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Mardi Gras Beads, Guess How Many Game

Materials Needed

  • A clear glass or plastic jar
  • A slew of Mardi Gras beads
  • Pens
  • Slips of paper
  • A box or bowl
  • For some people Mardi Gras is all about the beads. Give your party guests a chance to win a whole slew of beads if they can simply guess how many beads are in the jar.

    The Set Up: Fill a clear glass or plastic jar with as many colorful Mardi Gras beads as you can fit. There should be beads coming out the top and draping down the side of the jar. Be sure to pay close attention to exactly how many beads you use. Place slips of paper, pens and a box or bowl on a table with the jar of beads.

    The Rules: Guests are allowed to examine the jar of beads but no touching. Once they are ready to submit their guess they write their name and best estimate of the number of beads on one of the slips of paper, fold it and place it in the box/bowl on the table. Close to the end of your Mardi Gras party or once all your guests have submitted guesses announce the correct total number of beads. The person who had the closest guess is the winner and get all of the beads in the jar as a prize.

    Pancake Race

    Materials Needed

  • A lightweight skillet
  • Pancakes
  • A tacky apron
  • A colorful bandana
  • An oven mitt
  • A stopwatch
  • A pen
  • Paper
  • While the Pancake Race is traditionally run by women, men have long been allowed to participate provided they wear the apron and bandana.

    The Set Up: Mark off a course with a start and finish line as well as a few twists and turns along the way. Take a lightweight skillet with a pancake in it and give the course a try to determine how many flips of the pancake to require for your race. The goal should be approximately one flip per 4-5 steps. Once you have decided on a flip requirement make sure you have available the lightweight skillet, a lot of extra pancakes, an apron(the tackier the better), a brightly colored bandana, an oven mitt, a stop watch as well as pen and piece of paper.

    The Rules: Have the first constant stand ready at the start line wearing the apron, the bandana on their head, the oven mitt, while carrying the lightweight skillet with a pancake in it. Give a Ready, Set, Go! and start the stopwatch as the player starts to run the race. As the racer navigates the course keep a count of the number of pancake flips. If a pancake breaks when dropped have someone ready with a replacement pancake. When they finish, if they ran the correct course and made at least the required number of pancake flips record their time. The first player gives all of the gear to the next player and the process continues. Once all Mardi Gras party guests have had a turn, the one with the fastest time is declared the winner.

    Photo op: The Pancake Race provides excellent opportunity for taking hilarious photos of your party guests.

    Clear the Field of Play: As is the case with any active outdoor game, make sure the playing area is clear of anything the party guests might twist an ankle on or trip over.

    “No Mardi Gras Party is Complete Without…” Memory Game

    Materials Needed

  • A good memory
  • If you have a sharp and focused group of players this game can last a surprisingly long time. Try to keep the pace of play rapid, sometimes guests will take forever trying to get it right.

    The Set Up: Have your guests sit in a circle in a large open area and select a random player to start.

    The Rules: The first player will say, “No Mardi Gras party is complete without __________” filling in the blank with whatever Mardi Gras party activity or item they choose. It can be realistic like “dancing” or outrageous like “an alien abduction”. For purposes of example the first person said ”dancing”. The person to the left of the starter(clockwise) goes next. They will say, ” No Mardi Gras party is complete without dancing and __________” filling in the blank with whatever they choose. The third person would say the entire phrase including both of the previous answers(in order) and add a third.

    This continues moving left around the circle with each person repeating what the previous person said and adding an additional Mardi Gras party element until someone forgets a previous answer, messes up the order or in some way makes a mistake. That person is out and leaves the circle. The person to the left of the person that is now out starts the game over again from scratch. Continue playing and eliminating players until only one person remains. That person is a very deserving winner.

    If the Game is Taking Too Long: Sometimes this game can bog down with guests taking long turns. If your game starts to slow down or even from the very beginning you can add a five second rule. So if any player on their turn goes for more than 5 seconds without adding to the list they are eliminated.

    Don’t Say Beads (Taboos and Tokens)

    Materials Needed

  • A taboo word
  • A token for each guest
  • This game is an excellent choice to lead off your Mardi Gras party. Since you play it passively throughout the event, it is a good idea to start it as soon as possible.

    The Set Up: The first thing to do is to select a taboo word, meaning a word(or short phrase) your guests are not allowed to say. The most obvious choice is “Beads” which will work just fine, but if you wish you can choose another word like Mardi Gras, pancakes, Tuesday, or anything you wish that is likely to be said frequently at your party. Now you need tokens. Clothespins are commonly used since they are easy to clip onto and remove from clothing without doing any damage. But for Mardi Gras a fantastic option is a unique set of Mardi Gras beads to hang around the neck.

    The Rules: To start the game inform all of your guests of the taboo word. Give them each a token and explain to them that whenever they say the taboo word they will lose their token to the first player to call them out. Now start the game. If Aunt Sue accidently says the taboo word and Cousin Earl is the first to point out her mistake, then Aunt Sue must give Cousin Earl her token. Now Sue has no tokens and Earl has two tokens. The only way for Aunt Sue to get a token back is to be the first to call out someone else when they say the taboo word.

    The game continues throughout the party until a predetermined time close to the end when the game is called to a halt. The person who has the most tokens at the close of the game is declared the winner and gets a prize.

    Craft Option: You can add purple, green or gold ribbons, stickers, paint or anything else you can imagine to your tokens. Since guests will be wearing them throughout the party , many people choose to fancy them up.

    Pancake Eating Contest

    Materials Needed

  • At least one pancakes per player
  • Since Mardi Gras is also commonly known as Pancake Day, why not have a pancake eating contest? Not only will it be a fun and competitive event at your party, but in many cases getting a little extra food in the stomachs of the guests celebrating with an adult beverage is not a bad idea.

    The Set Up: Before the Mardi Gras party, make enough large pancakes so that there is at least one per party guest. You want them large because this is not a contest of how many pancake they can eat, but how quickly they can each one pancake. Roll the pancakes and wrap them with wax paper.

    The Rules: This is a back to basics game with no forks, knifes, plates, butter or syrup. Hand each participant a pancake wrapped in a piece of wax paper. Have the pancake eaters stand in a row at the ready and countdown 1, 2, 3, GO! The goal is to eat the pancake as fast as possible. The first person to finish their pancake and open their mouth to prove it is all swallowed is the winner and gets a reward.