Pollyanna Gift Exchange Ideas

Hello and welcome to our Pollyanna gift exchange ideas list! Gift exchange games are certainly a popular pastime at many holiday gatherings. 

In a Pollyanna Gift Exchange, participants anonymously purchase a gift for a randomly-selected person in the group. The best gifts are inexpensive, personalized, and, of course, funny! From Grumpy Cat merchandise to eccentric tape dispensers, your perfect Pollyanna gift is sure to be found from this list. 

Read on for a whole list of gift options for your exchange!

History of the Pollyanna Gift Exchange

Games like Dirty Santa, White Elephant, Pollyanna and Secret Santa are fun, easy and affordable. These games are also a great way for large groups of people to participate in holiday or other gift giving traditions. Gift exchange games are great for office parties, club meet ups, and other larger holiday gatherings because participants only have to buy one gift.

The Pollyanna Gift Exchange is a regional variant of the White Elephant Gift Exchange that correspondingly follows largely the same idea. Popular in Southeastern Pennsylvania and South New Jersey, Pollyanna is named after the ever-cheerful children’s book character Pollyanna from the early 20th century. In common parlance, this name has since become synonymous with people who are incredibly optimistic. As you might expect, a Pollyanna Gift Exchange focuses on amusing gifts designed to make people cheerful and merry. This kind of vibe also makes it the perfect option for a holiday gift exchange game.

How to Play

The rules to this Secret Santa style gift exchange game are altogether quite simple. Some time before the event, every participant randomly chooses a name out of the pool of participants. No one shares what name they have drawn, instead keeping it hidden. Each person then purchases a fun and amusing gift for the person to whom they’ve been assigned. There is generally a dollar amount assigned before the event so everybody is on the same page as to how much they will be spending on their gift.

In general, you can put a minimum or maximum amount to keep things simple. The presents are then brought to the event and unwrapped by the recipients. Since the gift giver is kept anonymous, you can have a lot of fun choosing hilarious and unique gifts for the person you’ve been assigned. Finally, it doesn’t matter if you know your recipient well or not, because we’ll give you some tips on how to choose a good gift for anybody.

Choosing Gifts

Undeniably, gift selection can be a stressful experience, whether you know the person well and set high expectations or if you don’t know them well and are uncertain. But it needn’t be so difficult! Choosing the gift you’re going to give can be one of the most fun parts of a Pollyanna Gift Exchange. Think carefully about the person you’ve been assigned to buy a present for. Consider especially his or her sense of humor as well as what he or she likes and dislikes. Perhaps they are a part of an ongoing inside joke, which could indeed prove to be a good source of gift idea. Or maybe they have a zany sense of humor. By taking these personality traits into consideration, you’re sure to find a gift that the person will find humorous, as well as enjoy.

If you happen to be assigned someone you don’t know very well, ask those who know that person. You could also do a little research on social media to figure out what they like and how they express themselves. A thoughtful, fun gift is in reach for everyone, obviously or not, even if you have to do a little bit of research to find the perfect one.

If you’re stumped for Pollyanna gift ideas, here are some affordable gift ideas that are sure to get some laughs and to delight just about any personality type!


anfGreenqb Cute Grumpy Cat-Custom Pillowcase 20"x30" Two Sides Pillow Case
  • Size: 20 X 30 inches , Color: Multi-color,Made from quality Cotton linen fabric.
  • Natural eco-friendly materials,this is your most suitable choice.
  • This cushion cover could surely provide a warm,welcoming feeling to your daily life.

A hilarious choice for cat lovers or haters alike!

A Grumpy Cat pillow case is a great choice for the lover of all things memes and cats. This adorable (and grumpy) cat can, furthermore, literally greet your gift recipient day and night. The great thing about pillow cases as gifts is the recipient can obviously use them for their bed, but they can also use them for a throw pillow. A funny pillow case like the Grumpy Cat might be instead used to keep on the couch as a goofy and decorative pillow.

