, but a boy stands
behind it, and by winking at the girls one at a time, tries to get one
for his empty chair.
As soon as a girl is winked at, she tries to leave her seat, and take
the vacant one, but if the boy behind her touches her before she
leaves the seat, she cannot go. Each boy has to keep his eye on the
one who is winking and on the girl in his chair, for if he is not
watching, she may escape before he has time to touch her, and then it
is his turn to do the winking and get a girl for his chair.
If the winking is done quickly it adds to the interest of the game. No
boy can keep hold of a girl all the time; he must only touch her when
she starts to leave her place, and then if she is beyond arm's length,
he cannot call her back.
The children stand in pairs, one behind the other, in the form of a
circle, all facing the center.
Two of them are out, one who runs away, and the other who tries to
catch him. The one who is running away may place himself in front of
any couple for safety and he cannot be tagged, but the child at the
end of the trio must run, and if he is caught before he can stand in
front of another couple, he is the catcher and pursues the other
PUSS IN THE CORNER.
All the children except one stand in corners, or in any fixed stations
if there are not enough corners to go around. The one who is out
stands in the middle to represent "Puss." The players then beckon to
each other one at a time saying, "Here, puss, puss," and run and
change places with the one who is called.
Puss tries to get one of the vacant places. If she succeeds, the
child who is left out is "Puss," until she manages to obtain a place.
I HAVE A BASKET.
One child begins by saying: "I have a basket." The one to his left
says: "What is in it?" The first one replies with the name of some
article beginning with "a," as "apples."
No. 2 says: "I have a basket," and the next one to him says: "What is
in it?" No. 2 replies: "Apples and bananas," (or some other word
beginning with "b").
No. 3 says: "I have a basket." No. 4 asks the same question as before
and No. 3 responds with "Apples, bananas, and cats," and so on, each
in turn repeating what the others have said, and adding another
article, which commences with the next letter of the alphabet.
Whoever forgets what the other articles were must pay a forfeit. Thus
it continues until the last one has named all the articles in order,
and ended with "z".
STILL POND, NO MORE MOVING.
All the children form a circle, joining hands. One is blindfolded,
given a cane, and stands in the middle of the circle.
The children march around her, going fast or slowly until she taps on
the floor three times with the cane and says: "Still pond, no more
moving." The children drop hands, and remain perfectly still, right
where they are.
The one in the middle feels her way toward the children, holding the
cane in front of her. The first child who is touched with the cane
must take hold of it. The blindfolded one says, "Grunt like a pig,"
and the one holding the cane must grunt, disguising her voice if
possible. If the blindfolded one guesses who she is, they exchange
places, and the game goes on as before, but if she fails, she has
another turn and may tell the player to "Bark like a dog" or "Mew like
a cat" until she guesses the right one.
RING ON A STRING.
Slip a ring on a long piece of string having the ends knotted
together. The players stand in a circle and the string passes through
their closed hands. Each makes the motions of passing something.
The ring circulates from one to another, while a player in the middle
tries to find it. As soon as the ring is found, the person in whose
hands it was takes his place, and the ring is passed as before.
HUNT THE SLIPPER.
All the children except one sit on the floor in a circle, with their
knees raised. The one left out brings a slipper, and handing it to one
"Cobbler, cobbler, mend my shoe,
Get it done by quarter-past two."
He walks to the other side of the room and in a minute comes back and
asks if the shoe is done. In the meantime the slipper is being passed
from one to the other, under their knees.
The child who is asked if the slipper is done says she thinks her
neighbor has it, the neighbor is asked and receiving the same answer
the one hunting it goes from one to the other until the slipper is
found. If it takes too long for him to find it, the slipper may be
tossed across the circle, so it will be easy to follow it up.
WHAT IS MY THOUGHT LIKE?
All the children except one sit in a circle. This one thinks of
something and, standing in the middle of the circle, asks each one in
turn: "What is my thought like?"
Each one names some object, and when all have been asked, the leader
announces what her thought was and each in turn must prove the
resemblance between his answer and the thought. Whoever fails must pay
Suppose the thought is a stove, and No. 1 says: "Like the sun." No. 2,
"Like silver," then the second time around No. 1 can say: "A stove is
like the sun because they both give heat;" No. 2 can say: "A stove is
like silver because they both shine when well polished," and so on.
ORANGES AND LEMONS.
The two tallest children, one named "Orange," the other "Lemon," join
hands and form an arch for the other children to pass under. The
children, holding on to each other's dresses, march in single file and
"'Oranges and lemons,' say the bells of St. Clement's,
'Brickbats and tiles,' say the bells of St. Giles,
'You owe me five farthing,' say the bells of St. Martin's,
'When will you pay me?' say the bells of old Bailey,
'When I grow rich,' say the bells of Shoreditch,
'When will that be?' say the bells of Stepney,
'I do not know,' says the great bell of Bow.
Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
And here comes a chopper to chop off your head."
When the last line is sung the child who is under their arms is caught
and asked in a whisper if he will be an orange or lemon. He answers,
and joins whichever side he chose, holding the other around the
waist. The game continues until all are caught, and then there is a
tug-of-war between the oranges and lemons.
The "potato" in this game is a knotted handkerchief. One player is
chosen for the center, and the others sit around in a circle. The one
in the center throws the "potato" to anyone in the circle. This one
must throw it to another player and so on, tossing it, from one to
another, and never allowing it to rest.
The player in the center tries to catch it. If he succeeds, the one
who last tossed it exchanges places with him, and the game goes on as
JUDGE AND JURY.
Arrange the children in two rows, facing each other. The judge sits at
one end in the aisle. He asks one of the jury a question (anything he
happens to think of). The one who is questioned must not answer, but
the child sitting opposite him must reply for him, being careful not
to use any of the following words in his answer. Yes, no, black, or
white. Some answer must be given, whether it be sensible, or not.
Whoever fails to answer before the judge counts 10, or answers out of
turn, or uses any of the forbidden words must either pay a forfeit or
become the judge.
REUBEN AND RACHEL.
Blindfold one of the players. All the rest form a ring and dance
around him until he points at some one. That one enters the ring and
the blindman calls out: "Rachel;" she answers: "Here, Reuben," and
moves about in the circle so as to escape being caught by "Reuben."
Every time the blindman calls out "Rachel," she must reply with
"Reuben" and thus it goes until finally "Rachel" is caught. "Reuben"
must guess who she is, and if he guesses correctly, "Rachel" is
blindfolded and the game goes on as before. If not, the same child is
FROG IN THE MIDDLE.
The children form a ring. One, the frog, is chosen out, and he stands
in the middle of the circle.
The children, holding hands, dance around him, saying: "Frog in the
middle, jump in, jump out, take a stick and poke him out." As the last
line is sung, the frog takes one child by the hands and pulls him to
the center, exchanging places with him. The children continue dancing
around and singing while the frogs jump thick and fast. The game
continues until all have been frogs or are tired out.
This is a rough-and-tumble game for the boys, and must be played
either outside, or in a large bare room.
Sides are chosen, the big boys taking the small boys on their back,
carrying them "pick-a-back." The one carrying the boy is called the
horse, and the other the rider. The sides stand opposite each other
and when a signal is given, they rush toward each other, the horses
trying to knock down the opposing horses, and the riders trying to
dismount each other.
The game continues until a single horse and rider remain, and the side
to which they belong wins the game.
MY HOUSE, YOUR HOUSE.
Attach a string to the end of a small stick. At the end of the string
make a loop that will slip very easily. On a table make a circle with
The leader, or fisherman, arranges the loop around the circle and
holds the stick in his hand. Whenever he says: "My house," each player
must put his first finger inside the circle, and leave it there. When
"Your house" is said, the fingers must be withdrawn.
The commands must be given very quickly, and the fisherman must be
quick to jerk his rod, thus catching several fingers.
A forfeit should be paid by everyone who is caught, and the fisherman
can exchange places if he wishes.
All the players sit in a circle and one who knows the trick takes a
small cane in his right hand; then, taking it in his left hand, he
passes it to his neighbor, saying: "Malaga grapes are very good
grapes; the best to be had in the market." He tells his neighbor to do
Thus the cane passes from one to the other, each one telling about the
grapes; but if any should pass the stick with the right hand, a
forfeit must be paid. The trick must not be told until it has gone
around the circle once or twice.
GAMES FOR ADULTS
It will be necessary for two of the players to know how to play the
game. One is sent out of the room, and the other remains inside to
take a picture of one of the guests. This is done by holding up a
spoon or some polished surface to a player's face.
When the picture is taken, the one outside is called in, given the
spoon, told to look at it, and guess whose picture it is. In a short
time she has guessed correctly, to the amazement of the guests. She
leaves the room again, while another picture is taken, is called in,
and guesses that, and so on.
If any guest thinks he can do it, he may have a trial, but he may
fail. Finally it is discovered that the one who remained inside and
took the pictures sits in exactly the same position as the person
whose picture was taken. If his feet were crossed and his hands
folded, the leader will take that position. If another person is in
that position, the one who guesses waits until one makes a change, and
thus the name may be guessed.
BOOTS, WITHOUT SHOES.
All the players are sent out of the room. The leader remains inside
and calls one player in. They both sit down together and the leader
says: "Say just what I say. Say boots, without shoes." (With a short
pause after boots.) The victim may repeat the whole sentence and the
leader says, "No, I want you to say boots, without shoes," and thus it
may go on until the leader has given the simple statement in all sorts
of tones and expressions, and finally, the player realizes that when
told to say "Boots, without shoes," she must simply say "Boots."
Each player in turn is called in and put through the ordeal, affording
much amusement for those already in the room, until all have guessed
it and laughed over it.
Any number of persons may play this game. One is sent out of the room
while the rest choose some proverb. Then he is called in and asks each
player in turn a question. In the answer, no matter what the question
is, one word of the proverb must be given.
Suppose the proverb "Make hay while the sun shines" is taken, then
player No. 1 would have "Make"; No. 2, "hay"; No. 3, "while"; No. 4,
"the"; No. 5, "sun"; No. 6, "shines"; No. 7, "make"; etc., giving each
player a word, often repeating the proverb several times.
The answers to the questions must be given quickly, and no special
word emphasized. Often the one guessing will have to go around
several times before he can discover any word which will reveal the
proverb. The one whose answer gave the clue must leave the room next,
and it becomes his turn to guess.
ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, OR MINERAL.
When the party is large, this game affords much amusement. One player
is sent out of the room. While he is gone the players decide upon some
object which he is to guess. He is then called in, and asks each one
The answers to the questions must be either "Yes" or "No," and a
forfeit must be paid if any other answer is given.
Suppose the object chosen is a piece of coal in the fireplace. The
player will begin by finding out whether the object chosen is of the
animal, vegetable, or mineral kingdom; thus the following questions
may be asked: "Is it a mineral?" "Yes." "Is it hard?" "Yes." "Is it
very valuable?" "No." "Is it bright and shiny?" "Yes." "Is it gold?"
"No." "Silver?" "No." "Is it in this room?" "Yes." "Is it black?"
"Yes." "Is it a piece of coal?" "Yes."
The correct object being guessed, another player is sent out and the
WHAT TIME IS IT?
It requires two players who understand this game, a leader and his
accomplice. The accomplice leaves the room, while the leader and the
rest remain inside. The leader asks the players what hour they will
choose for the accomplice to guess. One will say: "Four o'clock." The
assistant is called in and he questions the leader, saying: "Well,
what time is it?" The leader answers thus: "Don't you know?"; next,
"Doubtless, dancing time." The assistant immediately answers "Four
o'clock," to the amazement of the company.
The key is that each hour, from 1 to 12 o'clock has been named
according to the letters of the alphabet in rotation, from A to K, The
leader, in answering, must be very careful to begin each answer with
the letter indicating the chosen hour; thus in the above the assistant
noticed that each answer began with "d," and "d" being the fourth
letter, four o'clock was the time chosen. Only the exact hours must be
chosen. As the different players think they understand the game, they
may take the assistant's place, and many ludicrous mistakes will be
the result until the game has been explained to all.
One of the players who does not know the game is sent out of the
room. While he is gone, the others are supposed to be thinking of some
person whom he is to guess when he comes in, but it is arranged that
each one describes his right hand neighbor when asked any
questions. It is more amusing if the circle is composed of boys and
The player is called in, having been told beforehand that he is to
guess what person the company thought of and that that person is "It."
