Fun Family Games

Looking for a few fun family games to play at home?

One of my favorite things about growing up was playing games as a family. Every Monday night, we’d have Family Home Evening, which always ended with a fun, creative game and a treat. My Dad has a talent for thinking up creative, fun family games for us to play, and my mom always made a yummy treat.

During the winter, most of our family games took place indoors, mainly around the kitchen table. I don’t remember all of the games we played as a family, but I do remember a lot of the ones I loved the best. And now I play those favorites with my own family.

We have ‘game and treat’ every Sunday night, and we alternate between these types of fun family games and the board games that my husband loves.

My own children love these fun family games as I much as I always did, and I’ll bet your children will love them, too!

Some of them are games that everyone knows. I think others came straight from my Dad’s imagination. Either way, they make for a silly, laughter-filled, fun evening together and lots of memories!

All of these are super simple so players of all ages can learn quickly, and much less rowdy than our indoor ball games!

Because these games don’t require special equipment, supplies or preparation, they are perfect for last-minute entertainment — silliness and laughter guaranteed! These are the best games for families to play together, and they’re also fun game night party ideas!

(If you are looking for online games to play as a family, my friend, Sara has a fantastic list of the best family games for you. If you’re looking for some easy indoor fitness games, my friend, Eva, has a great list!)

You probably need a family game night tradition at your house — and these games are a great place to start!

Family Games to Play at Home

The Newspaper Game

Some of these fun family games are geared toward older children. But this game is great for all ages — toddlers to grown ups!

All you need is a newspaper (or magazine or other junk mail) rolled up so it’s a long cylinder. Pick a theme for your game. For example, animals.

The players all sit in a circle (on furniture rather than the floor) and one person is chosen to be ‘it’. Each of the other players chooses an identity to go along with the theme. If you had chosen animals as your theme, players might choose to be: pig, donkey, zebra, giraffe, lion, butterfly, etc…

Go around the circle and have everyone say their chosen identity out loud, so all of the other players are familiar with each other’s identities. Someone starts the game by yelling out another player’s identity, for example, “Pig!” Pig then tries to yell out another player’s identity before ‘it’ can bonk him on the head.

If ‘it’ is able to bonk a player on the head before that player can yell out another player’s identity, then that player must trade places with ‘it’, becoming the new ‘it’, and the old ‘it’ starts the new game by yelling out any other player’s identity.

Some other ideas for themes include: books of the Old Testament, colors, holidays, classical artists, etc… We actually use this game a lot in our homeschool, when we’re trying to memorize facts. My kiddos love it!

Paper Sack Game

All you need to play this game is a large, paper sack. Grocery stores used to bag your groceries in large, paper sacks. They generally don’t use sacks anymore, but you can ask for one when you check out. Or you could use a large, paper gift bag.

It needs to be a paper sack that will stand up on it’s own; it needs to be large — at least a foot off the floor; and it needs to be easily rippable paper.

Family members line up and take turns bending over, balanced on one foot, hands behind their backs, to pick the sack up with their teeth. Each participant takes a turn, with those who are unable to dropping out of the rotation.

Then someone rips the top edge off the sack, making it shorter. Each participant again attempts to pick the newly-shortened sack up with his teeth, while standing on one foot, hands behind his back.

The sack grows shorter with each round, as the pool of participants shrinks. It’s a little like a game of limbo, and a lot of fun to watch!

My sister was always the master at this game, much to my chagrin. And two of my sons are now the masters!

Reverse Charades 

Don’t like the spotlight on you when you are acting? This game is perfect for you, because just one teammate guesses while the rest of the team acts out the word!

All you need are a few slips of paper and a pencil. Have each player write down something to act out, then fold all the slips of paper and place them in a hat.

Divide your group up into two teams. Let one team go at a time.  Have the group pick a word from the hat and make sure that everyone in the group gets to read what that is written down.  Then time them, and let the group act out whatever was written down for their guesser.

No speaking or sound effects (or any noise at all) allowed!

If their guesser correctly guesses the word in under a minute, their team gets a point.  Then let the other team’s group draw a word and act out for their guesser.  The team with the most points at the end wins.

Hilarity will ensue! In fact, someone in my family (I won’t be mean and tell exactly who) wet their pants on our brand new couch as we played this game!

