Your 2020 Chanukah Get-Together Game Guide
By: Esther Pransky, Lubicom Marketing Staff
“It is fun to have fun, but you have to know how.”
Those are the immortal words of Dr. Seuss’s Cat in the Hat. And never were they truer than when you’re in charge of planning the family Chanukah game.
And especially this year, when you may be playing that game over Zoom, how ARE you going to have fun?
We’re coming to the rescue with three virtual and two in-person games that will generate laughter, fun, and lots of warm Chanukah memories.
1. SUR-PRIZE VIRTUAL DREIDEL GAME
It’ll be laughs by the minute as your family gives each other gifts from the heart!
Before Chanukah, each family member submits three “prizes” to the organizer. For example:
- “I’ll make you a dessert of your choice.”
- “I’ll compose and perform a song in honor of your birthday.”
- “We’ll hang up your picture in the baby’s crib.”
- “I’ll sponsor a manicure for you.”
- “I’ll paint a picture of you.”
- “I’ll teach you four dance moves.”
The organizer prints a coupon for each prize (index cards are the perfect size) but keeps the prizes a secret.
On game day, players join via Zoom or another virtual platform. Make sure to have your dreidels handy! The organizer puts the cards face down as the “pot.” No peeking at the cards!
How to Play:
Players take turns spinning the dreidel:
נ – do nothing
ג – take two cards
ה – take one card
ש – put one card back in the pot
Expect lots of laughs as players discover their priceless prizes.
Since this is via Zoom, most players won’t be able to physically “take” any cards, but whoever has the cards will read them out loud, show them to the camera, and keep a separate pile for each player. (Same goes for putting cards back in the middle.)
Play continues until all cards are won. After the game, the organizer mails the cards to each player. Winners have until next Chanukah to redeem their prizes.
2. MISHPACHA MADNESS VIRTUAL TRIVIA GAME
How well do you know your family? You’re about to find out.
Your trivia games need trivia questions. To gather questions for the game:
1. Have the senior family member(s)write all the questions and enjoy stumping the rest of the family
2. Each person submits 3 questions to an organizer
- When does Bubby start cleaning for Pesach?
- What’s Zaidy’s favorite flavor of ice cream?
- Who was the first grandchild to . . .?
- How many times did . . .?
- What color . . .?
Once you have the questions, you can prepare the game. Here are two ways to make a Zoom-friendly game:
1. Kahoot.com – Kahoot is easy to use. With a free account, you can create multiple-choice and T/F questions for a game of up to 20 people. You use the Kahoot platform to input the questions, adding pictures if you’d like.
2. DIY – Prepare a Google Doc, Presentation, or PowerPoint with the questions. Put only one question per page so you can share one page at a time during the game. Keep the answers simple: multiple choice, T/F, or very short answer.
How to play:
When you’re ready to play, share your screen so everyone can see the Kahoot questions or the file you prepared.
If you’re using Kahoot, it will generate a game PIN that all the players put in to join the game. It’s helpful for players to have two devices: one for Zoom and one for Kahoot, but they can also split their screen on one device. Kahoot will score the game for you, updating you after each round.
If you went the DIY route, show only one page of your document at a time. Players can chat the answers to you. The first correct answer earns 6 points; the second correct answer earns 5 points, etc. You can record the scores on a shared Google Sheet.
3. VIRTUAL CHANUKAH QUEST
This game works especially well for younger children, but you can make the quests more sophisticated for older players, too.
As with the trivia game, you need to have quests prepared in advance.
For example, “You have three minutes to find":
- Best food to eat with latkas
- Most unusual dreidel
- Funniest hat
- Smallest menorah
- Object that has your first and last initial
- Something Yehuda HaMaccabi would have used
How to play:
Decide beforehand if one person will always ask the questions or if you’ll take turns. To play each round, present the quest and then start the three-minute countdown.
Players must be back in front of the screen with the object within the time limit. The questioner scores each player for following directions and creativity. You can record the scores on a shared Google Sheet.
4. EEXTREME CHANUKAH MUSICAL CHAIRS
Get ready for some action because this game will keep everyone on the edge of their seat!
Set up chairs in a circle for all the players plus one.
Then assign each person a Chanukah code name like latka, menorah, oil, Yehuda, or Yehudis.
How to Play:
Everyone sits down on a chair. There will be one empty space.
Once you get the hang of the game, it’s easy, but to explain the rules, we’ll give the players names: Gila – Empty Chair – Ilana – Rosie –Yaffa.
1. The player to the right of the Empty Chair starts. In our example, that’s Ilana. She moves to the Empty Chair while saying, “I went to the park. . .” (Now the order is: Gila – Ilana - Empty Chair – Rosie – Yaffa.)
2. Now, Rosie is to the right of the Empty Chair. She immediately continues, “. . .and I saw a. . .” while moving to the Empty Chair. (Now the order is: Gila – Ilana – Rosie - Empty Chair – Yaffa.)
3. Now Yaffa is to the right of the Empty Chair. Yaffa immediately starts to move to the Empty Chair while saying one of the Chanukah code names assigned to a member of the group, for example, “Menorah.” (Now the order is: Gila – Ilana – Rosie - Yaffa -Empty Chair.)
4. Whoever is Menorah must immediately jump up and run to the Empty Chair. (Now the order is: Gila – Ilana – Rosie - Yaffa - Menorah.)
5. Whoever is to the right of Menorah’s old chair (now the Empty Chair) starts again.
Players are out if:
- They don’t respond immediately to their code name
- They don’t move immediately when they’re supposed to
- They call out a Chanukah code name that doesn’t match any player
- They call out a Chanukah code name that matches a player who is already out
- They call out a Chanukah code name of a player sitting next to them on either side. Once there are only 5 players left, this rule doesn't apply.
Keep the game moving fast! Continue playing until only two players are left.
5. CHANUKAH WRAP-UP
The gelt is yours to keep-if you can get to it in time.
You will need
- At least 1 roll of plastic wrap
- Gelt (real or chocolate)
Wrap some gelt in a piece of plastic wrap. This will be the core of your ball. Add layers, including gelt (or another trinket) in each layer. Keep on going until you have a large, round package.
How to play:
Sit in a circle on the floor or around a table. Each person gets a turn to unravel the ball and keep whatever falls out.
But don’t make it too easy. Set a timer for each turn or play some Chanukah music for one minute. Have the person with the plastic wrap wear mittens, use a fork and knife, or try to unwrap the plastic with his mouth.
Have fun playing! Let us know how it goes in the comments below.