Fun Family Game #1- The Red Headed Hostess

This family game comes with a warning.  You will laugh.  Hard.  There are a couple moments in this game that still live on in my family.  We call this the “name” game.  But I think we need to come up with a more creative name.

Like “The Game Where My Husband Forever Became Buzz Lightyear”

or  “The Game Where People Yell Really Loud For Some Reason”

Here is what you need:

A bowl



And something for everyone to write with

oh… and a stopwatch – we usually use someone’s phone

Cut up the paper into slips and divide them evenly amongst everyone

5-10 slips per person

Then have everyone write down 1 name per slip of paper

They can be dead or alive, fiction or real

You just don’t want to write down a name in which you are the only person in the room who knows who that person is

Here are some examples

Then fold up every piece once and put them in the bowl

Now divide everyone up into 2 groups

Sit in a circle, and sit so you are between members of the other team

There are 3 rounds to this game

Round 1

Give the bowl to 1 person

They have 30 seconds to try and get their team to guess as many names as they can

They pull the names out one at a time and they can say anything to give clues to their team (except the name itself)

Once their team guesses the name, they keep that slip and then they reach in and get another name

Once 30 seconds is up, they throw whatever name they were currently working on back into the bowl, and then they pass the bowl clockwise and the next person (who is on the other team) does the same thing

Each team should keep a pile of the slips they have guessed

When all the names have been guessed, count them up and write down what the round 1 scores are

Round 2

Put the same slips back into the bowl

Start with whatever person would have gone next

Again, they have 30 seconds to get their team to guess, but THIS time they can only say one word


If they say more than one word they have to put it back in the bowl

Choose your one word carefully

Wise players will use a word that was said in round 1

When the bowl is empty, count up the score and add it to the scores from round 1

Round 3

Put the same slips back into the bowl

Start with whatever person would have gone next

And again, they have 30 seconds to get their team to guess – but this time it is Charades – so you act out the name

No Talking!

Again, wise players will act out words used in round 1 and 2

When the bowl is empty, count up the score and add them up for a final winner

And the losing team has to do the dishes.


  1. I learned this game years ago at summer camp. We called it “Snickerdoodle” It is now one of our go-to games on family game nights!

  2. I always do a game after Christmas dinner with about 20 people and this will be a fun one to try. Variation on the Catch Phrase game which our family LOVES! Thanks for the idea.

  3. My college girls and I call this game Whimsical Donkey! It doesn’t make any sense and I don’t know where it came from but it works! We even used it at the bridal shower they threw me. Watching my mom play was hilarious and she and her partner won!! Sometimes we do two groups but we also do it in partners and you sit across from each other in the circle.

  4. Oh! I forgot one other thing, we don’t just use names, it can be anything- Pandora’s box, eyeball, and apple tree have all found there way into our bowl!

  5. This is one of my all-time favorite party games. We do all sorts of crazy rounds. In addition to the ones you described, we also do Sound Effects (no words or acting, just a crazy noise to describe what’s on the slip), and we do Puppets (you pick someone from the other team and maneuver their body to “act out” what’s on the slip. The Puppet is not allowed to know what is on the paper, which just makes it even more hilarious!).

  6. Our youth group loves this game! We call it “bowls” because we use a second bowl for the guess strips of paper. So much fun!

  7. We play this at just about all of our parties, but we don’t limit it to names, we usually pick a theme…if it’s a baby shower, that’s the theme…super bowl, that’s the theme, etc. However, there is one more round you can play which is puppeteering! Someone from the other team is the puppet and you have to move them for a second charades round. If you think you are laughing now, this makes it even better!

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