Family Games

July 19th, 2010

This weekend was great.

Really.  I’m a glass half-empty kind of person (as my kids keep pointing out to me: “Mom!  You’re being so glass empty right now!”) but even I can’t find anything wrong with the weekend we just had.  Tons of free time (after a couple of super-frantic weekends earlier this month), a good movie (Despicable Me which was totally fun), a trip to the thrift store to drop off bags of old clothing (what a relief), a brunch with good friends, an afternoon spent lazily paddling around the pool (or sitting around it, in my case, since I never swim), and hours upon hours of playing games.

We like games in our family.  I know that hopelessly marks us as nerds, but I think we’re all okay with that.  Sunday night we played bananagrams (AKA speed scrabble and infinitely better than your father’s boring old slow Scrabble game–or your husband’s, for that matter).

Saturday night, though, was even better.  My niece taught us this amazing new parlor game: Bowl Full of Nouns.

First everyone writes several nouns down, each on its own scrap of paper.  The nouns can be as general as “pie,” as specific as “Will’s last slice of pumpkin pie,” as weird as “Leslie Uggams,” and as complex as “Johnny and Leslie Uggams’ relationship.”  (Yeah, we’re a little obsessed with Leslie U.  You will be too if you watch this video.)

Okay, so you throw all these words into a bowl and divide into two teams.  Taking turns, one member of each team tries to get his teammates to say the nouns he plucks from the bowl.  Anything goes at this point except actually using the words on the piece of paper.  Both teams need to pay attention because at the end of this round the papers go back in the bowl.  Round 2: taking turns again, players try to get their teammates to say the word they’ve heard earlier but may have forgotten, but this time they can only say ONE word to try to jog their memory.  For instance, if you’re trying to get someone to say “Leslie Uggams,” you say “Fez” or “Bejeebers,” which only makes sense if you watch the video I mentioned above.

Round 3, the words go back in the bowl and once again you’re coaxing them out of your teammates, only this time you have to do it all in pantomime.  Eating pie is easy to mime.  “Johnny and Leslie Uggams’ relationship” is harder–but not impossible.

We played game after game of this.  The kids didn’t want to go to bed and didn’t ask to watch TV.  We let them stay up late.  We were a family of happy silly nerds.

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