Christmas – a Festival of Play


At Earth Wrights we love getting outdoors and playing in the fresh air, but even if the weather forces you indoors there is never an excuse not to play! So this year, after the last of the Christmas pudding has been scraped from the bowl and before you get cosy in front of the fire/radiator/x-box why not have some fun playing a silly game?

The Victorians loved parlour games. In Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, when Scrooge goes to ‘visit’ his nephew Fred with the ghost of Christmas present, Fred’s guests are playing parlour games which we still play today such as Blind Man’s Bluff and Twenty Questions. Here are some old and new games for you to try.

The Minister’s Cat

This game actually features in the 1970 film adaptation of Dickens’ novel and is a fun game for all ages.

Sit in a circle and start a clapping rhythm – two claps on the thighs and two hand claps, so thigh – thigh – clap – clap. To this rhythm each person takes it in turn to say ‘The minister’s Cat is a … Cat, adding an adjective in the space starting with the letter ‘a’. So ‘The minister’s cat is an awful cat’, the next person ‘The minister’s cat is an attractive cat’ and so on until someone misses their turn, as it gets more and more difficult to think of new adjectives. Once a person is out you move on to the next letter of the alphabet. ‘The minister’s cat is a brilliant cat’. When (if!) you make it to x you can use words starting with ‘ex’. Variations include each person doing the next letter of the alphabet or the next person having to find an adjective that starts with the last letter of the previous one. So ‘The minister’s cat is an abominable cat’ and then ‘The minister’s cat is an excellent cat’ That’s advanced level parlour gaming. Continue reading “Christmas – a Festival of Play”

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