Chubby bunnies

chubby-bunniesWhat it is: A challenge game involving players stuffing as many marshmallows into their mouths as they can. (So it can get kind of gross.)

Best for: A group of teenagers around a campfire.

What you need: A bag of marshmallows (not the mini kind) and some people who are talked into doing somewhat foolish things like stuffing as many marshmallows into their mouths as they can.

How to play: Basically, players just take turns trying to complete the challenge of saying the phrase “chubby bunny” with as many marshmallows in their mouth as possible. So, if Valerie is starting, she would take one marshmallow, put it in her mouth, and say “chubby bunny.” If she successfully says it, she adds another marshmallow and says “chubby bunny” again, and on and on until she either can’t pronounce the phrase intelligibly anymore, she can’t stop laughing, or she gags and spits all the marshmallows out. (I told you, can get gross.) Players keep count of how many marshmallows she fit, and the player that night with the most marshmallows wins.

An alternate way to play is to have all players add a marshmallow at the same time, then go around the circle and say “chubby bunny,” one at a time. Anyone who can’t say the phrase is eliminated from the game, and the next round starts with everyone else putting in another marshmallow. The last player in the game wins. This way would be harder because you would have to wait for a longer time with a ton of marshmallows in your mouth.

To be honest, I was never a huge fan, but if you’ve got a bunch of teenagers on a camping trip who are in a silly sort of mood, I guess this game could get pretty funny.

But please take caution: any time you stuff a lot of food in your mouth, there’s danger of choking. So don’t do this unsupervised, use your common sense, and play safe.

Variations: If you like semi-gross games involving cramming as many sweets into your mouth as you can, you can try the Skittles game too.

Monkey in the middle

monkey-in-the-middleWhat it is: A throwing and catching game for a small group. Players try to keep the ball away from one player (the “monkey”).

Best for: A small group, maybe 3 to 5.

What you need: You’ll need a ball to throw and catch. It could be a kickball or an inflated ball. You could even play with a soccer ball that you kick and receive, or a frisbee or some other object.

How to play: Monkey in the middle is one of those simple games that’s easily variable. Players toss or kick a ball back and forth between them, but one extra player (the “monkey”) is left standing in the middle. The other players try to keep the ball away from the monkey. The monkey tries to grab the ball, earning him or her a place on the outside of the circle. :)

When the monkey grabs the ball, the last player to have touched it is now the monkey. You can decide on more specific rules, too. Does the monkey have to grab the ball, or will simply touching it count? You can adjust the rules and playing size to the ages of your players.

This is often one of those games that happens naturally to pass the time or (unfortunately) to bully someone else by keeping something they want away from them.

Don’t play like that. We all know it’s not nice.

But when played with people who agree by common consent to play, it can be a fun game that lasts for a while. :)

Speed Scrabble

What it is: A variant of the game Scrabble that’s much faster because it’s all about…

speed-scrabble

There is a commercial game called Bananagrams that’s essentially the same thing. I learned this game as Speed Scrabble first, and I’ve also heard it called Take Two.

Best for: A small group of people, maybe 4 to 6 players.

What you need: You’ll need letter tiles from a Scrabble game (but you won’t need the game board).

How to play: To set up your game, have everyone sit around a table or in a circle on the floor. Turn all of your Scrabble tiles face-down in the center of the circle and mix them all up. Then have each player pull out two tiles, keeping them face-down.

Someone starts the game by saying “go.” Then everyone turns over his or her pieces.

Each player will be building their own mini Scrabble grid in front of them. So when you turn over your pieces, start spelling with them as fast as you can. Once someone successfully uses all their tiles (and for this first round, that’s just two tiles), they shout “go.” Then everyone reaches forward and grabs another tile from the pile. Now you have three tiles, and you use all of them to build another Scrabble grid. Then, just like in the last round, whoever uses all three pieces together in one unbroken grid first calls “go,” and everyone takes another tile.

Each round you’ll get one more piece, making the grid larger and more complex. You can add the tiles you draw onto your existing grid, or, at any time, you can rearrange the whole thing. To call “go” you just need to use all of your tiles, and they all need to be connected in one unbroken grid.

This short video demonstrates part of a game and should make it a little clearer:

The goal is to use all your pieces, not leaving any out. The person who completes their whole Scrabble grid first when no more pieces are left wins. So it doesn’t matter if you’re ahead or behind for most of the game – all you need to do is be the first to finish and you win.

As for rules, blank tiles are wilds; you can use them for any letter. But it has to be the same letter for the whole Scrabble board, just like in real Scrabble. (But if you do decide to start over and change everything, you can switch the letter the wild stands for.) Players can challenge others’ words if they don’t think they’re real, and at the end the winner has to go through each of their words, proving that they didn’t cheat. It’s also often fun for everyone to say all their words out loud at the end, too.

Variations: Although I haven’t played with most of them, the Wikipedia page on Scrabble variants lists some other variations of Speed Scrabble that sound like they could be fun.

By the way, this post contains affiliate links. Thanks so much for your support!

Actor/movie loop

actor-movie-loopWhat it is: A version of the six degrees of Kevin Bacon game – you’re basically trying to find links between actors via the movies they star in.

Best for: A small group, maybe up to six players. Two players work fine, too. You could even play by yourself.

What you need: Just your brains! If you want/need to cheat, IMDB on your smartphone would be a good resource.