Either way, this is an especially inclusive and safe bet for a Pollyanna Gift Exchange present. Because even if your recipient turns out to not be a cat lover, who doesn’t like a grumpy cat?


Don't Speak! Funny Coffee Mug Gifts, Coffee Mugs for Women Men - 12 oz Glass Cool Coffee Mugs, Funny Coffee Cup Birthday Gift for Best Friend Boss
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  • Great For Any Drink - Sarcasm is the best way to tell joke and have fun. Funny coffee mug for men or...

A no-nonsense and perfectly practical gift exchange idea

This hilarious glass coffee mug is the perfect gift for that person who just can’t seem to get with the program until she’s had just the right amount of coffee. By all means, surely a lot of us can relate to this. This mug certainly lets the world know exactly when it’s safe to talk to your gift recipient. For an extra thoughtful touch, pair it with a bag of coffee or a gift card to her favorite coffee shop.


Tipsy Tubes Hidden Sunscreen Lotion Flask - Suntan Oil Flask-Sneak Smuggle Hide Booze and Alcohol - His and Her Flask for Concerts and Cruises - White Elephant Stocking Stuffer Gift
  • THREE 8 OZ. FLASKS. SUNSCREEN. BRONZER. HAIR PASTE. Great for the Pool, Theater, Golf Course, Beach,...
  • 24 TOTAL OUNCES or 16 SHOTS. PERFECT CHRISTMAS PARTY GIFT! Our Flasks are Designed to Hold Enough for You...
  • HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT. These Tubes were Made to Look Realistic when You Need it Most.

A seriously handy and insanely useful office wonder

A set of Tipsy Tubes is guaranteed to make that one person who always jokes about drinking in the office laugh. These cleverly designed 8 ounce tubes may look like tubes of sunscreen, bronzer or hair gel, but they are actually flasks to hide your adult beverages. Undoubtedly this is a funny and probably practical gift as well for the casual drinker.

However, since we’re dealing with alcohol, perhaps do some background research and make sure your assigned person doesn’t have a drinking problem. Similarly, anyone with an alcoholic family member can get sensitive to a present centered on sneaky drinking. Therefore, just be mindful and do your research first or ask around beforehand.


Talkie Toys Products Burp Button - 20 Funny Burp Sounds - Funny Talking Button for Burp Games, Burp Trivia, Burp Pranks - Great Gag Gift and Stocking Stuffer
  • Lights up, flashes and plays 20 funny burp sound effects. Will keep the big laughs coming
  • Realistic Burp sounds. A great party favor or great as a birthday gift or for an office party for...
  • Durable and battery operated. Very cool stocking stuffer for Christmas for friends and family

A big win for the non-stop jokester

Perfect for the perpetual joker and/or prankster, a personal sound effect machine will get tons of laughs. Provide your cubicle mate with his own laugh track, drum roll, applause, boos and more. Featuring 16 funny sound effects, this little machine will provide all sorts of fun in a variety of situations. Indeed, it is also going to drive your office absolutely crazy within a few days, but what novelty gifts don’t?


Mcphee Archie, Squirrel Feeder Unicorn Head
  • 100% brand new and authentic merchandise
  • Includes all original tags/packaging straight from the manufacturer/distributor
  • Officially Licensed from Accoutrements

The nature lover’s dream gift

Who doesn’t want to turn into Snow White and consequently attract all the forest animals to your back door? This hilarious squirrel feeder will subsequently make unicorn sightings an everyday occurrence. Hang this unicorn head with nuts, corn or seeds in its snout and wait for squirrels to come and chow down. This amusing gift is a whimsical take on a squirrel feeder and perfect for both nature and fantasy lovers.


