Instant Party: Just Add People

“Instant Party: Just Add People,” New Era, Feb. 1986, 24

Instant Party:
Just Add People

No equipment is needed. No rental fees required. Just come have fun!

Bob’s eyes narrowed and his voice grew tense, “I had only five more miles to ride to Fort Wayne when I saw a terrible sight over the horizon. It was a cloud of dust. I knew what it meant as I felt the ground underneath my Palomino shake. Hundreds of horses were headed my way.”

The people in the room listening to Bob’s story leaned forward in their seats in anticipation.

“I was in Apache country, and my worst fears were realized when riding over the ridge came 200 war-painted Apache Indians!”

At the mention of the word “Indians” the group listening to Bob’s story sprang to life. People were jumping, running, and scrambling for a new seat. In the ruckus Bob dashed to an empty chair. When everyone was finally quiet, Terri found herself without a seat. Clearing her throat she continued.

“Was I worried? No, not at all. I reined in my horse, reached down and pulled my trusty Colt 45 from its holster. To my relief the tribe of Apaches raced right by me, intent on another prey. Then I realized who their victim was as they thundered down the draw. They were heading down to the wagon trail to surprise Clarence Hornbuckle, the meanest Apache-killer alive. He was coming in on the Tuesday afternoon stagecoach.” On the word stagecoach, pandemonium broke loose in the room. Everyone was rolling and diving for a new seat.

If you came late you might have wondered what in the world was going on. It was a party, and this group of teenagers was playing the exciting game of Stagecoach. The rules are simple. Half of the youth in the room are “Indians” and the other half are “cowboys.” Whenever the storyteller (who makes up the story as he goes) mentions Indians, all the Indians have to change seats. The same thing happens for the cowboys when the word cowboy is used. There should be one less chair than the number of people playing. Whoever is left standing has to continue the story from where the last person left off. When the word stagecoach is used, everyone has to change seats.

Do you need some fun game ideas for your next class party or gathering of friends? Here are some party-proven, people-pleasing ideas. What equipment are you going to need? None. How much money will you need for machine rental? None. How much fun can you and your friends have? Plenty. In the case of the party just mentioned, they were not watching a video cassette player. There was not an electronic arcade game or computer in the room. They did not even have a TV. There was just a room full of imagination and excitement. It’s a new yet old idea. These are games where the fun is in the “people,” not in an expensive board or gadget. The youth enjoy being the fun rather than watching the fun. And they feel closer as friends after interacting and discovering each other’s personalities.

Here’s a fun puzzle game called Chinese Writing.

Trevor carefully eyed the odd collection of a dozen kitchen utensils on the floor.

“Who drew this picture?” he asked.

“I’m the artist,” volunteered Ken. Trevor looked carefully at Ken sitting cross-legged with head in hands. Trevor walked cautiously around the strange piece of artwork somewhat resembling a stick person.

“Well, judging from the cheese grater used for hair I suspect this is a drawing of a girl.” He carefully examined the large group of people surrounding him in the circle. “Because of the potato masher used for the mouth it must be someone with a pretty smile.” He glanced at Carol intently sitting cross-legged and head in hands. “I say it is none other than Carol Parkins.”

The group gasped in amazement. “How did you know?”

“I think I know how he did it,” boasted Cheri. “I’ll leave the room next and try.”

Do you know how Trevor did it? Did you catch the trick? That’s right. The artist gave away who the subject was by simply sitting in the same pose in which the subject was sitting. Trevor had only to see who in the room was sitting exactly like Ken. It was obviously Carol. Obvious? Well, only if you know the trick. You’ll be surprised how long it will take your friends to figure it out. Try it on them at the next birthday party you go to.

Games, then, can be fun and don’t take much to plan or play. It is simply a matter of people entertaining themselves. As you plan your activities, wouldn’t it be great to feel you will know the people better when the party is over? Games are magic when it comes to drawing out shy people, and they are a fun way to fellowship. There are many types of games that are very easy to play. You probably already have around your house everything you need. Here are four more easy, fast, and fun games.


The game of sardines works best at night. (1) First choose someone from the group to hide. (2) After the person has had time to hide, have everyone look for him. (3) As people find the hidden person, instead of giving away his hiding place, they pack quietly into the same spot like sardines to hide with him. (4) The last person to find the hiding spot becomes the first person to hide in the next game.

Absurd Word

(1) Give each person a pencil and a paper handout that has a list of adjective/noun pairs followed by blanks, heavy rodent __________ __________, for example. (2) Have each person write in the blanks two similar words or synonyms, one for the adjective and one for the noun, which rhyme with each other. For instance, one pair for heavy rodent could be fat rat. (3) Give the first person to finish with the list a prize. Listed below are some pairs for a possible handout:

  • psychotic flower __________ __________ (crazy daisy)

  • skinny bird __________ __________ (narrow sparrow)

  • fat fish __________ __________ (stout trout)

  • ill fowl __________ __________ (sick chick)

  • lovesick cat __________ __________ (smitten kitten)

  • intoxicated stinker __________ __________ (drunk skunk)

  • big boat __________ __________ (large barge)

  • comfortable insect __________ __________ (snug bug)

  • old blubber __________ __________ (stale whale)

  • discourteous man __________ __________ (rude dude)

  • stone bird __________ __________ (rock hawk)

  • furry bird __________ __________ (hairy canary)

  • disrespectful girl __________ __________ (sassy lassy)

  • heavy honkers __________ __________ (obese geese)

  • stupid Pharaoh __________ __________ (dummy mummy)

Steal the Bacon

(1) Divide the group into teams and have each team count off. (2) Have the two teams face each other about 15 feet apart with members lined up shoulder to shoulder. Team members numbered one should not be across from each other but should be facing the opposite ends of the lines. In other words, player number one should be opposite the highest numbered player on the opposing team. (3) Place a handkerchief between the two teams. This is the “bacon.” (4) Call out a number. Each team member with that number tries to grab the handkerchief first and run back to his own team’s side before being touched by the other player. (5) For added excitement call out more than one number. In that case, a player can pick up the handkerchief and throw it to any other team member whose number was called. (6) Score one point for each team that successfully steals the bacon.


(1) Stand people in a circle and have them hold, chin high, a bed sheet stretched out flat. (Kneeling around a large table would also work.) (2) Divide the people into two teams. (3) Place a Ping-Pong ball in the center of the sheet. (4) The object is for one team to blow the ball off the other team’s side of the sheet. Score points for each time they succeed.

Games like these can be used in planning Mutual or class activities, Scout meetings, friendly parties, school parties, or any social gathering. So have a fun time with games no one can resist playing. Use games to bring you closer to old friends you know and new ones you are about to meet.

Photos by Michael Schoenfeld

No equipment is needed. No rental fees required. Just come have fun!

For an activity night or a get-together, use games to make friends.