What do you do on Thanksgiving day after the last morsel of turkey is ingested and every crumb of pie is licked clean from the pie pan? Some families sit in a calorie induced haze in front of the TV watching football and shouting at a referee that can’t hear you. We don’t. We’re more into playing games as a family.
If you’re like this, too, or if you want to have a change of pace on Thanksgiving, or if you want to have a fun game for a birthday party, or if you want to just PARTY, you might want to consider gathering around the table to play the candy bar game. (I’ll give a variation on this game after I explain it in the event that eating more food after a huge Thanksgiving meal doesn’t sound very appealing.)
For this game, you’ll need at least one candy bar per person. Several extra candy bars make it even more fun. You’ll also need a pair of dice. If you have a very large group, you might want to consider having 2-3 sets of dice going at the same time. You’ll see why in a moment.
Sit in a circle around the table. Select one person to begin. She rolls the dice. If she rolls a 7 or an 11, she gets to select a candy bar from the pile that is in the center of the table. Then, she passes the dice to the person on her left.
Play continues in this manner. Everybody takes a turn rolling the dice. If they roll a 7 or an 11, they get to select a candy bar from the pile. If the group is big, the extra set of dice makes it so the players don’t have to wait so long between their turns of rolling the dice.
Once all of the candy bars are gone from the middle of the table, players rolling a 7 or an 11 can then take candy bars away from other players. Le’s say I rolled a 7 and someone in the group had an Almond Joy (which I like!). I would tell that person to give me the Almond Joy candy bar and he would have to relinquish it to me.
Play proceeds in this manner until you (grand pooh bah leader of the game) decide it’s time to move into phase two. In the second phase, players who have candy bars place them in their lap under the table out of sight from the other players.
Players take turns rolling the dice. Now comes the REAL fun! You have to pay attention to who has which candy bars! Say I rolled a 7 or an 11 and I thought that someone in the group had that coveted Almond Joy. I would ask him to give it to me. If he did not have it in his lap, I would not receive said candy bar. If he did have it, he would have to give it to me. I would then place it under the table on my lap so that others couldn’t see what I had.
So the trick is to remember who has what candy bar. Because if you ask them for it, they have to give it to you. But you might not remember who has which candy bar. This is especially tricky if you have 2-3 sets of dice going because the candy bars could be changing between players so quickly that you might not be able to keep up with who has which candy bar.
Here’s the variation that I mentioned. If just the thought of eating or playing with candy bar throws you into a tizzy fit after a huge calorie laden meal like Thanksgiving, go to a local dollar store. Instead of buying candy bars, buy little ‘prizes’ like a small toy, a bouncy ball, fun pencils, balloons, stickers, knick knacks, or what ever strikes your fancy. Then, place those in the middle of the table for people to select from when they roll a 7 or an 11.
The game ends when interest seems to wane — or whenever you (as grand pooh bah game leader) determine that it is time to change to a different game. Players may then keep what ever candy bars or toys/prize that they are holding in their lap.
One word of caution. If your grandchildren are younger than about 8 years old, they may have a hard time giving up the candy bar or the toy that they got when they rolled a 7 or an 11. You might have to explain to the child before the game starts that in they end, she WILL end up with a candy bar or a toy.
And, then at the end of the game, let her choose one toy/candy bar from any other player and allow her to keep it (especially if she didn’t end up with anything in her lap!). You might even have to determine a way to make it fair to the players if some don’t end up with something — such as having extra candy bars or prizes that could be given out at the end.
The purpose of the game is to have some fun and make it so that everybody ends up happy — and not for someone to end up being the candy bar hog!
You could play this game as you gather on a Sunday evening as a family. Or for a grandchild’s birthday party. Or just whenever the grand chickabiddies come for a visit and you need to find something to do to keep them from getting bored.