How to play: My siblings and I would play this game on car trips or to kill time. We would start with someone naming an actor or actress. For example, Kate might name Anne Hathaway.

The next player, Michelle, would name another actor that Anne Hathaway appeared in a movie with. For example, Anne Hathaway appeared in Ella Enchanted with Cary Elwes. The next player might say that Cary Elwes appeared in The Princess Bride with Billy Crystal. It can be entertaining to simply name actors and movies and come up with a big long chain. This is also how you could play competitively. If someone on their turn can’t think of an actor and/or movie that hasn’t already been said, they’re eliminated from the game. The last player left wins.

In our version of the game, though, we played cooperatively. Our goal as a group was to get back to where we started (so in this game, Anne Hathaway). The whole loop might look like this:

  • Anne Hathaway appeared in Ella Enchanted with Cary Elwes.
  • Cary Elwes appeared in The Princess Bride with Billy Crystal.
  • Billy Crystal appeared in Monsters, Inc. with John Goodman.
  • John Goodman appeared in The Borrowers with…with that boy who helped the Borrowers…what was his name? [Quick IMDB check] Bradley Pierce.
  • Bradley Pierce appeared in Jumangi with Robin Williams.
  • Robin Williams appeared in Night at the Museum with Dick Van Dyke.
  • Dick Van Dyke appeared in Mary Poppins with Julie Andrews.
  • Julie Andrews appeared in The Princess Diaries with…Anne Hathaway!

It can take a while, but that’s all part of the fun. We really didn’t play that seriously. Half the time we didn’t even know the actors’ names: it was “that guy from ___, the villain, you know?” And our loops probably could have been done more efficiently, but we didn’t care if it took a while. (Also, side note, it can take a while/be harder if you’re keeping your blog family-friendly by trying to name only PG or G movies.)

There are some rules you might want to consider. Can you mention a movie or actor if they’ve been said before? (We said no.) Does voice talent in animated movies count? (We said yes.) Does it count if you don’t know the name of the actor? (We said yes, because we weren’t huge movie buffs.) Do multiple movies in a series (for example, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) count as the same movie? Do cameos count? Do TV shows count? If so, do guest stars count? Things like that.

Hope it can be an entertaining game for your and your family or friends!

Who am I?

who-am-iWhat it is: A talking and guessing game for a large group of people. You’re assigned a character or person and you have to ask questions to other players until you figure out who you are.

Best for: A medium to large group of people, maybe 10 to 20.

What you need: You’ll need names of characters or people written on cards. These can be themed, like all Star Wars names or all Disney princesses. The broader the theme, the more difficult it will be. You can make your own cards (3×5 cards work great) or I provide some free printable cards at the bottom of the post.

How to play: Before you start, tape a different card on each player’s forehead with masking tape. Do it carefully so they can’t see the name. Once all of the players have a card taped to their forehead, announce the start of the game.

Players are free to mingle throughout the room, talking to each other and trying to figure out which character they have taped on their forehead. They’re allowed to ask yes or no questions, but that’s all. Once they guess correctly, they can remove the card and go stand to the side until everyone guesses their card. (Or they can continue to mingle, answering others’ questions to help them guess.)

Encourage players to move around and mingle and talk to more than one person. It can be a good way to get a variety of clues, and it makes the game more of an icebreaker. Also, sometimes some players may not be familiar with all of the names on the cards, so you might have to talk to multiple people to get enough clues to guess who you are.

If you want an example, let’s say you’re playing in a group where everyone has a Disney character taped to their forehead. Here are some of the questions you might ask and the answers you might receive:

Am I a hero? Yes…

Am I American? Not applicable.

Not applicable? Well, you speak Standard American English, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re American (especially in animated movies, right?).

Am I a person? Yes.

Am I from the past or the future? Present…maybe sort of past?

Am I a boy? Yes.

Am I CGI or animated? CGI.

Am I Woody? No.

Buzz Lightyear? No.

Am I the main character? Yes.

Do I have super powers? Um…no, I would say no.

Am I a grown man? Yes.

Do I play sports? No.

Do I save a girl? Yes.

Do I have a co-star? Yes, several.

Do I have a sidekick? Not really.

Do I sing any songs? No.

Thank heavens.

I’m good, right? At heart…

Am I not good on the surface? You could say that.

Do I have a love interest? No.

Um…give me a hint. Maybe you’re bad guy…but that does not mean you are bad guy

Have you guessed it by now? (Side note: it’s one of my favorite Disney movies.) Leave a comment if you have!

Printables: I made a couple printables to get you started if you want to play this game. There’s a list of female and male Disney characters. (I broke it out by gender in case you have an all-girls sleepover party or something, or if you want to match gender to players.) I only used animated Disney movies, I included Pixar, and, though I didn’t include every movie or every character, there are definitely some obscure ones in there. Each card has the name of the character as well as the movie to make identifying the character easier. If there are some that you think are too difficult or that your group won’t be familiar with, just leave them out.

There are six cards to each 8.5×11 page. Just print and cut along the dotted lines. I would recommend printing on cardstock. Or, you could cut out the cards and mount them on 3×5 notecards.

Printable-markerFemale Disney Character Cards

Printable-markerMale Disney Character Cards

If you play, let me know how it goes! Or let me know if you have any requests of character lists you would like to use. Happy playing!