Games For Family Night

These games have been selected for the use of small family groups. In many of them parents and children will find an opportunity for entertainment during the long winter evenings in the home.

Family Games

Games For Family Night

.Twenty Questions

This is a quiet, entertaining and instructive game. One member of the family is given the privilege of thinking of some specific object anywhere in the universe. The others endeavor to guess what that object is and are only allowed to ask twenty questions in doing so. The one who thinks of the object to be guessed, only answers the questions asked by yes or no. It is exceptional when the object is not guessed, no matter how difficult it may be, before the twenty questions have been asked. Example,—the King of Belgium is selected by the player. The first question asked by another player is, "Is it in the animal kingdom?" This question is answered by "Yes".

Second question: "Is it in a menagerie?"

Answer: "No."

Third question: "Is it a man?"

Answer: "Yes."

Fourth question: "Is it an historical character?"

Answer: "Yes."

Fifth question: "Is he an American?"

Answer: "No."

And so the questions and answers continue. Any one has the privilege of asking a question at any time. The one who is thinking of the subject keeps a record of the number of questions asked. If any one has guessed within twenty questions, he has the opportunity of thinking of the new object to be guessed.

You Know Me

One of the group is given the privilege of starting the game by assuming he is some well known character, and makes the statement, "I am the man who invented the lightning rod". The others of the group endeavor to guess who he is. The one first guessing Benjamin Franklin is given the opportunity of continuing the game by assuming he is some other prominent character.


One member of the group is given the opportunity to select some object in plain sight in the room, to be guessed by the others. That individual says, "Come she come". Another individual says, "What does she come by?" The first individual answers, "By the letter——", and gives the first letter of the name of the object he has selected to be guessed. The others thereupon endeavor to guess what that object is. The one succeeding determines the next object to be guessed.

Hide the Thimble

All of the group leave the room, except one, who hides somewhere about the room a thimble. The others are then called back and endeavor to find it. If the thimble is hidden in a very difficult place, the one who hid it can inform the searchers if they are "warm" or "cold"; "warm" indicating that they are near, "cold" that they are not seeking in the right place.

Tit Tat Too

A diagram similar to the illustration (Fig. 1) is drawn on a sheet of paper. Two players only can participate. The first player marks a cross in any of the spaces between the lines; the next player makes a circle in any other space. The object of the game is to have one of the players succeed in placing three of his marks in a straight line, vertically, horizontally, or diagonally, upon the diagram. If neither succeeds, a new diagram is drawn and the game continues. The player making the crosses has won the game in (Fig. 2) as he has three crosses in a line.

Last Match

Three piles of matches are placed upon the table. Each pile can contain anywhere from ten to twenty matches. The object of the game is to make your opponent pick up the last match, two players playing. Playing proceeds by each player taking up from any one pile as many matches as he wishes. He may take all in the pile if he so desires. Each takes matches in turn, endeavoring to make it so that the opponent has to take the last match left on the board.

Your House, My House

A piece of string about three feet long is tied to the end of a slender stick of about the same length. A slip knot is tied in the end of the string. A loop about two inches in diameter is made with the slip knot on the top of the table. All of the players excepting the one holding the stick then place the point of their index fingers on the table within the loop. The one holding the stick, as a fish pole says, "Your house" or "My house". If he says "My house", he jerks the stick endeavoring to capture the forefinger of any of the players. He does not jerk the stick when he says "Your house". He endeavors to fool the others by saying abruptly, "Your house", several times before saying "My house" and pulling the string. The player avoiding being caught next takes the stick.

Catechism of States

Q.—Which is the best State for fresh pork?

A.—New ham, sure.

Q.—Which is the best for an early summer hotel?

A.—May inn.

Q.—In which should surgeons dwell?.


Q.—In which should laundrymen prosper?

A.—Washing done.

Q.—In which do impudent people dwell?

A.—Can sass.

Q.—Which is the best for deer-hunting?

A.—Collar a doe.

Q.—Which is the best for locksmiths?

A.—New brass key.

Q.—In which would you look for a morning attire?

A.—Day coat, eh!

Q.—In which is one likely to fail in getting a drink?


Q.—In which can you find a red letter?

A.—Florid A.

Q.—In which does the hustle make one sick?

A.—Ill o' noise.

Q.—In which is one likely to use his farming implements?

A.—I'd a hoe.

Q.—In which can one acquire an estate by marriage?

A.—Mary land.

Q.—In which is one letter of the alphabet taller than the others?

A.—O higher.

Q.—In which are bodies of land surrounded by water given a ride?

A.—Rhode Island.

Q.—Which is called to your mind by holding two $5 bills?

A.—Tenn I see.

Q.—Which would a woman rather have if she can't get a new sealskin


A.—New Jersey.

Q.—Which does the farmer's wife mention when she asks you to partake of apple sauce?

A.—Take sass.——Capper's Weekly (Topeka).