He begins by asking "Is it in this room?" "Yes." "Is it a boy?"
"Yes." "Is his hair long or short?" "Very long," and so on, until the
information he has obtained may be the following: "A boy, very long
hair, pink waist, blue eyes, has a beard, very stout, about 6 feet
tall, about 8 years old." The player, astonished at such information,
may keep up guessing, until, by closely questioning each one, he
guesses correctly. If he cannot guess, it is explained to him who "It"
HOW, WHEN, WHERE.
One of the players leaves the room while the others select some word
with two or three meanings, which is to be guessed. Suppose the word
"trunk" is thought of. When the player is summoned in he asks each one
in turn "How do you like it?" The answers may be "full of clothes,"
"when the outside is brown," (meaning a tree trunk), "shut up in a
cage," (referring to an elephant's trunk).
The next time around the question is "When do you like it?" and the
answers may be, "When I'm going away," "When I'm in the country,"
"When I visit the Zoo."
The last question is "Where do you like it?" and the answers may be
"In my room," "In the woods," "On the animal it belongs to." The
questioner must try to guess the word from the various answers. If he
succeeds, the person whose answer revealed the word must leave the
room, but if he fails, he has to guess again.
All the players sit in a circle and begin to count in turn, but
whenever seven, or any multiple of seven comes, "Buz" is said in its
place. If anyone forgets he may be put out and the game commenced
over again, but it is more fun if the players go right on with the
counting, as many will fall off when the count is up in the
hundreds. The game may be continued as long as is desired.
Suppose the players have counted up to twenty, the next one would say
"Buz," as twenty-one is a multiple of seven; the next, "twenty-two,"
the next "twenty-three," and so on. The one having "twenty-seven"
would say "Buz," as it contains seven. When seventy is reached, the
numbers are said, "Buz one," "Buz two," etc.; "double Buz," for
seventy-seven, and so on.
"Siz" may be substituted for six and its multiples, and "Fiz" for
five, just for variety.
Divide the company into two sides. One division sits around the table
on one side, the other on the opposite side. The members of division
"A" put their hands under the table and a small coin, dime or quarter,
is passed from one to the other.
When division "B" thinks they have had enough time, the players call
out, "Jenkins up!" and the players of "A" hold up their closed hands,
and when "Jenkins down!" is called, they must place their hands, palm
down, on the table. The players of "B" must guess under which palm the
coin is. Each player has one guess, those on the opposite side raising
their hands when requested to do so.
If "B" guesses correctly, the coin is passed over to them and "A" must
guess who has it, but if not, "A" keeps the coin, and "B" has another
trial for guessing.
Tally may be kept, 1 being counted for every correct guess, and a
certain number, as 50, may be the limit. The side gaining 50 points
first is victorious.
This is a splendid game for the beginning of an evening as the guests
mingle together and become acquainted while hunting for their
The hostess prepares pieces of cardboard on which she has drawn the
outline of a state without the name. The state capitals are written on
separate pieces of paper. The cards and slips are handed out haphazard
as the guests arrive.
The object of the game is to find the state to which the capital
belongs or vice versa, as the case may be.
The one who succeeds in locating his capital first is the winner.
The hostess can arrange for the length of time.
One of the players is sent out of the room. The others then decide
upon some word which he is to guess when he returns. He is told what
the prefix of the word is, and must guess, by asking questions, what
the rest of the word is. The players answer his questions by their
manner or actions.
Suppose the word chosen is "encouraged," the answers may be given in a
The player who is guessing may think of any number of words with the
prefix "en," but he must continue asking questions until the right
word has been guessed.
The player who has revealed the word by his or her actions, takes the
other's place and leaves the room while the rest are deciding upon
some word for him to guess. The game continues as before.
MY FATHER HAD A ROOSTER!
All the players sit in a circle, the leader begins by saying, "My
father had a rooster!" The player to his left says: "A what?" The
leader answers: "A rooster!" Each player repeats this in turn to his
left-hand neighbor who asks the question, until it is the leader's
He then repeats the first part and asks the player next to him, "Could
he crow?" The player answers, "Crow he could." This is repeated by
each player with the previous questions. The next time the leader
says "How could he crow?" The player on the left answers
"Cock-a-doodle-doo!" This goes around the circle again and when the
last one has taken part, all together say "Cock-a-doodle-doo," as a
No one is supposed to laugh during the whole game, whoever does, may
either pay a forfeit or is out of the game. It is best to have a
person who knows the game sit next to the leader, so they can start
the game correctly. The complete statements are these,
"My father had a rooster!"
"Could he crow?"
"Crow he could!"
"How could he crow?"
CROSS QUESTIONS AND CROOKED ANSWERS.
All sit in a circle for this game. The first one begins by whispering
some question to his left hand neighbor, such as "Do you like apples?"
The second player must remember the question asked him, and he answers
No. 1 by saying, "Yes, the nice, red, juicy kind." This answer belongs
to No. 1 and he must remember it. No. 2 asks No. 3 a question, being
careful to remember his answer, as it belongs to him. Suppose he asks,
"Are you fond of books?" and the answer is "Yes, I read every one that
comes out." Thus No. 2 has a question and answer that belong to him.
Every one in turn asks a question and gives an answer, remembering the
question he was asked and the answer his neighbor gave him, which
belong to him. When all have had a turn, No. 2 begins by saying aloud:
"I was asked: 'Do you like cats?' and the answer was 'Yes, the nice,
red juicy kind';" No. 2 says: "I was asked, 'Do you like apples?' and
the answer was, 'Yes, I read every one that comes out,'" and so on.
An assistant is necessary for this game. One gives a little talk about
sign-language and says that he can read any sign made with a stick on
the floor, and will leave the room while the others decide upon some
word for him to guess.
Beforehand, it has been agreed upon between the leader and his
assistant that one tap of the stick on the floor will represent "a";
two taps, "e"; three taps, "i"; four taps, "o"; five taps, "u." Thus
all the vowels are indicated by taps, and the consonants, by having
the first word of the sentence which the leader gives begin with the
chosen letter. The letters of the chosen word must be given in order.
The leader, who remains inside, knows the chosen word, and when the
assistant is called in, he makes many signs with the stick, tapping in
the proper places.
Suppose the word chosen is "Games." When the assistant is called in,
the leader begins by making many scrolls, etc., on the floor, then
says: "Great fun, isn't it?" (initial letter "g"), then one tap, "a";
"Many don't know what I'm writing." (initial letter "m"); 2 taps, "e";
"Sometimes it is hard to read." (initial letter "s"). Then a few more
marks, so as not to end too abruptly, and the assistant says "Games,"
to the astonishment of the company.
This is continued until some have guessed, or until the trick has been
Provide the players with pencil and paper. Each one writes a number
on his slip. The papers are collected, mixed up, and each player draws
one. Each in turn must name something or someone suggested by that
number. The one who is unable to name anything must pay a forfeit.
Suppose No. 1 has 4, he will say: "My number is 4; the Declaration of
Independence was signed on the Fourth of July." No. 2, "My number is
13; there are thirteen stripes in our flag." No. 3, "My number is 60;
there are 60 minutes in an hour."
One is sent from the room and the others decide upon some object which
is to be guessed when the player enters.
The player outside has an accomplice in with the others who asks the
question when he returns. It was arranged between them that the object
chosen should be named after some four-legged thing.
Suppose a book is chosen by the players. When summoned in, the
accomplice asks: "Is it any one in this room?" "No." "Is it a
handkerchief?" "No." "Is it a picture?" "No." "Is it a dog?" "No."
"Is it this book?" "Yes."
Another arrangement is to have the correct object mentioned after
something which is black, such as shoes, ink, etc.
Provide each player with a card and a toothpick, also a piece of gum,
or paraffine if preferred.
The hostess announces that when she says "Ready," the gum is to be
chewed until she tells them to stop, and then each one is to take the
gum, place it upon the card, and with the aid of the toothpick, model
either an animal or a flower, keeping his selection a secret, as each
one can choose what he wishes to model. The hostess keeps an eye on
the time and when time is up, (any length she chooses) all the cards
are collected and placed on a table for exhibition.
There is a curious mixture of cows, cats, dogs, sunflowers, pansies,
violets, etc. Vote is taken upon the best model and a prize is awarded
SCISSORS CROSSED OR UNCROSSED.
A simple catch game is as follows. It is best if two of the company
know how to play it. One of the two is the leader and the other helps
The leader hands a closed pair of scissors to her accomplice, who
takes it and says: "I received these scissors uncrossed and I give
them crossed." (Opening the scissors as she speaks.) She passes them
to the player on her right who should say: "I receive these scissors
crossed and I give them crossed." (If they are left open; if closed,
they are uncrossed.) Those who do not know the game receive the
scissors and pass them and say what they think they ought. It may be
just what the player before said, but the condition of the scissors
may not be the same, and, therefore, it is not right.
Thus each one has a turn, and the game continues until some bright
player notices that the scissors are called crossed when they are open
and uncrossed when they are closed, and that the player who knows the
game crossed her feet if the scissors were crossed, and if not, her
feet were uncrossed, or resting on the floor as usual.
Thus the object of the game is to change the words and the position of
the feet in accordance with the position of the scissors.
To while away the time before dinner, or while sitting in the
twilight, this is a simple amusement for those who love poetry.
One begins by giving a line or verse of poetry. The next one
continues, but his verse must commence with the last letter of the
previous verse, and so on, each one capping the other's verse.
Suppose No.1 quotes:
"Full many a flower is born to blush unseen
And waste its sweetness on the desert air."
No. 2 continues quoting:
"Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?"
"O speak again, bright angel."
"Like summer tempest came her tears,
'Sweet, my child, I live for thee.'"
and so on until the guests tire of it.
The leader, who knows the game, asks each one in turn: "Do you know
how to play rabbit?" When all have answered, he says: "Do just what I
do, and I will show you how."
1st. All stand in a row.
2d. All kneel down on one knee.
3d. All place the first finger of the right hand on the floor.
When all the players are in this position, just as they are losing
their balance, the leader, who is at the head of the line, pushes
against the player next to him, thus knocking over the whole row. As
they fall amid laughter, he calmly announces that that is the way to
Turn down the lights. All the players sit in a circle. The leader has
a button which she gives to some player, as in "Button, button, who
has the button?" The one who guesses who has the button takes the
leader's place while the leader becomes a ghost and remains outside
the circle. She can talk to the players in the circle, but no one
except the one in the middle can answer her. Anyone who does, becomes
a ghost with the leader.
Every effort is made on the part of the ghosts to induce the players
to answer. The button keeps going around the inside circle, the one
depositing the button becoming a ghost when a correct answer is given
and the other one taking his place.
The game continues until all are ghosts. If there was one who was not
enticed, that one wins the game.
WHAT AM I?
One of the players is sent out of the room. The rest decide upon the
name of some animal which he is to guess.
When he returns the players question him in turn, imitating the habits
of the animal chosen and asking questions as if he were that animal.
For instance, the animal chosen is tiger. The questions may be, "Do
you scratch?" "Are your claws sharp?" "Do you howl at night?"
etc. The player thinking they have named him a cat answers, "Yes," and
says, "Am I a cat?" When answered in the negative, the players still
question him until he finally guesses tiger. The player whose question
betrayed the name of the chosen animal then takes his place and the
game continues as before.
Procure several large jars. Stand these on their sides. Only men can
contest for this, as ladies are supposed to be expert needle-threaders.
Four or five men contest at a time. Each sits on a jar with his feet
crossed in front. The leader hands each a needle and thread. Allow
five minutes for the contest.
The jars, being on their sides, will roll around, and as the
contestants have their feet crossed, it is a difficult task to remain
still long enough to thread the needle. Those who succeed deserve some
sort of prize.
The players are provided with pencil and paper. Each player selects
the name of some animal, fish, or bird, and mixes the letters so as to
spell other words. For instance, if one chooses elephant, the words
might be "pent heal"; if monkey, "o my ken," while mackerel may be
Allow five minutes for making the "confusion," no letter can be used
twice, and words must be formed. Then the hostess rings the bell and
each player in turn reads his "confusion" to the rest who guess what
his chosen word is. Each puzzle is carefully timed. The one whose
puzzle takes longest to guess is the winner, therefore, each person
must mix the letters as much as possible.
