It’s snowing buckets outside and you would rather be inside the chalet before a big day of skiing ahead. So stay in and create some entertainment for the whole chalet group!

Family games can be so much fun; the children are entertained and learning, the group bonds and parents get to let their hair down too.

ChaletAgent shares some super suggestions for family games to play inside on a chalet holiday. Non of these need too many props or organisation. All can be played inside a chalet. Just make sure you check with other guests and the hosts first. Enjoy!

  1. Paper Bag Skits
  2. Charades
  3. Rummy with Cards
  4. Indoor Scavenger Hunt

1. Paper Bag Skits

Split the families/guests into teams of about 3-4 people per team. Then give each of them a bag, which you have prepared earlier. In the bag put safe objects from around the chalet like a spatula, a ski helmet, a pair of sun glasses, a watch, a book, a pair of dads shoes, an old purse, an apple… you get the idea.

Each group has 15 minutes to prepare a skit, a short comedy sketch using the items from their bag.

The other group should sit and watch as each group performs their act.

2. Charades

Split the group into two teams. The teams will play against each other. One person will do the acting at any one time, whilst the rest of the team tries to guess the title.

On strips of paper each team should write down about 10 titles of either a movie, a book, a play, a song or a TV programme. As much as possible make sure everyone in the group knows the titles, it is no fun when no one can guess.

Each team should put the strips into a hat or box. One person from the other team should now pick a strip. That strip cannot be used again. The picker should not let their team members know the title, and will start acting each word out for them without speaking. A great website that will help with the title strips is:

Each team can start at the same time to see which team can guess first.

The actor should start by letting the rest of the team know what category the title belongs to, it could belong to more than one. Without talking, let the team know the category using the following methods:

  • Movie: hold one hand to eye, as if looking through a camera, one hand turning a handle by the other ear, like an old-fashioned movie camera.
  • Book: hands closed together in front of your chest, open and close them like a book.
  • Play: get on one knee, and open your arms mimicking an actor.
  • Song: hands cup mouth as if singing.
  • TV Programme: trace a rectangle in the air with your index fingers, as in the shape of a TV.

Now gesture the number of words in the title. Hold up 1 finger for 1 word, 2 fingers for 2 words, 3 fingers for 3 words. Ie. “Die Another Day” would be 3 words, so hold up 3 fingers.

Now start acting. The player must act out or otherwise communicate the meaning of each word to the audience. Once they start acting, the audience can start shouting out their guesses.

Communicate the number of syllables in each word by placing the number of fingers on your forearm. Ie. “Die” would be one syllable, so one finger should be placed on the forearm.

When you start the first word hold up one finger. Now let the team know how many syllables is in that word, using the forearm. When you start the first syllable place your finger on your forearm. For the second syllable put two fingers on your forearm.

The following hints might help to communicate the word:

  • Sounds like – Cup your hand to your ear or pull your earlobe.
  • Short word – thumb and index finger close together. Commonly used for “a”, “the”, “of”, “and”.
  • Shorter or longer version of the word – hands upright pushing together or pulling apart.

Let the audience know when they are getting hotter or colder.

Hotter – hand on head to wipe away sweat
Colder – Hands crossed and shivering.
You’ve got it – one index finger pointing to person who guessed word or syllable correctly, with other index finger on your nose.

3. Rummy with cards

I used to play this one with my Gran! You can play Rummy with between 2 and 6 players and a standard deck of 52 cards.

How to play Rummy: The object is to get rid of your cards as you group them into melds. A meld is a set of matching cards, typically three or more. Melds come in sequences of ascending cards in the same suit known as a run (4♠ 5♠ 6♠) or sets of cards of the same number (7♠ 7♣ 7♥).

Choose a dealer and ask the dealer to shuffle the cards. Then deal to each player. If you have two players each gets 10 cards, three or four players get seven cards, five or six players get 6 cards each. The cards that are left should be placed in a pile, face down in the middle of the table. Turn the top card face up and put it next to the pile. This becomes your discard pile.

Each player should now group their cards into runs or sets. It will then be easier to see the melds you are developing.

The player to the left of the dealer plays first by taking the top card from either pile on the table. Ie. one that they can see, or not see. If the player then has a meld they should lay it down on the table, making sure all cards in the meld are visible. Then they should discard another card from their hand by placing it face up on the discard pile.

On their turn players can place a card down on any existing meld if they have a card that matches the meld or if they draw a card that matches the meld.

Continues clockwise around the table. The first player to get rid of all their cards is the winner.

4. Indoor Scavenger Hunt

Why not create a scavenger hunt around the chalet for all ages? The goal will be to find unique items or to complete certain tasks within the shortest amount of time. You can do this indoors or use the outside of the chalet too. It is a really good team building exercise.

Check the rooms that you can use within the chalet before you create it; ask people if you are going to use bedrooms.

Split the chalet group into two (or more) teams, equalising the ages. Each team should have a phone that can take photographs. Teams are awarded points for each task that is completed/item found within a specific time. You can theme your scavenger hunt around certain topics like skiing or biking.

Give the teams a finish time, say 30 minutes – 1 hour. Any team that is late back will loose a set amount of points (say 10). The teams must stick together and cannot split up. I suggest that the items/tasks can be found/done in any order, otherwise the teams may be on top of one another inside the chalet!

Make a long list of around 30 items that the teams can find all around the chalet. Some items should be easier to find than others. Each item will have a specific amount of points, depending on how big they are or how hard they are to find. Each item should be photographed then put back, not left out or hidden (that’s cheating). The other team should be able to find them in place. Suggested items would be: a red pair of ski boots, a travel mirror, something that tells the time, the seat where “so and so” is often found, a christmas reef, a fir tree, a photograph of a skier etc. You can ask them to either take a photo of or collect the items. Collection only works if the item is small and there are enough for each team.

Teams could also collect signatures from chalet hosts or other guests, if they have been warned.

Then write a list of all the possible tasks (some helpful to the chalet hosts, of course) that can be completed for points as long as there is video evidence. There are points for creativity!  Possible tasks could be: peel a carrot, 1 person in the team do 5 burpees, choose one person to hug everyone in the team, ask the host for a safety pin, do 10 situps.

You could also make up riddles for the teams to solve and give them extra points.

Put team each team in separate rooms then present them with a list of the tasks and items to find, along with the points awarded. They must get back to the same room within the time frame.

Children can also do this around the mountain if you want to liven up their ski days!