Okay, bear with me on this one… it’s well worth it, I promise.

The Hat Game was introduced to us by my dad, who was told about it when they had friends over for dinner… and yes, the introduction of alcohol (or children) helps add extra amusement. It’s a very (very!) simple game… what might once have been termed a parlour game, I imagine. All you need are a few, easy to come by things:

  • a hat (or bowl, or other receptacle)
  • pen and paper
  • a stopwatch
  • willing participants (even if they don’t realise they are willing, after a quick go, they will be!)

Each person writes down the name of people/characters/celebrities on pieces of paper. The number each person does depends on how many players there are, but we normally go for 4 or 5 each. You can choose famous people, people you all know, children’s characters, or whatever you choose (ours ranged from Che Guavara to Ozzy Osbourne to Tree Fu Tom!) Each slip of paper is then folded in half and put in the hat. Players are divided into two teams – boys versus girls, or whatever you choose.

Players take it in turns to take a paper from the hat, and describe the name in such a way that their team correctly guesses as many as possible in 60 seconds. When the time is up, it’s the other team’s go, and so on until all the names have been guessed. The scored are then added up and noted down.

But that’s not the end… oh no. All the names are put back in the hat, and the game begins again. But this time, players have to describe the name in just one word! So in theory everyone knows the names (if they can remember) but there may be eg Steven Gerrard and Andy Carroll in there, so “footballer” won’t cut it. Similarly, you may also have Paul O’Grady, so “Liverpool” won’t do either… you see how it gets harder? Carry on until all the names are guessed again, in the same way as before, and tot up the scores.

But wait, there’s more… for the final round, when the names are taken out of the hat, the person describing has to only mime. It’s very easy for Len Goodman to be misinterpreted as T-Rex (when it’s Lee doing the miming) and you don’t want to know what my mum’s impression of Ozzy Osborne looked like, but it’s not something that should be repeated in polite company (and I don’t think I have ever seen Amanda blush so much!) Much hilarity was had on holiday playing this game, both as an adults game (with wine) and as a family version.

Seriously, I know it sounds a bit naff, but it really is so much fun! Try it 🙂

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