You will need: White label stickers and a pen
How to play: This game best lends itself to round-the-table situations. Why not try a round between courses during Christmas lunch? The person organizing the game has to think of a number of characters that fit into the Christmas theme. Then, the names of the characters are written on the labels and stuck to people’s backs. The person wearing the sticker has no idea who their character is (nobody tells anyone who they are, although you can look at everyone else’s names). The game is that you have to guess who you are by asking logical questions. If you get a negative answer, for example, ‘Do I have a beard?’, answer, ‘No’, then you move on to the next person around the table. As the theme is Christmas, you can be anyone from Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph, to the Gingerbread Man or even Santa – but that one might be a bit obvious.
Fuss factor 2/2
The letter game
You will need: An extensive knowledge of Christmas
How to play: The person at the head of the table (usually dad) picks a person, place or thing associated with Christmas. For example, if he says ‘bauble’ the next person then has to choose another Christmas word that begins with the last letter of his word. In this case, it could be ‘egg nog’ or ‘elf’. It’s very simple, but quite challenging after a couple of times around the table – and no repeats are allowed either. This fun and simple game encourages the kids to think a bit about their spelling too.
Fuss factor 0/5
Pin the nose on the reindeer
You will need: A blindfold, Christmas music on the iPod, a big picture of Rudolph minus his nose – and a lot of stick-on noses
How to play: This is just a Christmassy version of pin the tail on the donkey. But you can make it even more seasonal by combining it with a game of Christmas musical bumps. Play the Christmas music and stop it suddenly. The first person to sit down gets to wear the blindfold, be twirled around, and try his luck on the reindeer – and so on. Make a sticky nose for each child, and write their name on it, so everyone knows who had the best, and worst guess. The three top guesses each win a little Christmas prize.
Fuss factor 4/5
Pass the present
You will need: Lots of tissue paper cut outs of toy shapes – teddies, balls, cars, trains etc, two boxes and drinking straws for each child.
How to play: Divide the children into two teams, sitting in two lines. At the blow of a whistle, the first child sucks up a paper cut-out from the pile with his/her straw, and passes it to the next person along, and so on. When it gets to the last person, it goes into the ‘present’ box. And the next toy is then collected. The team which collects the largest number of ‘presents’ in their box in one minute, wins the game. Expect lots of shouting, cheering and cheating – it’s a noisy one.
Fuss factor 3/5
You will need: White, sticky labels, plain white cards and a pen
How to play: This is great for a large group of children. Get everyone to sit in a circle with the play leader in the middle. Each person is given a lable. They are either an elf, a reindeer, a mince pie or a pudding, and there must be at least two of every category, or the game won’t work. The play leader has a pack of white cards, on which he has written the category words. These are shuffled and then a category is read out. If the word is ‘Pudding’ the puddings must jump up and swap places with each other. The same must happen for all the categories as the names are called out. But when the word ‘Santa’ is called, everyone must jump up and swap with everyone else. It’s fast and furious – and a very good way of getting shy children to meet and have fun with new friends.
Fuss factor 3/5