Parlor Games

Parlor Games 

Parlor Games indeed served a higher purpose than mere amusement. They stimulated the faculties, aroused the wit, and, under the guise of amusement, developed and exercised the mental functions. Nor is this all: for they fostered harmony and unity of feeling; and, by community of pleasure, cultivated love, sympathy, and good-fellowship in all ages of youthful hearts.

Traveling Alphabet

Working their way through the alphabet, each player takes a turn saying “I am traveling to _____ and I will take a _____ and a _____.”   The first player starts with the letter A, the next B, and so on.   For example, “I am traveling to Alabama and I will take an apple and an antelope.”  To make it harder, each player could be required to repeat what the other players before him said.


Alphabetical Compliments

Working their way through the alphabet, players say, “I love my love with an A because she is adorable and I give her alyssum.”  A player is out if he cannot think of a compliment or flower for the next letter.

You could also have the player compliment the person sitting next to them.  “I like Mary because she is honest and I give her heather.



A game to test your math skills!

 Players sit in a circle and each player counts up one number but without using 7 or multiples of 7.  Instead they replace 7 and its multiples with the word “buzz.” 

So the first player says 1, the next says 2, and so on until the player who would say 7 comes up.  He must say “buzz,” as must every player who comes to number with 7 or its multiples.  Players are out or must pay a forfeit if they miss and then the game starts over again at 1.  If a group manages to get to the 70’s, they would say them as follows: 69, buzz, buzz-1, buzz-2, buzz-3, buzz-4, buzz-5, buzz-6, buzz-buzz, etc.

 Instead of saying “buzz,” a variation would be to have people say things like, “the number after 6,” or “the sum of 3 and 4,” etc.


Often when pioneers played games and a person became “out” that person had to pay a forfeit.  There were many different ways they could do this.  They were intended to be funny and lighthearted.  Some examples are:

  • Give five compliments to the person next to you without using the letter L
  • Pat your head and rub your stomach
  • Laugh first, sing next, then cry and lastly whistle
  • Someone says a line and you must make a rhyme
  • Count to twenty backwards
  • Answer no to twenty questions
  • Answer five questions without saying yes or no
  • Pose as a famous person, statue, etc. for the count of twenty
  • Ask what their favorite animal is and they must act like it
  • Hop on one foot around the group
  • Stand in the middle of the room and make a woeful face and then a merry one

Make up your own!  Remember they’re meant to be fun, but not to make people feel humiliated or picked on.


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