Games for Everybody
by May C. Hofmann
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Every one is fond of having a good time when invited out to a party or social. Sometimes a stupid evening has been spent because either the guests were not congenial or the hostess had not planned good games. The purpose of this book is to furnish just what is needed for a pleasant home gathering, church social, or any other indoor occasion.

Very few, if any, of these games require much preparation. Just use what is in the house, follow the directions given, and a good time will be the result. Some of the games for "Adults" can be played by the younger ones, and vice versa. Other games, by being changed a little by the hostess, can be made to suit the occasion.

Many of the good old games that every one has played are here, while the newer ones, which may be strange at first, will prove most enjoyable when every one has "caught on," as the saying is. M.C.H.



Animal Show. Chase The Rabbit. Soap-bubble Contest. Rose Guess. New Blind Man's Buff. Finding Flowers. Bean-bag Contest. Blowing The Feathers. School. Hide The Thimble. Fan Ball. Spool Flower Hunt. Marble Contest. Passing By. The Serpent's Tail. Little Bo-peep. Spool Armies. Spinning For 20. Shoe Hunt. Hop-over. Bouquet. Making Squares. Simple Simon's Silly Smile. Tea-pot. Blind Man's Buff. Cat And Mouse. Musical Chairs. Button, Button. Statues. Our Cook Doesn't Like Peas. Hold Fast, Let Go. Simon Says. Old Soldier. Hide And Seek. Hang-man. Bird, Beast, Or Fish. Peter Piper. Look Out For The Bear! Hoop Race. Button Fun. Steps. He Can Do Little. Wink. Double Tag. Puss In The Corner. I Have A Basket. Still Pond, No More Moving. Ring On A String. Hunt The Slipper. What Is My Thought Like? Oranges And Lemons. Red-hot Potato. Judge And Jury. Reuben And Rachel. Frog In The Middle. Horsemen. My House, Your House. Malaga Grapes.


Spoon Pictures. Boots, Without Shoes. Proverbs. Animal, Vegetable, Or Mineral. What Time Is It? It. How, When, Where. Buz. Jenkins Up! State Outlines. Prefixes. My Father Had A Rooster! Cross Questions And Crooked Answers. Magic Writing. Famous Numbers. Magic Answers. Modelling. Scissors Crossed Or Uncrossed. Capping Verses. Rabbit. Ghost. What Am I? Needle Threading. Confusions. Verbal Authors. Pin Doll Babies. Building Sentences. Geography. What Would You Do If—? Watch Trick. Find Your Better-half. Words Letters. Seeing And Remembering. Live Tit-tat-to. Bits Of Advice. Pictures. Household Gossip. Table Football. Musical Medley. Another Musical Medley. Passing Clothespins. Pantomime. Birds Fly. Trips Around The World. Jack's Alive. Going A-fishing. Consequences. Personal Conundrums. Hunting The Whistle. The Five Senses. Wiggles. Telegram. Spelling Match. Poor Pussy. Guesses. Nut Race. Torn Flowers. Spearing Peanuts. Peanut Hunt And Scramble. Musical Illustrations. An Apple Hunt. Shouting Proverbs. Baker's Dozen. Peanut Contest. Definitions. Alphabetical Answers. Pitch Basket. Who Am I? Progressive Puzzles. Tit For Tat. Eye-guessing. The Prince Of Wales. Commerce. Laugh A Little. Location. Fashion Notes. Stray Syllables. Quaker Meeting. Magic Music. Patchwork Illustrations. Biography. Orchestra. Who Is My Next-door Neighbor? Fire. The Months. Bell Buff. Postman. Spooney Fun. Cities. Going To China. A Penny For Your Thoughts. Misquoted Quotations. Literary Salad. Broken Quotations. Parcel Delivery. Who Are They? Swaps. Talking Shop. Sight Unseen. A Study In Zoology. Auction Sale The Genteel Lady. Rhymes. Art Gallery. Hunting For Book-titles.


Jack Frost. Magic Candles. The Lucky Or Unlucky Slipper. Cakes. Valentines. Initial Compliments. Heart Hunt. Heart Pricks. Valentine Puzzle. Hearts And Mittens. Riven Hearts. Proposals. Washington's Birthday. April First. Easter Egg Race. Suspended Eggs. Egg Race. Rolling Eggs. Bunny's Egg. July Fourth. Flags Of All Nations. Our Flag. Hallowe'en. Hallowe'en Stories. Hallowe'en Fates. Some More Fates. Water Charm. Over The Cider Mugs. Ships Of Fate. Cake With Candles. Hunt The Squirrel. Christmas Tree. Christmas Guesses. Christmas Wreath. Christmas Candles. A Game Within A Game. Toss The Goodies. Snowballs. Decking Santa Claus.




An amusing game for children is one in which each child is to make some sort of animal out of vegetables or fruit, and toothpicks.

When all the children have arrived, pass around slips of paper containing a number and the name of some animal. Each one must keep secret what his animal is to be.

Let the hostess prepare a basket of vegetables, potatoes, beets, carrots, and fruits, lemons, bananas, etc., suitable for the occasion, from which the children can take their choice to make their animals. Plenty of toothpicks must be provided for the legs, ears and tails.

Allow five minutes for constructing the creatures.

Then collect the specimens, pinning a number corresponding to the one on the slip, to its back, and arrange the "show" on a table. Many queer sights will be seen.

The children, having received pencil and paper, should be told to write down the number of each animal, and opposite it what the animal is intended to represent.

A prize can be given to the one who has guessed the greatest number correctly.


All the children kneel on the floor in a ring with hands on each other's shoulders.

One is chosen to be the "rabbit" and runs around outside the ring and touches one of the players, who is to chase him to his "hole."

The minute the player is touched he must run to the left, while the rabbit goes to the right, must tag the rabbit when they pass each other and try to get back to the "hole" again. If he fails, he becomes the "rabbit," and the game goes on as before.


Provide each child with a clay pipe and prepare two basins of soap suds for the game. If a little glycerine is put in the water, the bubbles will last longer.

Divide the company into two sides, an even number in each. Stretch a cord or rope at a medium height across the middle of the room. Two children, one from each side, play at a time. Each stands on his side, blows the bubble from the pipe and blows it toward the opposite side, and over the rope if he can. If it goes over the rope without breaking, he has won one point for his side, if not, his side has lost. Tally is kept as each set plays, and the side that has the most points, wins, and surely deserves a prize.


Any child can play this simple game. Take a full blown rose and hold it up where all can see it, then let them write on a slip of paper how many petals they think are in the rose.

The petals are then counted by one of the children and the one who guesses the nearest, receives a prize.

Any flower with many petals, can be used.


The one who is chosen for the "blind man" does not have his eyes bandaged as in the old game.

Stretch a sheet between two doors and place a light, candle or lamp, on a table some distance from the sheet. The "blind man" sits on the floor or low chair in front of the light facing the sheet, but he must be so low down that his shadow will not appear on the sheet.

The children form a line and march single file between the light and the "blind man," who is not allowed to turn around. Thus their shadows are thrown on the sheet and as they pass, the "blind man" must guess who they are. The children may disguise their walk and height, so as to puzzle him.

As soon as the "blind man" guesses one correctly, that one takes his place and becomes "blind man," while the former takes his place in the procession, and the game proceeds as before, but the children had better change places, so the new "blind man" won't know their positions.


A very simple game for children is one played like the old-fashioned "London Bridge."

Two children with joined hands stand opposite each other, and the rest form a ring and pass under the raised hands, while they repeat,

"We're seeking a pansy, a pansy, a pansy, We've found one here."

As they say "here," the raised hands close around the child who was passing by, and "Pansy" takes the place of the one who caught her, and she names some other flower which is to be found, and the game goes on as before, substituting that flower for pansy.

Then it continues until all the flowers are "found."


Prepare an even number of bean bags of moderate size, half of one color and half of another.

Appoint leaders, who choose the children for their respective sides. There should be an even number on each side. The opponents face each other, with the leader at the head, who has the bag of one color at his side. The bags are to be passed,

1st, with right hand, 2d, with left hand, 3d, with both hands, 4th, with right hand over left shoulder, 5th, with left hand over right shoulder.

Before the contest begins, it is best to have a trial game, so all understand how to pass the bags.

At a given signal, the leaders begin, and pass the bags as rapidly as possible down the line, observing all the directions. The last one places them on a chair, until all have been passed, and then he sends them back, observing the same rules, until all have reached the leader.

The side who has passed them back to the leader first, and has done so successfully, is the winning side.


The children are seated on the floor, around a sheet or tablecloth. This is held tight by the players about 1 1/2 ft. from the floor, and a feather is placed in the middle.

One is chosen to be out, and at a given signal from the leader, the feather is blown from one to the other, high and low, never allowed to rest once.

The player outside runs back and forth, trying to catch the feather. When he does succeed, the person on whom it rested or was nearest to, must take his place.


The players sit in a circle, and each takes the name of some article found in the schoolroom, such as desk, rubber, blackboard, etc.

One of the players stands in the center and spins a plate on end; as he does so, he calls out the name of an article which one of the players has taken.

The person named must jump up and catch the plate before it stops spinning.

If he is too slow, he must pay a forfeit. It is then his turn to spin the plate.


All the players but one, leave the room. This one hides a thimble in a place not too conspicuous, but yet in plain sight.

Then the others come in, and hunt for the thimble; the first one seeing it, sits down and remains perfectly quiet until all the others have found it.

The first one who saw it, takes his turn to hide it.


Make two balls, one red and one blue, out of paper thus—

Slip No. 1 in No. 2, and No. 3 fits over and bisects the other two.

Appoint two leaders who choose their teams; each team takes a ball and a palm leaf fan.

GOALS—Three chairs, one at each end of the room and one in the center, at equal distance from others.

Two play at a time, one player from each side. The player stands in front of his goal and at the word "ready," fans his ball to the opposite goal. It must go through the back of the chair in the middle of the room, and through the opposite goal, in order to win. When all have finished playing, the team which has the most successful players in it, wins the game.


Gather together as many spools as possible, marking each with a separate letter, which, when put together, will form the name of some flower, such as: rose, violet, daisy, pansy, etc. Stand all the spools in a row, those forming names standing together.

One child, the gardener, gathers up all the spools and hides them in all the corners and out-of-the-way places in the room, only one spool being in each place. When all are hidden, the children are summoned in to hunt for the flowers.

The object is to find such spools as form a name. As the spools are found, the children see if the letters on them spell a flower.

When the hunt is over, the one having the most complete sets of flowers is the winner.


Cut five holes of different sizes in the lid of a pasteboard box. Number the largest hole 5; the next largest 10; the next, 20; the next, 50; and the smallest, 100.

Place the box on the floor and give each child an equal number of marbles. The object of the game is to see which child can count the most by dropping the marbles into the box through the holes.

Each player in turn stands over the box, holds his arm out straight, even with the shoulder, and drops the marbles one by one into the box. If one goes through the largest hole it counts 5, if through the smallest, 100, and so on, count being kept for each player. The one scoring the greatest number of points is the winner.


An amusement for children on a train, or at home when it is raining, is the following, and it will help to while away the time.

If there are several children, choose sides and appoint one to keep the count for his side. Each side sits by a different window and watches the passers-by. Every man counts 1; every women 2; baby 3; animal 5; white horse 10; black cat 50.

As a child sees someone passing, he calls out the number for his side; if a woman, he says 2; if a man and woman together, it will be 3, and so on.

If the children are looking upon the same street the side that calls its number out first adds it to its score. It is more exciting if the different sides have different streets to look out on.

If on a train, one side sits on the right and the other on the left, and when an object is seen, they call out right, 5, or left, as the case may be, for the mother, or older person to put down on the score card.

The side which succeeds in reaching 100 first is the winning side. If the trip is long, 500 can be the limit.


This is a Japanese game, and is played this way. All the children form a line, each resting his hands on the shoulders of the player in front of him. One child is chosen out, and is called the "catcher." The first child of the line, or "serpent," is called the "head," and the last one, the "tail."

The "catcher" stands about three feet from the "head" and when someone gives a signal he tries to catch the "tail" without pushing anyone, or breaking through the line.

The children forming the "body" defend the "tail," by moving about in any way they choose, but the line must never be broken, as the "tail" is considered caught if it is.

When the "tail" is caught, the "catcher" becomes "head," and the "tail" is then "catcher," the last child in the line being "tail," and the game goes on as before.


Dress the little girl in whose honor the party is given as little Bo-peep, with a little crook.

Hide small toy sheep all over the room in every nook and corner. As each child comes, give her a little stick fixed up like a crook, and tell the children to find the sheep.

After the hunt is over, award the child who found the most sheep some little prize. Each may keep the sheep she finds.

If the party is in honor of a little boy, change it to "Little Boy Blue," and have horns instead of crooks.


Children may derive a lot of fun from a large supply of empty spools of all shapes and sizes. Pieces of cotton batting stuck in the opening at the top may serve as heads.

For the "army" gather together as many spools of the same size as you can, numbering each one. Choose a large spool for the general.

Arrange them in rows with the general at the head of a chair or box. A small ball, or pieces of muslin knotted into small balls, will serve as ammunition. When the battle begins, each child aims at the general, endeavoring to knock him over, and as many others as he can. The score is counted after each attack. If a spool has fallen over, but not off the chair, it counts but half its number; if on the floor, it is "dead," and the whole number is counted.


On a board or piece of cardboard, mark with pencil or ink, the design illustrated, the size of the circles varying with the size of the board.

A top may be made out of an empty spool by taking one end of it and sticking a piece of wood, pointed at one end about an inch long, through it. Each spool makes two tops which are spun with the thumb and forefinger. A penny may be used to spin, in fact any small thing that spins will do for a top.

Number the circles as in the diagram. Place the top on the dot in the center of circle 20 and spin it. The number of the circle the top stops on, is the number scored. If on a line it counts for the circle next it. If outside the line of circle 5 it counts nothing.

Any number can play and any number, such as 100 or more, may be the score.


Shoes, four inches long, are cut out of cardboard, from patterns found in catalogues. The pairs are mixed and hidden all over the room, high and low, behind pictures, under mats, etc.

The girl or boy finding the greatest number of shoes that prove to be pairs receives a prize.

To add to the merriment, several pairs of real shoes may be hidden, too, and the children will enjoy hunting for the mates.


Fun for the children is in store when they play this game. All stand in a circle, not too near each other. One player stands in the center, holding a rope, or stout cord, at the end of which is attached a weight of some kind.

At the word "ready" the one in the center whirls the cord rapidly around near the floor. The players, to prevent it from touching their feet, hop over it as it approaches them.

In a short time every one is hopping and a lively time ensues. The one whose feet were touched takes the center place and endeavors to hit some other player's feet.


This is played similarly to "Stage-coach." Any number of children can play it. One is chosen out and is called the "gardener."

All the children sit in a circle and the "gardener" gives each one in turn the name of some flower. When all are named the "gardener" stands in the center of the circle and tells how he has gone to the woods to gather certain flowers, how he has transplanted them to form a lovely garden, the care he has to take of them, and so on, telling quite a long story and bringing in the names of all the flowers he has given to the children.

As a flower is mentioned, the child who has that name rises, turns around, and sits down again. Anyone who fails to rise when his flower is named must pay a forfeit. When the gardener says something about a bouquet, all the children rise and exchange seats. Then the "gardener" tries to get a seat, and if he succeeds, the person who has no seat becomes the "gardener" and the game goes on as before.


Make a square or rectangle of dots, as shown on page 26.

Provide the children with pencils. Each one makes a line joining two dots but tries to prevent the others from making a square.

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

.-. . . .-. . A .-.-.-. . . . A .-. . . . .-. A .-.-.-. .-.-. B B .-.-. .-. . . . .-. . . .-. .-.-. . . . .

For a while it is easy, but soon the number of dots is scarce, and it requires careful marking to prevent the squares from being formed. Finally all the chances are gone and the next player completes a square, as a reward he is given another chance, thus completing several, then he joins two dots and the next player continues.

Each one places his initial in his completed square, so the score is easily counted. The one who has succeeded in making the most squares is the winner.


All the players sit in a circle and one who is bright and witty is chosen as leader. He stands in the center of the circle and asks the most ridiculous questions he can think of.

The players when asked any question, must always answer "Simple Simon's silly smile." No other answer will do and whoever laughs or fails to say it correctly, must pay a forfeit.


One player leaves the room, and while he is gone the rest decide upon some word which has several meanings, which he must guess when he comes in.

The rest of the players converse about the word, but instead of mentioning it, say "Tea-pot" in its place. Suppose the word chosen is "vain." No. 1 may say: "She is altogether too tea-pot for me." (vain) No. 2 says: "The tea-pot pointed North yesterday." (vane) No. 3: "The tea-pot is blue." (vein), and so on, each in turn making some remark about the chosen word until the player has guessed it correctly. The person who gave the broadest hint about the hidden word must leave the room next.


It is hardly necessary to describe this game as almost everybody knows how to play it. There may be some who do not know, however, so it is included here.

Clear the room as much as possible, pushing all the chairs, tables, etc., against the walls. The child chosen as "Buff" is blindfolded, and is asked the following question by the other children. "How many horses has your father got?" He answers "Three." "What color are they?" "Black, white, and gray," is answered. Everyone calls out "Turn around three times and catch whom you may."

"Buff" turns around, and then tries to catch whoever he can. The children try to escape him by dodging him until finally one is caught, and before the handkerchief is raised, "Buff" must guess whom he has caught. If he guesses correctly, the one caught becomes "Buff."


The children sit in two rows facing each other, with a space between. Blindfold two children, one being the "cat" and the other the "mouse."

The "cat" stands at one end of the row and the "mouse" at the other. They start in opposite directions and the "cat" tries to catch the "mouse." The children may give hints as to the direction the players are to go in. When the "mouse" is caught, he becomes "cat," and another child is chosen as "mouse."


Musical Chairs, or Going to Jerusalem, is a favorite game of the children. Someone who plays the piano well starts up a lively tune and the children march around a row of chairs which have been arranged facing alternately in opposite directions. There should be one less chair than the number of players.

When the music stops, each child tries to find a seat. Someone will be left out, as there is one chair short. This one takes another chair from the row and the game continues until there is one child left with no chair. This one has won the game.


All the children sit in a circle with hands placed palm to palm in their laps. One child is given a button and she goes to each in turn, slipping her hands between the palms of the children. As she goes around the circle she drops the button into some child's hands, but continues going around as long after as she pleases, so the rest will not know who has it.

Then she stands in the middle of the circle and says: "Button, button, who has the button?" All the children guess who has it, the one calling out the correct name first is out and it is his turn to go around with the button.


Arrange all the children except one on chairs or a bench. This one is the leader and she stands on the floor in front of the children. Beginning at one end of the row, she pulls each child from the bench, letting her remain in whatever position she falls. Sometimes she can tell them how to pose, for instance, she will say "Like an angel," and that child will fold her hands and look upward. Another might be "cross school-teacher," and this child may pretend to be scolding someone. Each child remains perfectly still, posed in the attitude suggested, until all the children are on the floor. Then the leader selects the one she thinks has posed the best and that one takes the leader's place and the game goes on as before.


All the players except one sit in a row. This one sits in front of them and says to each one in turn: "Our cook doesn't like P's; what can you give her instead?"

The first one may answer "sugar" and that will suit her, but the next one might say "Potatoes," and that will not do, and he will have to pay a forfeit because the letter "P" comes in that word.

There is a catch to this as everyone thinks that the vegetable "Peas" is meant instead of the letter. Even after everybody has discovered the trick it will be difficult to think of words, and if a player fails to answer before 5 is counted, a forfeit must be paid. "My grandma doesn't like tea (T)" is played in the same way.


A simple game for small children is the following. Each child takes hold of a small sheet or tablecloth, the leader holding it with his left hand, while he pretends to write with his right hand.

The leader says: "When I say 'Hold fast,' let go; and when I say 'let go,' hold fast." He calls out the commands one at a time and the rest do just the opposite of what he says. Whoever fails must pay a forfeit.


One child is selected to be Simon. The rest of the children sit around in a circle. Simon stands in the middle and gives all sorts of orders for the children to follow. Every order which begins with "Simon says" must be obeyed, whether Simon performs it or not, but if Simon should give some order, such as "Thumbs down," whether he puts his thumbs down or not, it must not be obeyed by the others because it was not preceded by "Simon says."

All sorts of orders such as "Thumbs up," "Thumbs down," "Thumbs wiggle-waggle," "Thumbs pull left ear," etc., are given. The faster the orders are given, the more confusing it is. A forfeit must be paid by those who fail to obey the orders.


One child, who represents the old soldier, goes around to each child in turn and begs for something, saying that he is poor, hungry, blind, etc., and asks what they will do for him.

In answering the old soldier no one must use the words, "Yes," "No," "Black," or "White." As soon as a child is asked, he must answer immediately. If he does not, or says any of the forbidden words, he must pay a forfeit.


One child is chosen out. This one stands by a post or in a corner which is called "base," and hides his eyes. The children decide among themselves how much he shall count while they are hiding. Suppose they choose 100, then he counts 5, 10, 15, 20, etc., until he reaches 100, and then he calls out:

"Ready or not, You shall be caught."

Each child having hidden in some place while he was counting, remains perfectly still while he is hunting for them. If he passes by some child without finding him, that one can run to the "base" and say "One, two, three, I'm in free!" As many children as can try to get in "free," but if the one who is out tags any of them before they reach "base," the first one tagged is the next to hide his eyes.


Two children may derive a great deal of amusement from this simple pastime. At the top of a piece of paper write all the letters of the alphabet. Underneath, the child who has thought of a word or short sentence puts a dash down for every letter contained in the word thought of.

Suppose the words thought of were "Gamebook," it would be written thus: ————

The other player asks if the word contains "a," and the other puts it in its proper place, crossing the letter off of the alphabet above. The other guesses different letters at random, every right one being put in its place, while for every wrong one a line is drawn to help construct a gallows for the "hang-man." If there are many wrong guesses, the "hang-man" may be completed and then the word is told the other player. The players take turns in giving out and guessing the words.

The gallows is made thus for every wrong guess:


A simple little game for amusing two children is the following. Write on the top of a slate or paper the words "Bird, beast, and fish."

One child thinks of the name of some animal and puts down the first and last letters of the word, marking dashes for the other letters. His companion thinks over all the names of animals he knows containing that number of letters, until finally he has guessed what it is or else has given up. If he guesses correctly it is his turn to give either a bird, beast, or fish.


This is an amusing game for children. A blackboard is needed upon which the verse, "Peter Piper," etc., is illustrated or written so that the words are mixed up and it will be difficult to point out. Some older person will be needed to superintend the game.

One child is given a pointer and as the others sing, to any familiar tune (Yankee Doodle, for instance):

"Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, Now if Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, Where is that peck of pickled peppers, Peter Piper picked?"

she must point out each word or drawing as quickly as it is sung.

If a mistake is made in pointing, the child takes her place with the rest and another child is out. Each one is given a turn.

It is an achievement, if done successfully, and some suitable gift should be given as a prize.


Any number of children can play this game. One is chosen to be the "bear," and he hides in some part of the room or garden, while the rest, with their backs turned, are standing at their goal.

As soon as the children have counted 50 or 100, they all scatter and hunt for the "bear." The child who finds him first calls out, "Look out for the bear," and all the children run to their goal.

If the bear catches any while running for the goal, they become "bears." These "bears" hide together and the game continues until all the children are "bears."


All children love to roll hoops. For a little folks party, plan to have as many hoops as children, so each can have one.

Bind these around with tape or ribbon. The children contest one at a time. The child who succeeds in rolling his hoop around the room three times without having it turn over or stop, wins the prize.

If the room is very large once or twice around will be enough, so the children aren't tired out.


An amusement for small children, is to gather together as many buttons of all shapes and sizes, plain and fancy, as can be obtained.

The largest button is the father, the next size is the mother, several children arranged according to size, and a tiny one for the baby.

Plain buttons are called servants, others animals and pets. The children arrange their families in pasteboard boxes, using pasteboard cards for chairs, carriages, etc. All children like to play "house," and a whole afternoon can be whiled away making stores out of cards, to do shopping in, and boats for the button-children to play in. "School" also can be played and the boys enjoy forming rows of soldiers and parading up and down.


One child is chosen out. This one stands by a post or door with his back to the other players. The rest of the children stand in a row at the other end of the room or porch, as the case may be.

The one by the door counts 5, slowly or quickly, and then turns around. While he is counting and his back is turned, the others take as many steps forward as they can without being caught. If anyone is moving when the player turns around, they exchange places, and the game continues, the children advancing step by step toward the goal. When one has reached the goal and touched it, he can go back again and begin all over. The one who touches the goal the greatest number of times just by stepping, and has not been caught, wins the game.


All the players sit in a circle. One, knowing the catch, begins by saying: "Ahem, he can do little who cannot do this." While saying this, he taps a stick on the floor several times.

This stick passes from one to the other in turn, each one thinking that the stick must be tapped a certain number of times, but the catch is that just before saying "He can do little who cannot do this," each one ought to clear his throat as the leader did at first. Allow the game to continue around the circle two or three times before explaining the catch. A forfeit is paid by each player who does not do it correctly.


All the girls sit in a circle, and the boys stand outside, one boy behind each girl's chair. One chair is left vacant, but a boy stands behind it, and by winking at the girls one at a time, tries to get one for his empty chair.

As soon as a girl is winked at, she tries to leave her seat, and take the vacant one, but if the boy behind her touches her before she leaves the seat, she cannot go. Each boy has to keep his eye on the one who is winking and on the girl in his chair, for if he is not watching, she may escape before he has time to touch her, and then it is his turn to do the winking and get a girl for his chair.

If the winking is done quickly it adds to the interest of the game. No boy can keep hold of a girl all the time; he must only touch her when she starts to leave her place, and then if she is beyond arm's length, he cannot call her back.


The children stand in pairs, one behind the other, in the form of a circle, all facing the center.

Two of them are out, one who runs away, and the other who tries to catch him. The one who is running away may place himself in front of any couple for safety and he cannot be tagged, but the child at the end of the trio must run, and if he is caught before he can stand in front of another couple, he is the catcher and pursues the other child.


All the children except one stand in corners, or in any fixed stations if there are not enough corners to go around. The one who is out stands in the middle to represent "Puss." The players then beckon to each other one at a time saying, "Here, puss, puss," and run and change places with the one who is called.

Puss tries to get one of the vacant places. If she succeeds, the child who is left out is "Puss," until she manages to obtain a place.


One child begins by saying: "I have a basket." The one to his left says: "What is in it?" The first one replies with the name of some article beginning with "a," as "apples."

No. 2 says: "I have a basket," and the next one to him says: "What is in it?" No. 2 replies: "Apples and bananas," (or some other word beginning with "b").

No. 3 says: "I have a basket." No. 4 asks the same question as before and No. 3 responds with "Apples, bananas, and cats," and so on, each in turn repeating what the others have said, and adding another article, which commences with the next letter of the alphabet. Whoever forgets what the other articles were must pay a forfeit. Thus it continues until the last one has named all the articles in order, and ended with "z".


All the children form a circle, joining hands. One is blindfolded, given a cane, and stands in the middle of the circle.

The children march around her, going fast or slowly until she taps on the floor three times with the cane and says: "Still pond, no more moving." The children drop hands, and remain perfectly still, right where they are.

The one in the middle feels her way toward the children, holding the cane in front of her. The first child who is touched with the cane must take hold of it. The blindfolded one says, "Grunt like a pig," and the one holding the cane must grunt, disguising her voice if possible. If the blindfolded one guesses who she is, they exchange places, and the game goes on as before, but if she fails, she has another turn and may tell the player to "Bark like a dog" or "Mew like a cat" until she guesses the right one.


Slip a ring on a long piece of string having the ends knotted together. The players stand in a circle and the string passes through their closed hands. Each makes the motions of passing something.

The ring circulates from one to another, while a player in the middle tries to find it. As soon as the ring is found, the person in whose hands it was takes his place, and the ring is passed as before.


All the children except one sit on the floor in a circle, with their knees raised. The one left out brings a slipper, and handing it to one child says:

"Cobbler, cobbler, mend my shoe, Get it done by quarter-past two."

He walks to the other side of the room and in a minute comes back and asks if the shoe is done. In the meantime the slipper is being passed from one to the other, under their knees.

The child who is asked if the slipper is done says she thinks her neighbor has it, the neighbor is asked and receiving the same answer the one hunting it goes from one to the other until the slipper is found. If it takes too long for him to find it, the slipper may be tossed across the circle, so it will be easy to follow it up.


All the children except one sit in a circle. This one thinks of something and, standing in the middle of the circle, asks each one in turn: "What is my thought like?"

Each one names some object, and when all have been asked, the leader announces what her thought was and each in turn must prove the resemblance between his answer and the thought. Whoever fails must pay a forfeit.

Suppose the thought is a stove, and No. 1 says: "Like the sun." No. 2, "Like silver," then the second time around No. 1 can say: "A stove is like the sun because they both give heat;" No. 2 can say: "A stove is like silver because they both shine when well polished," and so on.


The two tallest children, one named "Orange," the other "Lemon," join hands and form an arch for the other children to pass under. The children, holding on to each other's dresses, march in single file and sing:

"'Oranges and lemons,' say the bells of St. Clement's, 'Brickbats and tiles,' say the bells of St. Giles, 'You owe me five farthing,' say the bells of St. Martin's, 'When will you pay me?' say the bells of old Bailey, 'When I grow rich,' say the bells of Shoreditch, 'When will that be?' say the bells of Stepney, 'I do not know,' says the great bell of Bow. Here comes a candle to light you to bed, And here comes a chopper to chop off your head."

When the last line is sung the child who is under their arms is caught and asked in a whisper if he will be an orange or lemon. He answers, and joins whichever side he chose, holding the other around the waist. The game continues until all are caught, and then there is a tug-of-war between the oranges and lemons.


The "potato" in this game is a knotted handkerchief. One player is chosen for the center, and the others sit around in a circle. The one in the center throws the "potato" to anyone in the circle. This one must throw it to another player and so on, tossing it, from one to another, and never allowing it to rest.

The player in the center tries to catch it. If he succeeds, the one who last tossed it exchanges places with him, and the game goes on as before.


Arrange the children in two rows, facing each other. The judge sits at one end in the aisle. He asks one of the jury a question (anything he happens to think of). The one who is questioned must not answer, but the child sitting opposite him must reply for him, being careful not to use any of the following words in his answer. Yes, no, black, or white. Some answer must be given, whether it be sensible, or not.

Whoever fails to answer before the judge counts 10, or answers out of turn, or uses any of the forbidden words must either pay a forfeit or become the judge.


Blindfold one of the players. All the rest form a ring and dance around him until he points at some one. That one enters the ring and the blindman calls out: "Rachel;" she answers: "Here, Reuben," and moves about in the circle so as to escape being caught by "Reuben."

Every time the blindman calls out "Rachel," she must reply with "Reuben" and thus it goes until finally "Rachel" is caught. "Reuben" must guess who she is, and if he guesses correctly, "Rachel" is blindfolded and the game goes on as before. If not, the same child is "Reuben" again.


The children form a ring. One, the frog, is chosen out, and he stands in the middle of the circle.

The children, holding hands, dance around him, saying: "Frog in the middle, jump in, jump out, take a stick and poke him out." As the last line is sung, the frog takes one child by the hands and pulls him to the center, exchanging places with him. The children continue dancing around and singing while the frogs jump thick and fast. The game continues until all have been frogs or are tired out.


This is a rough-and-tumble game for the boys, and must be played either outside, or in a large bare room.

Sides are chosen, the big boys taking the small boys on their back, carrying them "pick-a-back." The one carrying the boy is called the horse, and the other the rider. The sides stand opposite each other and when a signal is given, they rush toward each other, the horses trying to knock down the opposing horses, and the riders trying to dismount each other.

The game continues until a single horse and rider remain, and the side to which they belong wins the game.


Attach a string to the end of a small stick. At the end of the string make a loop that will slip very easily. On a table make a circle with chalk.

The leader, or fisherman, arranges the loop around the circle and holds the stick in his hand. Whenever he says: "My house," each player must put his first finger inside the circle, and leave it there. When "Your house" is said, the fingers must be withdrawn.

The commands must be given very quickly, and the fisherman must be quick to jerk his rod, thus catching several fingers.

A forfeit should be paid by everyone who is caught, and the fisherman can exchange places if he wishes.


All the players sit in a circle and one who knows the trick takes a small cane in his right hand; then, taking it in his left hand, he passes it to his neighbor, saying: "Malaga grapes are very good grapes; the best to be had in the market." He tells his neighbor to do the same.

Thus the cane passes from one to the other, each one telling about the grapes; but if any should pass the stick with the right hand, a forfeit must be paid. The trick must not be told until it has gone around the circle once or twice.




It will be necessary for two of the players to know how to play the game. One is sent out of the room, and the other remains inside to take a picture of one of the guests. This is done by holding up a spoon or some polished surface to a player's face.

When the picture is taken, the one outside is called in, given the spoon, told to look at it, and guess whose picture it is. In a short time she has guessed correctly, to the amazement of the guests. She leaves the room again, while another picture is taken, is called in, and guesses that, and so on.

If any guest thinks he can do it, he may have a trial, but he may fail. Finally it is discovered that the one who remained inside and took the pictures sits in exactly the same position as the person whose picture was taken. If his feet were crossed and his hands folded, the leader will take that position. If another person is in that position, the one who guesses waits until one makes a change, and thus the name may be guessed.


All the players are sent out of the room. The leader remains inside and calls one player in. They both sit down together and the leader says: "Say just what I say. Say boots, without shoes." (With a short pause after boots.) The victim may repeat the whole sentence and the leader says, "No, I want you to say boots, without shoes," and thus it may go on until the leader has given the simple statement in all sorts of tones and expressions, and finally, the player realizes that when told to say "Boots, without shoes," she must simply say "Boots."

Each player in turn is called in and put through the ordeal, affording much amusement for those already in the room, until all have guessed it and laughed over it.


Any number of persons may play this game. One is sent out of the room while the rest choose some proverb. Then he is called in and asks each player in turn a question. In the answer, no matter what the question is, one word of the proverb must be given.

Suppose the proverb "Make hay while the sun shines" is taken, then player No. 1 would have "Make"; No. 2, "hay"; No. 3, "while"; No. 4, "the"; No. 5, "sun"; No. 6, "shines"; No. 7, "make"; etc., giving each player a word, often repeating the proverb several times.

The answers to the questions must be given quickly, and no special word emphasized. Often the one guessing will have to go around several times before he can discover any word which will reveal the proverb. The one whose answer gave the clue must leave the room next, and it becomes his turn to guess.


When the party is large, this game affords much amusement. One player is sent out of the room. While he is gone the players decide upon some object which he is to guess. He is then called in, and asks each one a question.

The answers to the questions must be either "Yes" or "No," and a forfeit must be paid if any other answer is given.

Suppose the object chosen is a piece of coal in the fireplace. The player will begin by finding out whether the object chosen is of the animal, vegetable, or mineral kingdom; thus the following questions may be asked: "Is it a mineral?" "Yes." "Is it hard?" "Yes." "Is it very valuable?" "No." "Is it bright and shiny?" "Yes." "Is it gold?" "No." "Silver?" "No." "Is it in this room?" "Yes." "Is it black?" "Yes." "Is it a piece of coal?" "Yes."

The correct object being guessed, another player is sent out and the game continues.


It requires two players who understand this game, a leader and his accomplice. The accomplice leaves the room, while the leader and the rest remain inside. The leader asks the players what hour they will choose for the accomplice to guess. One will say: "Four o'clock." The assistant is called in and he questions the leader, saying: "Well, what time is it?" The leader answers thus: "Don't you know?"; next, "Doubtless, dancing time." The assistant immediately answers "Four o'clock," to the amazement of the company.

The key is that each hour, from 1 to 12 o'clock has been named according to the letters of the alphabet in rotation, from A to K, The leader, in answering, must be very careful to begin each answer with the letter indicating the chosen hour; thus in the above the assistant noticed that each answer began with "d," and "d" being the fourth letter, four o'clock was the time chosen. Only the exact hours must be chosen. As the different players think they understand the game, they may take the assistant's place, and many ludicrous mistakes will be the result until the game has been explained to all.


One of the players who does not know the game is sent out of the room. While he is gone, the others are supposed to be thinking of some person whom he is to guess when he comes in, but it is arranged that each one describes his right hand neighbor when asked any questions. It is more amusing if the circle is composed of boys and girls alternating.

The player is called in, having been told beforehand that he is to guess what person the company thought of and that that person is "It."

He begins by asking "Is it in this room?" "Yes." "Is it a boy?" "Yes." "Is his hair long or short?" "Very long," and so on, until the information he has obtained may be the following: "A boy, very long hair, pink waist, blue eyes, has a beard, very stout, about 6 feet tall, about 8 years old." The player, astonished at such information, may keep up guessing, until, by closely questioning each one, he guesses correctly. If he cannot guess, it is explained to him who "It" is.


One of the players leaves the room while the others select some word with two or three meanings, which is to be guessed. Suppose the word "trunk" is thought of. When the player is summoned in he asks each one in turn "How do you like it?" The answers may be "full of clothes," "when the outside is brown," (meaning a tree trunk), "shut up in a cage," (referring to an elephant's trunk).

The next time around the question is "When do you like it?" and the answers may be, "When I'm going away," "When I'm in the country," "When I visit the Zoo."

The last question is "Where do you like it?" and the answers may be "In my room," "In the woods," "On the animal it belongs to." The questioner must try to guess the word from the various answers. If he succeeds, the person whose answer revealed the word must leave the room, but if he fails, he has to guess again.


All the players sit in a circle and begin to count in turn, but whenever seven, or any multiple of seven comes, "Buz" is said in its place. If anyone forgets he may be put out and the game commenced over again, but it is more fun if the players go right on with the counting, as many will fall off when the count is up in the hundreds. The game may be continued as long as is desired.

Suppose the players have counted up to twenty, the next one would say "Buz," as twenty-one is a multiple of seven; the next, "twenty-two," the next "twenty-three," and so on. The one having "twenty-seven" would say "Buz," as it contains seven. When seventy is reached, the numbers are said, "Buz one," "Buz two," etc.; "double Buz," for seventy-seven, and so on.

"Siz" may be substituted for six and its multiples, and "Fiz" for five, just for variety.


Divide the company into two sides. One division sits around the table on one side, the other on the opposite side. The members of division "A" put their hands under the table and a small coin, dime or quarter, is passed from one to the other.

When division "B" thinks they have had enough time, the players call out, "Jenkins up!" and the players of "A" hold up their closed hands, and when "Jenkins down!" is called, they must place their hands, palm down, on the table. The players of "B" must guess under which palm the coin is. Each player has one guess, those on the opposite side raising their hands when requested to do so.

If "B" guesses correctly, the coin is passed over to them and "A" must guess who has it, but if not, "A" keeps the coin, and "B" has another trial for guessing.

Tally may be kept, 1 being counted for every correct guess, and a certain number, as 50, may be the limit. The side gaining 50 points first is victorious.


This is a splendid game for the beginning of an evening as the guests mingle together and become acquainted while hunting for their partners.

The hostess prepares pieces of cardboard on which she has drawn the outline of a state without the name. The state capitals are written on separate pieces of paper. The cards and slips are handed out haphazard as the guests arrive.

The object of the game is to find the state to which the capital belongs or vice versa, as the case may be.

The one who succeeds in locating his capital first is the winner.

The hostess can arrange for the length of time.


One of the players is sent out of the room. The others then decide upon some word which he is to guess when he returns. He is told what the prefix of the word is, and must guess, by asking questions, what the rest of the word is. The players answer his questions by their manner or actions.

Suppose the word chosen is "encouraged," the answers may be given in a cheerful way.

The player who is guessing may think of any number of words with the prefix "en," but he must continue asking questions until the right word has been guessed.

The player who has revealed the word by his or her actions, takes the other's place and leaves the room while the rest are deciding upon some word for him to guess. The game continues as before.


All the players sit in a circle, the leader begins by saying, "My father had a rooster!" The player to his left says: "A what?" The leader answers: "A rooster!" Each player repeats this in turn to his left-hand neighbor who asks the question, until it is the leader's turn again.

He then repeats the first part and asks the player next to him, "Could he crow?" The player answers, "Crow he could." This is repeated by each player with the previous questions. The next time the leader says "How could he crow?" The player on the left answers "Cock-a-doodle-doo!" This goes around the circle again and when the last one has taken part, all together say "Cock-a-doodle-doo," as a finish.

No one is supposed to laugh during the whole game, whoever does, may either pay a forfeit or is out of the game. It is best to have a person who knows the game sit next to the leader, so they can start the game correctly. The complete statements are these,

"My father had a rooster!" "A what?" "A rooster!" "Could he crow?" "Crow he could!" "How could he crow?" "Cock-a-doodle-doo!"


All sit in a circle for this game. The first one begins by whispering some question to his left hand neighbor, such as "Do you like apples?" The second player must remember the question asked him, and he answers No. 1 by saying, "Yes, the nice, red, juicy kind." This answer belongs to No. 1 and he must remember it. No. 2 asks No. 3 a question, being careful to remember his answer, as it belongs to him. Suppose he asks, "Are you fond of books?" and the answer is "Yes, I read every one that comes out." Thus No. 2 has a question and answer that belong to him.

Every one in turn asks a question and gives an answer, remembering the question he was asked and the answer his neighbor gave him, which belong to him. When all have had a turn, No. 2 begins by saying aloud: "I was asked: 'Do you like cats?' and the answer was 'Yes, the nice, red juicy kind';" No. 2 says: "I was asked, 'Do you like apples?' and the answer was, 'Yes, I read every one that comes out,'" and so on.


An assistant is necessary for this game. One gives a little talk about sign-language and says that he can read any sign made with a stick on the floor, and will leave the room while the others decide upon some word for him to guess.

Beforehand, it has been agreed upon between the leader and his assistant that one tap of the stick on the floor will represent "a"; two taps, "e"; three taps, "i"; four taps, "o"; five taps, "u." Thus all the vowels are indicated by taps, and the consonants, by having the first word of the sentence which the leader gives begin with the chosen letter. The letters of the chosen word must be given in order.

The leader, who remains inside, knows the chosen word, and when the assistant is called in, he makes many signs with the stick, tapping in the proper places.

Suppose the word chosen is "Games." When the assistant is called in, the leader begins by making many scrolls, etc., on the floor, then says: "Great fun, isn't it?" (initial letter "g"), then one tap, "a"; "Many don't know what I'm writing." (initial letter "m"); 2 taps, "e"; "Sometimes it is hard to read." (initial letter "s"). Then a few more marks, so as not to end too abruptly, and the assistant says "Games," to the astonishment of the company.

This is continued until some have guessed, or until the trick has been explained.


Provide the players with pencil and paper. Each one writes a number on his slip. The papers are collected, mixed up, and each player draws one. Each in turn must name something or someone suggested by that number. The one who is unable to name anything must pay a forfeit.

Suppose No. 1 has 4, he will say: "My number is 4; the Declaration of Independence was signed on the Fourth of July." No. 2, "My number is 13; there are thirteen stripes in our flag." No. 3, "My number is 60; there are 60 minutes in an hour."


One is sent from the room and the others decide upon some object which is to be guessed when the player enters.

The player outside has an accomplice in with the others who asks the question when he returns. It was arranged between them that the object chosen should be named after some four-legged thing.

Suppose a book is chosen by the players. When summoned in, the accomplice asks: "Is it any one in this room?" "No." "Is it a handkerchief?" "No." "Is it a picture?" "No." "Is it a dog?" "No." "Is it this book?" "Yes."

Another arrangement is to have the correct object mentioned after something which is black, such as shoes, ink, etc.


Provide each player with a card and a toothpick, also a piece of gum, or paraffine if preferred.

The hostess announces that when she says "Ready," the gum is to be chewed until she tells them to stop, and then each one is to take the gum, place it upon the card, and with the aid of the toothpick, model either an animal or a flower, keeping his selection a secret, as each one can choose what he wishes to model. The hostess keeps an eye on the time and when time is up, (any length she chooses) all the cards are collected and placed on a table for exhibition.

There is a curious mixture of cows, cats, dogs, sunflowers, pansies, violets, etc. Vote is taken upon the best model and a prize is awarded the victor.


A simple catch game is as follows. It is best if two of the company know how to play it. One of the two is the leader and the other helps her out.

The leader hands a closed pair of scissors to her accomplice, who takes it and says: "I received these scissors uncrossed and I give them crossed." (Opening the scissors as she speaks.) She passes them to the player on her right who should say: "I receive these scissors crossed and I give them crossed." (If they are left open; if closed, they are uncrossed.) Those who do not know the game receive the scissors and pass them and say what they think they ought. It may be just what the player before said, but the condition of the scissors may not be the same, and, therefore, it is not right.

Thus each one has a turn, and the game continues until some bright player notices that the scissors are called crossed when they are open and uncrossed when they are closed, and that the player who knows the game crossed her feet if the scissors were crossed, and if not, her feet were uncrossed, or resting on the floor as usual.

Thus the object of the game is to change the words and the position of the feet in accordance with the position of the scissors.


To while away the time before dinner, or while sitting in the twilight, this is a simple amusement for those who love poetry.

One begins by giving a line or verse of poetry. The next one continues, but his verse must commence with the last letter of the previous verse, and so on, each one capping the other's verse.

Suppose No.1 quotes:

"Full many a flower is born to blush unseen And waste its sweetness on the desert air."

No. 2 continues quoting:

"Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?"

No. 3:

"O speak again, bright angel."

No. 4:

"Like summer tempest came her tears, 'Sweet, my child, I live for thee.'"

and so on until the guests tire of it.


The leader, who knows the game, asks each one in turn: "Do you know how to play rabbit?" When all have answered, he says: "Do just what I do, and I will show you how."

1st. All stand in a row.

2d. All kneel down on one knee.

3d. All place the first finger of the right hand on the floor.

When all the players are in this position, just as they are losing their balance, the leader, who is at the head of the line, pushes against the player next to him, thus knocking over the whole row. As they fall amid laughter, he calmly announces that that is the way to play rabbit.


Turn down the lights. All the players sit in a circle. The leader has a button which she gives to some player, as in "Button, button, who has the button?" The one who guesses who has the button takes the leader's place while the leader becomes a ghost and remains outside the circle. She can talk to the players in the circle, but no one except the one in the middle can answer her. Anyone who does, becomes a ghost with the leader.

Every effort is made on the part of the ghosts to induce the players to answer. The button keeps going around the inside circle, the one depositing the button becoming a ghost when a correct answer is given and the other one taking his place.

The game continues until all are ghosts. If there was one who was not enticed, that one wins the game.


One of the players is sent out of the room. The rest decide upon the name of some animal which he is to guess.

When he returns the players question him in turn, imitating the habits of the animal chosen and asking questions as if he were that animal.

For instance, the animal chosen is tiger. The questions may be, "Do you scratch?" "Are your claws sharp?" "Do you howl at night?" etc. The player thinking they have named him a cat answers, "Yes," and says, "Am I a cat?" When answered in the negative, the players still question him until he finally guesses tiger. The player whose question betrayed the name of the chosen animal then takes his place and the game continues as before.


Procure several large jars. Stand these on their sides. Only men can contest for this, as ladies are supposed to be expert needle-threaders.

Four or five men contest at a time. Each sits on a jar with his feet crossed in front. The leader hands each a needle and thread. Allow five minutes for the contest.

The jars, being on their sides, will roll around, and as the contestants have their feet crossed, it is a difficult task to remain still long enough to thread the needle. Those who succeed deserve some sort of prize.


The players are provided with pencil and paper. Each player selects the name of some animal, fish, or bird, and mixes the letters so as to spell other words. For instance, if one chooses elephant, the words might be "pent heal"; if monkey, "o my ken," while mackerel may be "mere lack."

Allow five minutes for making the "confusion," no letter can be used twice, and words must be formed. Then the hostess rings the bell and each player in turn reads his "confusion" to the rest who guess what his chosen word is. Each puzzle is carefully timed. The one whose puzzle takes longest to guess is the winner, therefore, each person must mix the letters as much as possible.

Sides may be chosen if preferred, the players taking turn alternately, the side which has taken the least time to guess the puzzles is the victorious side.


The players sit in a circle. One is chosen as judge and he keeps tally. Each player in turn, rises, and names some well-known book. The first one to call out the name of the author scores a point. The game continues until the interest ceases or the store of literary knowledge is exhausted. The player having the most points is the winner.

This game may be played in another way. Instead of calling out the author as the book is named, provide each guest with pencil and paper and announce that as a book is named, each player must write down the author and the name of some character in that book.


"The Taming of the Shrew"— Wm. Shakespeare—Petruchio.

"Nicholas Nickleby"— Chas. Dickens—Mr. Squeers.

"Ivanhoe"— Sir Walter Scott—Rebecca.


Any number may play this game. If there are men and women it is more amusing.

Divide the company into groups of five or six. Each group sits around a table upon which are pins, needles and thread, scissors, for each player but no thimbles, and strips of tissue paper, colored and white.

The hostess hands each guest a large wooden clothes-pin which is to be dressed as a doll, using the tissue paper for dresses and hats.

All begin to work at a given signal and the hostess allows a certain length of time for the dressmaking. There is much merriment, as it is nearly as awkward for the ladies to sew without a thimble as it is for the men to use a needle.

When the time is up, these doll-babies are arranged in line for inspection. Two judges are appointed to decide upon the best and the worst. Prizes are awarded.


The hostess begins by saying one word and announces that each word of the sentence must begin with the initial letter of the given word. The player to her right gives the second word, the next player, the third, and so on, until the sentence is complete only when it reaches the hostess.

Each player must be careful not to give a word which with the others completes the sentence, as the hostess is the only one who is supposed to finish it—but sometimes it seems as though all the words of that letter have been taken; if this is the case, the player who finished the sentence must pay a forfeit or drop out of the game.

Suppose there are nine players and number one says "An," number two "Angry," number three "Ape," number four "Ate," number five "Apples"; thus number five is out or pays a forfeit as the sentence is completed and there are still four more to play. Thus the sentence might have been "An angry ape ate attractive, audacious, ancient April apples."

This sentence is absurd, but the more ridiculous, the greater the fun.

For the second turn the player to the right of the hostess begins, using a word beginning with another letter and so on, until each player has started a sentence.


Select two leaders from the company. Each leader chooses players for his side. The sides stand opposite each other. One leader begins by giving the name of some river, mountain, lake, city or town, state or country, located in any part of the world, that begins with the letter A, the other leader answers back with another geographical name commencing with A. The two leaders continue with the letter A until they can think of no more names, then, they commence with B, and so on, until every letter of the alphabet has been used.

The players on the opposite sides simply help their leader with the names, as soon as one thinks of a name it is passed up to the leader to help him. No place can be named twice. The side that stands up the longest wins.

Another way to play this game is as follows. Having chosen the sides as before, one leader begins by naming any place, lake, river, etc., commencing with any letter; the leader on the other side then follows with a name commencing with the last letter of the previous name; then the player next to the leader on the opposite side follows with a name commencing with the last letter of that name and so on, each player has a turn as it goes from side to side. Suppose the leader names Washington, the next New York, and so on. Thirty seconds is allowed to think of a name, if he fails in that, he must drop out. Any one may be challenged to locate the place which he has named. The side which has kept up the longest, is the champion.


Predicaments of the worst kind are thought of and written on pieces of paper. These are handed among the guests, who write out an answer, telling the best way out of the difficulty. Each question begins with "What would you do if—?"

When all have written their answers, the papers are collected in a basket, mixed up, and each one draws one out. The answers are then read aloud.

Examples: What would you do if you fell into a tar barrel? I would be too stuck up to do anything.

What would you do if you should meet a footpad? I would say, "Please, sir, go away."


It will require two people who know this game to be in the secret. One of them leaves the room while his confederate remains inside with the others. He hides an article which the rest of the players have selected, in an adjoining room which is totally dark, placing a watch with a moderately loud tick, either on, or as near to the hidden object as he can. The rest of the players must not know anything about the watch, as they are kept guessing how the player who is out, succeeds in finding the hidden article in the dark room.

When everything is ready, the one outside is called in, led into the dark room, and hunts for the object. The rest must remain very quiet, as it breaks the "charm," so the leader says. Guided by the ticking of the watch, and knowing that it is there, he soon discovers the hidden object to the surprise of the others.

He and his confederate may take turns going out and after a while, if the company are very quiet, one of them might hear the watch ticking and the trick is disclosed.


Select a number of pictures of men and women from fashion papers, advertising books, etc. If possible, try to procure them in pairs, that is, a man and woman contained in the same picture, or two having the same expression. Number the pictures in pairs, thus there will be two of No. 1, of No. 2, No. 3, etc.

Give the young ladies the pictures of the men and the young men those of the ladies. Each one then hunts for his partner or "better-half," comparing the pictures and number.

The more mixed the pictures were when given out, the longer it will take to find partners.


The players form a line as in a spelling match. Sides may be chosen if preferred. The first one begins by giving the first letter of a word, "A" for instance, thinking of the word "Animal." The next player, thinking of "animate," says, "n." The next, thinking of "antidote," says "t," but this with the other letters spells "ant," so he must go to the foot of the line.

The object of the game is to keep from adding a letter which finishes the word. Often one will give a letter, when thinking of another word, which will complete a word. If he does not notice his mistake, the others call out "foot."


Empty the contents of a box of "anagrams" on a table so all the letters are in a pile face downward. The players sit around the table.

The leader begins by turning up one of the letters and says, "Bird." The players all see the letter, and the first one who responds with the name of a bird commencing with that letter is given the card, and then it is his turn to turn up a card, calling out "Bird," "Animal," "Fish," or "Famous Man," or anything he wishes. Suppose the first letter was "E," and a player answered it with "Eagle"; the next letter was "G," and "Famous Man" was called out, someone would say "Grant."

The one who has answered the most, thus obtaining the greatest number of cards, is the winner.


Fill a table with all sorts of things, books, gloves, dolls, pins, scissors, food, some large, striking picture, another very small object. Keep the table covered until ready for use.

Then remove the cover and let all the guests march around it three times, touching nothing on it, simply looking. The cover is replaced and each one is given a pencil and paper on which he writes down as many things as he can remember were on the table.

The one who has the largest list of correct names receives a prize. The objects may be auctioned off afterwards.


On a sheet mark a regular tit-tat-to diagram in black point. Stretch the sheet so it will be smooth on the floor. Divide the company into sides, a captain being appointed for each side. Call one side the crosses and the other side the zeros.

When a signal is given, the captain of one side takes his position in any one of the squares of the diagram. The captain of the other side follows, taking his position, then a player of the first side takes his position endeavoring to be in a row with the first move, so the next player on his side will form the third cross or zero, as the case may be, in the row, either straight or diagonally, and win the game for that side.

The winning side then changes to zeros if they were crosses or vice versa. Let each player have a turn, as there are only nine squares, and as the game may be won before they are all filled, some may not have a chance to play. It is best, when playing a new game, to let those who did not play before have first play.


Each person is given a slip of paper and pencil. The leader then tells the players to write a bit of advice, original if possible, on the paper, fold it, and drop it into a basket as it passes by.

The papers are all mixed up and the basket is passed again, each player taking one, but not unfolding it until he is told to.

Before opening the papers each one must say whether the advice is good or bad, necessary or unnecessary, and whether he intends to follow it. When the paper is unfolded it may be the opposite of what he has said.


Provide the players with pencil and paper. All sit in a circle. The leader announces that pictures are to be drawn in this manner. First, draw a head (either animal or human), fold the paper, pass it to the right.

Second—Draw a neck, shoulders, and arms.

Third—Complete the body (the former player having left two lines below the fold of the paper).

Fourth—The skirt, trousers or legs, as the case may be.

Fifth—The feet, and if you wish to add to the fun, the last one writes a name either of some one present or some noted person.

The papers are folded and passed after each drawing and the last time, they are all opened and passed around to be inspected and laughed over.


One of the guests is sent out of the room. The hostess asks the remaining players to say something about him. As each one in turn gives his statement, she writes it down with the person's name on a piece of paper which she keeps.

The player is then summoned in and she reads the statements about him one at a time and he must try to guess who said it. As soon as he guesses one correctly, the one who said it must go out of the room and the game goes on as before.


You have the family eyes.

Your chin is too small.

The left sleeve of your coat has a spot on it; and so on.


The "football" for this game is an eggshell which has had the egg blown out of it. The players sit around the table with their captains, who have been previously chosen at each end. There need not be just eleven on each side as in a regular game, but any number. Each captain chooses his side.

Boundaries are marked on the table with, chalk or tape, the two ends being the goals.

When all are ready, the eggshell is placed in the middle of the table, a signal is given, and the members of each team blow the shell towards his goal. No player can leave his place, and the "football" must be moved entirely by blowing.

Regular football rules are used and the count is the same as in football. It will add to the interest, if the two teams stand for rival colleges.


Number eight slips of paper with the same number. On each slip write a part, or a line from a verse of a familiar song. Suppose set No. 1 was a verse of "America," this is the way it would be written.

1. My country, 1. 'Tis of thee, 1. Sweet land of liberty, 1. Of thee I sing; 1. Land where my fathers died, 1. Land of the pilgrim's pride, 1. From every mountain side, 1. Let freedom ring.

Prepare as many slips in groups of eight as there are guests. Give each one a slip at random and tell each to find the rest of his set.

When the players of one group have found each other, they stand together in one corner of the room and practise their song. Each group does this until all the groups are formed, and then, commencing with No. 1, each group in turn sings its song aloud for the benefit of the audience.


Provide each player with pencil and paper. Before playing this game it must be arranged with someone who plays the piano well to have a list of popular songs ready, which she must play one right after the other.

When the leader gives a signal, the pianist strikes up a tune and continues playing from a part of one song into another until she has reached the end of her list.

The others write down on their papers the names of the songs as fast as they are played, and when the pianist stops, the correct list is read by her, and the rest check off their lists. Prizes may be awarded. It is a strange fact, that after such a medley, there will be very few, if any, who have correct lists.


Sides are chosen among the players. Each side then takes its position, forming a row on the floor, the leader at the end. The sides face each other, but quite a space is left between them.

At the head of each line is placed a basket containing twelve clothespins. Each player is instructed to hold his neighbor's right wrist with his left hand, thus leaving one hand (the right one), free.

The leaders begin by passing the clothespins, one at a time, down the line, each player being careful not to drop one. When one reaches the end of the line, the last player places it on the floor beside him until all twelve have been passed, then he passes them, the same as before, up the line to the leader.

The side which succeeds in passing all its clothespin back to its leader first is the victorious side. It is best to have a trial game first, so that the players may become used to passing with one hand, thus being able to do it rapidly for the regular game.

If a clothespin is dropped, the player who dropped it must pick it up and pass it on. The rest must wait until it is passed before passing any of the others.


Give each guest a slip of paper, folded, containing words which can be acted in pantomime. Each one must keep his a secret, as the rest of the company guess what he is acting out.

The players sit in a circle, and the one acting in pantomime his words, stands in the middle where all can see him.

Suppose one had "Dog" on his slip, he would pretend to pet him, call him, and make him perform. Another might have "Blackberries" and make all the imaginary motions of picking and eating them, and being caught on the bushes. If one has "Strawberry shortcake," she can go through the process of making the imaginary cake, and hulling the berries for it.

As soon as it is guessed what the player's word is, the rest call it out.


The players sit in a circle, one person who is quick and witty is chosen as leader. He stands in the center of the circle.

Whenever he mentions any animal that flies all the players make a flying motion with their hands, but if he names something that doesn't fly, he alone makes the motions; if any player makes the motion when he ought to be still he is out of the game. Suppose the leader begins by saying "Parrots fly," all must move their hands up and down whether the leader does or not, but if he says next time "Horses fly," all must remain still.

It is a good plan to call the names quickly, inserting many that don't fly, when the players are excited, so they will be confused and many will be out.


There are several ways of playing this game, here are two. Provide each guest with a little paper book to represent a guide book and a pencil.

Articles of all kinds have been scattered around the room to represent different countries, states, or cities. A little package of tea suggests China; a paper fan, Japan; a piece of cotton batting, Louisiana; a wooden shoe, Holland; a stein, Germany; and so on. Allow a certain length of time for the guesses, then collect the little books, and the player who has guessed the greatest number correctly receives a prize.

Another way. The players sit in a circle, Number One names some place beginning with the letter A, and asks No. 2 what he shall do there. No. 2 answers in words beginning with A, and he, in turn names a city commencing with B, and asks No. 3 the question. Thus each player must answer the question of his neighbor, and name another place.

For example:

"I am going to America, what shall I do there?"

"Admire Astrakhan Apples. I am bound for Boston, what shall I do there?"

"Bake beans and brown bread. My journey takes me to Chicago, what shall I do there?"

"Catch cold," etc., etc.


A piece of kindling wood is held in the fire until it is well lighted. It is then passed from one player to the other, each one saying in turn, "Jack's alive." The instant the stick ceases to burn "Jack" is "dead" and the one who is then holding it has to pay a forfeit.

It is passed very quickly from one to the other, as each player wishes to get rid of it before the spark goes out.

For a forfeit, the man who was holding it will have to undergo the process of having a black mustache made with the charred end of the stick.


Cut a number of small fishes about two inches long out of cardboard. Each fish counts five, but two, which may be a little larger, are numbered ten. A loop is made with thread on the back of each fish.

Rods (sticks about a foot long with string, at the end of which is a bent pin, fastened to each) are provided for the players.

The fishes are placed on the floor or table and, at the word "ready" from the leader, all the players go a-fishing. Each tries his best to hold his rod steady enough to slip the bent pin through the loop of thread. As soon as a fish is caught all must stop until the signal to begin again is given.

Everyone tries to catch the fishes marked ten, but sometimes it is wiser to catch as many ordinary ones as a person can, thus making more points. The player scoring most points is victor.


Provide each player with pencil and paper. The first thing to write on the paper is an adjective which applies to a man. The paper is then folded over and passed to the right. This time each one writes the name of a man (either present or absent), folds the paper so the next one can't see what is written, and passes it on to the right. This is done each time and the order of names is as follows after the first two, then an adjective which applies to a lady, then a lady's name; next, where they met; what he said; then, what she said; the consequence; and last of all, what the world said.

After all have finished writing "what the world said," the papers are passed to the right, opened, and read aloud.


Handsome Mr. —— (met) Pretty Miss (at) The Fair (he said) Have you heard the news? (she said) I intend to go home. (the consequence was) They never spoke again. (the world said) "As you like it."


The guests are requested to think up some conundrums about some person in the present company.

Each one in turn gives his conundrum and the player to his left must answer it if he can; if he fails, any one present may help him out.

The conundrums may be written if preferred, mixed up in a hat or basket and each player takes one to answer.

Some of them may prove very funny. For the best conundrum and best answer given, a prize may be awarded.


Why is Mr. —— like the flatiron building?

Because he is so very tall.

Why is Miss —— like sugar?

Because she is easily melted, that is, overcome.


The players who know how to play this game stay in one room, while the others go into the hall, or another room. Those knowing the trick sit down in chairs which have been arranged in two rows, with an aisle between.

The leader calls one in from the other room and explains to him that there is a whistle in the room, and as he hears it blown he must find it. He can make a long speech about the whistle so as to interest the player, because someone is then pinning the whistle, (which is on the end of a string) to the player's coat.

Both the leader and player stand at one end of the room, between the two rows of chairs. When the leader says "go," the player starts on his hunt. The rest of the players pretend they have the whistle, and blow it whenever it chances to pass their way. Thus the player is kept going from side to side until finally someone happens to pull the string and he feels it and discovers the whistle on his own coat. He then takes his place with the rest in the row and another one is called in and goes through the same hunt. Thus it continues until all the players know the game.


All the players sit in a circle. No. 1 begins by naming something he has seen, being careful what his last word is, as it must furnish him with a rhyme for the rest of the game. Each player in turn tells what he has seen, then No. 1 repeats his first statement and adds what he heard, the next time, what he tasted; then what he smelt; and lastly, what he felt. For example, No. 1 says, "I saw a ring of solid gold." No. 2 says, "I saw a boy fall off the car."

The second time round No. 1 says,

"I saw a ring of solid gold. I heard a story twice told."

No. 2 says,

"I saw a boy fall off the car. I heard the war news from afar."

and so on, after going around five times, No. 1's complete rhyme would be,

"I saw a ring of solid gold. I heard a story twice told. I tasted cheese that was too old. I smelt hay that soon would mould. I felt for something I couldn't hold."

Do not have the verses written as there is more fun in trying to remember one's rhyme.


Provide each guest with pencil and paper. Papers four inches square will be large enough. Each player draws a line about an inch and a half long with one or more quirks in it, in the upper left hand corner of the paper.

The papers are then passed to the player to the right who must draw some picture out of the "wiggle" in the corner. The paper may be turned in any position. Allow five minutes for the drawings.

At the end of this time, each one writes his name on the paper and hands it to the hostess. A committee is appointed to decide upon the best "wiggle-picture" and a prize is awarded to the artist. Examples—

The heaviest line is the wiggle.


Provide the players with pencil and paper. Each one then writes on his piece of paper ten letters of the alphabet in any order, using no letter twice. The papers are then passed to the right and each one is requested to write a telegram, using the ten letters for the beginning of the ten words, just in the order given. The papers are then passed again and the telegrams are read aloud. Some will be very amusing.


A. E. F. J. K. L. N. O. P. T. Am ever frightfully jealous. Keep lookout now on Pa's tricks.

C. B. D. W. G. H. S. I. M. Y. Come back. Down with Grandma. How shall I meet you?


Choose leaders and divide the company into sides. The sides stand opposite each other as in the old-fashioned spelling match.

The leader, who may be the hostess, has a spelling book from which she selects the words which the players must spell backwards. Words of one or two syllables may be chosen, and if, when spelt backwards, they spell other words, so much the better.

The players take turns, one on one side, and one on the other, and so on, until all have spelled. If any fail to spell the word backwards, or do not pronounce it afterward, if it can be pronounced, they must drop out. The side which stands up the longest is the winning side.

Some words are:

Star Now Pan Dew Mat Eve Bard Tub Stop Eel Tops Ton Ten On Den Nun


All the players sit in a circle, one being chosen out. This one kneels before each player in turn and says, in pitiful tones: "Meow!" Each player, when addressed by "pussy," must say, without smiling: "Poor Pussy."

"Pussy" addresses each player three times, trying her best to make the players laugh. If the one she is kneeling before does laugh, they exchange places, but if not, "pussy" moves on to the next one.


Each player receives a slip of paper and pencil. The leader begins by saying: "Guess how high the door is." "Guess how thick that book is." "Guess how tall Mr. Blank is." "How far does this chair stand from the floor,"

He allows a few seconds after each question for the players to write their answers. After twenty or more guesses have been asked, the papers are passed to the right hand neighbor for correction.

The leader then measures each article, person, or thing, with a tape measure, and the guesses on the lists are checked off. The person who has a correct list deserves something for a reward.


Choose two captains from the company, who select sides until all the guests are on one side or the other.

Place a pile of mixed nuts on the floor and an empty bowl about three feet from it, at one end of the room and at the other end another pile and bowl.

The captains and their sides stand by their respective pile of nuts. When the signal is given each captain takes as many nuts on the back of his left hand from the pile as he can gather without the aid of his right hand and carries them to the empty bowl at the opposite side of the room. The players follow the captain in turn continuing until the pile is gone and the bowl is full.

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