New printables page

Hey everyone! Just an update: I’ve created a printables page to organize all of the files you can download and print that I’ve made for the games I’ve posted so far. This includes all of the printable word lists for pictionary, charades, and other games; all the holiday word lists; and some other printables, too. Just a one-stop place to find everything you can download and print. Oh, and they’re all free. 🙂

There’s also a link to the page in the right sidebar. I’ll be adding more printables as they’re added to the site. Hope it helps!


What it is: An outdoor group game, not terribly active, but it does involve kicking/catching/pegging (traditionally with a hacky sack).

Best for: Group of about 6 to 8.

What you need: A ball to play with, usually a hacky sack. You could also try with a bigger ball, like a soccer ball. Or for a really easy game with smaller kids, use one of those kickball-sized lightweight rubber balls filled with air, like the ones you see at Walmart in those big nets, you know?

How to play: First everyone stands in a circle. One player, like Cole, starts by holding the hacky sack and then volleys it to another player, like Sarah. Then Sarah passes it to someone else in the circle, using her feet, knees, or head, but no hands. (Or, go ahead and allow hands if you want. No one’s going to stop you.) As Sarah passes the hacky, everyone counts “one” out loud. Then as the hacky is passed again, everyone counts “two” out loud. After the hacky is passed a third time and everyone counts “three” out loud, anyone is allowed to catch the hacky with their hands. Say Cole happened to catch it again.

Now Cole gets a chance to try to peg another player and eliminate them. He can’t move his feet at all, but everyone else is allowed to take exactly five steps away from him. After they do, he looks around and carefully chooses someone to peg, like Sarah. If he’s successful in pegging her (from the neck down), Sarah is out. If Sarah catches the hackey in her hands, Cole is out. If Cole misses, nothing happens. Then start the three volleys again. Continue playing until one player remains, the winner.

Variations: I think this game is also called wacky sack (haha). And you could easily adapt or modify the rules for the size of the group or the skill of your players. You could have more than three volleys, for example, before someone is allowed to catch the hacky. You could have players take three steps away from the pegger instead of five. You could make a rule that if someone tries to peg someone but misses entirely, they’re eliminated. Or if a player is pegged, instead of being eliminated right away, you could give them a letter and then once a predetermined word is spelled, like spaz, for example, they’d be out of the game. Anyway, just experiment with the rules if you want to and find something that works for you.

Also, the game spud is a little similar and a little more active (and, personally, I think that one’s a little more fun).


What it is: This clapping routine game is set of hand routines involving snaps, claps, and slaps. You learn the routine, then the fun consists of doing it over and over, getting faster and faster. I learned and played the game at a summer camp for teenage girls. It was our favorite game to play in the mess hall while we waited for our food because it makes a lot of noise. 🙂

Best for: However many people you want. You could even play by yourself (but I’m not promising that would be as fun as playing with friends).

What you need: Preferably, a table. But if you don’t have a table or flat surface, your lap will do.

How to play: This is one of those games that would be really hard to teach in writing. So my sisters helped me make this short video that teaches you how to play.

You just have to memorize the clapping routines (it’s not that hard once you start), and then you can do them as fast as you can.

Variations: You can play either competitively or non-competitively. To play competitively, make it a game of elimination. Start by doing all six routines slowly, then do them again a little faster, then a little faster. Anyone who messes up at any point is out of the game. (You might need a judge to help decide this.) Or, don’t eliminate anyone and just play for fun, teaching any new friends who walk up to your table and wonder what in the world you’re doing. 🙂

Also, for a very similar game, check out the cup game.


What it is: A good indoor group game for all ages; it can easily be used as a get-to-know-you game, too.

Best for: A group of about 10 to 20.

What you need: Somewhere to play with enough seats for everyone, arranged in a more or less a circle. Also a rolled-up newspaper. (This will be used to lightly whack each other with and could easily be substituted with something else: a foam baseball bat, the cardboard middle of a roll of paper towels, etc.)

How to play: Let’s say you’re playing as a get-to-know-you game. First, have everyone sit in a circle. Then, since your players don’t all know each other, go around the room and have everyone say his or her name a few times, so everyone can start to learn names. If you have two people with the same first name, learn their first name and last initial.

Next, choose one player to be It (we’ll call him David). David holds the rolled-up newspaper and stands in the middle of the circle. David’s goal is to whack one of the other players with the newspaper, which will let him trade spots and sit down while someone else becomes It. But David can only hit certain players at certain times.

To start the game, choose one player, like Katie, to begin. She starts by saying the name of someone else sitting in the circle, like Greg. As soon as she says Greg’s name, David can hit Greg with the newspaper. But as soon as Greg says another name, like Violet, David has to target Violet instead. If David whacks Violet with the newspaper after her name is said but before she can say a new name, she’s It and David gets to sit down.

It’s a good get-to-know-you game for David because he has to remember everyone’s names so he knows who to tag. And it’s a good get-to-know-you game for everyone else because they have to remember each other’s names so they can call them out.

Variations: If you’re playing with a group of people and you all know each other, using your first names might be too easy. So make the game more fun by assigning everyone a state, or a fruit, or something else in a category of your choosing. Now everyone has to remember each other’s assigned names, making the game more challenging and fun.

You could make the game even more challenging by tying the name to the chair, instead of the person. So if David was it but tagged Greg and then sat down in Greg’s seat, David would assume Greg’s name until he moved to a different chair. Make sense? That might get confusing, but it could be a fun way to make the game more challenging.

This game is also a variation on the theme of signs, just not as quiet as signs.

Presidents’ Day pictionary list

With Presidents’ Day on Monday, some of you might be looking for some pictionary words to celebrate the presidents of the United States of America, especially George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. So I’ve got something for you! This isn’t a list of words per se, but actually more of a timeline of events that have to do with American presidents (Washington, Lincoln, and a few notable others). My husband and I have played timeline pictionary before, and it was actually a lot of fun. Kind of like song pictionary, you have to be creative and think outside the box. It becomes a game of creativity and, all right, raw drawing skill, more than speed. And I like that. 🙂

So here’s what you do: download this printable list, cut along the lines, and then take turns drawing strips of paper. Each slip contains a historical event, like “Abraham Lincoln was born (1809).” Then do your best to illustrate the event and get your team to guess! I’d modify the rules of pictionary a little for this and not require guessers to say exactly what’s written on the paper word-for-word; just a “Abraham Lincoln’s birthday!” or even “Abraham Lincoln as a baby!” might do. However flexible you want to be. You also might want to lengthen or do away with the time limit. And be creative! For the Abraham Lincoln one, for example, I might draw a log cabin, a woman in a bonnet and dress, and a cradle with a baby, maybe even one wearing an Honest Abe top hat. Maybe you could even try this list with charades (but let me know how it goes, because I haven’t tried it yet).

And if you want to brush up on your historical facts, too, maybe you could offer bonus points to the person who names not only the event but the year. 🙂

So Happy Presidents’ Day! I hope you enjoy your Presidents’ Day pictionary and your day off!

Printable-markerPresidents’ Day pictionary list