This blog contains affiliate links. Please see the disclosure post for more information.

100 Ways to Keep the Generations Happy this Holiday Season


It's November, which means that the season of sickness, holidays, and family gatherings.  After all the food has been cleared from the table, you still have hours of time to fill with your family.  You could answer invasive questions and endure awkward pauses, or you could get everyone laughing and moving with these 100 group activities.


As I put together this list, I purposefully chose games that would be challenging, but doable, for all ages, from kid to great-grandparents.  Most of the activities use normal household objects or easy to obtain things and many of them use the same types of things over and over.  Don't be afraid to spread the workload out among your guest and have others bring the elements for the games too.


I have assembled a list of 100 games and activities for all the fall and winter holidays, including Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years.  There are also over 30 ideas for general winter fun, suitable for classrooms, homeschoolers, snow days, non-holiday gatherings, or whenever you might need some activities to keep people busy and out of trouble.  Click the colored text to visit blog posts that give you more information about the games.





1- THANK "PHONE" NESS SCAVENGER HUNT (KC Edventures)
Celebrate the last year of your life by reviewing your pictures and trying to be the first to find all the pictures on your scavenger hunt sheet.  Free printable.

2- HOLD THE FIVE KERNELS (Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids)
Remember the story of the pilgrims and tell the legend of their harsh winter with five Indian Corn kernels.  Click the post to see 16 other ways to learn with Indian Corn.

3- STUFF THE TURKEY GAME (Kid Friendly Things to Do)
Start with a paper bag turkey and take turns throwing pieces of toy stuffing into the bag.  The stuffing should make it equally challenging for all ages.

4- THANKSGIVING SCATTERGORIES (Meredith Plays)
With this free printable, you'll be able to play the classic game, Scattegories, but with holiday-themed categories.  Amuse everyone while waiting for the turkey to rest or in between football games!

5- WOULD YOU RATHER (Mom of 6)
Another classic game with a Thanksgiving twist.  Great for times of waiting, dinner conversation, classrooms, or long trips to grandmother's house.

6- SHAKE YOUR TAIL FEATHERS (Play Party Plan)
I've seen several varieties of this minute to win it game.  Not to be played with the self-conscious (know your audience), the game consists of strapping and empty box to your bottom and shaking it like there's no tomorrow.

7- THANKSGIVING PICTIONARY (Somewhat Simple)
Take suggestions from the audience of Thanksgiving words, then set up your own custom pictionary game.  For other times of the year, use this same concept to make a game specific to your family.

8- NEEDLE IN THE CORN (Frugal Fun for Boys)
If you're feeling a bit mean, you can hide a real sewing needle in the bowl of corn, but the blogger mom recommends coloring a few kernels.  Time family members to see who can find all of them first.

9- PARADE SCAVENGER HUNT (Mom on the Side)
When you're settled in with your family for endless commercials about Black Friday and the parade of big balloons, turn it into a family game with this printable scavenger hunt.

10- FAMILY FEUD GAME (Play Party Plan)
Play the classic game complete customized to your family.  This seems like another great one for a family reunion or any time of the year.






1- SNOW SHOVEL RACE (Thinking Zing)
You have to click on the link, because there are several snowball games in this post.  Perfect for a winter family gathering, a classroom party, an Elf visit, or anywhere else you need a few easy to prep games.

2- WHEELBARROW RACES THROUGH THE HOUSE (Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids)
If the kids are bouncing off the walls from all the sugar plums and bad weather, help them get out some energy with heavy work activities like wheelbarrow races.

3- MAKE A TOILET PAPER SNOWMAN (Mom of 6)
Divide into teams and race to see who can make the best TP snowman.  So silly and so fun!

4- MAKE SLIME TOGETHER (Little Bins for Little Hands)
Slime is a trend that may have settled a bit, but it hasn't gone away.  If Grandma and Grandpa haven't been indoctrinated with the amazing properties of slime, maybe your winter gathering is a good time to make that happen.

5- HOST YOUR OWN OLYMPICS (Toddler Approved)
Pick a country, grab some international snacks, and get to competing!

6- SNOWMAN STACK MINUTE TO WIN IT (Kid Friendly Things to Do)
Use chopsticks to build a stack of marshmallows.  See how many you can get before they topple over.

7- SOCK SNOWBALL FIGHT (Grandma Ideas)
This no-sew tutorial shows you how to use white socks and a bit of quilt batting to create a fun indoor game.  Hand Grandma a bucket and see how many kids she can hit.

