Want to do something a little nutty this year for the holidays? Host a nutcracker games with your family and friends complete with all sorts of games using nuts, nutcrackers, and nut containers! They’re the perfect Christmas family games for all ages!
Sponsored by: The makers of PLANTERS® Nuts. All opinions and ideas are 100% honest and my own.
Every year for the holidays my family does some sort of a big Christmas party with a themed challenge of sorts.
And this year we had a nutcracker games full of all sorts of nutty games, prizes, and of course party favors for everyone to take home!
How to Host a Nutcracker Games
For our nutcracker games we went to Walmart and grabbed a bunch of PLANTERS® nuts and came up with games that used both the nuts and containers for our competitions!
Then everyone split into teams of two and the games began!
The way that we played was to have one person from each team play each game except for games that required two players and both players played each of those games.
We had six total teams playing so for each game the first team that finished (or the team that got the highest score) won six points, the second team got five, and so on with the last team getting one point.
Then at the end of the entire competition, the three teams with the most total points won nutcracker trophies and everyone else went home with consolation prizes aka party favors.
More Nutty Party Ideas
Make sure to read all the way past the list of games to see what we used for prizes and party favors – they were a huge hit!
And If you need more even nutty fun, check out tons of fun holiday party ideas and recipes on the PLANTERS.com site.
Plus, you can enter to win some amazing prizes while you’re there including a visit from MR. PEANUT® and the NUTMOBILE™! Enter here and if you win, I’m expecting an invite!
Nutcracker Family Games
And now onto the games!
When we were coming up with the Christmas games for this year’s competition, I wanted to make sure to really embrace the nutcracker theme by incorporating nutcrackers and nuts of course. And not just nuts, but also the nut containers!
I’ve included instructions below for all of the Christmas party games but if you want to see them in action, make sure to follow me on TikTok to see all of the games in action in my nutcracker games playlist!
For this game, we gave everyone a handful of PLANTERS® Deluxe Mixed Nuts and then everyone had one minute to build a tower of nuts that used as many of the mixed nuts as possible.
The only rule was that the bottom layer of the tower couldn’t be more than three nuts. And the tower had to be standing at the end of the minute.
My niece had an amazing nut tower going but it fell down about three seconds before the buzzer, so it didn’t count!
It may seem easy but stacking nuts that are all different shapes and sizes is a lot harder than it looks (and much harder than apple stacking that’s one of my favorite fall games).
I’m not sure what was harder though, stacking the nuts, or keeping the players from eating all the salty nuts. I think all the players probably snacked more than they stacked.
Even a blind squirrel
Hang onto those PLANTERS® Salted Mixed Nuts for this game (so don’t let players eat them all)!
Instead of stacking nuts, in this game players have to race to be the first to sort the nuts they’re given.
Start by giving everyone a cup filled with the same number of nuts. They don’t have to be the same type but make sure they have the same number.
When you say go, players race to sort the nuts into separate piles. This is one of my favorite minute to win it games and actually worked really well with the mixed nuts!
The first one to get them all sorted wins. Keep going until everyone has them sorted and has won points for their team!
This game is played similar to an Easter egg toss (one of my favorite Easter games) except you use cups and cashews (or any other kind of nut, I really like the flavor of PLANTERS® cashews).
Give both players on a team a cup and give one player on the team a nut.
Then have the two players stand across from each other, with teams forming a line. When you say go, the person who has the nut in their cup has to toss the nut from the cup and the other teammate has to try and catch it in their cup.
Then the second teammate tosses the nut back to the first teammate.
If the team catches it on both tosses, then one of the teammates (make sure it’s the same teammate for all teams) takes a small step back before the next round happens.
If anyone drops their nut at any point, they’re out. Keep tossing and moving back steps all together until only one team remains standing.
This fun game was one of my personal favorites because it was fun to play and watch! You could say I’m nuts about it.
Start by having one player from four teams stand on a side of a table. Give them each four cups and a pile of PLANTERS® cashews. Have each player place their four cups wherever they want along the very edge on their side of the table.
Then it’s time to play! When you say go, players have to flick the nuts from their position to try and knock other players’ cups off the table.
When someone has all four of their cups knocked off, they’re out of the game. Last one standing wins!
Oh and make sure to give everyone the same number of cashews because once you’re out of cashews, you’re out of luck!
Up to four teams can play this game at once so if you have more than four teams, I recommend just doing the points a little differently for this one with the top team in the four getting all the points, second team getting the next amount of points, and so on.
This game is similar to a pencil game I’ve played before but played with nuts instead. It’s one of the easiest games in this bunch to setup but not the easiest to play.
Give each player who is playing one cashew (or any nut, but they all need to be the same), and they have to put it on the back of their hand.
