Have fun at your next party or gathering with these games.
Looking for something different to do the next time you gather with loved ones? Consider these games, which were popular with Victorian England’s upper class.
Shadows (or Shadow Buff)
One small table, a lamp or candle, a stool, and a large white tablecloth or sheet are all you need.
This game requires that players not only guess whose shadow has been thrown but also that they come up with ways to disguise their own shadows.
Suspend the sheet along one side of the room. Place the table with the light behind the sheet, allowing ample room for players to walk between the sheet and the table. Center the stool on the other side of the sheet (where the player who is “it” will sit) and line everyone else up on the other side of the sheet. Turn off all the lights except for the candle or lamp.
One by one, each player parades in front of the light, casting a shadow on the sheet. The person sitting on the stool must guess whose shadow is whose. Shadow casters can alter their shadows any way they choose. Anything goes as long as the player adds no objects to his person. Players can hunch their backs, duck walk, or use their clothing to change their shape.
The game continues until the person who is “it” correctly identifies one of the shadow players.
The Picture Frame
An empty large picture frame is all you need to play this fun game.
Each player takes a turn at being the “picture” by holding the frame in front of his or her face and remaining still for one minute. The rest of the players are challengers. Their job is to cause the “picture” to lose composure. Challengers can pull faces, make strange sounds, tell jokes, or stand on their heads if they want. The only thing challengers cannot do is touch the picture frame. No tickling is allowed!
The winner is the first person who causes the picture frame to lose composure.
The Minister’s Cat
You only need a healthy knowledge of adjectives and the ability to clap a rhythm in unison.
To play, gather the group in a circle. Each player comes up with an adjective to describe the minister’s cat, beginning with the letter A. The game begins with all players clapping in rhythm, such as clapping their thighs twice followed by clapping their hands twice. While still clapping, the first person describes the minister’s cat. For example, “The minister’s cat is Angelic.” Then each player takes a turn until everyone has had a chance to describe the cat with the letter A. Subsequent rounds begin with the next letter in the alphabet. Anyone who repeats a word or does not begin with the correct letter or who is stumped is out.
I have played all three of these games. My favorite is the Picture Frame game. It is fun to try to make the picture frame lose composure!