Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fun Family Feuding

Looking to vary your family night a little from the usual pizza and movie? Try these memorable games! They all work great with a larger group too, in case you're having friends over for a Memorial Day cook-out and want to throw in some friendly competition. They're all geared for ages 5 and up. We even professionally tested them with our junior high youth group. I will testify that the Shape Sorter Tournament was one adrenaline-pumping contest...down to the last-shape-in-by-a-mere-1/2-second finale!

Shape Sorter Challenge
Oohhh, noOOo...this is NOT just a toddler toy! We actually own 3 of these super-fun shape sorter balls that I picked up at yard sales (trying to get 2 complete sets of yellow shapes)...but you can play this game whether you have one, two, or an unwieldy collection.

With one toy, just race against the clock. Time how fast each player can get all the shapes in, and make a big deal about posting each person's time on a scoreboard. With two balls, race against each other and keep brackets. The winners keep advancing until you have a Final Match and a Champion. This is an addictive little competition.

Pickle Spitzers
This is a game of great skill with the title of Super Pickle Spitzer at stake. You need a jar of miniature, whole pickles (I kinda like Kosher Dill), a marked Launching Line, and a way to measure distance--a tape measure, some markers such as tent pegs or rocks, and maybe even a plastic tablecloth or tarp layed down to easily see where pickles first hit. The first player (or one player from each team standing side-by-side) stands at the marked line, puts a pickle in his mouth and prepares to spitz it as far as he can on signal.

You can compete as individuals with a couple of rounds of pickle spitzing...or with a bigger group you could play in teams, have each player spitz 2 pickles, and add the total distance of all pickles for each team. I recommend you play this game before dessert.

Q-Tip Combat
This game is a wee bit messy, but your kids will lloooovve it.

Put about ¼ cup of water in 2 small dishes. Get out the food coloring and tint the 2 dishes different colors. Give each player a drinking straw (need the wider ones that are usually white with narrow stripes, like those at fast-food joints. Thin/bendy straws won't work). Also, get a package of cotton swabs.

Take a marker and an old white t-shirt and draw a grid on the front and back with point values in each square. Now have Mom or Dad put ON the shirt (safety goggles would be helpful) and assume position as a Human Target.

Divide the family into two color teams and take turns dipping one end of a Q-tip into the colored water to shoot at the target. Load the straw with the Q-tip—in the end that goes in your mouth to give you the longest distance. Blow the swabs at the target--either a timed round or so many Q-tips per player. Add up the "hits" at the end of the round. Turn your Target around and play another round. Bring out 2 different colors of food coloring, change out the Victim Target, and play again!

Hope you have as much fun as our family did! But remember, first things first...go charge up the video camera!


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