What it is: A good game to be played at a party, sleepover, or shower, throughout the event, kind of in the background.

Best for: 6 to 12 players (or even more).

What you need: Clothespins (see picture). Enough for each guest to have about five. It’s also fun to have one or two prizes for the winner or winners at the end of the game. Choose a prize that fits the theme of your event or your guests’ age level. Optional: a long string necklace for each guest.

How to play: This game is best played at an event, like a baby shower, birthday party, or family reunion. The game can last as long as your event does, whether it’s a couple of hours or a couple of days.

Before the event, come up with one to three Forbidden Words – words that players of the game won’t be allowed to say. Choose words that fit the theme of your event. For example, if it’s your daughter Christy’s birthday, you might choose the words “birthday” and “Christy” (as long as it wouldn’t make Christy feel bad that no one was calling her by her name). If it’s a baby shower, you could choose the word “baby.” You’ll want words that will be a challenge for guests not to say.

To start, gather all your guests at the beginning of the event to explain the rules and distribute the clothespins. Give each guest an equal number of clothespins (around five is a good number) and tell them to clip them somewhere on their person (or on the string necklace you provided). The point of the game is for players to “steal” as many clothespins as they can from other guests, and the one (or two or three) left with the most clothespins at the end of the event wins.

Players “steal” clothespins by catching another player saying a Forbidden Word. So if at Christy’s birthday party Jane heard Marianne say “birthday,” Jane would call Marianne out on it and ask for one of her clothespins. Marianne would have to give one of her clothespins to Jane.

If Marianne were to run out of clothespins, she could say the Forbidden Words as much she wanted because she wouldn’t have any clothespins to give away. She could reenter the game at any time by catching someone else saying a Forbidden Word.

At the end of the event, call everyone together and count up clothespins. Award prizes to the the winner(s).


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