How to play “Families”
This is the game we were playing at Jeremy’s birthday celebration that some of you might have seen in out Instagram stories! We got a tonnnnn of you asking what the game was and how to play it because it looks so fun;) AND IT IS SO FUN!!! And so easy + free! Hopefully, I can explain it well enough here for you to try it out with your friends/family/church!
All you need is a group of awesome people (10+ is best), scrap paper, pens, and a bowl or hat.
- Have everyone sit in a somewhat circular formation, and have one person pass out scrap pieces of paper to each person. Then distribute pens to everyone.
- Have everyone write down a name on their slip of paper (keeping their name a secret from everyone else). The name must be a name that more than 80% of the people playing the game will recognize. For example, if you are playing with a bunch of kids under 20, don’t pick some famous author from the 80’s… Examples of names can include characters in tv shows and movies, musicians, celebrities, presidents, Disney princesses, or the name of a person that everyone playing the game knows. Here are some examples from when we played: Martha Stewart, Justin Bieber, Jesus, Buddy the Elf, Einstein, GI joe, Nemo, and Harry Potter.
- Have one person collect all the names on the slips of paper and put them in a big bowl or hat without looking at them.
- Have that same person read off all of the names in the bowl slowly, in the same order, twice through. During this time everyone else should be trying to remember as many names as they can without writing them down.
- Now the game starts. One person will start the game by taking a guess at someone else’s name. For example, Jeremy started, and he asked: “Matt, are you Thomas Jefferson…” To which Matt responded, “No.” Now it’s Matt’s turn to guess who someone else is. So he asks, “Cody are you Buddy the Elf.” If Cody said no, it would be Cody’s turn to guess, but Cody was in fact Buddy the Elf, so Cody is now part of Matt’s “family.” Matt and Cody are essentially on a team, but Matt is the head of the family and he is the only one that is allowed to make guesses and respond. Cody’s job is to help Matt recall names, and try to figure out who everyone else is. There are some definite tactics here, but you’ll learn those as you play!
- This guessing game becomes less random over time. As more people’s names have been guessed, and have joined families, there are fewer names to guess – but a few of them have probably been forgotten and not mentioned during the whole game (the goal is to choose a name that you think will be forgotten or that no one would pick you to write down…). Towards the end of the game, it often ends up being one giant team vs. one person who’s name has been forgotten… Or, it could be two teams where both have forgotten each other’s name. Or sometimes it’s just a race between teams to match the final few names with people! The more people you play with the harder it is to remember names, and the longer the game takes!
Let us know in the comments if anything is unclear, or if you have questions! We hope you love this game, and share us much laughter and joy while playing it as we have!