Everyone could use some cheer this holiday season. So instead of just a Zoom get-together, add a fun, entertaining game to the mix. Here are three great options:
This is a fun, creative game that can produce some wildly entertaining stories. Put people on teams. Each team should have at least 6 players and can have as many as 15. Tell people they are going to create a “Fairytale.” Each player on the team should have a piece of paper in front of them– with one letter of the alphabet. The host should assign the letters and they need to be in order: A- B- C. etc. The players are told that they will each help create a story. One person will speak at a time, starting with the person that has the letter “A” followed by the person with “B,” etc. The twist is that when it is a player’s turn, they must pick up the story where it left of AND start their first sentence with a word that begins with the letter they are holding. So, after the host starts the story with “Once Upon a Time….” the person who has the letter “A” must begin the story with a word that starts with “A.” At random intervals, the host rings a bell to signal that the next player on the team (with “B”) must pick up the story. That person must start with a word that begins with “B.” The intervals should range from 15 seconds to 30 seconds, but players will not know when the bell will ring. The stories can get pretty wild and there is always a lot of laughter. The team that has the best story “wins.”
Break into two or three teams. Big teams are fine. The person hosting the game sends a message via the Chat feature to one player on Team #1. That person attempts to draw the item while his/her team members guess what it is. The player who is drawing may not talk. They can use a large pad of paper and a marker– or the Annotation feature on Zoom. They have only 1 minute to have their teammates get it correct. If they do, they get a point. Then, the host sends a message to the person drawing for Team #2. This can go back and forth between the two teams for about 30 minutes. You don’t want to drag it out too long. Great fun.
The Virtual White Elephant Gift Exchange Game
This is a great variation of the classic holiday gift exchange game, where everyone takes a number. Then, when it is their turn, gets to pick a wrapped gift or “steal” someone else’s gift that has already been chosen and unwrapped.
First, you need someone to manage/facilitate the activity for the entire group. That person sends details to all who want to participate, and sets a deadline for RSVPing
Each person is tasked with the following:
Step 1: Find a unique item (wacky is good, but it should be something someone would want) on Amazon between $15-$20- or whatever limit has been designated. DO NOT BUY IT.
Step 2: Send the facilitator the link to the item. Again, must be from Amazon (ideally Prime, so people will get their gifts in a timely manner and shipping is free).
Step 3: Venmo or Paypal or mail a check to the facilitator for the amount of the item (+tax and shipping if not a Prime item).
Step 4: Email your mailing address to the facilitator—so s/he can mail you the gift that you finally end up with.
- Will send all participants a Zoom Meeting link. If people cannot make the virtual meeting, they should not participate.
- Will randomly assign each participant a number at the beginning of the party.
- Gets a number of gift bags in a variety of sizes. Puts a picture plus description of each gift into a bag. Puts a letter of the alphabet on the outside of each bag (A, B, C, etc.)
- Explains the rules to the participants at the beginning of the game.
- When your number is called (people will go in numerical order), you select a gift. You can ask the facilitator to hold up a gift bag in order to see it, but you cannot “shop.” The facilitator will open the gift bag you choose (all of them will be displayed in front of the facilitator)- and reveal the gift.
- OR—if you are not the first person to select a gift, you can steal a gift that has already been opened/claimed by someone else.
- If your gift gets stolen, you open a new gift or steal a gift from someone else, but you cannot immediately steal back something that was taken from you.
- Only 3 steals allowed for the same gift.
- The person who was #1, can exchange their gift for someone else’s at the end of the game—IF no one stole their gift during the game. This rule is optional.
- The facilitator keeps track of all gifts and recipients. There should also be another person helping take these notes.
- Reads the final list of who is getting what.
- Makes the order of all items from Amazon and inputs each person’s address for shipping.
No Host/Facilitator Variation
If you don’t have someone who will take on the task of organizing and facilitating, you could have every person actually purchase a gift. You still need someone to give people a number and moderate the activity. If someone selects your gift or steals it, you must keep track of who finally should get it. Each person is then tasked with mailing their gift to the right person.
Suggestions for making things festive:
- Ask people to wear holiday clothes.
- Facilitator can wear a Santa hat.
- Play holiday music in the background.
- Ask people to bring and play funny noise makers—to sound off when a gift is “unwrapped”—or whenever appropriate.
- Tell people to sip on their favorite holiday beverage or eat holiday treats during the party.
Have a great time!!!