Ten Traditional Family Games to Play

Noughts and crosses grids0

Love Playing Games as a Family?

Ten Traditional Games that are Great Family Fun!


Card Games:

Snap, Pontoon, Poker, Go Fish – these are brilliant games to play as a family.  All you need is an ordinary pack of cards, although you can buy special ‘packs’ for games like snap or Happy Families.  Young children can play as part of a team with an older child or with an adult, so that they do not miss out on the fun too!  These are also great games to practise mathematical skills as well.  Ideal for those long summer holidays when school is the last thing on their minds.

Game of Snap



I Spy:

A traditional game where you take the first letter of an object you can see and everyone has to try to guess what the object is.  We often used to play I Spy on long car journeys.  When the youngest member of the family got older and wanted to take part, we adapted the original game into ‘I Spy Something the Colour …..’  We then have to look for an object of that particular colour.  This game is also very good for establishing turn taking and helps children name the different colours they can see.



There are many variations on this traditional school yard game.  The basic game involves drawing a ladder like shape in chalk on the floor.  Each ‘square’ is given a number from 1 to 10.  The children take it in turns to call out a number or to throw a counter onto the ladder shape.  The children then have to hop onto each number and hop over or ‘scotch over’ the number that has the counter on (or number called out).  There are so many different variations on this game and you will often get an older family member explaining the rules of how they used to play it.

Hop Scotch Game


Guess what/who I am.

Everyone sits in a circle and writes a names of a person, animal or object on a post it note, without letting the person next to them see.  When everyone is ready they each take their post it note and stick it on the forehead of the person to their left.  You can ask questions about who or what you are but the other players can only answer yes or no.  The object of the game is to work out who or what you are.  Once you think you know you can check your answer.  If you are first and correct you win.  If you guess incorrectly you lose!


Pass the Balloon

Fill a balloon with water and pass to each other.  If it busts you are out.  The rest of the players carry on with a new balloon.  The winner is the one who is the driest – good for summer!  There are various ways that you can pass the balloon and often some sneaky game playing can take place too!



Basic rules:  The person cannot talk and tries to act out a particular film, book or play title to the other players.  The other players try to work out the title from the clues being mimed.  There are various different rules and I think each family have their own way of playing this game!  Look online for more defined game rules for charades.

Charades cards

Treasure Hunt

Hide a few clues or objects around the garden or the home.  Depending on the age of the child you can use either visual or written clues.  You can either have one clue leading to the hidden site of another clue or you can draw a map for everyone to use as a team.  The ‘treasure’ can be anything – chocolate coins, a small toy or a box of little items wrapped in gold and silver foil or paper!


Talent Show

Gather everyone together and explain it is Talent Show Day.  Allow all day for people to practise and make simple costumes then have a showcase event in the evening.  The idea is to let everyone have their moment to shine so we try to not make it competitive and the reward is something like a cupcake at the end of the show!


Tick Tack Toe or Noughts and Crosses

It can keep children amused for many hours.  Draw a simple grid like this shape # (only larger!) one person draws the noughts ‘0’ and the other draws the crosses ‘x’ inside the grid.  The winner is the person who gets all three shapes in a row.  Sometimes there is no winner either!

Noughts and crosses grids


Hide and Seek with a Difference –

We love playing hide and seek but as a parent I always worry that someone will get lost or get left behind!  So we have changed our game slightly to make sure that everyone returns back to the start!  The person who is doing the seeking is the seeker.  They close their eyes and count up to either fifty or one hundred.  Everyone else finds a place to hide.  We usually pair a youngster up with an older child or parent to hide together.  Once the person who is the seeker’ finishes counting they then have to go off and ‘find’ people.  Traditionally the last person found is the winner.  In our rules everyone has to make their way back to the start without getting seen.  If seen by the seeker then they join the seeking team.  Finally we have a code word usually ‘all in’ or ‘Ally In’ which is called to signify that the game has ended and everyone MUST return to the start.  This is where it is good to have the younger player paired with older ones who will lead them back to the start once everyone has finished playing.



Cards games outside


We really enjoy playing these family games and hope that you can enjoy introducing them to your family too!

Always interested in writing, reading and learning in general. I love the quirky and unusual! All thoughts are my own!

Related Posts

13 Responses
  1. I think with so much tech and gadgetry these days, it’s easy to forget these traditional games, of, and I hate to say it, yesteryear! So many of my favourites in this list!

  2. My two children are enjoying putting on puppet shows for me right now. They build their ‘puppets’ out of Duplo and then perform their story from behind the sofa! Card games were always a firm favourite in my house when I was growing up.

  3. This is brilliant! I think it’s all too easy to reach for a ‘ready made’ game and forget the fun you can have with the traditional ‘games’. I will definitely be introducing my children to these soon! Thanks for sharing with #Playtime

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

My New Stories

We are using cookies to give you the best experience. You can find out more about which cookies we are using or switch them off in privacy settings.
AcceptPrivacy Settings


  • Cookies
  • Privacy Policy


Here at Witty Hoots we value and protect your privacy. For full detailed information about how we use cookies, please visit our Cookie Policy page at www.wittyhoots.com/cms/cookie-policy.

Privacy Policy

Here at Witty Hoots we value and protect your privacy. For full details about our Privacy Policy and Data Protection please visit https://wittyhoots.com/cms/privacy-policy-and-data-protection