Vicorian Parlour Games

Parlour games were initially designed
for adults but are enjoyed today by families and children alike. Many of these old fashioned games can be played as party games or are great family games for
holidays when you are sharing accommodation with other families.

children may not know where the term ‘parlour’ comes from. In
Victorian times the late 1800’s, before electricity and television,
people spent their evenings playing games with friends and family. These
games were usually played in a room called the ‘parlour’ which is the equivalent to our family room.

traditional parlour game

Do You Love Your Neighbour?
Players– Five or more
Duration– A few minutes for each round
Equipment– Chairs, one less than the number of players

chairs are lined up with all players sitting down except for one. The
standing player asks one of the other players, ‘Do you love you
neighbour?’ If he replies no, then the two players either side must
quickly jump up and swap seats. He may reply yes, but must attach an
exception. Eg ‘Yes, except for those wearing blue jeans’ or ‘…except
for those with blonde hair.’ Then all of those players must jump up and
find a new chair.
Whatever the answer, while players are attempting
to find a new seat the player who asked the question can try to sit
down. Whoever is left standing asks another player, ‘Do you love your

Hot Boiled Beans or Hot and Cold
Players– Three or more
Duration– A few minutes for each round
Equipment– An object that is easy to hide

player is sent out of the room, while those remaining hide a small
object such as a ball, pen or a watch. The player returns to the room as
the others call, “Hot Boiled Beans and Bacon for supper, hurry up
before it gets cold.” The player attempts to find the missing object
while everyone else calls out that her supper is getting “very cold”,
“freezing cold”, “hot”, “very hot”, or “burning” in relation to how
close or far she is from the hidden item. Once the item is found a new
player is sent from the room and the object (or a new one) is hidden in a
different location.

Players– Four or more
Duration– About 10 minutes for each round
Equipment– Any object that is easy to hide

are shown a little knick-knack -a teaspoon, pen, thimble, anything
small- and are then asked to leave the room. A player remains in the
room and hides the item. When they return, everyone is to look for the
item until they spot it. They are then to sit down without saying
anything. It is recommended to wander around for abit longer after
finding the object so as not to reveal the hidden item to the other
The last one to find the object hides a new item for the next round.

Pass the Slipper
Players– Six or more
Duration– A few minutes for each round
Equipment- Traditionally a slipper, but any similarly sized object will do

form a circle, sitting on chairs or the floor with one person standing
in the middle. They must close their eyes while the ‘slipper’ is passed
from person to person behind their backs. When the center person opens
her eyes, the passing immediately stops and she must hazard a guess as
to who holds the ‘slipper’. If the guess is correct, they trade places.
If wrong, the eyes are closed and the passing begins again.

The Name Game
Players– Four or more, better with larger groups
Duration– A few minutes for each round
Equipment– Slips of paper, pencils, basket or hat

each guest with 10 small pieces of paper, and a pen or pencil. Ask them
to write down the names of 10 famous people- movie stars, authors,
sports figures, politicians, artists, inventors, scientists, etc.
the papers, and put them into a hat or basket. Seat guests in a large
circle. Each round is limited to 30 seconds, so have a watch with a
second hand available. The first player pulls out a name, and keeps
giving clues to the person beside him, but never actually saying the
name or what it starts with. Once the name has been guessed within the
timeframe the guesser scores a point, as does the clue giver.
hat is the passed to the next person and the clue giver now becomes the
guesser and there is a new clue giver. The game continues around the
circle until everyone has guessed and everyone has given clues. The one
with the most guesses correct wins.

You’re Never Fully Dressed without a Smile
of the sillier parlour games, of which there were many. Parlour games
often involved a person being required to perform silly actions in order
to win the game.
Players– Four or more
Duration– A few minutes for each round
Equipment– None

person is selected to be “it.” That person is the only one in the group
who is allowed to smile. He or she can do anything they want to try and
get someone else to smile apart from touching them. If the person
smiles, he or she becomes it. The person who never smiles is declared
the winner.

Other popular parlour games which are still played today are Charades, Blindman’s Bluff and others which you probably already know – find them on our Party Games Pages.

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