Sides may be chosen if preferred, the players taking turn alternately,
the side which has taken the least time to guess the puzzles is the
The players sit in a circle. One is chosen as judge and he keeps
tally. Each player in turn, rises, and names some well-known book.
The first one to call out the name of the author scores a point. The
game continues until the interest ceases or the store of literary
knowledge is exhausted. The player having the most points is the
This game may be played in another way. Instead of calling out the
author as the book is named, provide each guest with pencil and paper
and announce that as a book is named, each player must write down the
author and the name of some character in that book.
"The Taming of the Shrew"--
Chas. Dickens--Mr. Squeers.
Sir Walter Scott--Rebecca.
PIN DOLL BABIES.
Any number may play this game. If there are men and women it is more
Divide the company into groups of five or six. Each group sits around
a table upon which are pins, needles and thread, scissors, for each
player but no thimbles, and strips of tissue paper, colored and white.
The hostess hands each guest a large wooden clothes-pin which is to be
dressed as a doll, using the tissue paper for dresses and hats.
All begin to work at a given signal and the hostess allows a certain
length of time for the dressmaking. There is much merriment, as it is
nearly as awkward for the ladies to sew without a thimble as it is for
the men to use a needle.
When the time is up, these doll-babies are arranged in line for
inspection. Two judges are appointed to decide upon the best and the
worst. Prizes are awarded.
The hostess begins by saying one word and announces that each word of
the sentence must begin with the initial letter of the given word. The
player to her right gives the second word, the next player, the third,
and so on, until the sentence is complete only when it reaches the
Each player must be careful not to give a word which with the others
completes the sentence, as the hostess is the only one who is supposed
to finish it--but sometimes it seems as though all the words of that
letter have been taken; if this is the case, the player who finished
the sentence must pay a forfeit or drop out of the game.
Suppose there are nine players and number one says "An," number two
"Angry," number three "Ape," number four "Ate," number five "Apples";
thus number five is out or pays a forfeit as the sentence is completed
and there are still four more to play. Thus the sentence might have
been "An angry ape ate attractive, audacious, ancient April apples."
This sentence is absurd, but the more ridiculous, the greater the fun.
For the second turn the player to the right of the hostess begins,
using a word beginning with another letter and so on, until each
player has started a sentence.
Select two leaders from the company. Each leader chooses players for
his side. The sides stand opposite each other. One leader begins by
giving the name of some river, mountain, lake, city or town, state or
country, located in any part of the world, that begins with the letter
A, the other leader answers back with another geographical name
commencing with A. The two leaders continue with the letter A until
they can think of no more names, then, they commence with B, and so
on, until every letter of the alphabet has been used.
The players on the opposite sides simply help their leader with the
names, as soon as one thinks of a name it is passed up to the leader
to help him. No place can be named twice. The side that stands up the
Another way to play this game is as follows. Having chosen the sides
as before, one leader begins by naming any place, lake, river, etc.,
commencing with any letter; the leader on the other side then follows
with a name commencing with the last letter of the previous name; then
the player next to the leader on the opposite side follows with a name
commencing with the last letter of that name and so on, each player
has a turn as it goes from side to side. Suppose the leader names
Washington, the next New York, and so on. Thirty seconds is allowed to
think of a name, if he fails in that, he must drop out. Any one may be
challenged to locate the place which he has named. The side which has
kept up the longest, is the champion.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF--?
Predicaments of the worst kind are thought of and written on pieces of
paper. These are handed among the guests, who write out an answer,
telling the best way out of the difficulty. Each question begins with
"What would you do if--?"
When all have written their answers, the papers are collected in a
basket, mixed up, and each one draws one out. The answers are then
Examples: What would you do if you fell into a tar barrel? I would be
too stuck up to do anything.
What would you do if you should meet a footpad? I would say, "Please,
sir, go away."
It will require two people who know this game to be in the secret. One
of them leaves the room while his confederate remains inside with the
others. He hides an article which the rest of the players have
selected, in an adjoining room which is totally dark, placing a watch
with a moderately loud tick, either on, or as near to the hidden
object as he can. The rest of the players must not know anything about
the watch, as they are kept guessing how the player who is out,
succeeds in finding the hidden article in the dark room.
When everything is ready, the one outside is called in, led into the
dark room, and hunts for the object. The rest must remain very quiet,
as it breaks the "charm," so the leader says. Guided by the ticking of
the watch, and knowing that it is there, he soon discovers the hidden
object to the surprise of the others.
He and his confederate may take turns going out and after a while, if
the company are very quiet, one of them might hear the watch ticking
and the trick is disclosed.
FIND YOUR BETTER-HALF.
Select a number of pictures of men and women from fashion papers,
advertising books, etc. If possible, try to procure them in pairs,
that is, a man and woman contained in the same picture, or two having
the same expression. Number the pictures in pairs, thus there will be
two of No. 1, of No. 2, No. 3, etc.
Give the young ladies the pictures of the men and the young men those
of the ladies. Each one then hunts for his partner or "better-half,"
comparing the pictures and number.
The more mixed the pictures were when given out, the longer it will
take to find partners.
The players form a line as in a spelling match. Sides may be chosen if
preferred. The first one begins by giving the first letter of a word,
"A" for instance, thinking of the word "Animal." The next player,
thinking of "animate," says, "n." The next, thinking of "antidote,"
says "t," but this with the other letters spells "ant," so he must go
to the foot of the line.
The object of the game is to keep from adding a letter which finishes
the word. Often one will give a letter, when thinking of another
word, which will complete a word. If he does not notice his mistake,
the others call out "foot."
Empty the contents of a box of "anagrams" on a table so all the
letters are in a pile face downward. The players sit around the table.
The leader begins by turning up one of the letters and says, "Bird."
The players all see the letter, and the first one who responds with
the name of a bird commencing with that letter is given the card, and
then it is his turn to turn up a card, calling out "Bird," "Animal,"
"Fish," or "Famous Man," or anything he wishes. Suppose the first
letter was "E," and a player answered it with "Eagle"; the next letter
was "G," and "Famous Man" was called out, someone would say "Grant."
The one who has answered the most, thus obtaining the greatest number
of cards, is the winner.
SEEING AND REMEMBERING.
Fill a table with all sorts of things, books, gloves, dolls, pins,
scissors, food, some large, striking picture, another very small
object. Keep the table covered until ready for use.
Then remove the cover and let all the guests march around it three
times, touching nothing on it, simply looking. The cover is replaced
and each one is given a pencil and paper on which he writes down as
many things as he can remember were on the table.
The one who has the largest list of correct names receives a
prize. The objects may be auctioned off afterwards.
On a sheet mark a regular tit-tat-to diagram in black point. Stretch
the sheet so it will be smooth on the floor. Divide the company into
sides, a captain being appointed for each side. Call one side the
crosses and the other side the zeros.
When a signal is given, the captain of one side takes his position in
any one of the squares of the diagram. The captain of the other side
follows, taking his position, then a player of the first side takes
his position endeavoring to be in a row with the first move, so the
next player on his side will form the third cross or zero, as the case
may be, in the row, either straight or diagonally, and win the game
for that side.
The winning side then changes to zeros if they were crosses or vice
versa. Let each player have a turn, as there are only nine squares,
and as the game may be won before they are all filled, some may not
have a chance to play. It is best, when playing a new game, to let
those who did not play before have first play.
BITS OF ADVICE.
Each person is given a slip of paper and pencil. The leader then
tells the players to write a bit of advice, original if possible, on
the paper, fold it, and drop it into a basket as it passes by.
The papers are all mixed up and the basket is passed again, each
player taking one, but not unfolding it until he is told to.
Before opening the papers each one must say whether the advice is good
or bad, necessary or unnecessary, and whether he intends to follow
it. When the paper is unfolded it may be the opposite of what he has
Provide the players with pencil and paper. All sit in a circle. The
leader announces that pictures are to be drawn in this manner. First,
draw a head (either animal or human), fold the paper, pass it to the
Second--Draw a neck, shoulders, and arms.
Third--Complete the body (the former player having left two lines
below the fold of the paper).
Fourth--The skirt, trousers or legs, as the case may be.
Fifth--The feet, and if you wish to add to the fun, the last one
writes a name either of some one present or some noted person.
The papers are folded and passed after each drawing and the last time,
they are all opened and passed around to be inspected and laughed
[Illustration: A drawing of man with a cat's head, wearing a dinner
jacket, skirt, and clogs. Five folds are indicated at the neck,
mid-torso, waist, knees, and feet.]
One of the guests is sent out of the room. The hostess asks the
remaining players to say something about him. As each one in turn
gives his statement, she writes it down with the person's name on a
piece of paper which she keeps.
The player is then summoned in and she reads the statements about him
one at a time and he must try to guess who said it. As soon as he
guesses one correctly, the one who said it must go out of the room and
the game goes on as before.
You have the family eyes.
Your chin is too small.
The left sleeve of your coat has a spot on it; and so on.
The "football" for this game is an eggshell which has had the egg
blown out of it. The players sit around the table with their captains,
who have been previously chosen at each end. There need not be just
eleven on each side as in a regular game, but any number. Each
captain chooses his side.
Boundaries are marked on the table with, chalk or tape, the two ends
being the goals.
When all are ready, the eggshell is placed in the middle of the table,
a signal is given, and the members of each team blow the shell towards
his goal. No player can leave his place, and the "football" must be
moved entirely by blowing.
Regular football rules are used and the count is the same as in
football. It will add to the interest, if the two teams stand for
Number eight slips of paper with the same number. On each slip write a
part, or a line from a verse of a familiar song. Suppose set No. 1 was
a verse of "America," this is the way it would be written.
1. My country,
1. 'Tis of thee,
1. Sweet land of liberty,
1. Of thee I sing;
1. Land where my fathers died,
1. Land of the pilgrim's pride,
1. From every mountain side,
1. Let freedom ring.
Prepare as many slips in groups of eight as there are guests. Give
each one a slip at random and tell each to find the rest of his set.
When the players of one group have found each other, they stand
together in one corner of the room and practise their song. Each group
does this until all the groups are formed, and then, commencing with
No. 1, each group in turn sings its song aloud for the benefit of the
ANOTHER MUSICAL MEDLEY.
Provide each player with pencil and paper. Before playing this game
it must be arranged with someone who plays the piano well to have a
list of popular songs ready, which she must play one right after the
When the leader gives a signal, the pianist strikes up a tune and
continues playing from a part of one song into another until she has
reached the end of her list.
The others write down on their papers the names of the songs as fast
as they are played, and when the pianist stops, the correct list is
read by her, and the rest check off their lists. Prizes may be
awarded. It is a strange fact, that after such a medley, there will be
very few, if any, who have correct lists.
Sides are chosen among the players. Each side then takes its position,
forming a row on the floor, the leader at the end. The sides face each
other, but quite a space is left between them.
At the head of each line is placed a basket containing twelve
clothespins. Each player is instructed to hold his neighbor's right
wrist with his left hand, thus leaving one hand (the right one), free.
The leaders begin by passing the clothespins, one at a time, down the
line, each player being careful not to drop one. When one reaches the
end of the line, the last player places it on the floor beside him
until all twelve have been passed, then he passes them, the same as
before, up the line to the leader.
The side which succeeds in passing all its clothespin back to its
leader first is the victorious side. It is best to have a trial game
first, so that the players may become used to passing with one hand,
thus being able to do it rapidly for the regular game.
If a clothespin is dropped, the player who dropped it must pick it up
and pass it on. The rest must wait until it is passed before passing
any of the others.
Give each guest a slip of paper, folded, containing words which can be
acted in pantomime. Each one must keep his a secret, as the rest of
the company guess what he is acting out.
The players sit in a circle, and the one acting in pantomime his
words, stands in the middle where all can see him.
Suppose one had "Dog" on his slip, he would pretend to pet him, call
him, and make him perform. Another might have "Blackberries" and make
all the imaginary motions of picking and eating them, and being caught
on the bushes. If one has "Strawberry shortcake," she can go through
the process of making the imaginary cake, and hulling the berries for
As soon as it is guessed what the player's word is, the rest call it
The players sit in a circle, one person who is quick and witty is
chosen as leader. He stands in the center of the circle.
Whenever he mentions any animal that flies all the players make a
flying motion with their hands, but if he names something that doesn't
fly, he alone makes the motions; if any player makes the motion when
he ought to be still he is out of the game. Suppose the leader begins
by saying "Parrots fly," all must move their hands up and down whether
the leader does or not, but if he says next time "Horses fly," all
must remain still.
