July 16, 2010, Newsletter Issue #300: Brainy Party Games

Tip of the Week

There is no end to the party games available in stores and on the Internet. There are even a slew of games designed for the "brainy" set. Check out these mind games if you'd like to get cerebral at your next bash, courtesy of Hallmark:

Lame-Brain Game: ask each party guest to arrive with something "lame-brained" about their appearance. Maybe they'll have mismatched shoes or a missing sock. Maybe fingernails are painted on only one hand. Then give everyone 10 minutes to look for and write down as many lame-brain features as they can. Most correct guesses wins a prize.
Powers of Observation: Fill a tray with 10-15 common items (comb, toothbrush, bar of soap, etc.) and cover with a towel. Place the tray in front of your guests, uncover it, and let them study it for one minute. Next, allow 3-5 minutes for them to list all the items from the tray they can remember. Most correct guesses wins. Challenge guests by increasing the number of items or reducing their study time.
Stare-Master: Here's one that's especially entertaining for the host. Divide guests into pairs or teams. Each team gets a copy of a special picture you have made, preferably on your computer. Fill the page with a random pattern of letters and symbols, and give a copy to each team. Ask them to stare at the picture for 30 seconds and try to find the hidden image. Give the teams another minute to consult with each other and guess what the image is. Each team writes down their answer and holds it up for everyone to see. The clever part of this game? There is no hidden image! Any team who guesses that your picture doesn't show anything wins. (Meanwhile, it's quite entertaining to watch people staring intently at a picture of nothing.)
"Riddle Me This" Scavenger Hunt: Divide guests into teams. Each team must solve a riddle to get their next clue. Visit riddle sites on the Web to find a wealth of riddles you can use. (You know, like "What's black and white and red all over?" And the answer would be a newspaper.) Start each team with a different riddle to avoid overhearing answers. They must come to you with the answer (give them hints if you must). When they answer correctly, you give them a new clue with directions to their next riddle. After solving 3-5 riddles, their directions should lead to a prize.
The Numbers Game: A little work for the host, but lots of fun for the guests. Write a list of 15-20 facts that include numbers. Make your "faux" number facts too high or too low. (For example: A spider has 10 legs. The answer is "too high," since spiders have 8 legs.) Make your "facts" as complicated as you feel your group can handle. Divide into teams and give each team 2 big signs, one that says "too high" and one that says "too low." They hold up their answers after you ask each question. Each correct answer is a point. First one to 10 points wins!

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