8- SARAN WRAP BALL PASS (I Save A 2 Z)
This classic group game is great for times when everyone just wants to sit.  No special skills are required to unwrap the prizes so, it's great for all the ages and stages.

9- SILLY DRAWING GAME (Housing a Forest)
Quiet everyone down for a listening game with hilarious results.

10-  SNOW GLOVE TASKS (Let's Lasso the Moon)
Put on some mittens and try to build a puzzle or complete



11- BEAN BAG TOSS (Kindergartners on the Go)
Just like the old fashioned summer egg race, put a snowball on your spoon and see who can carry it the furthest without dropping it.

12- CLOTHESPIN DROP (Little House on the Prairie)
Paint some clothespins like snowman (or family members) and take turns dropping them into a bottle or jar.  Make it more challenging by having people spin around before dropping them in.

13- SNOWMAN MATCH GAME (Red Ted Art)
I love the craft element to this game.  Make some identical snowmen, but add a symbol, letter, or number to the bottom of the snowman.  Then, take turns looking for a match.

14- SNOWBALL BLOW RACE (Primary Playground)
Be the first player to blow your white pom pom across the finish line to win!  Super easy set up and fun for all ages.

15- SNOWMAN TOSS GAME (Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails)
Turn ping pong balls into snowman faces and then take turns tossing them into a bucket.  Increase the challenge by using a time limit.

16- WINTER CLOTHES DRESSING RACE (Clothes for the Whole Family)
Put everyone's winter clothes in a pile and time the kids to see how quickly they can get dressed for the snow.  Once all the kids are dressed, send them outside.  Ahh!  Quiet.

17- SNOWMAN BOWLING (A Mother Thing)
Click on the blog link for some adorable printable snowmen pins or craft your own out of old bottles.

18- DON'T BREAK THE ICE (Meck Mom)
This dice game of luck would be even more wintery with a tiny penguin from Safari Ltd on the nose tissue ice.  Roll the dice and poke holes in your ice to determine whose penguin will fall first.

19- INDOOR ICE SKATING (Pink Oatmeal)
When the kids are bouncing off the walls and the adults just want to rest, set up all the cousins with this indoor skating activity.

20- BALLOON GAME (Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids)
The game is very simple, don't let the balloon touch the floor.  If several of the adults vow to not leave their seats, this can be quite a challenging game.



21- LEARN SOME NEW DANCES (Vintage Dance Music)
Teach Grandma how to floss and have her teach everyone how to foxtrot.  Put on some old music from the previous century and talk about the past, or play the Nutcracker and leap around the room.

22- SNOWBALL ON A SPOON RACE (Party Game Ideas)
Don't drop your snowball (or cotton ball) as you carry it on a spoon from one side of the room to another.  You could also call this a snow shoveling game and use round ice cubes like these.

23- SCAVENGER HUNT AROUND THE HOUSE (Between Us Parents)
Print off these clues and place them around the house to create a wild goose chase) that can end with dessert or a group surprise.

24- PENGUIN WALK WITH EGG (Mrs Barbara's Blog)
Use a football or large Easter egg to be the penguin egg and take turns racing across the room with the egg on your feet.  Don't drop the egg or it will freeze and die.

25- INDOOR SNOW SLEDDING (Kandid Memories)
Race to be the first to move across the floor on a rug or towel, sitting on it and scooting along on your bottom.  There's no way this game cannot be funny.

26- GLOW STICK HIDE AND GO SEEK (Stock Up on Glow Sticks)
Have the kids leave the room while the adults hide some lit glow sticks around the room.  Turn off the light and have the kids return to find them.  Play in the snow for even more fun!

27- BLOW THE SNOWMAN DOWN (Housing a Forest)
Use a balloon to blow the snowman cups off the table.  Not good for those with latex allergies or asthma, though, unfortunately.

28- SNOWBALL BOWLING (Confidence Meets Parenting)
Stack cups into a pyramid and take turns knocking them over.

29- SNOWFLAKE GROSS MOTOR HOP (Pink Oatmeal)
Print off the snowflake papers to create a path of activities.  Have the kids hop from one to the other and do the activity on the paper.

30- CUT OUT SNOWFLAKES (Jennifer Maker)
Get out a ream of computer paper and some sharp scissors and spend some time cutting out snowflakes together.  This is a great chance for the older generations to each the younger ones and for the kids to practice their fine motor skills.  Or print off some templates from websites like this.  You could even make them into dancing snowflake ballerinas.