It is a good plan to call the names quickly, inserting many that
don't fly, when the players are excited, so they will be confused and
many will be out.
TRIPS AROUND THE WORLD.
There are several ways of playing this game, here are two. Provide
each guest with a little paper book to represent a guide book and a
Articles of all kinds have been scattered around the room to represent
different countries, states, or cities. A little package of tea
suggests China; a paper fan, Japan; a piece of cotton batting,
Louisiana; a wooden shoe, Holland; a stein, Germany; and so on. Allow
a certain length of time for the guesses, then collect the little
books, and the player who has guessed the greatest number correctly
receives a prize.
Another way. The players sit in a circle, Number One names some place
beginning with the letter A, and asks No. 2 what he shall do
there. No. 2 answers in words beginning with A, and he, in turn names
a city commencing with B, and asks No. 3 the question. Thus each
player must answer the question of his neighbor, and name another
"I am going to America, what shall I do there?"
"Admire Astrakhan Apples. I am bound for Boston, what shall I do
"Bake beans and brown bread. My journey takes me to Chicago, what
shall I do there?"
"Catch cold," etc., etc.
A piece of kindling wood is held in the fire until it is well
lighted. It is then passed from one player to the other, each one
saying in turn, "Jack's alive." The instant the stick ceases to burn
"Jack" is "dead" and the one who is then holding it has to pay a
It is passed very quickly from one to the other, as each player wishes
to get rid of it before the spark goes out.
For a forfeit, the man who was holding it will have to undergo the
process of having a black mustache made with the charred end of the
Cut a number of small fishes about two inches long out of
cardboard. Each fish counts five, but two, which may be a little
larger, are numbered ten. A loop is made with thread on the back of
Rods (sticks about a foot long with string, at the end of which is a
bent pin, fastened to each) are provided for the players.
The fishes are placed on the floor or table and, at the word "ready"
from the leader, all the players go a-fishing. Each tries his best to
hold his rod steady enough to slip the bent pin through the loop of
thread. As soon as a fish is caught all must stop until the signal to
begin again is given.
Everyone tries to catch the fishes marked ten, but sometimes it is
wiser to catch as many ordinary ones as a person can, thus making more
points. The player scoring most points is victor.
Provide each player with pencil and paper. The first thing to write
on the paper is an adjective which applies to a man. The paper is then
folded over and passed to the right. This time each one writes the
name of a man (either present or absent), folds the paper so the next
one can't see what is written, and passes it on to the right. This is
done each time and the order of names is as follows after the first
two, then an adjective which applies to a lady, then a lady's name;
next, where they met; what he said; then, what she said; the
consequence; and last of all, what the world said.
After all have finished writing "what the world said," the papers are
passed to the right, opened, and read aloud.
(at) The Fair
(he said) Have you heard the news?
(she said) I intend to go home.
(the consequence was) They never spoke again.
(the world said) "As you like it."
The guests are requested to think up some conundrums about some person
in the present company.
Each one in turn gives his conundrum and the player to his left must
answer it if he can; if he fails, any one present may help him out.
The conundrums may be written if preferred, mixed up in a hat or
basket and each player takes one to answer.
Some of them may prove very funny. For the best conundrum and best
answer given, a prize may be awarded.
Why is Mr. ---- like the flatiron building?
Because he is so very tall.
Why is Miss ---- like sugar?
Because she is easily melted, that is, overcome.
HUNTING THE WHISTLE.
The players who know how to play this game stay in one room, while the
others go into the hall, or another room. Those knowing the trick sit
down in chairs which have been arranged in two rows, with an aisle
The leader calls one in from the other room and explains to him that
there is a whistle in the room, and as he hears it blown he must find
it. He can make a long speech about the whistle so as to interest the
player, because someone is then pinning the whistle, (which is on the
end of a string) to the player's coat.
Both the leader and player stand at one end of the room, between the
two rows of chairs. When the leader says "go," the player starts on
his hunt. The rest of the players pretend they have the whistle, and
blow it whenever it chances to pass their way. Thus the player is kept
going from side to side until finally someone happens to pull the
string and he feels it and discovers the whistle on his own coat. He
then takes his place with the rest in the row and another one is
called in and goes through the same hunt. Thus it continues until all
the players know the game.
THE FIVE SENSES.
All the players sit in a circle. No. 1 begins by naming something he
has seen, being careful what his last word is, as it must furnish him
with a rhyme for the rest of the game. Each player in turn tells what
he has seen, then No. 1 repeats his first statement and adds what he
heard, the next time, what he tasted; then what he smelt; and lastly,
what he felt. For example, No. 1 says, "I saw a ring of solid gold."
No. 2 says, "I saw a boy fall off the car."
The second time round No. 1 says,
"I saw a ring of solid gold.
I heard a story twice told."
No. 2 says,
"I saw a boy fall off the car.
I heard the war news from afar."
and so on, after going around five times, No. 1's complete rhyme
"I saw a ring of solid gold.
I heard a story twice told.
I tasted cheese that was too old.
I smelt hay that soon would mould.
I felt for something I couldn't hold."
Do not have the verses written as there is more fun in trying to
remember one's rhyme.
Provide each guest with pencil and paper. Papers four inches square
will be large enough. Each player draws a line about an inch and a
half long with one or more quirks in it, in the upper left hand corner
of the paper.
The papers are then passed to the player to the right who must draw
some picture out of the "wiggle" in the corner. The paper may be
turned in any position. Allow five minutes for the drawings.
At the end of this time, each one writes his name on the paper and
hands it to the hostess. A committee is appointed to decide upon the
best "wiggle-picture" and a prize is awarded to the artist. Examples--
[Illustration: Two drawings of a Roman column a swan, and the
"wiggles" they are based on]
The heaviest line is the wiggle.
Provide the players with pencil and paper. Each one then writes on
his piece of paper ten letters of the alphabet in any order, using no
letter twice. The papers are then passed to the right and each one is
requested to write a telegram, using the ten letters for the beginning
of the ten words, just in the order given. The papers are then passed
again and the telegrams are read aloud. Some will be very amusing.
A. E. F. J. K. L. N. O. P. T. Am ever frightfully jealous. Keep
lookout now on Pa's tricks.
C. B. D. W. G. H. S. I. M. Y. Come back. Down with Grandma. How shall
I meet you?
Choose leaders and divide the company into sides. The sides stand
opposite each other as in the old-fashioned spelling match.
The leader, who may be the hostess, has a spelling book from which she
selects the words which the players must spell backwards. Words of
one or two syllables may be chosen, and if, when spelt backwards, they
spell other words, so much the better.
The players take turns, one on one side, and one on the other, and so
on, until all have spelled. If any fail to spell the word backwards,
or do not pronounce it afterward, if it can be pronounced, they must
drop out. The side which stands up the longest is the winning side.
Some words are:
Star Now Pan Dew
Mat Eve Bard Tub
Stop Eel Tops Ton
Ten On Den Nun
All the players sit in a circle, one being chosen out. This one kneels
before each player in turn and says, in pitiful tones: "Meow!" Each
player, when addressed by "pussy," must say, without smiling: "Poor
"Pussy" addresses each player three times, trying her best to make the
players laugh. If the one she is kneeling before does laugh, they
exchange places, but if not, "pussy" moves on to the next one.
Each player receives a slip of paper and pencil. The leader begins by
saying: "Guess how high the door is." "Guess how thick that book is."
"Guess how tall Mr. Blank is." "How far does this chair stand from
He allows a few seconds after each question for the players to write
their answers. After twenty or more guesses have been asked, the
papers are passed to the right hand neighbor for correction.
The leader then measures each article, person, or thing, with a tape
measure, and the guesses on the lists are checked off. The person who
has a correct list deserves something for a reward.
Choose two captains from the company, who select sides until all the
guests are on one side or the other.
Place a pile of mixed nuts on the floor and an empty bowl about three
feet from it, at one end of the room and at the other end another pile
The captains and their sides stand by their respective pile of
nuts. When the signal is given each captain takes as many nuts on the
back of his left hand from the pile as he can gather without the aid
of his right hand and carries them to the empty bowl at the opposite
side of the room. The players follow the captain in turn continuing
until the pile is gone and the bowl is full.
The side which succeeds in filling its bowl first is victorious.
Prepare a table full of different colored tissue paper, bottles of
mucilage and white cards, one for each guest.
The players sit around the table, the hostess gives each a card and
announces that each one is to make a flower out of the tissue paper,
but as there are no scissors each one must tear his paper and every
one knows how hard it is to tear tissue paper. Each one keeps the name
of his flower a secret. As they are made they are pasted on the
cards. Each card is numbered and when all are done "tearing," the
cards are collected and placed on a table for exhibition.
The player guessing the greatest number of flowers correctly receives
a prize. The game may be varied, as either animals or vegetables could
Fill a cup with peanuts, two of which are blackened with ink on one
The guests play one at a time. No. 1 sits down by a table, empties the
cup of peanuts in a pile on it and is given a hatpin with which she
spears the peanuts one at a time without disturbing the pile, and
places them back in the cup. A few minutes is allowed each player;
when the time is up, the peanuts in the cup are counted, the blackened
ones count ten apiece and the plain ones, one.
Tally is kept for each player and a suitable prize is given to the one
who succeeded in securing the largest score.
PEANUT HUNT AND SCRAMBLE.
Before the guests enter the room, hide peanuts in every conceivable
place, behind pictures, under chairs, on the gas fixtures, among the
ornaments, five or six in vases, etc.
Give each guest a paper bag as he enters the room into which he places
all the peanuts he finds. Allow a certain length of time for the hunt,
then collect all the bags and select a good tall person who stands on
a chair and empties the contents of each bag on the floor as fast as
he can and a lively scramble for them ensues, then the one who has the
greatest number of whole peanuts collected deserves a prize; the
others can eat their peanuts as a comfort.
A blackboard and different colored chalk will be necessary for this
Give each guest a slip of paper on which is written the name of some
The leader announces that each one in turn steps up to the blackboard
and illustrates his song in the most vivid manner possible. Each
player is numbered and after No. 1 finishes his drawing the others
write their guesses on paper opposite his number and No. 2 erases the
former drawing and illustrates his song. Thus each one takes his turn,
allowing time for the others to write their guesses.
When all have had their turn the correct list is read by the leader,
the players checking their own lists. Prizes may be given to the one
having the most correct answers and to the person who illustrated his
song the most artistically.
Suggestions for songs are "Sweet Bunch of Daisies," "The Four-Leaf
Clover." "My Old Kentucky Home" may be illustrated by drawing a house
in the outline of the state of Kentucky; "Home, Sweet Home," by a
house and a jar of sweets near it; "America," by the outline of North
AN APPLE HUNT.
The hostess should prepare beforehand cards four inches square and
outline on each an apple by dots concealing the outline with other
dots. In one corner of the card is stuck a needle containing enough
green thread to outline the apple. These "apples" are then hidden by
groups, five in a group, in different parts of the room.
A set of directions is prepared such as, No. 1, "Look under the mat";
No. 2, "Look under a certain rocking-chair," and so on. Five of these
directions are sufficient, the last one telling where the apple is
hidden. There are different sets of directions lettered A, B, C, etc.,
five in a set, all lettered alike; the group of five apples being at
the end of each set of directions.
As each guest arrives he is given No. 1 of some set. Following that,
he finds No. 2, and so on, until he finds the five apples, one of
which he takes, finds the dotted apple, threads the needle and
outlines it with the green cotton. The one who succeeds in finding
his apple first and makes the neatest outline is the winner.
The more playing this game, the merrier it will be. Send one of the
players from the room. The others decide upon a familiar proverb which
he is to guess when he returns. Suppose the one chosen is "A rolling
stone gathers no moss." Beginning with the leader and going to the
left each player in turn takes one word, thus the leader has "a," the
next "rolling," the next "stone" and so on, repeating it until every
player has a word. If the company is large two or three might have the
When the one who was out is summoned in, he counts 1,2,3; when he says
3, all the players shout their word. It will be very confusing and
hard to hear any one word, but after the second or third trial, one
word which was heard above the rest might suggest the whole proverb.
