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Family Games Newsletter - November 2009
November 06, 2009

November 2009

Welcome to the November 2009 issue of our Family Games Treasurehouse newsletter. We hope that you and your family are blessed as they spend time enjoying family games together.

Last issue, we looked at some international games from Africa, Australia and South America. In this issue, we will review some other worldwide games from Asia and North America. We'll look at two fun, non-competitive games that are great for family get-togethers, such as Thanksgiving, and finish with an excerpt from an article on our website. Simply click on the links to go to our website for more information. Let's get into it!

Worldwide Games - from the Philippines and California (USA)

Dakpanay is a popular chasing game played by children in the Philippines. Five large circles (about 3 metres/yards in diameter) are drawn on the ground. One player is the chaser. The other players must run from circle to circle without being caught by the chaser, who cannot step into any circle. However, he or she can reach into the circle and tag a player if they are too close to the edge of the circle. One circle is "safe" - the chaser cannot tag any player in that circle. Players can only remain in a circle for ten seconds. Any player caught becomes the new chaser.


Stick Dice was originally player by the Pomo tribe of California. It is suitable for two players or two teams of players. You will need six popsicle (icy pole) sticks, with each stick decorated on one side and left blank on the other side. You will also need twelve toothpicks in a pile to be used as counters. The first player tosses the six stick dice. If there are six decorated or undecorated sides face up, or three of each, the player collects the number of toothpicks shown in the table below.

Six stick dice with decorated side up = 3 toothpicks
Six stick dice with plain side up = 2 toothpicks
Three decorated and three plain stick dice = 1 toothpick
Any other combination = 0 toothpicks

Player take alternate turns to throw the stick dice. When there are no more toothpicks in the pile, players take them from each other. The first player to earn all twelve toothpicks wins.


We also have over sixty traditional worldwide games from Africa, Australasia, South America, Asia, North America and Europe for you to play.

Family Games to play at Thanksgiving

"Fractionary" is a fun, non-competitive game for larger family gatherings. Each player receives a blank piece of paper and a pen (or pencil).

One player initially chooses an obscure word from the dictionary that no one knows. Each player then writes the word and makes up their own definition for it, trying to make it sound like a real dictionary definition. Player One also writes the word and the real definition but he/she can change the wording to make it sound less like a dictionary (as long as it is still accurate).

Player One then collects all the pieces of paper and shuffles them. She/he reads all the definitions aloud once before reading them a second time slowly. On the second reading, the other players vote for the definition they think is the real one. (Player One does not vote.) Each definition can be read aloud again, if necessary. After everyone has voted, Player One reveals the right definition.

Two points are awarded to each player who guesses the correct definition. One point is also given to a player each time another player chooses their definition.

For example: Choose the correct meaning for the word, MARTEN. Definition A: “Astronomical term for ice on other planets”
Definition B: “Medieval stringed instrument”
Definition C: “Weasel-like animal with valuable fur”
Definition D: “A martini cocktail without gin”
Definition E: “A round of applause”

Correct answer: Definition C


"Dumb Crambo" is another great non-competitive game for family reunions or parties. Players divide into two teams of roughly equal ability (it doesn’t matter if they have unequal numbers).

One team leaves the room while the other team chooses a word to mime. The chosen word should have a number of other words which sound the same and can also be mimed.

The first team returns. They are not told the chosen word but a word which sounds like the chosen word. For example, the chosen word could be “drive”; they are told it sounds like “hive”.

The first team then leaves the room again and chooses three words they can mime which sound like “hive”. For example, they could choose the words “dive”, “five” and “drive”. They return to the room and act out each word, one at a time. If the word is wrong (“dive” and “five”), the other team hisses and shakes their heads. If the word is correct (“drive”), the other team cheers and applauds.

Teams then reverse their roles. The game can continue for as many rounds as you want.


Check out Family Parlor Games for some more ideas.

Excerpt from the article "Choosing the Best Games for your Child's Party"

I recently attended two birthday parties for young girls. Each party included a variety of activities, but a big part of the fun was playing games. It made me think, "How do you choose the best games for a children's party?"

The first thing to consider is the children who will attend the party. For example: (a) What is their age range? Many games are better suited to a particular age group, such as the game "Duck, Duck, Goose" which is great fun for younger children but it is a little harder for teenagers to sit on the ground and jump up to run around. On the other hand, "Balloon Volleyball" may be too boisterous for young children. (b) Are they all boys or all girls, or is there a mixture of both? As a general rule (and there are exceptions) boys tend to prefer more active games than girls. Tailor the games to suit. (c) Do any of the children have physical or other disabilities that may prevent them from playing certain types of games? Make sure you include suitable games for everyone to be able to join in, at least some of the time.

You will also need to think about the area where the games will be played. In Australia, outdoor games are great almost all year round, but in other countries you may need more indoor games. How much room does each game require? Do you have enough space? Are there active games that could damage delicate furniture or decorations?

Consider providing a mixture of more active games (like "Musical Newspapers", a variation of Musical Chairs) and quieter games ...

(The full article can be found at )

Finally, check out our About This Site page. It explains why we started this site and how you too can start an online business that can set you free from a '9 to 5' job and give you more time to enjoy with your family.

Until next time,
Andrew Low
Family Games Treasurehouse

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