Maybe Swearing Will Help Adult Coloring Book Set - for Adults Relaxation with Markers in a Case - Motivational Swear Word Anxiety Relief - Color Cuss & Laugh Your Way to Less Stress
  • HILARIOUS GIFT SET: For Tired-Ass people who need a good laugh and some well-deserved sweary self care!...
  • SWEAR WORD ADULT CRAFTS: Take this opportunity to rescue someone or yourself from all the BS in the world...
  • TOP QUALITY ART BOOK SET: This delightfully relaxing coloring book of funny AF coloring pages are...

The potty mouth’s stress reliever

Who says coloring books can’t be for adults too? Actually, a recent study showed that coloring books are now the most commonly purchased type of book. This coloring book will certainly make the perfect gift the notorious foul mouthed office companion. The adult coloring book comes with markers so that your gift recipient can color away all of their stress.

Featuring cute animals, funny puns and trendy designs, this coloring book further proves that coloring isn’t just for little kids anymore. This is a great gift for someone with an adult sense of humor, as well as those who enjoy an outlet for their creative side. Did you know that coloring has also been clinically demonstrated to relieve anxiety and stress? So, not only will this serve as a funny gift, it can also be really useful in getting your gift recipient to chill out a bit at work!


ARAD Funny Tape Dispenser, Desk Accessories-for Home or Office Spaces
  • FUNNY ACCESSORIES FOR WORK OR HOME - This humorous toilet tape dispenser is a fun addition to any...
  • GREAT GIFTS FOR FRIENDS & COWORKERS - No matter the occasion or the recipient, this lighthearted cubicle...
  • VERSATILE USAGE - While many desk accessories can take up valuable work space, these cute office supply...

The handy butt of all jokes

This desk accessory holder is the perfect choice for that guy (or gal) in your office who is known for potty humor and a messy desk. Featuring a colorful person sitting on a toilet, this organizer serves as a tape dispenser, pen holder, memo pad holder and paper clip storage. Notwithstanding the bathroom humor, this desk accessory is also a super useful dispensary for handy office supplies! It comes in blue, green or orange and will surely get lots of laughs. This clever and amusing desk accessory is a fun way for your gift recipient to keep everything all in one place at his desk. As far as Pollyanna Gift Exchange presents go, this is a winner for its combination of practicality and good humor.

More Gift Exchange Ideas

Finding Pollyanna gift ideas surely doesn’t have to be difficult. Whenever and wherever the gift exchange opportunities arise, we hope this gift ideas will come in handy. A little creativity and some research or knowledge of the person you are buying for can go a long way. Some questions and a little background knowledge will surely confirm that you unquestionably will find the perfect present at your Pollyanna Gift Exchange. In the meantime, these are sure to get a good chuckle from the recipient.

Still looking for more funny gift ideas? Try these other present possibilities to keep your gift exchange light and humorous.

Have you given any of these gifts at Pollyanna Gift Exchange? What kind of reaction did your presents garner? Share your comments below. Please let us know if you’d recommend other funny and thoughtful gifts that we can add. Make sure you check out our best gift ideas for kayakers.

Featured Image via Pixabay

21 Best Yankee Swap Gifts to Consider this Year

Today, we will discuss some of the best Yankee swap gifts to consider this year. Offering gifts is just as satisfying for the giver as it is for the receiver, so you should put some thought into them. 

A great Yankee Swap gift may come in the form of food, games, storage, knicknacks, or something funny. The best gifts are entertaining, useful, and inexpensive. Sound impossible? That’s why you have us!

Making a list with the best Yankee swap gift ideas and choosing the most suitable ones for some particular receivers is an exercise in creativity if not more. Read on for the best Yankee Swap Gift options!

What is a Yankee Swap Gift Exchange?

You may be asking what a Yankee Swap Party is. Sometimes known as a White Elephant Gift Exchange, or a Dirty Santa Gift Exchange, this party is a clever way to spice up the good old fashioned gift exchange that your family and co-workers bore you with year after year. The rules can vary, but simply, everyone is directed to contribute a wrapped gift within a certain price range.

