Play the Name Game

Play the Name Game -- fun for Christmas or New Year's Eve parties.
My mother hosted a lovely dinner on New Year’s Day for family members. My niece and her husband, who live in New York City, were there. Being from that wonderful, avant garde city (compared to the backwaters where I live . . .) they are up on all the cool new games. They taught us two games.  I’ll share one of them today and then the other one tomorrow.

The first game they taught us was called the Name Game.  This game would be fun to play with teen-aged grandchildren. Younger grand kiddos might have a hard time with it.

Here are the rules.

Pass out slips of papers to the players.  Each player writes the name of one person on one slip of paper.  (Depending on how large the group is, have each person write down 2-3 names.)  Fold the pieces of paper in half and put them in a bowl, box, or sack.  Divide the players into 2 teams.

There are 4 rounds of play. The first round is like the game Taboo.  Give the container with the slips of paper to one player on one team.  That person pulls out one slip of paper.  She can say anything she wants to get her team members to say the name of the person on the slip of paper.  (You can’t use any part of the name in your clues.)  Set a timer for one minute.  The person giving clues will try to get her team to guess as many names as they can in that one minute.  If there is a name that she is not familiar with, she can set it aside.  After the minute is up, that team is given a point for every name that is guessed.  Deduct one point for every name that was set aside.

Pass the container to one person on the other team.  Set the timer.  Have that person give her teammates clues to see how many names they can guess in one minute.

Play continues back and forth from team to team until all of the names have been guessed.

For round two, you play charades to get team members to guess the names of the people.  Since everybody has heard all of the names, it can be fairly easy to act out a person’s name.  One person will act out the names for her team to guess.  When a minute is up, they count their points and then a person on the other team takes a turn to act out the names of the people.  Continue until all of the names have been guessed.

For round three, the person giving clues can only say one word to get her team to guess the names.  Set the timer for one minute.  Count up points at the end of the minute and play goes to the next team.  Continue until all of the names have been guessed.

Round four is the hardest.  By far!  By this time, everybody should be really familiar with the names on the slips of paper.  For this round, the person giving the clues can only give clues by using facial expressions or motions of the head.

The end of round four is the end of the game — unless you want to start completely over with a new set of names. You can keep playing as long as your grandchildren seem to have interest. The winning team is the one with the most points.

Happy playing!

10 thoughts on “Play the Name Game

  • Nina Lewis Post author


    Too late, huh? Rats! Well, it’s a fun game for when the family gets together!

    Thanks so much for dropping by,


  • Ruthie Gray

    What fun! My daughter is doing a youth internship with our youth group this summer as part of her college degree. I’ll be sure to share this one with her – I love these type games and so does she!

    Thanks for sharing with us at Tuesday Talk – I always learn something from you!

  • Susan Adcox

    For our New Year’s Eve party a few years ago, I did something similar. I cut out pictures of famous people. As each guest arrived, I pinned a picture on their back. They had to ask questions of the other guests in order to determine who their person was. It was a lot of fun!

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