Thursday, June 08, 2006

Home-Circle Evenings

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Home-Circle Evenings

Probably the most frustrating aspect of our hectic modern life is that busy families rarely see their nearest and dearest, never mind spend enjoyable, memory-making time together.

The remedy: Set aside some special time for the family. And yes, with the TV turned off!!
Let me introduce you to the pleasure of “Home-Circle Evenings.” Victorian families had an abundance of popular parlor amusements. Among the most popular: a wide assortment of board game, magic tricks, brain games (riddles and word puzzles) and charades. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Victorian Parlor Games

The host shows everyone a little knick-knack in the room. All the guests are to leave while the host hides it. When they return, everyone is to look for the item until they spot it. They are then to sit down. The last one to find it loses (or has to be "it"). It makes it a bit more difficult if guests continue to mill for a few seconds before they sit down.

One person is selected to be "it." That person is the only one in the group who is allowed to smile. He or she can do anything they want to try and get someone to smile. If the person smiles, he or she becomes it. The person who never smiles is declared the winner.

You will need a large group for this game. Put the names of animals onto slips of paper and then into a hat (be sure include two of each animal, of course). Let each participant draw an animal name but don't tell anyone else what it is. They're going to be the animals on Noah's Ark. Something has happened so that all the animals have escaped from their pens. The animals now need to find their partners. The lights go out, and then everyone spreads throughout the room or throughout the house. Then they're told to find their "partners" by only making the noises of the animals.

The party are seated round a table, from which the cloth must be drawn. A little wool is rolled up into the form of a ball, and placed in the middle of the table. The company then commence to blow upon it, each one trying to drive it away from his own direction, and the object being to blow it off; so that the person by whose right side it falls may pay a forfeit. The longer the ball is kept on the table by the opposing puffs of the surrounding party, the more amusing the game becomes, as the descended cheeks and zealous exertions of the players afford mirth to lookers-on as well as to themselves.

You take an object, the "slipper." Pick a person and put them in the center of the circle. They must close their eyes while the "slipper" is passed from person to person behind their backs. When the center person opens his/her eyes, the passing immediately stops and he/she must hazard a guess as to who holds the "slipper." If he/she is correct, they trade places. If wrong, the eyes are closed and the passing begins again.

is an old parlor game. Each person takes a turn choosing a word for one of six questions, in this order.
1. Man's name
2. Woman's name
3. Place name
4. A comment
5. Another comment
6. An outcome
Then the story is read: #1 met #2 at #3, and he said #4, she said #5, and the consequence was #6.
Originally played by writing the words on paper and folding the paper to hide the previous words before passing it to the next player.

We have tried several of these games and had lots of fun! "You are never fully dressed without a smile" is the most popular one so far! :0)


Marci said...

These really sound like fun. We do a variation of the smile game. One person looks at another person and says do you love me? Then the other person says, Yes, I love you but I just can't smile. When I play with the neighbor children, they can't even get the sentence out without smiling. =)

Magistra Mommy said...

They sound like so much fun! :o)