Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

We had such a fun New Year's Eve party last night!  We invited over a bunch of friends from the neighborhood, served delicious food, and played games.  We turned it into a PJ party, so everyone was comfortable and ready to be silly.

Since we all have children, they were the first priority, of course.  We had toys and movies in the basement, but they didn't really like being alone down there, so it was kind of a juggling act keeping them entertained.  About 10 PM, the babies were really tired and so we used the bedrooms or any quiet space we could find to get the kids in bed.  It worked out pretty well, I think!

As far as food goes, we had everyone bring something, but everyone brought a lot, so we had tons of food.  We had a vegetable tray, ham, crackers, cheeseball, pesto pinwheels, pizza dip, bean dip, and spinach artichoke dip, little smokies, meatballs, baked beans, cookies and candy, popcorn, and to drink--Italian cream sodas and virgin strawberry pina coladas.  Being a bunch of LDS moms and dads who don't drink alcohol, the fancy drinks were super fun!

The games were a hoot.  Since I had a hard time looking up good group games online, I'll write most of them down here for future reference:

The Paper bag game:
Start with a brown paper grocery bag on the floor.  Without touching the ground (except for the soles of your feet), everyone takes turns bending over and picking up the bag with their mouth.  If you get the bag, you rip off where your mouth touched the bag (you can rip off as much as you want).  If you touch the floor, you're eliminated. Last person to pick up the bag wins!

Four on a Couch:
You're going to need at least 4 couples for this one, and a couch or bench that seats 4 people.  You're also going to need a place to sit for everyone playing the game (the 4 couch spots are 4 of your places to sit), plus 1 extra empty chair.  Begin the game with everyone seated boy-girl-boy-girl, and make sure all the spots on the couch are full.  Now, write everyone's name on a piece of paper.  Everyone draws a name but keeps it secret to themselves.  The person seated to the right (or left, you choose, but be consistent) of the empty chair calls out a name of another player.  Whoever drew that name moves to the empty chair.  The goal is to get 4 boys or 4 girls on the couch.  As the game progresses, you'll try to learn everyone's new name, boot off the opposite gender from the couch, and replace them with people of your same gender.  For us, the first round went relatively quickly, but the second round was super hard and even more fun, as we mixed up the names from the first round.  Way fun!

Drawing game: 
Everyone begins with a small booklet of paper, like a notepad, with about 10-15 pages in it, or 1 page per player.  On the first page write your own name, and something you're going to draw.  It can be anything.  We kept ours G-rated.  Then, turn over that page so you can't see the words you're writing, then draw your picture.  Pass the picture to your neighbor, and they will look at the picture and write down what it is on the next page, then pass it to their neighbor.  They draw what is written, and pass it along down the line.  You keep alternating drawing a picture and writing down what you see.  The game is over when the notepads have gone all the way around the picture, or when you run out of pages.  Then you open them back up and see how things have changed.  Some can be pretty silly! 

"What if?" game:
 Everyone gets 2 small pieces of paper.  On the first paper, write a question that begins with "What if?"  Put all the questions in a basket.  Everyone draw a new question (don't take your own), and answer that on the second piece of paper.  Put the responses back in the basket, but hold on to the question, and then draw a new response.  Read your question with your new response and see how well they work!  Our favorite new pairing that a man read: "What if I were a woman?" with the original answer to the question "What if there were no moms and dads?": all the kids would run around naked and nothing would be cleaned up and nobody would know where babies come from.  AHAHA!  Some worked really well.  We found that the more ambiguous questions worked better, and the more specific answers were funnier.  But you'll find your own rhythm.

He said/She said:
Everyone begins with a printed paper that has written on it:
His name was
Her name was
They met at
He was wearing
She was wearing
He thought
She thought
He said
She said
And then they

Make sure there's space between each line to write.  Then you start by writing the first line, and folding down the paper so nobody can see what you wrote.  Pass it to your neighbor and write the next line, fold it down, and away you go until everything is filled in.  At the end, read your little stories.  We found funniest are when you use names of people in the room or people that everyone knows, and the more detailed answers are the funnier ones.

Act like a character game:
Everyone writes down the name of a famous person that everyone in the room will know.  It can be alive, dead, fictitious or real, doesn't matter.  The best choices are ones with iconic behaviors, but you can pick anyone.  Then everyone stands in a line facing the same direction.  The person at the back of the line draws a character from the bowl, and then taps shoulder of the person in front of them.  Silently (except for choking back the inevitable laughter), they act out the person on the paper.  Once they think they've got it, they tap the next person in line and mimic the actions, and so on down the line until the person at the front has to try and figure out who the original character was.  I think the only one we got right was Michael Jackson, because of the famed crotch grab. :)

One person steps out of the room into a location where they can't hear what is going on.  Everyone else in the room selects an "ailment" to befall the whole crowd.  It could be that you can't answer without touching your face, or you must answer every question in the form of another question, or that you answer the previous person's question, etc.  The "Psychiatrist" returns to the room and begins asking the patients questions to try to determine what the ailment is.   You can set a time limit or question limit, if you want, but this gets pretty crazy on its own merits.

Everyone begins by sitting in a circle and choosing a distinct, but nonchalant "sign."  It could be pulling an earlobe, kissing the air, anything.  The signs are then passed around the room by first making your own sign (that's when you accept the sign and effectively "have it") and then making the sign of someone else in the room.  Once that person accepts the sign, you no longer "have it."  This is all done silently, and can go very quickly, or very slowly.  The person who is "it" sits or stands in the middle of the circle and tries to determine who has the sign.  They can ask or point to the person who has the sign.  If you get caught with the sign, you are then "it." 

Last night when we finally went to bed, we were still giggling at some of the craziness.  It was certainly a great way to ring in 2013.  We definitely want to have a game night more often, but maybe not stay up until midnight next time. :)  Happy New Year, one and all!

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