31- CHRISTMAS TREE SCAVENGER HUNT (Rock Your Homeschool)
We used to play a game similar to this when we were kids.  After all the ornaments had been hung on the tree, we'd play I-Spy to find where people had hung certain ones.  It's a great activity while waiting for gift opening.

32- DE-TANGLE LIGHTS (Get Tangle Free Christmas Lights)
Need to still get some lights ready for the tree or house, have a contest to see who can detangle the string of lights first.  Bonus points for a completely working strand!

33- HALLMARK MOVIE BINGO (Sweet Blessings)
If curling up on the couch watching a sappy movie is your idea of party fun, make it competitive with this free Christmas movie bingo game.

34- KIDS' PERFORMANCE (Live Like You are Rich)
Growing up, we always used to make everyone sit down to listen to our songs from the school Christmas program again or to watch a short play.  Click the link to get a free script.

35- PLAY MEMORY MATCH GAME (Simple Everyday Mom)
This free printable would be especially good in a family with lots of little ones.  Print on cardstock for durability and laminate it to play again and again.

36- NERF JINGLE BELL CHALLENGE (Frugal Fun for Boys)
Use the Nerf guns that you probably already own to have a target practice game, where the winner is the one who can ring the jingle bells.

37- CHRISTMAS SCATEGORIES (DIY Adulation)
If your family enjoys playing board games, give a classic a holiday update with this free printable.

38- CHRISTMAS EMOJI SONGS (Fun Squared)
While waiting for Christmas dinner, set out this fun emoji guessing game featuring classic Christmas songs.

39- PLAY DOUGH PICTIONARY (Mrs Wiemer's Shop)
Have everyone write down some Christmas themed objects and then see which person can make the best sculpture.

40- CANDY CANE HOOK CHALLENGE (A Girl and a Glue Gun)
Using only your mouth, try to hoot as many candy canes as possible.  How many can you get in a minute?



41- PLAY CHRISTMAS TRIVIA GAME (So Festive)
Test everyone's Christmas movie knowledge with this fun printable game.

42- GET A RUDOLPH NOSE (The Chaos and the Clutter)
Be sure to check out the post for so many fun and unique minute-to-win it games and read all about how to play the Rudolph game.

43- LEGO CHRISTMAS PICTIONARY (Life of a Homeschool Mom)
Get out the Lego bricks and challenge each other to make the best version of a holiday object.  Compete to guess the item in the shortest amount of time.

44- JINGLE BELL ROCK GAME (Homesteading)
Two players tie an empty tissue box to their hineys and try to be the first one to rock all their jingle bells out of the box.

45- CHRISTMAS BOWS GAME (Get Your Holiday On)
How many bows can you stick onto your partners back.  Add some energy to the game by making it a tag game, either sticking on or removing bows as people run around.

46- NUT-STACKER GAME (On Cloud 8)
Use a candy cane to create a stack of hardware nuts before the timer runs out.  Check out the website for many more ideas.

47- BAKE COOKIES TOGETHER (Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids)
Is there anything better than all the generations working together to make Christmas goodies?  It's one of my favorite memories from my childhood.

48- CANDY ELEVATOR (Nicole Blanc Photography)
This super silly game uses a string and sticks to move candy up to a person's mouth.  Eat the most pieces and you win!

49- PRESENT JINGA (Sunshine and Hurricanes)
Wrap the classic Jinga blocks in holiday paper and play the regular game with a twist.  Or wrap all your real Christmas presents in the same size box to play giant Jinga!

50- CHRISTMAS HEADBAND GAME (Happy Organized Life)
Print these cards and take turns asking 20-questions to guess what your card states.



51- READ-ALOUD BOOKS (Growing Book by Book)
Whether you're gathering around to hear a classic like "The Night Before Christmas" or tackling something longer like "A Christmas Carol," reading books aloud while with your family is a pleasant memory.  See also my post on classic books with a twist for more ideas.

52- CANDY CANE HOOK RACE (A Girl and a Glue Gun)
Use one candy cane to "catch" other candy canes and move them from one place to another.  Make the game harder by requiring participants to use only their mouths or to do it blindfolded.

53- ORNAMENT BALANCE GAME (Your Home Based Mom)
Set up a weight balance contraption and take turns putting ornaments on the scale in a balance.  Good for a minute to win it game or a STEM activity at school/co-op/homeschool.