The player who is out is given five trials in which to guess; if he
does not succeed, he must go out again, but if he has listened
attentively to one or two, and has guessed correctly, the player whose
shouting gave away the proverb is then sent out and the game continues
This game is just for two and is similar to Tit-tat-to. Make a drawing
like the illustration and the game is ready.
[Illustration: A drawing of a stack of twelve rectangles topped with
an half-circle. These are numbered sequentially from the bottom.]
No. 1 chooses a figure which No. 2 must try to guess by indicating
with a pencil dot or mark at the side of the different spaces, until
he has guessed the number chosen.
The numbers in the different spaces marked by No. 2 are added to his
score; and those unmarked are added to No. 1.
Suppose No. 1 chooses 13, and No. 2 marks first 4, then 10, 9, 5, 2,
and finally 13, the sum of all these (43) will be No. 2's score, while
the sum of the numbers unmarked (48) belongs to No. 1.
The game may be played as long as is desirable, but it is more
exciting to have a fixed number, such as 300 or 500.
Place two small bowls on a table at one end of the room, at the other
end of the room on a table have two bags of peanuts and two knives.
The players may choose partners in any way desired. The partners play
The leader gives a signal, watches the time and keeps tally. When the
signal is given a player, with his partner, steps to the table
containing the peanuts, each takes a knife and when the leader says
"go," each places as many peanuts as he can on the blade of the knife
and carries it with one hand to the other end of the room, where he
deposits the peanuts and returns for more. As many trips can be made
as the time will allow. Three minutes is good time.
When the time is up the leader says, "Stop," and the number of peanuts
in each bowl is counted and accredited to the two players. Each pair
takes turn in playing, time and tally being kept for each until all
The list of contestants is read aloud, the partners who succeeded in
carrying the greatest number of peanuts to their bowls receive a
Provide each player with pencil and paper. The leader has a
dictionary which she opens at any place and selects a word which the
rest are to define.
The players write the word and their definition of it on the slips of
paper. When the leader taps a bell all the slips must be collected and
mixed up in a basket or hat.
Each player then draws out a slip and the definitions are read aloud
in turn. The leader decides which one has written a definition most
like the one in the dictionary. The author of the best one rises,
receives the dictionary, gives out a word and the game proceeds as
Prepare cards with one letter of the alphabet on each, omitting V, X,
Z. Of course if the company is large, several will have the same
The cards are pinned on the guests, and it is announced that no one
must answer any question presented to him except by a sentence
commencing with the letter on his card, the answer being given before
the questioner could count ten.
No two players can question a person at the same time, and no one can
give the same answer twice.
If a player begins his reply with a wrong letter or does not answer in
time, his letter is taken from him by his questioner, who adds it to
his and he then has the privilege of answering with either of his
letters. The player who is without a card is supplied with one again
but after the third trial he is out of the game.
Select a number of small fruit baskets, all the same size, and have a
box of checkers handy. Suppose you have five, on the bottom of one
mark 20, on another 15, on two, 5; and on the other, 0. Place the
baskets in a row on the floor so their numbers cannot be seen.
Choose sides, giving the red checkers to the leader of one side and
the black checkers to the other. One side lines up about 10 ft. away
from the baskets, the leader giving each player a checker; if there
are any left he keeps them and has the privilege of throwing
them. Each one in turn throws his checker into any basket, trusting to
luck that they fall into a basket with a number on it.
When all have played the leader turns up each basket to see its number
and counts the number of checkers thrown into it. If there were two in
basket No. 20, it would count 40; if 3 in one basket No. 5, it would
be 15; if four in the other basket No. 5, 20; and if there were 3 in
basket 0, it would count nothing. Thus the score for that side is
75. The players on the other side line up and play as the others
did. The order of the baskets must be changed by someone not of that
side, so no one knows which is which. Their score is added up.
The game continues until a certain number, 300 or 500, has been
reached. The side scoring that number of points first is victorious.
WHO AM I?
As the guests arrive pin a card with a name of some noted author,
statesman, or poet written on it, on their backs, so that every one
can see it but themselves.
Of course, each person wants to know who he is, so the guests talk to
each other as though they were the person whose name is on the other's
back, but do not mention the name, and from the conversation, they
have to guess who they are.
The players are provided with pasteboard cards 2 inches square, and
scissors. At a signal, given by the hostess, they must cut their cards
in four pieces, the cuts must intersect in some place, but the card
can be cut in any other way.
When the cards are cut and the four pieces mixed, they are passed to
the player at the right, who has to put the four pieces together
A certain time is given for each puzzle and each time it is passed to
the right, until each player has his own puzzle again.
TIT FOR TAT.
Plan to have an even number of guests invited, half ladies and half
Provide thick boards for each lady, also a hammer and paper of tacks,
and for the men, plain hats (untrimmed) and material for trimming,
also a paper of pins.
When all the guests arrive set them to work. The ladies have to
hammer as many tacks in straight, in their boards as they can, during
the allotted time, while the men trim their hats, choosing their
material from that which is provided. When the time (which may be as
long or as short as you wish) is up, the men put on their respective
hats and pass before the ladies for inspection; the one having the
best trimmed one receives a prize.
The men inspect the work of the ladies, and the one who has hammered
the most tacks into her board "straight," receives a prize.
Hang a sheet or screen in a doorway between two rooms and cut six
holes, the size and shape of eyes, each pair a distance apart, in it,
some up high and some down low.
Choose groups of four to go behind the sheet, the rest of the guests
staying in the other room.
Three of the chosen four look through the holes at a time. The short
ones can stand on chairs and look through the high pair, while the
tall ones can stoop down, thus confusing those who have to guess who
the pairs of eyes belong to.
A short time is given for guessing each group, and then the next set
The guesses are written on slips of paper and after all the eyes have
been "examined," the correct list is read by one who stayed behind the
sheet all the time.
THE PRINCE OF WALES.
Any number can play this game. The players stand in a line around the
room and number themselves, beginning with one, until each has a
The leader, who has no number and who has charge of the game, begins
"The Prince of Wales has lost his hat, all on account of No. 1, Sir;"
then No. 1 says: "No, sir, not I, sir, No. 5, (or any number he
wishes), sir." Then No. 5, repeats what No. 1 said, giving another
number instead of 5; but if he fails to respond, then the leader says,
"No. 5 to the foot, sir," and then all those who were below No. 5 move
up one, and thus their number becomes one less.
The leader begins again and he must be very quick to send those to the
foot, who fail to respond.
The guests are seated around a table, each one having a pile of fifty
beans in front of him. The leader has two packs of playing cards, one
of which is used for an auction sale, one card at a time being sold to
the highest bidder, who pays for it in beans.
When all the cards of the first pack have been sold, the players
arrange their cards and beans on the table ready for business.
The auctioneer then holds up the second pack and announces that he
will call the cards off one at a time, and as he does so, the player
who has the duplicate of that card must give it up to the auctioneer.
After each calling there is a little time allowed to buy or sell the
cards, the object of the game being either to have more beans than any
one else, or to have the duplicate card which is at the bottom of the
second pack, thus causing a very exciting time as the second pile
LAUGH A LITTLE.
The players sit in a circle with one in the middle for leader. The
leader must be one who laughs heartily and is very quick.
He begins the game by throwing a plain, white handkerchief up in the
air, as high as he can, and while it is in the air, everyone must
laugh, but the minute it touches the floor, there must be perfect
silence. The leader must catch those who are still laughing and send
them from the ring.
The game goes on until every one is out of the circle. If there should
happen to be one who doesn't laugh when the handkerchief is on the
floor, he surely deserves a prize.
Choose two leaders who select sides. One begins by calling the name of
some town or place and then counts ten. While he is counting, the
opposite opponent must answer where the place is. If he fails to
answer before ten is counted, he must drop out.
Then the leader of the other side takes his turn, and challenges some
player of the opposite side.
The side which stands up the longest, wins the game.
The names of various fashion papers, such as "The Delineator," "The
Styles," "Le Bon Ton," "Ladies' Home Journal," are written on cards,
which are cut so that it requires the two parts to know what the title
is. Distribute these among the guests, who hunt for the corresponding
part, thus getting their partners; crayon and paper is given out and
the ladies are requested to draw and color a gown representing the one
she has on, while the men are asked to write a description of the
The drawings and descriptions are collected after time is allowed, and
placed on a table for display.
Prizes may be awarded to the partners having the best drawing and
Prepare long strips of paper on which the guests are requested to
write several words of three or more syllables, leaving spaces between
When this is done, cut up the words into the syllables and mix
thoroughly. Then each player draws three syllables and tries to
construct a word.
If a word can't be made of all three syllables, maybe it can be made
of two, but if it is then impossible to construct a word, the player
must wait until the rest draw three syllables again, and perchance he
may be able to construct two words, using the syllables he could not
The one constructing the most words, wins the game.
All the guests sit in a circle and the leader begins by saying: "This
is a very solemn occasion." He then twirls his thumbs and looks very
solemn. Commencing with the player to the right of the leader, each
one in turn repeats what he has said, very solemnly twirls his thumbs,
and keeps twirling them, until each one has repeated it, and it is the
leader's turn again.
He then says, "Sister Jane died last night," still twirling his
thumbs. This goes around the circle as before. Then the player to the
right of the leader says, "How did she die?" and he replies, "Like
this," moving his right hand up and down. Thus each one tells his
neighbor, and makes the motion just as the leader has done.
After each one has said this, still repeating the same question and
answer, the leader moves his left hand up and down, too, thus both
hands are going; the next time both hands and the right foot are
moving; then both hands and both feet; next, hands, feet, and head,
bobbing up and down; last, fall back in the chair uttering a hideous
groan as if dead.
No one must laugh during the whole game; whoever does, must leave the
One player is sent from the room and the rest decide upon something he
must do when called in.
When this has been done he is summoned by magic music which is made by
having one of the players strike on something which will make a
noise. If there is a piano, so much the better, if not, a piece of
metal or a bell will do.
As he nears the object which he is to find the music grows very loud,
and faint when he is far away.
Suppose he is to take a flower from a vase, and give it to one of the
players. As he nears the flowers, the music grows louder and louder,
and if he touches one, it stops; then he knows he has to do something
with it. If he smells it, the music grows faint, and he knows he is
wrong. As he starts to give it to the players, the music varies until
he has given it to the right one.
Someone else then leaves the room, and the game goes on as before.
For this game it is necessary for the hostess to collect a large
number of pictures from magazines, advertisement pages or papers.
These are placed in the center of a table around which the players are
Each guest is provided with a paper at the top of which is written a
quotation. The hostess announces that each player is to illustrate his
or her quotation with the pictures provided. The pictures are pasted
on the papers, and if necessary, a background can be made with pencil
or pen and ink.
The papers are then arranged on a table for inspection and a prize is
awarded for the best illustration.
Provide the players with pencil and paper. The leader then announces
that a biography is to be written, and the first thing to write is the
name of some person in the room; the paper is folded over so the name
cannot be seen and passed to the player at his left, who writes a date
which is the birth date, and the name of some town; the paper is
folded again and passed to the left and this time a sentence of ten
words is written about early childhood--from one to ten years. Next, a
sentence of same length telling of events between twenty and forty
years; next, between forty and fifty years; date of death next, last,
remark about this life. When all has been written, the folded papers
are passed to the left again and each player reads his paper aloud.
The more ridiculous the sentences, the better the biography, and as no
one knows what is under the folded parts, sometimes the date of death
will be earlier than that of birth, or there will be a vast difference
Example--Name, John Smith. Born, July 4, 1449, Boston. From 1 to 10
years, mischievous child, quarrelled with everybody, expelled from
school, stole eggs.
From 20 to 40, stayed home, did dressmaking, became sickly, remained
an old maid.
From 40 to 50, became a wealthy widower, left with three children to
raise. Died January 1, 1860. Most remarkable man that ever lived in
his little town.
Any number can play this game, the more the merrier. Each player is
told to play some imaginary instrument. The leader with an imaginary
baton, begins by humming some lively, familiar tune. The players
follow with motions suitable to their instruments and sing the tune
the leader is humming.
When the leader pretends to play some instrument, the player who has
that imaginary instrument, must pretend he is leader and beat time
with the baton, but as soon as the real leader changes the instrument
or beats time again the player must continue with his own instrument.
The leader must be quick to change from one instrument to another and
the players must be quick to follow him, for if they don't, they have
to leave the orchestra until the piece is over.
WHO IS MY NEXT-DOOR NEIGHBOR?
