This Christmas danger words game will have your entire group laughing hysterically as people try to guess words while avoiding the danger word! You never know what’s going to come out of someone’s mouth!
Normally I am coming up with all sorts of new gift exchange games and large group Christmas party games for the holiday season.
But this year is a bit different instead, I’m sharing all sorts of virtual Christmas games, printable Christmas games, and Christmas games you can play with your family or a small group of people.
This Christmas danger words game is one of my current favorites because it works with any age and is perfect for a family game night! Or even a game night with a couple of extra friends. And no prep necessary other than printing the cards.
Plus, it’s a game I borrowed from one of my favorite celebs – Ellen DeGeneres – just turned into a Christmas version. And I don’t have the cool gun shooter thing to spray people in the face with pies, whipped cream, and cranberry sauce.
Instead, I just have free printable cards you can download to play with your family. If you want to add some peanut butter pie to toss in someone’s face if they get a danger word, more power to you!
I heard from so many people that they loved my Thanksgiving danger words game, so it’s time for a Christmas rendition!
All you need are the danger word cards (get them at the bottom of this post or in my shop here) to play.
If you want to add a consequence element, you can always use pie plates filled with whipped cream, a set sponge, or something else simple.
Oh and you might want prizes but if you’re just playing with your family, you probably don’t need them. If you want prizes, check out this Christmas Family Feud game for prize ideas.
How to Play
First things first, you need to get the game all ready to go.
1 – Set Up
Start by cutting out the individual cards (try not to look at them too closely if you’re going to be playing or you’ll feel like you’re cheating and not want to play.
Put the cards in a container of some sort until you’re ready to play.
2 – Split Into Teams
Split into two-person teams. On the show this game is played with just two teams going head to head against each other, but we’ve played it with a bunch of two-person teams and it’s worked just fine. The max I’d recommend would be six two-person teams.
Give each team a number (team 1, team 2, team 3). You’ll need this to keep track of who goes first for clues, etc.
Read my section below on playing with larger groups if your group is larger than twelve peopel! Or you can just do this Christmas trivia, Christmas music bingo, or this Christmas would you rather game instead!
3 – Divide team members
Once you have your teams – pick one player on each team to be the clue giver and one players to be the first guesser. Put guessers on one side of the room and clue givers on the other so they can all see the card.
4 – Clue time
Pick out one of the clue cards from the container and show it to all of the players giving clues.
The large word at the top is the clue you want your team to guess. The danger word in smaller letters at the bottom of the card is the word you do NOT want your team to guess.
If a card has more than one word on it in a phrase (e.g., Home Alone), you can tell the guessers that it is a multiple word phrase so they don’t think they can only guess one word.
You can see some examples of the cards below. The danger word is typically something fairly close to the actual word to be guessed, or something that you might give similar clues to the actual word. Things like “ribbon” and “bow” where you might say something like gift, wrap, or tie.
Starting with the first team, they should give a ONE WORD clue to their teammate to try and get them to guess the word, without guessing the danger word. There are just a few rules for giving clues:
- Cannot use any part of the main word or the danger word
- Cannot be the word in another language
- Must be one only word, no hyphenated words or phrases
- Must be a clue that describes or relates to the actual word, not the spelling/writing of the word (e.g., A if the word is apple would not be okay but red would.)
- No explanations allowed – just the clue
5 – Time to guess
Once team 1 gives their clue, their teammate should guess what they think the word is. If they get it correct, the round is over and they win one point for their team.
If they guess incorrectly, team 2 would then get a chance to give a word and guess the word – same rules apply as above.
Keep going and rotating through teams until a team has guessed the word. If you get through all the teams and no one has guessed the word, go back to Team 1 and make your way back through the teams again.
IF a team at any point guesses the danger word, the round is immediately over. If you’re playing with just two teams, the other team would win a point.
If you’re playing with more than one team, no one wins a point for the round. In either situtation, the team who said the danger word would receive a punishment if you’re playing with punishments (optional).
Depending on your group and how you want to play, some of the punishments we’ve done in the past include:
- Skip a turn in clue giving the next round
- Lose 3 points
- Some physical punishment such as a pie to the face, have to drink a bottle of water, eat something gross, etc. There are lots of good ideas in these kid-friendly truth or dare questions that might work
If you’re going to do one of the physical punishments, make sure players know what they’re getting into before you play so they can dress accordingly. No one wants to get pie shoved in their face with a nice blouse on.
6 – Time to switch
Switch who is guessing and who is giving clues after each word is guessed or failed to guess because someone said the danger word. No need to switch spots or sides of the room – just switch roles.
Same rules apply, the teammate who was guessing the word first is now just giving the clues.
The other big change with subsequent rounds is that you need to start at the team after the one who started the game before. So for instance, if Team 1 gave the first clue in round 1, Team 2 would give the first clue in round 2. You want to do this rather than start at the team after the team that guessed the answer correctly so every team gets a chance to start.
Being first can be an advantage (for easy words) or disadvantage (for tougher ones) so rotating who starts helps.
How to Win
You can either play until all the cards are gone or until you’ve completed a designated number of rounds. Keep track of points throughout the game where people can see them.
A big white poster board + permanent marker works well for a large scorecard, or you a big dry erase board with dry erase markers is another favorite.
If you don’t have any of those things, a regular pen and paper works too! Just make sure to let the teams know regularly what the score is.
How to play in a large group
While this game is typically played in pairs, it’s easy to play in a large group as well! There are two easy options depending on what you’re looking for.
Split your group into teams with even numbers – stick to six teams or less. These teams will need even numbers but can have more than two.
You have a couple of different options for how to play with larger teams:
- One person guesses each round and the rest of the team discusses and gives clues together as a team.
- One person guesses each round and the rest of the team switches off giving a clue to the guesser.
- One person gives clues and the rest of the team works together to come up with the word they want to guess, kind of like in this Thanksgiving Family Feud game.
The one thing to keep in mind is that no matter which way you do it, make sure that you are rotating the “one person” in the scenario above each round. So team member A might give clues the first round, team member B might give clues the second round, etc.
And if you’re going to do the version 2 where teammates switch off giving clues to the guesser – rotate through those as well. So team member A might give the first clue in round 1, team member B might give the first clue in round 2, etc. Always rotate and keep people moving and different things!
If you’re playing with the entire family including young kids, I recommend doing teams of at least 3 and including the kids with older teens/adults. Then use version 1 or 3 above and let the kids help come up with ideas for the group.
More Christmas Family Games
- 12 Days of Christmas games
- Christmas bingo
- Christmast outburst
- Christmas would you rather
- Saran wrap game
- Christmas charades
want more fun Christmas Games?
Download the Printable
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