54- GUESS THE CHRISTMAS SMELL (Kid Friendly Things to Do)
This could be a Montessori-inspired tot tray or a group game, which I think makes it a very versatile.

55- NAUGHTY OR NICE PUNCH BOARDS (The Crafty Blog Stalker)
I like that you can modify the naughty and nice statements for your audience, including family jokes or whatever you want.  Each person takes turns punching a prize cup and discovering if "Santa" has found them naughty or nice.

56- ROLL A SNOWMAN (Moms by Heart)
Use dice to determine which part of the snowman you get to draw.  Be the first to roll and draw a complete snowman to win.

57- MAKE A GINGERBREAD VILLAGE (Buy the Kits)
For an easy Christmas activity, set up a house making station and get everyone busy making a gingerbread village.  Use pre-fabricated house kits to save time and frustration.  Try using graham crackers for an economical building material.

58- MEMORY TRAY (Sweet and Simple Things)
Prepare a tray of random Christmas objects and let everyone look at it for a few minutes.  Then, take the tray away and have everyone write down what they remember.  Or take off one item and see who can name the missing item first.

59- PLAY JINGLE BELL TOSS (Playground Park Bench)
Set up exactly like beer pong. participants take turns tossing bells into cups to win.

60- REINDEER BALLOON GAME (Thrifty Fun)
This silly game asks players to build balloon antlers out of pantyhose.



61- MAGNETIC JINGLE BELL GAME (Teach Beside Me)
Get a big pile of colored bells and magnetic wands.  Then, have each player try to get all their own bells onto their wand without getting anyone else's color or losing any bells.

62- PRETEND TO BE A DONKEY (Donkey Books for Kids)
When we were kids, we used to crawl on the floor with burdens or siblings on our backs and pretend to be the donkey from the Nativity story.  It's a great gross motor activity for kids with too much energy.

63- REINDEER RING TOSS (Carnival Savers)
Wrap some beer or root beer bottles to look like deer and take turns throwing rings at them to see who can get the most onto the bottles.

64- JINGLE BELL CUP GAME (Playground Park Bench)
Make a few cup and ball games and race to see who can be the first to get their bell in the cup or who can get the bell in the most number of times in a minute.

65- CANDY CANE CATCH (Play Party Plan)
String tinsel between to chairs.  Have participants stand on the chairs and drop candy canes down onto the tinsel.  How many can you get to stay on in one minute?

66- CHRISTMAS WOULD YOU RATHER (Birthday Party Ideas 4 Kids)
Print and play this holiday themed Would You Rather game and learn more about your family.

67- GINGERBREAD OLD MAID GAME (Stay at Home Educator)
If your family enjoys card games, print this version on cardstock and teach the youngsters a new game.

68- MAKE GRINCH SLIME (Because Mommy Says)
Slime is a great tactile experience for all ages.  Make a few different kinds, like Grinch, candy cane, or gingerbread.

69- PLAY WITH GINGERBREAD PLAY DOUGH (The Vanilla Tulip)
Easier than baking and decorating gingerbread cookies, whip up this fragrant batch of play dough and see what everyone can make.

70- SHOOT THE GRINCH (A Girl and a Glue Gun)
Buy some Grinch balloons, blow them up, and shoot them with a Nerf gun.  Easy and fun.



71- LOOK AT CHRISTMAS LIGHTS (Rock Your Homeschool)
Pile everyone in the car with some cocoa and cookies to complete this Christmas lights scavenger hunt.  See which car can compete the challenge first!

72- SHAVE SANTA'S BEARD GAME (Kid Friendly Things to Do)
Kids who aren't allowed to shave yet will think this beard game is hilarious.  Who can shave the beard away first.  For a twist, put the shaving cream on and have teammates throw cotton balls to make them stick.

73- SANTA HAT STACK (Laly Mom)
Another use for the mini red solo cups!  Ask players to stack the cups with a white pompom in between each cup.  It's a balancing act!

74- PIN THE HEART ON THE GRINCH (Twin Dragonfly Designs)
This free printable will result in a giant Grinch poster in only a few minutes.  Then, just cut out some paper hearts and take turns pinning them onto his body.

75- SANTA BEAN BAG TOSS (A Hen's Nest)
Play this corn hole game where you try to get the bag into Santa's mouth.  Includes a free printable.

76- STUFF YOUR FACE (Marshmallow Winter)
Have two or more players begin to stuff their mouths with marshmallows.  After each addition of a candy, the players must say "Merry Christmas."  When they're no longer able to say the words, they're out of the game.