Step by Step

A bean bag or soft ball is needed for this game. All of the group excepting one who is selected to be leader sit on the bottom step of the stairs. The leader tosses the ball to the one at the right end of the line and receives it back. He tosses it to the second and third. Should any of the players miss catching the ball, all the other players move up one step, except the one missing; he remains on the first step. The leader then continues passing until all have been served; he then starts again at right of line. He passes the ball last to the one on the lower steps. Should any of the players on any step miss the ball, all the other players advance one step. The ones who advance from the lower step take a position at the right of the one who missed the ball on the step above. Should the leader miss the ball at any time, the one at the right on the highest step takes his place. The game continues until the top of the stairs is reached by one or more players. If more than one player reaches the top step then the progress continues down the stairs, a step for each miss by any of the players. When one player holds the most advanced step alone, the game starts over with that player as leader.

Spin the Platter

All of the players in the room are given a number. A tin plate is spun in the centre of the room by one of the players who calls some number. The one whose number is called endeavors to catch the plate before it has stopped spinning. If successful, he calls another number after again spinning the platter. Should the player fail to catch the platter before it has stopped spinning, a forfeit is demanded. All the players having forfeits are demanded to pay their forfeits by performing some stunt suggested by one of the group selected to determine the penalty.

Board and Nail Puzzle

A rectangular board 2 inches broad and 3 inches long has holes bored into it in the design herewith illustrated. Nails are stuck loosely in all of these holes, excepting the centre one. The puzzle is to jump all of the nails off the board so that only one nail is left, and that in the centre-hole on the board. The nails are jumped off in the same manner that men are jumped in the game of checkers. Jumping is allowed either forward, backward, or sideward, but not diagonally.

Spinning for 20

A wooden top is made by sawing off the end of a large spool and sticking a match or small stick through the hole in the centre. Four concentric circles are drawn upon a sheet of paper which should be about twelve inches square. Inside of the smallest circle, which should have a diameter of 2 inches, the number 20 is placed. The next circle outside of this one, having a diameter 2 inches greater, should be numbered 15, the next circle numbered 10, and the next 5.

The players spin the top in turn. Should it cease spinning so that the point of the pin lies within the centre circle, a score of 20 is made. Should it fall outside of the last circle, no score is made. The player first gaining 100 points wins the game.

Red Triangle Ring Toss

A triangle is drawn upon a board and nails are driven in, as indicated in the accompanying diagram. Six rubber Mason jar rings are used. The triangle is hung on the wall at a height equal to the height of the shoulders of the intended players. The players stand from ten to fifteen feet distant from the triangle and attempt to toss the rings over the projecting nails. Each nail is numbered according to the diagram. Each player tosses six rings at a turn. Any number of players can play. The player first securing a total of 25 points wins the game.

Floor Baseball

(Game invented by T.A. Coates)

A diagram is marked with chalk on the floor, as per accompanying diagram. Round wooden disks six inches in diameter, one inch thick at the centre tapering to a quarter of an inch at the circumference, in the form of a discus, are used. Rubber quoits may be used instead of disks, if available.

A player "up to bat" slides disks from a line thirty feet away from the baseball diamond until he has four balls, three strikes, or has earned one or more bases. If the disk, upon being slid forward, lies so that any part of it lies over any line, it constitutes one ball for the batter. If it should lie in the space marked "Strike", it constitutes a strike and the batter has one ball and one strike. The next slide, the disk lies in the space marked "1". This means that he places his disk on first base and the next player on his side comes to bat. The second player continues sliding the disks until he has made a base or is put out. Should he make a base, the player of the first disk is advanced one base. Should he make more than one base hit, the player on the base advances as many bases as the batter has made. The side continues at bat until three men are out. Thereupon, the other team comes to bat.

Should the disk land in "Sacrifice", base hit, home run, or should the one at bat gain first by four balls, the man or men on base or bases advance. Any man or men reaching home constitutes a run for that team. Should the disk land three times within the space marked "Strike" during the time at bat, the batsman is declared "out".

Two players can play this game as well as nine, each taking as many slides of the disk as is necessary to reach a base or get out. Then the other player does the same until the team has three out.

Blocks or stones can indicate the position of players on bases if only one disk is used in the game.


This is a good game to be played in the loft of a barn. One player is blindfolded and sits on the floor with legs folded under him, Chinese fashion. The other players creep up and say "Chic-a-dee" as near his ear as possible. He tries to hit said player before he can get beyond his reach, using a salt bag stuffed with leaves, or some type of padded stick. Should he succeed, the one he hits is blindfolded and the game continues.

Captain Kidd's Gold

This is a good game in which all the members of a family may find pleasure. It develops one's power of observation and memory. A small coin is hidden somewhere about the yard or in the woods, wherever the game may be played, by one of the players. All of the other players must be either blindfolded or placed in a position where they cannot see the player who is hiding the coin.

The player having hidden the coin returns to the group and describes just how they are to find same. For illustration:—he gives the following description of the course to follow. "Walk twenty paces in a direct line towards the apple tree at the far end of the garden. There you will find a small stone upon a larger one. Under the small stone you will find an arrow scratched upon the larger one. Follow the directions of this arrow fifteen paces. Then turn sharply to the left, go ten paces, and underneath a stone will be found Captain Kidd's Gold." The players may ask him to repeat the directions once. After repeating, however, they must follow the direction without further questioning. The one successful in finding the coin next hides the same.

This game can be made simple enough for small children to enjoy or difficult enough to prove a problem for adults.

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