The Greatest Game Ever Played 

This is a fun variation on charades. To play, first send three people out of the room. Everyone else chooses a person, an object, and a place. For example, you might choose a ninja with a laptop in the grocery store.

Once you’ve decided, bring only the first person back into the room. He will ask someone in the room ‘who’ it was. That person will act out who it was, silently. No words or sound effects allowed! The first person will then ask someone else what the ‘object’ was. Again, it will be acted out like in charades. The first person will then ask a different person ‘where’ it happened.

After it’s acted out, the second person is brought back in the room and the first person acts out all three things: person, object, and place for the second person. Then, the third person is brought back in the room and the second person acts out all three things: who, what, and where for the third person. The third person then has to guess what the three things are.

It’s hilarious to watch how the results change with each reenactment! You might want to cover your couch with plastic if you have any laughers prone to wetting!


This fun family game will work best if you have older kids or teenagers. Young children are too honest, ha, ha! It also works best in a group of at least 12 or more people. We used to play it in college with 30+ people squeezed into our small apartment.

It looks complicated because there are so many steps, but it really isn’t. Trust me! Run through one complete game using the directions, and you’ll have it down pat.

The objective of the game is to eliminate the Mafia before they can kill the townspeople/detectives.

  1. Cut a piece of paper into pieces; 1 slip of paper for each person playing, minus 1 (the moderator doesn’t need one). Label the pieces with M (for mafia), D (for detective) or T (for townsperson). There should be 1 mafia and 1 detective per 3 townsfolk, rounded down. So if you have 12 players, you would need 11 slips of paper, 2 of which are labeled M, 2 of which are labeled D, and 7 of which are labeled T.
  2. Select a moderator (preferably someone who has played this game before and knows the process).
  3. Each player should secretly draw a piece of paper without showing it to anyone else. The paper that is picked is the character that that person plays. Once everyone knows their role, the moderator will begin the game.
  4. Play the game through several day and night rounds (both are described below) until either the Mafia have been eliminated, or the number of Mafia and townspeople is equal (in this case, the mafia wins!). The game begins with a day cycle, in which the Mafia do not yet know who the other Mafia members are.
  5. The moderator begins the night cycle by telling everyone to close their eyes and put their heads down.
  6. When everyone is ‘asleep,’ the moderator should instruct the mafia to wake up and choose a victim. The people who have the mafia cards will open their eyes and decide amongst themselves (quietly and with as little movement as possible) who they want to kill. They inform the moderator of who their victim is (by pointing to him or her) and the moderator will then tell the Mafia to go back to sleep.
  7. The moderator will instruct the detectives to wake up. The detectives will then point out one person that they suspect to be a Mafia member.
  8. The moderator will then instruct everyone to wake up and will create a short story about whoever the mafia ‘killed’ and whether the detectives were correct.
  9. Hold discussions. The townspeople (including the detectives and mafia) should discuss recent events. Nobody may show their slips of paper, although they can try to convince others that they are a certain role. The truth is optional. Once the discussion has evolved to a point where somebody has a suspicion, play proceeds to accusations.
  10. Accusations and defense. At this point, someone may make an accusation against another player stating that they think that the other person is part of the Mafia. Once an accusation has been made, it must be seconded by another player in order for the accusation to be taken to a vote. When someone has been accused and seconded, the accuser must explain the reasoning behind the accusation. Then other players may speak if they believe that the accusation is just. Anyone may defend themselves or another player from an accusation.
  11. Hold a vote. The moderator now asks who thinks that the accused is guilty and a vote is taken. The voting process may or may not be anonymous. When a player is voted guilty, the accused shows his slip of paper and is now considered dead and may no longer speak or participate. The day round continues until someone has been declared guilty and removed from the game, and then the night round begins again.
  12. The townspeople win if the mafia are eliminated, and the mafia win if they are able to eliminate all of the townsfolk but two.


We played this before it was turned into a board game. It’s super easy! And all you need is a chalkboard or white board, a dictionary and a couple of writing implements

Divide the group into teams of at least three. Give each team a name and flip a coin to decide who goes first.

On each team’s turn, they choose someone to draw. The judge prepares a one-minute timer, opens the dictionary to a random page and points at a word with his eyes closed. Then the judge says “Go!” and starts the timer.