Usually, to assure everyone gets something nice, the limit is up to twenty-five dollars.

As each participant arrives with their gift they are asked to draw a number from a hat. Each person waits until his number is called. On each person’s turn, he may decide to pick an unwrapped, new gift from the table to open or swap the gift with someone else. Each gift is technically unclaimed until the swap is over. Don’t be surprised though, if in the end there is more swapping going on.

After all, the fun of the party is to go home with something exciting!

If you want more Yankee swap gift ideas, don’t forget to check out our guide on some of the most amazing housewarming party gifts you can buy for close friends, family members, acquaintances, or workmates. On the other hand, if the concept of a Yankee swap is not right up on your alley, you can get your inspiration going form our guide on gift exchange games for large groups. Besides the White Elephant, you also have the Cheer Exchange, the Hot Potato, the legendary & classic Secret Santa, the Numbers Game, and so on. After all, choosing a gift for someone and exchanging gifts with other people require specific mindsets and certain conditions, so pick the game that serves you best.

Now, let’s return to our White Elephant gift ideas to consider this year!

Best Yankee Swap Gifts

The following is a list of the 21 best Yankee swap gifts you can choose from

Before we begin, however, make sure you also check out our guide on the best funny Yankee swap gift ideas we offered a while ago. In that article, you will learn some of the basic rules for choosing the best Yankee swap present. Suffice to say, you can go for anything that is unusual, useful but strange, sexy (only when it is the case), exceedingly tacky or gross (for the laughs, of course), you get the point.

1. BLACK + DECKER Brew ‘n Go Personal Coffeemaker with Travel Mug


Family, friends, or co-workers, this gift is perfect for anyone in the group! The coffee brews directly into the 15-ounce travel mug and the mug is designed to fit in almost any vehicle cup holder. The coffeemaker is equipped with a permanent filter, filter basket, and auto shut-off for those busy mornings. The mug is complete with a lid and can be washed safely in the dishwasher. This gift will be a big hit at the swap party. It is also an amazing housewarming party gift, so put it on the list for other parties and occasions requiring presents!

2. Pyrex Simply Store Rectangular Glass Food Storage Set


This versatile gift will be welcomed by women and men alike. Imagine taking your food from the oven to the fridge in one dish. Carry these dishes with you to the party, and warm the food in the microwave when you get there. You can freeze the leftovers right in the same dish, and place it in the dishwasher when it is empty. The 6 piece set includes one 3-cup, one 6-cup, and one 11-cup rectangular dish. Each dish comes with its own lid. These easy to store, stackable dishes will have everyone fighting over them.

3. Hot Cocoa Gift Set By Fireside


Everyone likes hot chocolate, so you can’t go wrong with this gift! This gourmet hot cocoa set includes three 8 ounce cans that each consists of salted caramel, chocolate truffle, and peppermint. Just add hot water and you will have a hot cup of cocoa to warm you up on the coldest day. Make a special treat in the summer by adding the cocoa to a glass full of ice. Either way you like it, this gift will be sure to please. Packaged in a gift box with ribbon, your work is already done.

4. Yankee Swap Gift Tee Shirt


Give them a souvenir to remember the night forever! With this shirt, they can wear it to the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party they will be going to next. This classic fit, lightweight, 100% cotton tee is available in a variety of colors and sizes. Make this the best Yankee swap gift on the table, and be the star of the party. Remember we said above that some best White Elephant gift ideas can be strange and even unsightly as long as they have a good dose of intrinsic humor attached to them? This is one of those Yankee swap gift ideas to consider this year!

5. Adult Coloring Book Set of 3


The latest craze is the relaxing, adult coloring book. This gift is great for a swap party with the girls. Older children will enjoy this gift as well. This set includes mandalas, flower designs, and geometric patterns. These books are great for anxiety and stress relief. Explore your inner creativity with each of the 48 single-sided coloring pages, and express your thoughts on each of the 48 journal pages in every book. Adult coloring books are all the rage right now and make some incredible activities for teens as well during a rainy day in the house, so grab a few for your family as well!

