Thursday, December 15, 2011

Photo Scavenger Hunt

Divide your group into a few teams (no more than 5 per team). Each team will need to have a digital camera or camera phone (capable of taking good quality pictures). Everyone gets a list with the same items on it that they need to go photograph. Set a time limit (I've usually done it from 30 minutes to an hour) and send them off. There is a rule that the group has to stay together to take the pictures (no dividing-and-conquering, which can be tempting especially with camera phones that can text the photos to one person), and to make it even harder you can require that everyone in the group who isn't taking the picture needs to be in it.

This game can be designed to be played just on one campus or in one neighborhood, or across town. The lists need to be prepared in advance.

When the time limit is up, have everyone meet back where they started. Import the pictures onto a computer so everyone can gather around and see the pictures the other groups took (and decide if any of them need to be disqualified). Whichever team found and correctly photographed the most items on the list wins.

Fun list ideas:
A firefighter
The "Welcome to" sign of your city
The golden arches
A man with a combover
The biggest thing you can find
The ugliest animal you can find
Someone playing an instrument

paper (a list of places for each group)
pencils (one per group)
digital cameras (or camera phones)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


This is also known as "Reverse Hide and Seek." It's an ideal game for a big group, more so than traditional Hide and Seek (in which everyone is hiding at the same time and know where their friends are, making it really lame when they all find each other once they're found).

To play Sardines, everyone starts in one room or location. One person is selected to go and hide, while everyone else stays and counts to 100 (or whatever number they agree to with the "hider"). When they reach 100, everyone splits up to search for the person who is hidden. If anyone finds him/her, they hide with him/her. This continues until everyone is hidden except for one person who is still looking for the original hider (and everyone else who has joined him/her). The game can get pretty silly if 6 people are trying to fit under the same table or in the same closet.

This game also works outdoors, so long as the area is limited (such as a park or yard).

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Real Life "Clue"

This is a great game to play on a college campus.

Make your own cards for the game, using campus buildings as the possible murder scenes. Be creative with your weapons, and use 6 people from your real group to be the possible killers (the cards are fun to keep and reuse later).

Divide into 2 teams. Draw out one person card, one weapon card and one location card from the total cards. Shuffle the rest and distribute them equally between each team. Each team will then have a few clues as to who is NOT the killer, what is NOT the weapon and what is NOT the location.

The teams leave and head for different buildings to start making their guesses. They have to be in a building to guess it as a location, just as in real Clue. (There isn't a limit to how many steps they can take, though. So no dice are needed.)

Each team takes turns calling in its guesses to the other team, which will tell them if their guess has a part wrong and then reveal to them one of their clues that counters the guess.

Whichever team correctly identifies the murderer, weapon and location first wins.

Paper (and possible pictures/markers/pens and glue, depending on how good you want your cards to be)
Cell phones

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Adverb Game

Send someone out of the room while the rest of the group chooses an adverb.

An adverb is (more or less) a word describing a way that something can be done. Examples: softly, angrily, musically, solemnly, cheerfully, flirtatiously, desperately.

The person who left the room is called back in and chooses picks a few people from the main group to act out a scene, such as “shopping for groceries,” “on a first date” or “washing the dishes.”

The actors pretend to perform the task, but do so according to the adverb the group selected. (Flirtatiously would involve a lot of giggling, winking and hair-tossing, for example. Musically might have everyone singing their conversations.)

The individual then has to guess what the adverb is. When they succeed, they pick someone else to leave the room and the game begins again.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Graham Cracker House Decorating

This is a budget-friendly way to do gingerbread houses for the holidays.

Instead of buying or baking gingerbread for walls, use graham crackers. Buy a wide variety of candy from the bulk bins in a grocery store. The candies could be lemon drops, gumdrops, red hots, red vines, or anything you want. Make or buy frosting to use as cement to hold the houses together, and build and decorate just as you would a gingerbread house. Build each houses on a cardboard square, so it has a sturdy base and can be thrown away when it's old and stale.

You can have design contests for the best house. Try building a mansion, or a model of a real building.

When everyone is done, take pictures of the finished product. Then eat or destroy -- or deliver the houses to friends, family, teachers or ward members and the activity becomes a service project.

graham crackers
heavy cardboard cut into squares

Saturday, December 10, 2011


To play "Smurfing," select one person to leave the group. Everyone else sits together and chooses an activity that ends in "-ing." Examples: crying, laughing, kissing, picking your nose, blowing out candles.

The person returns to the group and tries to discover what the chosen activity is, by asking one person at a time a question about their "smurfing" habits, or "smurfing" in general.

The person might ask questions like these:
"When is the last time you smurfed?"
"Do you smurf alone?"
"Does everyone smurf?"
"How often do you smurf?"
"Is smurfing embarrassing?"

They question can only be posed to one person at a time, although it may be asked more than once.

This worked really well once when my FHE group played. I picked the word; it was "dying."

"How often do you smurf?" resulted in several possible answers:

"I am constantly smurfing," or "I can only smurf once, and I haven't yet."

You might want to set limits on what words can be chosen to keep the game appropriate.

Friday, December 9, 2011


To play this game, have everyone stand or sit in a circle. Each person decides on their own "sign" and shares it with the group. Each sign should be a small motion or signal, and can be anything from a thumbs up to a wink to blowing a kiss to a dance move.

Go around the group a couple of times so that everyone gets to know everyone's sign. Now pick a person to be "it" and have them stand in the middle of the circle.

The way the game is played is one person starts, and "passes" to another player. They do this by performing another player's sign. To accept the sign, the receiver performs their own sign again. To pass it, they select another player's sign and do that, the person does it to receive, and so the game goes.

Select a person to start the passing. Have the person in the middle of the circle close their eyes and count to 10. This gives the first passer time to pass the sign on to someone else. After 10 seconds, the person in the middle can open his or her eyes.

The person in the middle of the circle is trying to guess who currently "has it," so the other players try to be discreet (such as doing the signs when the person is looking at people in a different part of the circle). If the person in the center catches the one who "has it," they rejoin the circle and the one who had it becomes the new person in the middle of the circle, and a new round begins.