When you say go, all players have to toss the nut up and catch it palm down (so no turning your hand over and catching it palm up).
The first nut is easy. Anyone who catches it moves onto the second round, which is two nuts. Anyone who drops the nut is out.
Play it the exact same way but having to catch two nuts from the back of your hand instead. Then three nuts, four, and five. Keep playing until only one person catches all of the nuts on the back of their hand, and they win!
Okay so I know that I said another game is my favorite, but this one is actually my favorite to watch. It was absolutely hilarious and voted the favorite nutcracker game of the family!
This one takes a bit more prep than the others, but it’s totally worth it!
Start by putting either a cashew or a penny into a bunch of balloons. I used nutcracker balloons of course, but you can use any kind of balloon you’d like.
I did one cashew for every three pennies when I was filling mine up.
Once you’ve filled the balloons, blow them up, and put them in a large space. We moved the couches out of the way and played this in my living room but a basement, garage, or playroom would work too!
Then when you say go, one player from each team has to go and grab a balloon. No shaking or touching the balloons and putting them back down – the first balloon you touch is yours.
The player has to take it back to their teammate and with the help of their teammate, pop the balloon.
If you want to make this the funniest possible (and also most challenging), play that teams can’t use hands. If you want to make it a bit easier, play that each player can use one hand (but not two).
When the balloon pops, they have to find what came out of it. If it’s a penny, they add it to their collection. If it’s a cashew, it’s an “oh nuts” moment, and they don’t score anything.
Then the other teammate runs and grabs a balloon for their team and brings it back to try and pop another one.
The first team to collect three pennies wins!
This is one of the easiest games to set up! Just grab empty nut containers in different sizes and place them in a line on the table.
Then to play, players just have to shoot nuts from the end of the table and try to get them into the containers. Make each container worth a certain number of points and the person who scores the most points after shooting five nuts wins.
This is another fun game to watch because people can get really into it, and it’s a relay, which are always hilarious to watch!
Setup four cups in a straight line for each team playing. Then give each player an empty nut container, making sure they’re the same size. Have them put the container on its side by their foot to get ready to play.
When you say go, players have to march like a nutcracker and kick the nut container around the cups, like an obstacle course. But beware, the containers roll. A lot!
Once they go there and back, their teammate has to go there and back to complete the course and win! Make sure players are keeping their arms and legs straight like a nutcracker or it’s just kicking the containers, which isn’t nearly as fun!
This game is a fun one too, especially because it works for pretty much any age!
Give each player a nut container and a nutcracker then setup five marks of some sort (I used painter’s tape) on a table.
When you say go, players have to try and flip the container off the side of the table to get it to land upright again. The container has to flip all the way around for it to count but otherwise any number of flips is great.
If it lands upright with the lid up, they get to move their nutcracker two spaces. If it lands on its bottom, they get to move their nutcracker one space up their line.
The first player to move their nutcracker all five spaces wins.
More Nutty Party Ideas
Are you ready to host your own nutcracker games or does your family already do something just as nutty? If you need more nutty fun, check out tons of fun holiday party ideas and recipes on PLANTERS site!
Plus, you can enter to win some amazing prizes while you’re there including a visit from MR. PEANUT® and the NUTMOBILE™!
Since this was a nutcracker games, I knew I wanted to do nut themed prizes!
I couldn’t do just nuts, so I glued some nutcrackers to the top to make them look like little trophies.
And then I finished it off with a little cash for the winners because who doesn’t love a little cash with their afternoon snack? I know the kids in my family do!
If you want to add cash, you can either just add it right underneath the lid (if you don’t care if they see it) or you can actually put it into the nuts in a zipper top bag.
I did the zipper top bag because I didn’t want the winners to see the cash right away when I gave them their trophies! I wanted it to be a fun little surprise later when they opened the nuts!
It was pretty fun watching my nephew reach his hand into the nuts and realize it wasn’t just nuts – 100% recommend!
All of the teams who didn’t win (plus the ones who did) went home with a bag full of my slow cooker cinnamon sugar nuts.
I just wrapped them up in some cute snowflake bags with nutcracker ornaments for the perfect way to remind my family of our nutcracker games!
More Ways to Use Nuts
Have leftover nuts from your nutcracker games? Try one of these nutty recipes!
- Kentucky butter cake cookies – these or my Kentucky butter cake are both great with nuts on top!
- Carrot cake balls – give these yummy treats a little crunch with some added nuts in the batter!
- Banana nut muffins – nuts and chocolate chips make this classic recipe a family favorite!
- Strawberry fluff salad – one of my favorite dessert salads ever that gets its crunch from nuts!
- Rocky road bites – chocolate, marshmallows, and nuts make up these decadent sweet treat!