One of the best things about the holiday season is the opportunity to spend some time playing Christmas family games.
Setting the Stage for Christmas Family Games Night
This is a the perfect time to get things all set up for some memory building. First, you need to set the mood so turn on the Christmas lights, pull out the ugly sweaters, and crank up the Christmas music. Put out some Christmas cookies (bonus if you made them yourself!) Serve some hot chocolate and get ready to have some fun.
Four Fun Christmas Family Games to Play
To play charades, one player pulls a mystery word or phrase from a selection of options and has the goal of trying to get everyone else to guess that word before their timer runs out – without speaking! They can use gestures, actions, body language, and other clues but are not allowed to make any sounds or use any props. Whoever guesses the answer correctly gets a point. It can be a lot of silly fun and is a wonderful game to play because it can include players of all ages.
If you have a particularly large group, you can split into two teams – with the person doing the actions trying to get their team to guess the answer within the time limits. However, if their team doesn’t get the answer, the other team can make a guess and win the point for themselves!
For Christmas Charades, you simply use a series of words specifically related to the holiday season. Here are some examples:
- Santa Claus
- Christmas Tree
- Frosty the Snowman
- Elf on the Shelf
Write your ideas out on pieces of paper, fold them up, and put them into a bowl for people to pick from.
If you need some ideas already pre-made for you, download these Christmas Charades printable cards. Just print them out and play!
Minute to Win It – Christmas Edition
Originally a TV game show where contestents had one minute to complete challenges and games, Minute to Win It has expanded to homes and classrooms all over with their own variations. The challenges usually consist of things you might already have in your home or can pick up fairly cheaply at a dollar store. Some common games include:
- Tilt your head back and place a cookie on your forehead! Now, get the cookie into your mouth by only moving the muscles in your face – no hands!
- Use a straw to blow a pom-pom across the floor or table.
- Stack cereal (like Cheerios) or plastic cups.
There are lots and lots of fun ideas.
For Christmas, you can change up the challenges to include some seasonal items – like using a gingerbread man for the cookie challenge.
Here are some ideas of Christmas Minute to Win It activities you can challenge the family to:
- Put a candy cane in your mouth with the hook sticking out. Without using your hands, trying to hook a candy cane from a pile in a bowl or on the table. Have groups compete against each other and see who can complete it first or within a time limit.
- Have a bowl of white pom-poms on one end of the room and an empty bowl on the other. Have a relay race with each team one at a time to scoop one or two pom-poms out and carry it to the other bowl. If the pom-pom falls, back they go to the start! Whatever team has the most in their bowl at the end of the minute wins!
- Wrap a gift and have your players try to open it in a minute…. while wearing winter or oven mitts.
- Set up a mug several feet away and see how many mini-marshmallows you can throw into it within a time limit.
- Use plastic round ornaments and roll them across the floor towards a target with different points (like a dartboard or curling) to see which team can get the most points in the time limit.
- See who can make the tallest stack of (still standing) marshmallows (or mini-marshmallows) when the time runs out.
- Have a collection of small, funny shaped gifts (wrapped if you would like) for each team, and have each team send one player to a stocking hung up at the fireplace to put a gift inside. How many gifts can they get into the stocking before the time runs out? The gifts have to be IN the stocking, not on the floor or anywhere around it, in order to count!
- Make cloven fruit oranges – how many cloves can you add to your orange?
- Each player gets a dish of candies like M&Ms and has to use a straw only to separate the holiday coloured candies from the main dish. They can suck the air out of the straw to lift each candy to its new home.
- Put some bells into an empty tissue box and attach it to a belt. Have the players attach it around their waist so the box is on their back. While the timer is running, they have to jiggle out the bells. The player with the least bells left in the box at the end, wins!
- Turn a teammate into a snowman with toilet paper and some creativity!
If you would like to turn your Christmas family game night into a Minute to Win It game – check out this (affiliate link) Minute to Win It Christmas Edition printable party pack from The Chaos and the Clutter which makes it easy to do!
I love the creative ways people decorate their homes and businesses, both inside and out during the holiday season. It’s colourful, beautiful, fun, and sometimes chaotic.
Why not turn those decorations into a fun Christmas Family Game – like Decoration Bingo?
Grab this free Christmas Bingo pack. It’s got 5 cards with words only and 3 with pictures, so that everyone can play and there is some variety between cards.
Here are three ways to play:
Have everyone take a bingo card on a clipboard with a pen or a marker and go for a walk or a drive around the neighbourhood looking at all the decorations. If you see one from your card, simply cross it out until you get a “bingo” (5 in a row) or fill up your whole card. This can be really tricky (or really easy) depending on how people decorate in your community!
Inside Your House
If you are having a family night, maybe you don’t want to all pile in vehicles and head out looking at decorations, so you can just use the decorations that you have up in your own house! Look around at whatever you’ve put up to celebrate with and see if anyone can get a bingo!
Christmas Movie Bingo
You can also use these Christmas Bingo cards while watching a Christmas movie together. Let’s face it – most of the holiday movies will have more decorations or seasonal objects than any of us will ever have! Cross off anything you see in this movie to try and get your bingo. (And bonus – if there’s contestation about validity – you can just rewind and check!)
Candy Cane Hunt
Many of the big holidays make kids work for their candy: searching the house at Easter and going door-to-door for Hallowe’en, for example. So why not make them work for it at Christmas too!
Hide candy canes all over the house. The smaller ones are easier to find, but you can use whatever you have on hand. Challenge the family to find as many as they can within a time limit. Remember to put some in places for every member of the family – some up high for tall teens or adults and some easier to find down low if you have smaller kids. You can even buy a variety of colours and designate a colour to each team so they aren’t all trying to steal from each other. Of course, this can also lead to sabatoge, so…. you know your family best.
Other Christmas Fun Ideas
Now that you’ve had the chance to play some Christmas Family Games together, maybe you want to keep the holiday spirit going, so check out the other Christmas resources available on this site: