[photopress:bubbles_1008.jpg,thumb,pp_style]By Sherrie Mackelprang
Have you ever played Sardines? Not the fish. It is a game like hide and seek, only in reverse. Instead
of one person doing the counting while the others hide, one person hides while the others count. When it is time to do the seeking, all the players go in search of the one who hid. If someone finds the hiding player, they don’t shout out. They hide with them. This is when the fun begins. Small spaces become cramped and tight as player after player squishes into the hiding place. It is amazing how many people can fit into a shower or under a bed. The first person to find the hiding player gets to be the one who hides in the next round.
Sardines can take the edge off of a stuck-at-home sort of day. Make it a night and invite the neighbors. Both young and old can catch a good case of the giggles during a game of Sardines. Try it with the lights out for an added twist of fun.
Charades is an all time classic for a day spent indoors. It’s the game where things are acted out without speaking. Movie Charades is one of my favorites where each player acts out a scene from a movie.
Whoever guesses the movie gets to be the next one to act.
I can’t forget to mention Boolah Boolah, a musical twist on the old game of Hot and Cold. An object is hidden and choruses of Boolah Boolah are sung. If the searching player is far from the hidden object, everyone sings softly. When the person gets close to the object, everyone sings louder and louder until the hidden item is found.
A new indoor activity that my husband and I tried this year was an indoor snowball fight. Now we didn’t use snow for this. A humorous neighbor gave us a festively wrapped bag of marshmallows for the purpose of snowball fighting. Initially I set the bag aside, it seemed too messy and potentially hazardous. But, the temptation became too great. One unsuspecting moment, I clobbered my good husband with fat white marshmallows. The war was on. I wound up in a corner surrounded by house plants, frantically defending myself, and laughing until tears streamed from my eyes.
Rubber bands and gum wrappers can spark the imagination. Fold the gum wrappers into small rectangles, and launch them with a rubber band. Make a contest to see who can launch a wrapper the farthest, or make a paper target and see who is the most accurate. Enjoy the gum while you play.
Paper airplanes can provide hours of entertainment. There are so many different styles of planes, and the decorating possibilities are endless. Unwanted mail folds nicely into an airplane, too. Hallways make a nice airstrip. See who can create the straightest-flying or the longest-flying airplane.
Got paint? Thumb people are interesting to make. Using a strip of butcher paper and some non-toxic paint, make thumb prints all over the paper. Once the prints are dry, use a pen or marker to make faces on the prints. Give each print its own personality and body. When you’re finished, the decorated paper makes a fun table runner for eating a yummy treat.
When you’ve got to have chocolate, Chocolate Madness is the game for the cure. This game requires a few items: a cutting board, a butter knife, dice, oven mitts, and a large candy bar. Unwrap the candy bar and place it on the cutting board. Circle round the cutting board with the other items ready. The goal is to roll doubles. Each player takes a turn rolling the dice. As soon as a player gets doubles, they put on the oven mitts, use the butter knife to cut the candy bar, and begin stuffing their face with all the chocolate they can cut off the bar. If another player rolls doubles, the mitts and knife are quickly passed to that player. They then enjoy the bar until another player rolls doubles. The game lasts until the candy bar is devoured.
As the days get shorter and the temperatures dip to freezing, try out something new. The only real rule to indoor family fun is to do something together and have a blast.