Everyone’s up for some fun at a party. These games make sure it happens.
By Sara Younger
Welcome to Chanukah 2017. It’s a combination of the serious, the hilarious, the creative, and of course, the FUN. And you can bring all those experiences to your home this season.
These games can be tailored to fit all age groups so they are perfect for your Chanukah party this year. Choose any games as a stand alone or play them all for an Olympic-style competition.
Game 1: The Great Dreidel Search
Supplies: 25 sets of dreidel pairs (2 of each kind)
To prepare: Raid your local kosher supermarket or judaica store for 25 different kinds of dreidels and purchase 2 of each. Before the party, hide them all very well in areas that you will allow the guests to go.
How to play: At the start of the music, or the count of three, everyone may begin searching for dreidels in the specified areas. The goal is to be the team with the most matching sets. At the end of the song or when you say stop, each team has to count their sets only.
The rules: Teams can search only in the specified areas and of course, no running or pushing.Trading dreidel types with other teams to acquire the match to one you already found is allowed but, during playtime only, NOT during counting time. Teams may search and negotiate any trades until it is stop time. The team with the most sets wins.
Game 2: The Oil Dash
Supplies: 2 small empty oil bottles (or any bottles)
To prepare: Put a sign on each bottle so you can tell them apart if they are identical. Divide the party space in half creating a boundary for each team. (Simple enough?)
How to play: The goal of the game is to capture the oil bottle of the other team while keeping your own safe. In order to do that, each team chooses three Maccabee soldiers and one Yavanee jail guard. All other players must sit. Allow each team 5 minutes to conceal their oil bottle somewhere within their boundaries. Once that is done, announce the start of the game.
The Yevanee jail guard is allowed to move around his team’s boundary only, trying to prevent the Maccabees from reaching the oil. The Maccabees can cross into the opposing team’s territory to attempt to capture the oil.
If a Maccabee is caught on the opposition’s side by the jail guard, the guard may tap the Maccabee, causing the Maccabee to be frozen. Once frozen, the Maccabee is stuck until a teammate comes to unfreeze him by tapping him. Once unfrozen, he may continue his search for the oil. The first team to safely bring the opposition’s oil to their own side wins!
The rules: Once the oil is hidden, any teammates that are not up as players must sit. They can cheer or give advice, but if they stand up their players must all go back out of the other team’s territory and start again. (If you have more than 2 teams, play this game in shifts.)
Game 3: Menorah Memory
Supplies: 2 inexpensive menorahs per team
2 boxes of candles per team
To prepare: Hand the menorahs and candles to each team. Each team sets up their menorah with candles in any order they would like.
How to play: Each team hands their menorah to the other team to view for exactly 30 seconds. Then hide the menorahs. Each team now has 60 seconds to recreate the set up they just saw in their second (empty) menorah. At the conclusion of the 60 seconds, return the original menorahs and compare the results. Any team that has the set up all correct wins. Play for 3-5 rounds.
Game 4: Latke Burst
Supplies: Lots of balloons
One oversized tee shirt per team (XXL works well)
Large trash bags
To begin the game: Explain to all participants that Uncle Bentzi ate waaaay too many latkes and now he’s ready to pop. So… each team will choose one teammate to be Uncle Bentzi and don the oversized shirt. Place a package of balloons in front of each team and give the signal to start blowing. All teammates should begin blowing up and tying balloons and placing them inside Uncle Bentzi’s shirt. When time is up, the team with the most inflated balloons tucked securely inside the shirt wins.
The rules: Each balloon must be at least a certain size. Blow up a sample to show each team what qualifies size-wise for your game. To count the balloons, pull them out one by one and place them in a trash bag, so you can easily know whose is whose in case a recount is necessary.
Game 5: Candle Art Pictionary
Supplies: White paper
Lots of candles
A printed Chanukah Pictionary card PDF (Click here to download)
A 60 second timer
To prepare: Cut out a set of the Pictionary cards. Divide everyone into two teams.
To begin the game: Place the cards face down in the center of the playing area and hand each team a big bunch of candles. Choose which team goes first. Choose which teammate will be the “picturist.” The picturist chooses the top card, but no one else can see it. Once he has looked at the card, he has 60 seconds to create a picture of one of the words shown on the card using candles while his teammates have to guess what he’s drawing. They can call out their guesses while he’s drawing. If the team guesses correctly, they keep the card and he chooses another. Repeat until 60 seconds elapses without a guess. Then, it’s the other team’s turn. The team with the most cards at the end of the game wins.
The rules: Candles may be broken or bent to create the picture desired. Talking to give clues is a no-no.
Game 6: Coin towers
Supplies: Approximately 150 chocolate coins per team
A tape measure
A small bouncy ball
How to play: Each team has five minutes to construct a tower from their coins. Towers are meant to be high, but also to withstand the weight of a rolling bouncy ball.
Once construction time is over, each team’s tower is measured. The team with the tallest tower earns 25 points.
Then, each team will have a chance to roll their ball at one opposing team’s tower from a specified distance. (Obviously, distance must be equal for each roll.) Any team whose tower remains upright receives an additional 50 points.
The rules: Teams can arrange their coins in any configuration, but obviously it is to their advantage to head upwards while keeping a strong base.
Sara Younger is the fun behind Playland Parties, director of camp Summer Playland, and the owner of the Dance with Playland dance studio.
She is the mother of four amazing children and works to balance family and fun every day.
Making today (and every day)happy is both her career and her passion
You can find her online at Playlandparty.com or on Instagram @playlandparties