Half of the company are blindfolded. They are led to a row of chairs
arranged in the middle of the room, each sitting so there is a vacant
chair behind him.
The other half, who are not blindfolded, very quietly take the vacant
chairs and sit perfectly still.
The leader then announces that those not blindfolded are to sing when
he gives the signal, and the blindfolded ones, who are to remain
still, must listen attentively to their right hand neighbor and guess
who he is.
Some familiar tunes must be chosen and the singers can disguise their
voices if they choose. The leader begins by playing the tune on the
piano and when he says "Sing," the victim singers begin while the
blind victims listen.
One verse of the song will be enough for this medley and those whose
voices have been recognized, exchange places with the blindfolded
ones, while the others remain in the same place until the listener has
guessed who he is. The game then goes on as before.
Choose two leaders from among the players. Each leader chooses his
side. The sides sit opposite each other, the leader of one throws a
ball to any one in the opposite side. As he does he says either,
"Earth," "Air," "Water," or "Fire," and counts ten.
The person who caught the ball must answer before he finishes counting
ten. If "earth" was called he must name some quadruped found therein;
if "water," some fish must be named, or "air," the name of some bird;
but if "fire" was called he must remain perfectly still.
If the players give a wrong answer or speak when they should be silent
they are out, and the leader must throw the ball to some one else, but
if the players answer correctly, it is their turn to throw the ball to
someone in the opposite side, and the game goes on as before. The
side whose players stand up the longest, wins the game.
The leader need be the only one who understands this game. He asks,
"What month are you going away in?" One player might answer
"September." He then asks, "What will you wear?" "What will you take
with you?" and "What will you do?" All the answers must be given with
the initial letter of the month chosen. For instance, the answers to
the above questions may be: 1st, "Silk stockings," 2d, "Sardine
sandwiches," 3d, "See the sights."
The answers will probably be mixed as the players do not know the
trick. Each one who misses pays a forfeit, and the leader questions
the next player. When one or two do catch on, the more ridiculous they
make their answers, the funnier the game.
In this game all the players except one are blindfolded. This one is
called the guide and has a small bell which he rings during the game.
All the blind men are led to one end of the room by the guide. He then
takes his position a little distance from them and rings the bell,
which is the signal for the game to begin.
The blind men grope around wildly for their guide who rings the bell
all the time, but must move in different places, so as to escape the
blind men who are hunting him. The blind men are only guided by the
sound of the bell, and the guide must be very quick to change his
positions or he will be caught by his pursuers.
The first blind man who catches the guide, exchanges places with him,
and the game goes on as before.
The players sit in a circle; one is chosen for "postman," is
blindfolded, and another is chosen for Postmaster.
The Postmaster gives each player the name of some city or town, and
stands outside the ring so he can give orders.
The "postman" stands inside the circle and when the Postmaster says,
"I have sent a letter from New York to San Francisco," the players
having these names must exchange places, and he must try to capture
one. If he succeeds he takes that one's place, the one caught then
The Postmaster must exchange names very rapidly, and if a player
should remain seated when his city is called, he has to be "postman."
If the Postmaster says, "general delivery," all exchange places, and
the "postman" tries to secure a vacant place.
All the players sit in a circle. One is chosen to be out. He is
blindfolded and given a spoon (a large one) with which he is to
feel. He stands in the middle of the circle, then is turned around
three times and told to guess who the first person, which he touches
with the spoon, is.
He advances cautiously until he touches someone. Then with the back of
the spoon he feels the person all over. The players must keep
perfectly quiet, disguising themselves if they see fit, as the collars
and cuffs of the men will be felt very easily with the spoon.
As soon as the blindfolded one has guessed who the player is he was
feeling, they exchange places and the game goes on as before, but if
he fails to guess the first time, or has felt with his hand instead of
the spoon he is out again and remains out, until he has guessed
Provide all the guests with pencil and paper. The hostess then
requests that each write the name of the city in which he was born,
and under that a sentence, descriptive of that city or containing
something suggestive of it. The letters of the city form the words of
the sentence and must follow in regular order.
Allow fifteen minutes for composing the sentences, then collect them,
mix them up, and each player is given one. Thus each one has some
other person's slip to read. The one who composed the best sentences
deserves a prize.
Examples--City, New York.
Sentence--N-ow, E-very, W-all St., Y-ankee, O-wns, R-eal, K-ingdoms.
Sentence--Conflagration, H-igh, I-n, C-rowded, A-reas, G-rew, O-n.
GOING TO CHINA.
This is a catch game for those who have never played it. The leader
begins by saying, "I'm going to sail for China next week, I would like
to have you go, what will you take?" This question is asked every
player and there are many different answers, but all cannot go, as
they have not answered correctly.
The point is, if you wish to go sailing, you must take something which
commences with the same letter as the initial of your last name. The
leader then says, "You can go."
For example, suppose the player who is asked the question says she
will take bananas. If her last name begins with B she can go, but if
not, the leader says, "Lou cannot go this trip."
The game continues until every one has guessed the trick and they can
A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS.
Provide each player with pencil and paper and a penny. The hostess
explains that the answers to the following questions are things which
are found on every penny.
The questions may either be written on the paper beforehand or the
guests can write them as the hostess asks them. A prize may be awarded
to the player whose paper contains the greatest number of correct
1. An emblem of victory, (laurel wreath).
2. An emblem of royalty, (crown).
3. A South American fruit, (date).
4. A spring flower, (tulips, two lips).
5. A portion of a hill, (brow).
6. A portion of a river, (mouth).
7. A messenger, (one cent, sent).
8. A piece of armor, (shield).
9. Mode of ancient punishment, (stripes).
10. Means of inflicting it, (lashes).
11. Something to be found in school, (pupil).
12. Three weapons, (3 arrows).
13. An animal, (hare, hair).
14. A part of a stove, (lid).
15. Plenty of assurance, (cheek).
16. The first American settler, (Indian).
17. Part of a duck, (feathers).
18. A place of worship, (temple).
19. Two sides of a vote, (eyes and nose, ayes and noes).
20. The cry of victory, (won, one).
Choose very familiar quotations from Longfellow, Shakespeare,
Tennyson, or any well-known author or poet, and write them on slips of
Change some of the words of the original, or even a whole line, and
when each guest receives his slip he is requested to repeat the
For example--"To be, or not to be; that is the question," may be
written, "To be, or not to be: that is the problem."
Salad leaves are prepared for this game by folding and twisting pieces
of green tissue paper until they look like lettuce leaves. Then paste
slips of white paper containing a quotation, on each leaf.
The participants of this salad are requested to guess the name of the
author of their quotation. This may be played very easily at a church
social where the leaves may contain Bible verses instead of
quotations, and the players are asked to tell just where their verses
are found, in what book and chapter.
This is a good game to play at the beginning of a social gathering, as
the guests have to mingle together and thus become better acquainted,
and the stiffness of a formal gathering passes off.
The hostess has prepared familiar quotations which were written on
paper and then cut in two or three parts and pinned in different
places around the room.
The guests are requested to find as many quotations as they can during
a certain length of time.
As the parts are scattered all over the room, it isn't as easy as it
sounds to find the complete quotations. The person gathering the most
quotations, deserves a prize.
Packages of all shapes and sizes and securely wrapped up are prepared
by the hostess who has numbered each one. The players are provided
with pencil and slips of paper with numbers corresponding to the
numbers on the parcels, arranged down one side.
The guests sit in a circle and the packages are passed from one to the
other. Each one is allowed to feel the packages as much as he pleases,
but no one must look inside.
As the packages are passed, the names, guessed by the sense of touch,
are written opposite their appropriate numbers on the slips of paper.
After all the bundles have been passed, the hostess opens each one and
keeps account of those who have guessed correctly, while those who
have failed, are requested to read their guesses as this affords much
WHO ARE THEY?
Photographs of noted people, labelled with names that do not belong to
them, are hung about the room. Each picture is numbered.
The guests, provided with pencil and paper, are given a certain length
of time in which to guess the correct names, which are written
opposite their corresponding numbers.
Familiar photographs such as Dickens, Shakespeare, Washington,
Lincoln, Napoleon, etc., should be chosen.
The guests are requested to bring something wrapped up in paper, which
they wish to get rid of.
The hostess prepares a duplicate set of numbers, pinning one number on
each parcel, as the guests pass by her. When she gives a signal
(clapping hands or ringing a bell), the two persons having No. 1
pinned on their packages exchange them, those having No. 2, and so on,
until all have exchanged or swapped. Then all open their packages,
some may have received better things, while others may have a worse
Partners may be chosen for this game by writing names referring to
ladies on one set of papers like, "Judy," "Jill," "Juliet," and names
referring to men on another set of papers like, "Punch," "Jack,"
"Romeo." Hand each guest a slip of paper with the name on it and each
one hunts for his partner.
When all the partners are found, the leader announces that at a given
signal all the ladies are to talk to their partners for five minutes
about household affairs, shopping, or fashions. Each man listens
attentively to his partner, and when the five minutes are up, he has
to write a short account of her conversation, on paper, which the
hostess provides. Five minutes is allowed for this.
Then the men talk to the ladies for five minutes about business
affairs, stocks, law, building or medicine, and it is the ladies' turn
to write a short composition of what she heard.
The papers are collected, the hostess reads them, and a prize is
awarded to the best or most amusing account.
Partners may be chosen in any way for this game. The host gives each
pair a sheet of paper and pencil. The partners decide among themselves
which one is the best artist, he or she (as the case may be) takes the
pencil and paper, while the other receives some common object from the
The chairs must be arranged side by side, but facing in opposite
directions, so the one who is to draw may not see the object his
partner has. When the signal is given to begin, the one having the
object describes it to his partner, who must draw it, from the
After twenty minutes have passed, the drawings and their objects are
collected, arranged side by side, and it is decided by vote which
drawing is most like the object it represents.
A STUDY IN ZOOLOGY.
It will be necessary to have several sheets of silhouette paper (black
on one side and white on the other), a large sheet of white cardboard,
several pairs of scissors, and as many pencils as there are players,
for this game.
Each player is handed a piece of silhouette paper, on the white side
of which is written a number and the name of some animal. The players
are handed pencils and requested to draw the animal, assigned to each,
on the white side of the paper. The animals are then cut out and
handed to the hostess. Fifteen minutes are allowed for this.
The hostess, having collected all the animals, pastes them back side
out, on the sheet of cardboard, and writes a number corresponding to
the one already on the animal, underneath each. The cardboard sheet is
hung up where all can see and the players are handed pieces of paper
with numbers arranged down one side, on which each player is to write
opposite its corresponding number what each animal is supposed to
A prize may be given to the one guessing the greatest number of
Provide twenty or more bundles, all shapes and sizes, securely
wrapped. Each bundle has a name on it suggestive of what is
inside. For instance, "A pair of kids," may contain two kid hair
curlers, "A bunch of dates," may be a calendar; "A diamond pin," a
dime and a pin.
Each guest is given a bag containing fifty beans, no one can bid
higher than fifty.
The auctioneer, who must be a witty person, who can carry on a lively
bidding, stands by a table where the parcels are piled and carries on
the sale until all the parcels are sold. The bundles are then opened
by the purchasers and there is much merriment over the contents.
THE GENTEEL LADY.
The players sit in a circle. The leader begins by saying, "I, a
genteel lady (or gentleman, as the case may be) always genteel, come
to you, a genteel lady (or gentleman) always genteel (bows to the
player on the right), from yonder genteel lady (or gentleman) always
genteel (bows to player on left), to tell you that she has an eagle."
The next player repeats that word for word and adds something about
the eagle, for instance, the last part may be, "to tell you that she
has an eagle with silver beak." The next player may add, "golden
claws," the next "emerald eyes," the next "purple feathers," and so
The players who repeat every word correctly, adding their description
of the eagle, remain "genteel," but those who make a mistake become
"horned" instead of "genteel."
The leader has charge of the "horns" which may be toothpicks or pieces
of paper twisted up tight. For every mistake a "horn" is tucked in the
player's hair. Each player repeats what the leader has said, but if
the player next to him is "horned," he must substitute "horned" for
"genteel" when referring to him.
When each one has repeated this tale, the players who have "horns,"
and there will be many, must pay a forefeit for every "horn" they
Provide each player with slips of paper and pencil. The hostess then
announces that each one is to write some question at the top of the
paper, fold the paper over and pass it to the player at the left, who
writes a noun, folds the paper over and passes it to the left again.
