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    Chinese New Year (CNY) is a time of celebration, gathering with loved ones, and experiencing joyous fun with all kinds of traditional CNY customs and activities.

    With so much time to spare during the holiday season, nurturing your bond with your children through exciting CNY games is definitely a great way to foster a closer parent-child relationship. Here are 5 games that you can share with your children without having to step out of your home.

     

    5 CNY Games to Make Your Family Time More Fun and Exciting

     

    CNY Game 1: A Crowd Favourite at Fairs - “The Flying Coin”

    Flying Coin Game - CNY Activities 2020

    This game requires very few props and is suitable for players of all ages.  It will test the players’ spatial awareness and basic psychomotor skills because they’ll have to throw the coins accurately from a distance away.

    Recommended # of Players: 

    • 4 or more

    Recommended Ages:

    • 5 and above

    You’ll Need:

    • Coins
    • Bowl
    • Masking tape

    How to Play:

    • Split the group into two teams.
    • Using the masking tape, mark a starting line on the floor and place the bowl a few meters away. Each player will be given an equal number of coins.
    • Decide which team will start the game.
    • The players from the first team will take turns throwing their coins into the bowl while standing behind the starting line.
    • Record the total number of coins successfully thrown into the bowl.
    • Empty the bowl and allow the second team to proceed with the game. 
    • Record the total number of coins the second team throws into the bowl. 
    • The team with the most coins in the bowl wins the game.

    The Alternative:

    • Have the teams play this game within a time limit (say 30 seconds). The team that can get the most coins into the bowl within the time limit will win.

     

    CNY Game 2: Play “Heads Up” for a Hilarious Time

    Heads Up - CNY Activities 2020

    Created by American standup comedian Ellen Degeneres, Heads Up is the #1 word guessing game in the App Store. It’s loaded with over 40 themes (a Chinese New Year deck was added in 2017!) and most are child-friendly enough to be played with children from eight years old and up.

    Recommended # of Players: 

    • 4 or more

    Recommended Ages:

    • 8 and above

    You’ll Need:

    • The Heads Up app (free or paid version)

     How to Play:

    • Download the Heads Up app. (Available for both Android and iOS)
    • Split the group into two teams and select a Heads Up theme you wish to compete with
    • One player will place the phone on his or her forehead with the screen facing outwards. The teammates will then try to verbally describe the word flashed on the screen so that the player can guess what it is. 
    • Tilt the phone down if a word is guessed correctly and the next word will flash on the screen. Repeat this till the 60-second limit is up. Pass the game to the next team to play for another 60 seconds.
    • The team that guesses the most words correctly will win the game.

     

    CNY Game 3:  Let Jenga Test Your Skills

    Jenga - CNY Activities 2020

    Jenga is a game of skill and strategy. It’s so popular that 4.3 billion Jenga blocks have been sold worldwide! In the game, the players attempt to remove small Jenga blocks from the 54-block tower. As the game progresses, the structure will become wobbly and unstable, so the players have to ensure that their next move will not topple the tower. 

    Recommended # of Players: 

    • 2 or more

    Recommended Ages:

    • 6 and above

    You’ll Need:

    • A set of Jenga blocks

    How to Play:

    • Stack the blocks in groups of 3, with each layer in a direction perpendicular to the one below.
    • Once the game begins, each player will take turns removing a single block from the tower without touching any other blocks.
    • If a player completes his or her turn without toppling the tower, the next player will continue with the game. 
    • Repeat until someone makes the Jenga Tower fall!

     

    CNY Game 4: Get Dramatic with a Game of Charades      

    Good old charades is a game suitable for all ages. It involves acting out words or phrases so that your teammates can guess the answers. The tricky part is that the actor is not allowed to talk -- this doubles the difficulty of the game and makes for much hilarity!

    While you're at it, why not show some pride for your country and play Singlish Charades as a twist on the original game this CNY 2020?

    Recommended # of Players: 

    • 4 or more

    Recommended Ages:

    • 6 and above

    You’ll Need:

    • Pieces of paper with phrases or words, or any Charades app (like this one)

    How to play:

    • Split the group into two teams.
    • Choose a player to start the game. He or she will draw a paper with a word or phrase, then pantomime it for both teams.
    • The first person to guess the word or phrase will get a point for his team.
    • Keep track of the points earned by each team. The one with the most points wins!

     

    CNY Game 5: Have Fun with the Traditional “Ban Luck”

    Ban Luck - CNY Activities 2020What is a CNY celebration without a game of Ban Luck?  This is the Singapore version of Blackjack, also known as 21 Points. Anyone from any age group can participate because the basic rule is simple: Gather no more than 21 points with a minimum of two cards or a maximum of five cards.  This is an excellent game to teach your child a bit of basic math and statistics.

    If you’d rather stay away from the idea of gambling, you can always use CNY goodies such as cookies, melon seeds, or peanuts to replace any monetary exchange.

    Recommended # of Players: 

    • 3 or more

    Recommended Ages:

    • 8 and above

    You’ll Need:

    • Poker cards (without the Jokers)

    Point System:

    • Cards with 2 to 10 of any suit are counted as per the value on the card.
    • Cards with J, Q and K are 10 points each.
    • Ace cards can represent 1, 10, or 11 points depending on the number of cards on hand:
      • For 2 cards, Ace can be 10 or 11 points
      • For 3 cards, Ace can be 1 or 10 points
      • For 4 cards or more, Ace is only 1 point

    How to Play:

    • A Dealer will be appointed before the game starts. 
    • Each player will put out a bet of any amount (replace with CNY goodies where appropriate) on the table to signify their participation in the game.
    • The Dealer will shuffle the poker deck and distribute two cards (face down) to all the players.
    • The Dealer and players must have at least 16 points from the two cards that were distributed to them. If not, they’re entitled to draw more cards from the Dealer’s deck.  Each player can hold a maximum of 5 cards.
    • Note that players can only draw one extra card at a time. The Dealer will go round the table to distribute extra cards in sequence. Players will have to wait their turn if they need a fourth or fifth card. Do not take an extra card if you don’t need it.
    • The maximum points a player can get is 21. Anything above will disqualify the player that round.
    • For the players to win, they only need to score higher points than the Dealer. If the Dealer has higher points than the players, the bet will be taken. If the Dealer loses, the players will get twice the amount that they bet. If it’s a draw, then both parties get to keep their money.
    • If either the Dealer or the player gets a “Ban Luck” (which means scoring 21 points with the first two cards), the winner will get double of what he or she originally bet.
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