77- RUDOLPH NOSE GAME (Your Home Based Life)
Be the first to get the red pompom to stick to your nose by swinging it onto your face.

78- SING CHRISTMAS KARAOKE (Party Music)
Fire up the CD player or karaoke machine and rock out to your favorite Christmas songs.

79- GINGERBREAD COOKIE FACE (Nicole Blanc Photography)
Put a gingerbread cookie on each participant's forehead.  They must use their face muscles to move the cookie to their mouths.

80- CHRISTMAS BOW RELAY (Little Family Fun)
Get a pile of Christmas bows and relay race to see which team can transfer their bows from one end of the room to the other first.















81- GELT CONNECT 4 (Bible Belt Balabusta)
Use a regular Connect 4 board and spray paint them silver and gold to represent gelt.  What other classic games can you upgrade to festive with some paint?

82- PLAY DREIDEL GAME (This Maven)
Learn the rules for the classic game by clicking the link.

83- POTATO GAME (Education dot com)
You're going to have to click the link to read the rules because I'm getting tired.

84- HANUKKAH DOMINOES (Nurture Store)
Print this set of dominoes and play a holiday themed game.

85- FLIP A LATKE (Little Miss Party Planner)
Similar to the ball and cup game, this DIY challenge asks players to try to get the latke onto the skillet.

86- HANUKKAH BINGO (Grandma's Briefs)
Practice identifying all the symbols of the faith with this bingo game.

87- TRY OUT DIFFERENT LATKE RECIPES (My Jewish Learning)
Potato pancakes are a traditional Hannukah food, but which recipe is the right one?  Try out some new recipes, experiment with flavors, and argue about your favorites.

88- ANAGRAM GAME (Education dot com)
How many words can you come up with using the letters in "Hannukah."  Or is is "Hanukkah?"  Or "Chanukah?"  The great thing is that you can play the game over and over because of all the different English spellings of the holiday.

89- MAKE AN OIL LAMP (Hubpages)
Using air dry clay, form your own oil lamps and test them out for burning.  Alternatively, press some olives and see if you can burn the oil.

90- Comment below with more suggestions!














91- GLOW STICK DANCE PARTY (A Pumpkin and a Princess)
In the dark of the night is anything better than the floressant light of glow sticks?  This post has a bunch of ideas for glow in the dark family fun.

92- CONVERSATION CARDS (Alice and Lois)
Stimulate some good discussion and reflect on the year with these printable conversation cards.

93- TOSS THE TIARA (Play Party Plan)
This blog has lots of New Year's themed minute to win it games, so be sure to click the link to see them all.  This game is a ring toss using a tiara as the ring and champagne glasses as the pins.

94- KISS AROUND THE CLOCK (The Idea Room)
Any game involving chocolate kisses has to be a good one, right?  For this game, participants must sort the kisses between the clock numbers so that there is one kiss each hour until midnight.

95- HANKY PANKY (Kid Friendly Things to Do)
Be the first person to pull out all the tissues from your tissue box.  Then, pick them all up again and fold them nicely so they can still be used for those upcoming sick days.

96- MAKE GLITTER PARTY SLIME (Little Bins for Little Hands)
No matter what the occasion, it's a good one for a slime experiment!  This one has lots of sparkle, so it's perfect for the New Year.

97- MIDNIGHT KISSES POPPERS (A Sparkle of Genius)
Sometimes, you don't feel like a lot of games at your family party and would prefer a craft instead.  Gather your supplies and put together these easy party poppers.

98- PARTY BLOWER RACES (There's Just One Mommy)
Get more use of those party blowers than just being loud by using them to push a pompom (or a black eye pea) across a surface to win.

99- CANDY DICE GAME (Cupcake Diaries Blog)
All you need for this game is a dice and a pile of candy.  Players take turns rolling the dice and winning or losing candy according to their roll.

100- CUP STACKING GAMES (Keeping It Simple Crafts)
There are five different game ideas for playing with the same stack of plastic party cups.  I like the idea of using just one medium and basing a lot of activities off of it.





F-f-f-f-f-ew!  That was a big project!  I hope you found lots of ideas and inspiration for your upcoming holiday parties and family gatherings.  I enjoyed making this big list off 100 Ways to Keep the Generations Happy.  Scroll down for some more of my 100 lists.











Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Foster-to-Adopt Party Theme Ideas

FREE QR Codes for Read-to-Me Books

Multiplication Battleship for Math Practice