The Thimble Game

(This year I can add room parent to the pile of hats I haphazardly wear. Party planning, gift-giving,  and curating door posters are my chief responsibilities. What are parties without games? What are games without some semblance of fair play? And what is the point if you can’t play at home? Did you know you can buy thimbles in bulk? I’ll let you know if they are a hit with the preteen crowd. What games do y’all play around the holidays? Can I persuade you to give The Thimble Game a try?)

What you will need…

  • a glass of water
  • a thimble
  • a group of friends/family to play with
  • paper and pencil

How to play…

  1. Think of a category. Blockbuster movies of 2023, modes of transportation, accessories you add to a snowman, months of the year—any category works. After you pick a category, choose an answer and write it down (this keeps everyone honest). If my category were months of the year, and my answer was “December,” I’d write it down on my piece of paper. Tell no one the answer!
  2. Fill your thimble with water—dipping the thimble into the glass of water is the simplest way. Now you are ready to play!
  3. Ask your friends/family to sit in a circle or half circle. While holding your thimble of water tell the other players what your category is by saying, “The category is… Months of the Year” or whatever you picked. Walk in front of every player while they take a turn guessing. The first person might say, “April?” If their guess is wrong, you walk to the next person. “May?” wrong again.
  4. Keep going until someone guesses correctly. “December?” When they do, dump the thimble of water on them. You can poor the water on their head, splash them in the face, or aim for their shirt. A thimble-full isn’t a lot of water, but it is enough to make this game fun.
  5. The person who guesses correctly WINS, take their seat in the circle and hand them the thimble. It is now their turn to think of a new category and answer. Makes sure they write down their answer on the paper and that no one peeks before their round of play starts.


Helpful Tips…

  • Offer Clues. Sometimes people pick really tricky categories and obscure answers. If no one guesses the correct answer after everyone has had a turn to guess, offer a clue. If everyone still guesses incorrectly, offer another clue. Remember the fun part of this game is when someone wins, so giving clues is totally okay.
  • Consent is important. Make sure you ask everyone if they are okay getting a little wet BEFORE you start playing. And make sure you are playing in a spot where spilling a little bit of water is okay with your host. Also, make sure everyone understands that the glass of water is just there to refill the THIMBLE. No one wants to get an entire glass of water dumped on them.
  • Sometimes it’s helpful to keep the pencil and paper and the glass of water in a different room than the room you are playing in. The game can get exciting and spills happen.

what do you think?

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