Game Instructions

Here are the game instructions you will need to easily play many hours with your family:

Family (8-20 players)

Have everyone sit in a circle. The moderator gives everyone a small piece of paper and pencil\pen. On the paper, each player writes the name of a famous person. Then they hand their paper to the moderator being careful not to reveal the name they have written to other players; that name is now the identity of that player. When the moderator has collected all of the pieces of paper they read the list of names once. The moderator then chooses someone in the circle to try and guess the identity of one of the names. If the player correctly identifies a person that person is now a part of his/her “family” and they get to continue guessing. If the player’s guess is incorrect it is the next player’s turn continuing around the circle. When a player correctly guesses a person with a multiple person family, the guessing player receives the whole family into his/her family. The winner is the one who is able to collect everyone into his/her family. One of the biggest challenges is remembering all of the names read by the moderator in the beginning.

Mafia

Everyone sits in a circle. The game starts by the moderator secretly assigning the following characters to the group. This can be done by writing the labels on 3X5 cards and randomly handing them out.

The Characters (If 10 people are in the group)

  1. The Moderator
  2. Mafia – 2 people (Roughly 20% of the group should be mafia)
  3. Police – 1 person
  4. Arch Angel – 1 person
  5. Townspeople – everyone else

The moderator instructs everyone to “go to sleep” by closing their eyes and putting their heads down. Then he/she instructs the Mafia to “wake up” and identify each other. The players who received Mafia cards lift their heads, open their eyes, and silently see who they are teamed up with. Then the moderator tells them to choose a townsperson to kill. The Mafia does it by silently pointing and shaking their heads in agreement. The moderator then instructs them to go back to sleep (heads down and eyes closed). The moderator then tells the police officer to “wake up” and to choose someone to accuse. The person who received the police card opens his/her eyes and points to a player to see if they are the Mafia. The moderator shakes his/her head to confirm or deny the identity of that player as the Mafia. The police can then use this information later to accuse the Mafia, but the police officer needs to do it in a way that conceals his/her identity or the mafia will get him/her. The moderator then tells the police officer to go back to sleep and for the Arch Angel to wake up. The Arch Angel may save one person each round, but never the same player for consecutive nights. The moderator instructs the Arch Angel to point to someone to save (they may save themselves). The Arch Angel then goes back to sleep.

The moderator then has everyone wake up and explains that during the night (name of townsperson) has been killed. The person killed may also be the Police Officer or the Arch Angel, but the moderator only refers to them as a townsperson. Not until the end of the game is it appropriate to reveal who was the Police and Angel. The killed person is now out of the game and may not comment, but must remain silent for the rest of the game. Everyone is then instructed to accuse two people as Mafia. At this point, one player will accuse someone. The moderator then asks if anyone else seconds the accusation. When there is a second vote the accused player is “on the block.” The moderator then asks for one more accusation for a second person on the block. When two people are on the block they each are given 30 seconds for a defense. Then the townspeople vote on one person to be guilty. The guilty person is eliminated from the game and must also remain silent. The moderator then tells the townspeople to go to sleep and round 2 beings. The moderator repeats the process. The game ends when either all of the Mafia have been caught and killed or the Mafia outnumber the townspeople.

The Werewolves of Millers Hollow

This game is run exactly like Mafia, but it has more characters.

The Characters (If 10 people are in the group)

  1. The Moderator
  2. Werewolves – 2 people (Roughly 20% of the group same as Mafia)
  3. The Spy – 1 person (Same as the Police Officer)
  4. The Angel – 1 person (Similar to Arch Angel, but has only one life-saving ability. Once it is used it’s gone, however, the Angel in this version also has the power to kill once as well. When they have been used they are gone and the player becomes an ordinary townsperson.
  5. The Hunter – when the player who is the Hunter dies or is eliminated he/she has 3 seconds to point and shoot someone. The player they shoot is now also out of the game.
  6. The Little Girl – She is a townsperson who can peek while the Werewolves are hunting to see who they are, however, if she is caught in the act she dies instead of the victim.
  7. The Mayor – This is a townsperson that is elected by the townspeople. If elected, the Mayor will have two votes when voting on a player to be eliminated.
  8. Townspeople – everyone else

Note: There are other characters that can be added. A simple search online will give you results. 