The players who then receive the slips are requested to write one or
more stanzas of poetry containing the noun and question written at the
top of the paper.
Allow fifteen minutes for this, then pass the papers to the left and
they are then read in turn. A prize may be given to the one who wrote
the best poetry.
Question--Where did you get that hat?
"Where did you get that hat?"
Said Shortie to Mr. Fat,
"I stole it from the Fair,
When I was leaving there."
Question--Can you dance?
"May-day! let us away!
Can you dance?
Here's your chance,
On this lovely May-day."
Select copies of famous paintings, those familiar to every one, and
hang them around the room.
Neither the name of the painting nor of the artist must be on it, only
a number on each picture.
Provide the guests with pencil and paper and allow a certain length of
time, according to the number of pictures, for guessing the names and
HUNTING FOR BOOK-TITLES.
The hostess must prepare beforehand pictures, cut from magazine
advertisements and miscellaneous articles, suggestive of the titles of
These are arranged around the room, some on tables, some on the wall,
and in any place, so all the guests can see them. All the articles are
The guests are handed pencil and paper and the hostess announces that
all the articles represent the title of some book and when guessed the
names are to be written opposite their corresponding numbers. Allow
half an hour for the hunt, and when the time is up the hostess reads
the correct list and the player who has guessed the largest number
correctly, deserves a prize.
Examples--A large bow of orange ribbon pinned on a curtain,
immediately suggests "A Bow of Orange Ribbon," by Amelia Barr.
A picture of several boys suggests "Little Men," by Louisa M. Alcott.
A picture of Gen. Grant cut in half suggests "Half a Hero."
GAMES FOR SPECIAL DAYS.
Around Christmas and New Year's the children will enjoy playing
this. All form a circle; one, Jack Frost, stands in the middle.
Jack Frost runs around inside the circle and touches one child on her
right hand, and goes back to his place again. The child touched says:
"Jack Frost came this way," the child to her left says: "What did he
do?" No. 1 says: "He nipped my right hand," (shaking her right
hand). No. 2 tells No. 3 about Jack Frost, each doing as No. 1 did,
and thus it goes down the circle, until back to No. 1 again.
Jack Frost then steps out and bites her left hand, and now both hands
are shaking; thus each time Jack Frost nips some part, that is shaking
with the rest, until the children are hopping up and down, and shaking
Arrange twelve candles, one for each month, in a row about two feet
apart. Have the candles different colors suggestive of the months they
represent, such as, green for March and red for December.
The children form in line and one at a time jump over the candles,
which are lighted.
If a light goes out the child who has just jumped will have bad luck
in that month which the candle represents.
THE LUCKY OR UNLUCKY SLIPPER.
A slipper is waved three times over the head and then thrown on the
If the toe be toward the player, good luck is coming. If the heel, bad
luck is in store, and if it rests on its side, there is hope for
On the sixth of January, Twelfth Night was celebrated in the olden
times. Then all the pastry cooks did their finest baking and decked
their windows with marvelous productions of cakes.
If a party is being planned for this day invite your guests to come
dressed as cakes. Just the ladies will do this and the men can wear
miniature cooking utensils if they choose.
Give each lady a number and each man a pencil and slip of paper. The
men must guess what cakes the ladies represent and write their answers
with the corresponding numbers on the paper.
When all the cakes have been guessed the correct list is read by the
hostess and the one having the largest number of correct answers may
be awarded a prize.
A prize may also be awarded to the lady attired in the best
representation. One dressed in dark brown would suggest "chocolate
cake"; another in orange-colored cheesecloth, "orange cake"; another
with wreaths of raisins, currants and citron, suggest "fruit cake";
while one in just a plain dress with no signs suggestive of any cake
may be "lady cake"; another carrying a hammer and pounding it whenever
she saw fit, suggests "pound cake."
When inviting the guests for a valentine party, request each one to
bring an original valentine addressed to one of the guests. As the
guests arrive, the hostess collects the valentines, being careful to
keep those addressed to ladies in one pile, and those addressed to
gentlemen in another.
The hostess then hands each one a valentine, giving the gentlemen
those addressed to the ladies and the ladies those for the gentlemen.
The valentines are then read aloud and a jolly time will be the
A prize may be awarded for the best valentine, the brightest and most
Each gentleman is handed a slip of paper with the name of a lady guest
on it. The gentlemen are then requested, one at a time, to go to their
respective ladies, giving each a compliment, every word of which
begins with the initial letter of the lady's first name.
As each lady is addressed by a gentleman, she replies, using the
initial letter of his name in her answer.
Votes are taken as to the best compliment and answer and a simple
prize may be awarded the pair who obtained the most votes.
Cut out of red, white, blue, yellow and green paper hearts of all
shapes and sizes, then cut each heart into four pieces and scatter
these all over the room, on the floor, chairs, tables, behind
Allow a certain length of time for the hunt, and when all the pieces
have been collected, request each guest to put his pieces together and
see how many whole hearts of the same color he has collected.
The white heart counts 1; the blue, 2; the yellow, 3; the green, 4;
and the red, 5. The one scoring the greatest number of points is the
winner of hearts and deserves a prize. A booby prize may be awarded
the one who has only broken hearts.
A large heart made of some red material, (flannel or cheesecloth) is
pinned securely to a sheet, which may be stretched on the wall or
door. In the center of the large red heart is a small white heart,
either sewed or pinned on.
Each guest is given an arrow of white cloth with a pin in one
end. When everything is ready the hostess blindfolds the guests one at
a time, and standing a certain distance from the heart, starts them in
the right direction.
Each one endeavors to pin his arrow on the heart; the one pinning it
nearest to the middle of the white heart wins the game.
Select five good paper valentines. Paste each on a piece of cardboard
and cut into small pieces. Have five small tables in the room and
place a puzzle on each. If the company is small, assign five persons
to a table, if larger, use your own judgment.
Each one at the table takes his turn, trying to put the valentine
together in its proper shape. Each player is timed, and the one who
succeeds in putting it together in the shortest time is the winner.
If desired, the players can go from one table to the other; the one
who succeeds in putting the most puzzles together out of the five, is
HEARTS AND MITTENS.
Cut out of red cardboard half as many hearts and mittens as you expect
in your company. Out of blue cardboard cut hearts and mittens for the
rest of the company. Number them so every heart has its corresponding
mitten. Attach strings or ribbons to each and place them in a basket.
Each guest takes the end of a string and pulls out his heart or
mitten, as the case may be. Each one then hunts for his partner.
When all are paired off, a circle is formed and someone strikes up a
lively march. Whenever the music stops, all the ladies stand still,
and the gentlemen move up one. This goes on until everyone has had a
different partner, and finally, when the original one comes, there is
a grand march before the circle breaks up.
Another way of securing partners for the evening is as follows:
Suspend two large hearts made of either white or red paper from the
ceiling, several feet apart. Make a hole in each, through which are
hung the ends of long strings. The ladies hold the strings on one side
and the gentlemen on the other.
When the hostess gives a signal, all pull on their strings. Thus the
hearts are riven and partners are found holding the ends of the same
As the guests assemble for the Valentine party, give each gentleman a
slip of paper bearing the name of a woman, and the ladies, the name of
some man, noted in fiction as lovers. Thus the one who has Romeo
hunts for the lady who has Juliet on her paper.
When all know who their partners are, the ladies must evade every
attempt on the part of the gentlemen of proposing to them during the
A prize is given to the gentleman who has succeeded in proposing, and
to the girl who has alluded all efforts of her partner by her wit and
Another way is to have the proposals progressive. Every gentleman
must propose to every lady before the evening is over. The ladies use
every effort they can to prevent them from "coming to the point." The
man making the most offers receives the prize. The lady receiving the
fewest declarations receives a prize.
For a party on this day, the room should be decorated with flags,
hatchets, etc., and red, white, and blue bunting, so as to add a
patriotic air to everything.
A picture of Washington may be cut in many pieces for a puzzle. The
one who succeeds in putting the picture together in the shortest time
receives a prize, which may be a large picture of Washington.
A cherry tree may be represented by using a branch of any tree and
decorating it with small candy cherries. If these cannot be obtained,
any kind of candy may be wrapped in red tissue paper and tied to the
branch. The players are blindfolded one at a time, given a pair of
scissors, and requested to "cut off a cherry."
To add to the fun small paper hatchets may be hidden around the room
for the players to find, as in a peanut hunt.
The head of a hatchet may be drawn on a sheet which is tacked to the
wall, and the players are given cloth handles which they are to pin to
the sheet while blindfolded. The one who succeeds in pinning his
handle nearest to the proper place may be awarded a prize.
For an April Fool's Day gathering, ask each guest to come prepared to
do some sleight of hand trick. When all are assembled, each one in
turn performs his trick. A vote is taken for the most clever and a
prize is awarded.
Each one present endeavors to fool someone else during the
evening. The one who has not been fooled once during the whole evening
receives a prize; the one who is fooled the most times is given a
EASTER EGG RACE.
Color an even number of eggs, half the number one color, the other
half, another. Place all the eggs of one color on the floor in a line
at intervals of one foot. At the end of the line put a basket. Form a
similar line, a little distance from the other, of the remaining eggs.
For convenience, we will say one line is of green eggs, the other of
Choose two players as leaders, who select their sides. One side
chooses the green row, and the other, the pink. Two, one player from
each side, play at a time.
When all is ready the two leaders stand by their respective rows, each
is given a large spoon, and when told to "go," each one spoons up the
eggs, one at a time, and carries them to the basket at the end of the
line. The one who succeeds in spooning up all his eggs first wins for
Thus each player in turn works for his side until all have had a
chance and the side whose players were the most successful is the
After an egg hunt, several eggs may be gathered together and a string
or ribbon run through each and hung in different lengths from a
chandelier. Candy eggs and little baskets of eggs may be suspended,
too. Place a tablecloth or sheet underneath to prevent the carpet from
being spoiled by the downfall.
Each child in turn is blindfolded and given a cane with which to
strike the suspended eggs. Whatever is knocked down is his. If he
fails to knock something down the first time, he may have another
Give each child a tablespoon and a hard-boiled egg. The children form
in line and one is the leader. Each one holds the spoon with the egg
in its bowl at arm's length and hops on one foot, following wherever
the leader leads them.
The leader may take them up stairs, over stools, and any place hard to
reach on one foot. To drop the egg or rest on both feet prevents one
from continuing in the game. She must stay out until the next time
Mark on the table, or on the floor, if preferred, with chalk, four
parallel lines, eight or ten feet long, and four or five inches apart.
Thus there are three narrow spaces. At the end of each space make a
circle, numbering the middle one 10, and the other two, 5. The middle
space is marked 3, and the other two, 1.
The object of the game is to have each child roll five eggs, one at a
time, down the middle space to the circles at the ends. If the egg
goes into the middle circle, it counts 10, but if it stops in the
middle space, it counts only 3, and so on, counting the number of the
place where it stops.
Tally is kept for each child, the one scoring the most points wins the
On a sheet draw a rough-sketch of a good-sized rabbit, the regular
Easter bunny, standing on its hind legs, and holding its paws as if it
were carrying an egg.
Stretch the sheet on the wall and tack it firmly in place. Cut eggs
out of different colored cloth to represent Easter eggs. The eggs
should be as large as the space between the rabbit's paws. In each egg
stick a pin.
Blindfold the children in turn and give each an egg, which is to be
pinned on the sheet, and right in "Bunny's" arms, if possible.
As the children take their turn, no matter how straight on the way
they were started, "Bunny" will be surrounded with eggs, until some
child pins the egg in his arms. This child deserves a prize.
Aside from the enjoyment of firecrackers, etc., there are a few games
to amuse the children on this day. If a party has been planned for the
Fourth, the rooms should be appropriately decorated for the occasion.
As soon as all the children arrive choose two leaders, who in turn
select sides. A line is marked on the floor and the sides stand on
each side of this boundary line. A few feet from the line on each side
is placed an American flag. Any flag can be made to stand up by
placing the end of the stick securely in the hole of an empty
spool. Each leader guards his own flag.
The children endeavor to secure their opponents' flag. If a leader
tags anyone who crosses the boundary and comes too near the flag, that
child is out of the game. However, if one does succeed in capturing
the other's flag, and carries it over the boundary into his side, that
side is victorious.
