Here are some fun ways to add fun to four different parts of life–
Waiting for your Food, Watching the Credits, Having a Party, and Riding in the Car…
The Top Chef ™ Fusion Game
I came up with this game with my family while we were waiting for our meals at Los Cucos, a favorite Mexican restaurant we have gone to for years. We all enjoy watching Top Chef and other cooking and competition shows, and we had been talking about the fusion food competitions…
Rules of Play
Each player thinks of two main ingredients and challenges any other player to invent a dish with those ingredients and describe how they would prepare and present it. Example: Player 1 challenges Player 3 with Rice and Ice Cream and they say…
Part of the challenge is to think of different ingredients to fuse and part of the challenge is finding a way to make it work. Strategy can include thinking of foods that another player hates or merely ingredients that rarely could ever go together. You need to be specific, not merely “Vegetables” or “Mexican food,” but you needn’t be as specific as “Red Baron Classic Crust Pepperoni Pizza.”
After the person finishes describing their dish, the other players must vote whether they think it was an excellent dish—not whether they would eat it or not, but if it was well constructed, described and presented. They vote with one point each and the “cook” tallies their points. The challenger does not vote—but if no one (or less than half of the players, if you want to make it more competitive) votes for the dish, the challenger is awarded two points.
While Riding in the Car
The Bouncing Ball Game
Having traveled through Europe, having been primarily a passenger in a car until I was 18 (never had much need or desire to drive til then), and having had a vivid imagination, I came up with this game years ago and still play it from time to time.
How To Play
Look out the window to your left or right and watch the scenery fly by. Imagine that you have a bouncy ball and you can throw it out against the scenery to start bouncing along the journey. You can either play with a sideways gravity, a Pong mentality, or a Disney Sing-A-Long version. With sideways gravity, you imagine that the ball is traveling at the same speed as your car and that it must bounce, sideways, along all the sites you pass: off the houses, through the trees and bushes, against the far away mountains. Imagine every bounce and landing, and make sure the ball keeps up with your car or else you’ll eventually find yourself staring out the back. For a game of Pong, imagine that the ball still has to travel at your car’s speed, but that it must bounce against the scenery and bounce back towards and against your car—and again and again, like playing tennis or Pong. This is very fast, but very fun. Finally, the Sing-A-Long version involves a ball that (once again) travels at the same speed as your car, but this time gravity is normal. It’s like the ball on Disney Sing-a-Long videos—it bounces on top of each word and syllable, but this time it bounces on trucks and highway signs. See if you can match it up to the music in the car!
At the Movies
End Credits Game
I love this game, and have played it with friends and family for years. It’s very simple. You see, my family has always been the ones to stick around after the movie is “over” to watch the credits—it’s one of the things I love about us Wepplers. Maybe it’s because we’re lazy and don’t want to join the rush out of the theater. Maybe it’s because we want to finish those last bits of popcorn from the bucket. Maybe because we have to figure out where that scene was shot or who played that weird character—or maybe it’s all of those reasons. Often, though, I believe it is a sign of respect for those who made this movie. Having studied film, I highly honor those men and women who worked hours upon days upon weeks upon months upon years upon decades upon lifetimes on their craft, creating stories for people all over the world to enjoy. I make my friends stick around after the credits, to the point they hate me for it—but fortunately, there is a game to play to make the wait more enjoyable.
How to Play
As you watch the names and titles scroll by, agree with your fellow movie watchers what you want to look for—The Weirdest Name, The Longest Name, The Strangest Job, etc. Make up your own category! As you see the names or jobs or whatever, quietly call them out and let each other enjoy their diversity of life that we find upon the credits scroll. And as you laugh and let yourself be surprised, be thankful for the people who worked on this film for you and your friends and family to enjoy and fellowship over.
Party with Friends
Share and Tell Party
This has been a dream of mine, to have a “Share and Tell” party with friends. Maybe one day.
The main idea here is that everyone has a favorite song, story, item, etc. that they would love to share with others, but are not always given the chance to share in our busy lives. This party is centered around fellowship and learning more about each other.
Basically, everyone comes to the party ready to share SOMETHING. You can set the parameters, telling everyone to bring a favorite TV episode or song or assign specific things to certain people, or you can let it be free and open to anything (while reminding everyone that we must not bring something that would monopolize the party, like a 3 hour movie [unless you are having a Movie Marathon Share and Tell!]).
At the party, everyone takes a turn to share their THING and are given a couple minutes to talk about it, why they like it, why they want others to experience it, how long they’ve liked their THING, etc. This is basically like SHOW AND TELL, but instead of merely Showing people THINGS, we SHARE with them, letting them experience it too, and not only sharing our song, painting, toy, etc. but sharing our lives with each other as well. We open the door to conversation along roads we never might have traveled down.
And we haven’t even got to the best part yet—The beauty of a Share and Tell Party is that it’s very cheap yet fun. No upwards of $10 dollars at the movies or $20 for dinner at a restaurant. Instead, everyone brings some food to share (MORE SHARING!), spending less than $5 on whatever they bring. But, we don’t merely pocket our extra money. Instead, we SHARE our money, donating the 5, 10, 15, or more dollars that we would have spent if we went out doing the same old thing. Everyone places it in a community bowl and together, at the beginning or end, decide how to use the money—donate it to a missionary, buy a present for a friend, give it to an organization, etc.
The wonder of a Share and Tell party is that it could be a million different things. You could have one every week and it could be different each time. It emphasizes the importance of Telling our stories, Sharing our lives, and Sharing what we have with those who have not.
Hope you can find a way to play these games or enjoy a party sometime! Remember, God is a God of joy—he created a million ways to have fun and enjoy the life He’s given. Search them out and find His joy.
Taste and see that the Lord is good. Psalm 34:8a