Catch Phrase

You’ll need to buy the game Catch Phrase in a store. Have everyone sit in a circle and count off ones and twos. Have all of the ones raise their hands. They are a team and the twos are a team. The pattern of players seating should be one, two, one, two, one, and so on. The Catch Phrase receptacle will have a word which a person on team one will need to describe without saying the word. Once the other members of team one correctly say the word, the player on team one passes the receptacle to the team two player on their right. Meanwhile, a random timer counts down with beeps that get faster and faster building the excitement until the buzzer sounds. If the buzzer sounds while team two is trying to solve a word then team one gets a point and vice versa.

Over the Mountain

Have everyone sit in a circle with one chair per person and one person standing in the middle. There should be no open chairs. The player in the middle says, “Over the mountain if…” and then finishes with a statement that is true about them. For example, “Over the mountain if you brushed your teeth today.” If the statement is true about a player sitting down they have to get up and move quickly to another seat. A player cannot return to his/her original seat. The player left without a seat is the next person up to say, “Over the mountain if…” There are no winners or losers, the game just continues until it is time to stop, normally several rounds.

Four on the Couch

If you don’t have a couch four people can fit on then just put four chairs together and give them a special marking. Have everyone sit in chairs around a circle with one open chair. The circle should include the couch. Then each person counts off in ones and twos. All of the ones are a team and the twos are a team. The seating pattern should be alternating teams. So if I’m a one, I have a team two person on my right and another two on my left. Now give everyone a 3X5 card and have them write their name on it. When they are done have them give it to the moderator. The moderator puts all cards in a paper bag. Then everyone in the circle picks a card without letting anyone know what name they read. The player on the right of the open chair begins by calling out one of the names. The player who has that name on his/her card moves to the open chair. The player to the right of the new open chair chooses a name. The player holding that card moves to the open seat. The goal is to get four of your team members on the couch.

Three on the Couch

Give everyone a 3X5 card and a pen/pencil. Have them write their name on the card and two to three true and interesting things about themselves that people in the room wouldn’t know. For example, I met (famous person) while out to dinner with my family. When everyone is done have them hand the cards to you. Read through silently and pick out the best ones. Then take the person who wrote it and two other random people and have them all sit on the couch. The goal of the game is for the crowd to determine who actually experienced what was written. Meanwhile, the two random people chosen try to convince the crowd that it was actually them by answering the questions in a believable way. After enough questions have been asked, poll the crowd to see who they think it is.

Two Truths and a Lie

Give everyone a 3X5 card and a pen/pencil. Have them list three statements about themselves that the people in the room wouldn’t know. However, two of the statements are true and one is untrue. Go around the room and have them say their three things. The people in the room have to try and figure out which one is the lie.

Variation: A moderator could also collect all true statements and read them one by one. The crowd has to try and guess which person corresponds to each statement.

Pictionary Down The Lane

This is played like whisper down the lane. Have everyone line up. Give a clue (a phrase or object) to the person at the end of the line. That player has 10 seconds to draw the clue. At the end of the 10 seconds, the person directly in front of the first player turns around and looks at the drawing. He/she then has 10 seconds to draw what they think the drawing is. Everyone else in the line continues to look forward with their back to the person drawing behind them until it is their turn to view the drawing. The last person then tries to guess the phrase or object.

Sound Off

What is your favorite game to play with your kids?

Subscribe to the Play of the Day for daily advice, videos and updates on how to be better dad.

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Which game would you like to play?”

Sorry. No data so far.

lists to love by
Foster Dad
Char Griller