FLAGS OF ALL NATIONS.
Flags of all nations are collected and displayed around the room. Each
one is numbered. The guests are given pencil and paper with numbers
down the left hand side.
Opposite each number the guest writes the names of the country which
the flag bearing the corresponding number stands for. Allow a certain
length of time for guessing, then collect the papers, read the correct
list, and correct the papers. Prizes may be awarded, but the
satisfaction of having guessed the most seems to be enough reward.
Other games for the Fourth are as follows: Each child is given a piece
of white paper or cardboard 6-1/2 by 3-1/2 inches in size. All sit
around a table on which are red and blue paper and a pile of stars by
each one's place. Scissors and a bottle of mucilage are handy. The
children are given a certain length of time in which to make their
flags, putting the blue field and stars and stripes correctly on their
pieces of cardboard. The one who completes his flag first deserves a
Suspend a bell in a doorway low enough for the children to reach. The
children stand about ten feet away and each in turn throws a beanbag,
endeavoring to make the "liberty bell," as it is called, ring. Those
who succeed in making it ring receive little bells as a reward.
The contents of several boxes of torpedoes may be emptied and hidden
around the room. The children hunt for them, and have a jolly time
shooting them off after the hunt is over.
A Hallowe'en party is probably the only gathering where the stiffness
and formality entirely disappear. Every one is in for a good time, and
should be dressed in old clothes ready to try all sorts of
Decorate the room appropriately with pumpkin jack-o'-lanterns, greens,
weird lights, and strings of peppers, if possible. Mirrors should be
in profusion. Effective lights may be made from cucumbers by scraping
out the inside and cutting holes in the rind for eyes and nose, and
placing a candle in each.
Persons dressed as ghosts may receive the guests and usher them into
the room where the fun is to be. As soon as a person enters, the
hostess, who is not a ghost, blindfolds the victim, and those already
in the room take turns shaking hands with him. He has to guess who
each person is. It is marvellous how many mistakes will be made, even
if the guests are the best of friends.
There are several ways of telling ghastly stories on Hallowe'en. Have
a large ball of different colored yarn handy and before the midnight
hour, turn out the lights, and ask all the players to sit in a
circle. The hostess, holding the ball of yarn, begins by telling some
weird story, unwinding the yarn as she proceeds, until she comes to a
different color, and then she tosses the ball to someone in the
circle, and that one must proceed with the story until she comes to a
different color. It is then tossed to another, and so on, until the
ball is unwound and the story ended.
Another way, more ghastly still, is to give each guest a saucer in
which is a handful of salt and some alcohol. Each one in turn lights
the contents of the saucer and tells some ghost story, continuing
until all the alcohol is burned, and no longer. The stories may be
lively or sad.
For obtaining partners, fill a pumpkin rind with nuts, which have been
opened, had the meat taken out, some token of the fate placed inside,
and glued together again with a ribbon attached to each. Those drawing
nuts having the same colored ribbon are partners. The one whose nut
has a ring in, is to be married next; if a coin, he is to be the most
wealthy; if a thimble, a spinster all her life. The other nuts may
have slips of paper with prophecies written on them.
A bag filled with nuts may be tied up tightly and hung in a
doorway. One of the players is blindfolded and given a stick with
which he is to hit the bag as hard as he can, thus breaking it, and
scattering the nuts on the floor. The one who succeeds in gathering
the greatest number of nuts will be the luckiest during the year.
Fill two large pans with sawdust. Bury in one pan pieces of paper
bearing a rhyme about one's future, these can be about the ladies for
the men to draw, and in the other pan verses for the ladies to
draw. The papers are folded up tightly. The ladies and gentlemen take
turns putting in their thumbs. As soon as a verse is found it is read
Example for the men to draw:
"Medium height, eyes of blue,
Charming girl is awaiting you."
For the ladies:
"Tall and slight, with red hair,
Fond of walking and fresh air."
SOME MORE FATES.
In addition to the regulation "bobbing for apples," "floating
needles," and throwing the apple peel over the head, there are many
other amusements of prophecy.
In a doorway a portière of apples may be hung. Apples are strung on
strings of various lengths. The tallest guests endeavor to bite those
swinging on the longest strings stooping in the attempt, while the
shorter ones reach for those above. The one who succeeds in eating the
whole of his apple just by biting it, will never want for anything.
A horseshoe is hung in a doorway. Each guest is given three small
apples. Each in turn tries to throw the apples, one at a time, through
the horseshoe. If he succeeds in sending all three through, he will
always be lucky during the coming year.
From the ceiling suspend a large pumpkin, on whose rind all the
letters of the alphabet have been burned or painted. Twirl this
quickly and each guest in turn tries to stab some letter with a
hatpin. The letter which is pierced is the initial letter of one's
Another,--swing a wedding ring over a goblet and repeat the alphabet
slowly, the letter said as the ring touches the glass is the initial
of the future wife or husband, as the case may be.
This same ring may be suspended from the ceiling, at a convenient
distance from the floor. Whoever succeeds in running a pencil through
it while walking towards it, without stopping, is the next to be
Place three bowls on a table, one containing clear water, another
soapy or muddy water, and the third one empty.
Blindfold the players one at a time, and lead them to the bowls,
(whose positions are changed each time) to put their fingers in one of
If a player touches the clear water, he will be happily married; if
the soapy water, he will marry a widow; and if he puts his finger in
the empty bowl, he will never marry.
For knowing the occupation of the future one, there are several
ways. Articles suggestive of different trades may be buried in flour,
and the players in turn take a spoonful out of the dish and see what
they can find. If not successful the first time, they may have a
Another way is to melt lead and then drop in into cold water, and the
form it takes will suggest the trade of the future husband. Sometimes
the forms are intricate, but if they suggest any trade, that is the
real one. If it flattens out and looks like a book, an author will be
the fate; if in tiny pieces, like particles of dirt, a farmer will be
suggested, and so on.
OVER THE CIDER MUGS.
By each place at the table place a mug of sweet cider, a small bunch
of matches, two candles, and a slip of paper with a pencil.
Before the refreshments are served, when all are seated, the hostess
announces that as she counts twenty-five slowly, each guest is to
write a wish on the paper, light a candle, burn the paper in the
light, letting the ashes fall into the cider, and drink the contents
of the mug, ashes and all. All who succeed in doing this before
twenty-five is counted, will have their wishes granted.
Later, ask each guest to light both candles, naming each after a
sweetheart, and allow them to burn as long as they will. The candle
which burns longest shows which one will prove most faithful.
SHIPS OF FATE.
Prepare as many half shells of walnuts as there are guests. In each
fasten a small candle with a drop of the wax.
Fill a tub with water, and before sailing the boats, the water should
be agitated so as to have it wavy. Two at a time may sail their boats,
lighting the candles as they are launched. The life of the owner is
prophesied by the seaworthy qualities of his ship.
If the storm overcomes the ship, the one whose it is, will be wrecked
by adversity. The ship sailing across the tub signifies a long sea
voyage, while those remaining by the side show that the person loves
If the two ships stay together throughout the trip, the couple owning
them will have a happy marriage. If they bump together, that signifies
a quarrel, and if they sail in opposite directions, each person will
lead a single life.
CAKE WITH CANDLES.
A large cake with as many different colored candles on it as there are
guests, is passed around, and each one takes a piece of it, with the
candle too, choosing whatever color they wish.
As the cake passes from one to the other, the hostess reads the
following prophecies, having prepared them beforehand to suit the
"Bright and cheery, candle red,
The year is here in which you wed."
"If your candle green should be,
You will find your love at sea."
"Lonely, hopeless, spinster she,
If white candle hers should be."
"Happy he with candle blue,
Thy sweetheart is ever true."
"She who holds a candle yellow,
Marries now a jealous fellow."
HUNT THE SQUIRREL.
To amuse the children after the Thanksgiving dinner, ask them all to
join hands and form a ring. One is chosen out and is given a nut which
he is to drop behind some child. As he walks around the outside of the
ring he says:
"Hunt the squirrel in the woods,
I lost him, I found him.
Hunt the squirrel in the woods,
I lost him, I found him.
I won't catch you, and I won't catch you,
But I will catch you."
As he says the last line, he drops the nut behind some child. That one
must pick it up, and run around the circle, trying to reach his place
before the other one gets there. If he fails, he is out and the game
continues as before.
A novel amusement for children at Christmas time is to trim a
Christmas tree when blindfolded. Stand a small tree at one end of the
room, ready to be trimmed. Have all the ornaments on a table near at
hand, ready to be put on the tree.
Blindfold the children one at a time, lead them to the table to take
their pick. The first thing touched must be taken, and after turning
the child around three times start him straight toward the tree.
When he reaches the tree, he must wire the ornament, or whatever he
had, in place. Some older person can be ready to turn the tree around,
as it will be trimmed only on one side, if not. The children can have
as may turns as they wish until the tree is trimmed.
Suspend a large bunch of mistletoe from one of the chandeliers. The
children, one at a time, stand under the mistletoe, and guess how many
berries there are on it. The berries are counted when all have
guessed. The one coming the nearest receives a prize.
While watching the Christmas tree, after the presents have been
distributed, some one says, "I see something on the Christmas tree
which commences with T. What is it?" Many guesses are given, the one
who says "Tinsel," has guessed correctly, and it is his turn to give a
guess, which may commence with P and C. Pop-corn is easily guessed,
and so on, until everything has been guessed.
Suspend a large Christmas wreath in a doorway at a convenient height
from the floor. Prepare in advance "snowballs," made of cotton batting
covered with white tissue paper.
The players stand about eight feet from the wreath, and take turns,
one at a time. Each is given three "snowballs," and the one who
succeeds in throwing all three, one at a time, through the wreath, is
given the prize.
To make it more exciting, sides may be chosen, and each one of the
three snowballs numbered, one being 5, the other, 10, and the third,
20. If the ball numbered 5 goes through, it counts 5 for that player's
side. If it does not go through, it is a loss, and so on. The side
scoring the most points is victorious.
A small tree is placed on a table. The candles are lighted. Blindfold
the players, one at a time, turn around three times, and allow each to
take five steps toward the tree. Then he must blow as hard as he can,
endeavoring to blow out all the lights, if possible. The one who
succeeds in extinguishing the most receives a prize.
Another amusement is playing "The night before Christmas" like
"Stagecoach." Give each child the name of some part of Santa Claus'
outfit, the sleigh, the reindeer, etc. The hostess then reads the
well-known story, "The Night Before Christmas." As she mentions the
names, the players having them, rise, turn around, and sit down
again. When she mentions Santa Claus, all change places, and she tries
to secure a seat. The one left out continues the story, and so on,
A GAME WITHIN A GAME.
While the children are waiting on Christmas for their presents, or
dinner, or whenever the time seems to drag, suggest that each one
think up the best game he knows.
Give each child a pencil and a card on which the game and the name of
the child who thought of it are written. Each one in turn tells his
game and all the children play it. When all have had a turn, and each
game has been played, the children look over their lists and choose
the game they liked best. The originator of the most popular one
receives a prize.
TOSS THE GOODIES.
The children form a square, each one holding the sides of an old
tablecloth or piece of sheeting. In the center of this is placed a
pile of nuts, candies, raisins, fruits, and all sorts of goodies. When
a signal is given, the children all together toss the cloth up and
"Toss the goodies up and down,
Up and down, up and down,
Toss the goodies up and down,
Goodies for you and me."
When the last line is sung, an extra large toss is made and thus all
the goodies fly to all parts of the room. The children then all
scramble around picking them up and having a jolly time.
A pretty idea for concealing Christmas presents for the children is to
make a lot of snowballs out of white tissue paper and cotton batting,
and concerting the gifts inside.
Pile all these snowballs under the tree, and when the time comes for
distributing them, the mother, or some older person tosses them, one
at a time, to the children, who are standing at distance eagerly
waiting for them.
As the children catch them they step out of line to leave room for
others until all have received one. Then all the balls are opened and
the presents disclosed.
DECKING SANTA CLAUS.
Santa, who has been invited to the party, after being introduced to
all the children, sits at the end of the room.
The children are blindfolded one at a time, and after being turned
around three or four times, are told to walk up to him, and place on
his head their own caps, which they had received in bonbons just
The child who succeeds in decking Santa Claus with his own cap may
receive a little prize.
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