Looking for ways to keep the whole family occupied for a couple hours this holiday season? We’ve got some quick and easy ideas for you!

So you’re hosting the holiday gathering this year. Whether you’re worried the kids will be bored out of their minds or that Aunt Sue will start an epic argument with Aunt Kay, we have a few ideas to help curb the family drama and promote some good old-fashioned togetherness.

Minute to Win It

This family’s laughter is infectious! “Minute to Win It” is so easy to pull off because you’ll most likely have all the materials you need just lying around your house. Here are some instructions for how to put it all together! And this website has some great ideas for challenges to incorporate!

Family Talent Show

Whether you give everyone a head’s up before they come over, or you spring it on them just a couple minutes beforehand, a family talent show can be super fun. Let the kids raid the coat closet for some impromptu costumes, and require that everyone participate. Uncle Joe can wiggle his ear, and Grandpa can show off his card tricks. My brother and I once put together a highly entertaining rendition of “My Little Buttercup” a la The Three Amigos, and the family still teases us about it six years later!

Poop the Potato

A bag of potatoes, two buckets from the garage, and you’re done! Easy-peasy.

White Elephant Exchange

Have a silly gift exchange! There are several ways to do this — from asking everyone to wrap an unwanted item lying around their house to requiring new items and putting a dollar limit on it. Thrift stores are a great place to come up with odd White Elephant gift ideas, or check out this list that we’ve put together for you! The more useless and awkward the gift, the better. If you’ve never played before, you can find all the rules for the game here.

The Dictionary Game

This one’s a favorite in my family. It’s similar to the board game Balderdash, except all you really need is a dictionary (just plain old internet access works, too!), paper, and pens. Basically, it’s a word game where players have to guess the definition of a word that nobody’s ever heard before. What makes it fun is that each player submits their own fake definition to be read along with the real one. Don’t forget to include the kids; you’ll be surprised at how well they can compete! Read the full rules here.

LEGO/Mouse Trap Obstacle Course

And if you really want to punish your siblings, insist that they walk across a floor littered with LEGOs and mouse traps — blind-folded! The rules are all clearly explained in the video above. Ouch!

What’s your favorite activity to keep the family strife at bay? We’d love to hear some more ideas in the comments below! Happy holidays, and happy family time!

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