The player draws the word as quickly and legibly as possible. The goal is for the team to correctly guess the word within the allotted time limit. If the team correctly guesses the word, they receive a point. Then it’s the next team’s turn.


Straw Game(s)

To play this fun family game, my dad would use painter’s tape to mark our large table up like a soccer field, with goals at either end of the table. He’d then give everyone a straw, organize us into two teams and toss a marshmallow into the middle.

You play this game just like soccer, only the marshmallow is the ball, and all team members blow the ‘ball’ with their straws. Touching the ‘ball’ is not allowed!

Set a time limit for your game and the team with the moist points wins.

Fun variation: 

Just mark a starting line and finish line across the table, give each person a marshmallow and a straw, and have a race blowing your marshmallows from one end to the other.

Fun variation: 

Using the same starting and finish lines, suck through the straw to hold the marshmallow (or m&m or other candy) up to transport it from start to finish. So you’ll have a sucking race instead of a blowing race.

Fun variation: 

Hand out a straw and a bowl to each player. Set a timer for one minute. Dump the entire bag of marshmallows (or m&m’s or skittles) onto the table and start the timer. The players will use the suction of the straw to pick up individual pieces of candy and put them into their own bowl. The player with the most candy at the end of a minute wins!

Sardines in the DARK!

This fun family game is particularly fun to play in large buildings. During college, we played it in the dark, empty buildings on campus. But it’s also fun to play in your house (or yard when it’s warm).

Choose someone to go and hide, while everyone else counts loudly to 60. Once you reach 60, everyone goes to find the person who has hidden. When you find the hider, you hide with him!

It’s kind of fun to try to squish 10 people into your pantry. And hiding in the dark just makes it all the more fun! You might have to pair very small children up with an older sibling, but they’ll all get a huge kick out of this game!


All you need are pencils, paper and a dictionary for this fun family game.

Hand out the paper and writing implements to all players. Choose one player to start as the reader.

The reader searches the dictionary to find an obscure word that no one in the group knows.  The best words are those which have humorous, strange or unbelievable definitions.

Each player makes up a definition for the word, writes it on a piece of paper, and hands it to the reader. The reader writes down the real definition.

The reader mixes up the papers,  then repeats the word and reads all the definitions; the correct one mixed in with the phony ones. To avoid confusion, give each definition a number, and read the number with the definition.

After reading each definition, call for a vote.  Read all the definitions again, asking after each one if any player wants to vote for that definition as the real one.  Players must vote, but can not vote on their own definitions.

After everyone has voted, read the correct definition and tally the score.  Then pass the dictionary so another player has the chance to be the reader.

Players earn one point every time someone votes for their phony definition.  Players earn two points if they vote for the correct definition. The game is over when each player has been the reader once. The player with the most points wins!

Ring Game

You’ll need to thread a length (about 2′ per player) of yarn or rope through a ring, then tie the ends together. Choose one player to be ‘it’. Sit the rest of the players in a circle, and have them all grab the rope with both hands. ‘It’ stands in the middle of the circle.

Everyone slides both hands together and apart constantly, sliding the ring back and forth around the circle, while ‘it’ tries to guess who is in possession of the ring. When ‘it’ guesses correctly, he trades places with the person who had the ring and the game starts over.

Your children will love all of these fun family games!

Candy bar game

You’ll need a pair of dice, some random utensils, assorted articles of clothing (such as sunglasses, a hat, scarf, and gloves), a newspaper, and, of course, a few candy bars to play this fun family game.

First, wrap each candy bar in a layer or two of newspaper and secure the wrapping tightly with tape.

Sit everyone around the table. Place a wrapped candy bar, along with the dice and the utensils in the middle of the table. Pile the assorted clothing nearby.

Someone takes the dice and begins rolling. As soon as he starts rolling, the person to his right has to put on all the clothing as fast as she can and, then, using the utensils, attempt to unwrap and eat the candy bar.

As soon as the dice-roller rolls doubles, the candy-bar-eater has to stop, no matter how far along she is in her process of unwrapping/eating the candy bar, take off the clothing, and pass it to the dice-roller so he gets his chance to put on the clothes, unwrap the candy bar, and eat the candy bar.

Meanwhile the next person in the circle is hurrying to roll doubles, and the game goes on and on. Eventually, the candy bar travels all around the circle. Those not rolling the dice or trying to eat laugh and giggle at the silly sight of someone trying to unwrap and eat a candy bar with a fork and knife while wearing gloves, a scarf and sunglasses.

Be sure to keep your phone handy to take pictures of all the silliness!

The Flour Game

All you need to play this fun family game is a plate, a plastic cup, and a quarter. And each participant needs a butter knife.

Pack the cup tightly with flour. Place the plate over the top of the food container and invert. You should have an upside-down, cup-shaped flour object on your plate, kind of like a sand castle made of flour. Place a quarter gently in the middle of the flour cylinder.

Each participant will use a butter knife to gently slice away the flour, from the top of the cylinder to the bottom, until someone accidentally makes the quarter fall into the flour.

The person who made the quarter fall into the flour has to fish it out with his teeth. No hands allowed! Hilarity guaranteed! Be sure to have your camera ready to immortalize the awesomeness of losing!

Cookie Face

You’ll need several cookies. The objective is to use your facial muscles to move a cookie from your forehead to your mouth, without using your hands, in under 60 seconds.

1. One player sits in a chair. He should lean his head back and place a cookie in the center of his forehead, not touching his eyebrows.
2. Set a timer for 60 seconds.
3. He can only use only his face muscles to move the cookie from his forehead to his mouth. The cookie must remain in contact with his face, so he can’t try to toss it from his forehead and catch it in his mouth.
4. If the cookie falls before reaching his mouth, he must start over.
5. The cookie must actually be in his mouth, held securely by his lips and teeth, within 60 seconds to count.

Don’t you love fun family games that are this low-prep, easy to play and amusing?

Two Truths and a Lie

This game is fun to play in a getting-to-know-you situation. Families probably already know too much about each other!

Sit in a circle and take turns going around the circle,  stating 3 things about yourself — one lie and two truths. No supplies needed!!

Selfie Hot Potato

All you need is a camera with a delay timer and a pencil and paper.

As a group, make a list of silly challenges. Think of things like

This fun family game is similar to hot potato, except you are passing around a camera pointed at your face. Set the timer for less than a minute. If the timer goes off while you’re holding it, you get a funny selfie taken, AND you also have to complete one of the silly challenges.

I hope you’ve found a couple of new, seriously fun family games for your next family night (or family party)! I’d love to hear about your favorite games to play together in the comments below.

Don’t forget to pin all these hilariously fun family games for later!

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  1. These look so fun! We play games at holidays and birthdays and I know my family will love this!

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      Yes! Family games are so much fun!

  2. Some brilliant games to play, most I’ve never heard of before! Pinned this for future reference.

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      Thanks, Ciara! They really are such fun family games!

  3. These are so fun! I am absolutely saving this post for these long winter days we have coming up! Some of these, (like Two Truths and a Lie) could also be played at office holiday parties or gatherings. Love this.

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      Love that — they would be fun games for office parties, too!

  4. This is such a great list of games for the family! I’ve never heard of most of them! You are so creative. Thanks for the ideas!

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      I wish I could take credit for them all, but we played these games as a family while I was growing up. My Dad is terrific at making up games! I’ve also seen lots of these fun family games elsewhere, so we weren’t the only family playing them. Regardless, they are a whole lot of fun!

  5. All of these sound so like a lot of fun! My kids and I have played a few of these or slight variations.

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      It’s amazing how many variations of these fun family games there are!

  6. Oh, these are awesome. My husband’s family never played games, and his brother’s wife and I have integrated them into almost every family get-together. It has really livened up the family parties on that side! We started when our kids were toddlers. They are in college now, and still love to participate. 🙂

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      I love that, Leslie! I bet you are the ‘Fun Aunt’ to all the cousins! Family games are so much fun!

  7. I’m pinning this as my husband and I do games for our youth group at church. I’m familiar with some but the candy bar game is one I want them to try! Also we play a version of mafia but we call it spy.

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      What a fun thing to be in charge of! I hope your youth group loves these fun family games!

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      I wish I had videos of all the times we’ve played that — so funny! Reverse charades is definitely a fun family game!

  8. Omgmgmg these are amazing. Definitely writing a few down to do for our family game night.

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      Thanks, Michelle! I hope you have fun!

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