6. Cupcakes & Cartwheels- Ribbons Quick Change Watch


This is another great gift for the swap party with the girls. From young to old, she will love this gift. This Quartz watch comes with a variety of 11 different ribbon straps that tie in a bow for security.  Complete with a different strap for everyday and every outfit, she will never get bored. For an elegant presentation, this watch is packaged together with the ribbons in a pink gift box. Make everyone fight to get this gift at the party.

7. Oster Fondue Pot


Everyone loves to eat, and this gift can be fun for everyone. This 3- quart fondue pot is made by Oster, and can be used to dip sweets into chocolate, melt some cheese, or fry some meat. It comes with 8 color-coordinated forks and a sure release break-away-cord. Adjustable temperature control and cool-touch handles make this pot user friendly. This gift will be a big hit, and probably one of the best Yankee swap gifts you will find. Put this item on the list of best housewarming party gift ideas and some of the best presents to offer your parents for their birthday, anniversary, Christmas, or any other occasion!

8. Never Have I Ever: The Game of Poor Life Decisions Card Game


This party game is for ages 17 and older, so it would be ideal for the adult Yankee Swap Party. This popular game includes 550 cards of hilarious, awkward, and embarrassing adult material. With this game, you have the opportunity to learn more about each other. A fun party game that the winner might want to play with everyone when the swapping is over. You know how much we love a good (and mean) game of Never Have I Ever, so if you want to play it (outside the card game) with your friends and family, here are the best Never Have I Ever Game Questions to make your own version of this amazing campfire activity for adults who know each other pretty well and are not afraid to tap into some personal issues.

9. Fritesla 16000mah Power Bank Portable Charger for Smartphones


Almost everyone you know has a smartphone, so why wouldn’t this be one of the best Yankee swap gifts at the party? This slim charger is convenient enough to fit right into your pocket, next to your cell phone. This lightweight charger features dual USB outputs, a USB light with an LED reading. Available in four color choices, this gift is something everyone will want.

10. Northpoint Cashmere Velvet Reverse to Cloud Sherpa Throw Blanket


Nobody will resist the comfort of a soft, warm blanket. This blanket has the feel of velvet plush on one side and reverses to the feel of an extra warm cloud sherpa on the other side. The ideal 50×60 inch size makes for a comfy movie night throw, or wrap it around your shoulders while working at the computer late at night. This gift is available in a variety of colors and will be perfect for anyone in your group. Sit back and watch them fight for this one.

11. Freshly Roasted Delicious Healthy Nuts Basket

This tray of healthy nuts is made with four delicious sections of cashews, pistachios, honey glazed pecans and almonds. These nuts are 100% natural and will make the perfect kosher, vegetarian or organic snack for anyone in the group. The nuts are packaged for freshness in a box, and ready for gift giving. The winner will be so delighted, maybe he will share some with you before the night is over.

12. Pen Light With Stylus Tip


This is the best Yankee Swap gift for the office party. The pen is engraved with, “Success Dreams Create Reality.” This 3-in-1 ballpoint pen is equipped with a replaceable ink cartridge, replaceable battery, and is complete with an LED flashlight and a stylus tip. This handy pen is everything a person needs to get through a busy day at work. Packaged in a classy gift box, this pen is ready to go. Become the favorite co-worker when they find out this gift came from you.

13. Care Package with 50 Sweet and Salty Snacks


This variety snack pack is ideal for the family or school swap party. With chips, candy, cookies, crackers, gum and more all in the same package, how can you go wrong? They can share it, re-gift it, or eat it all themselves, but no matter what they choose to do with it, this will be the most talked-about gift of the night.

14. Burt’s Bees Hand Repair Gift Set


Everyone has dry, chapped hands every now and then, so choosing this gift will not be a waste. The hand repair kit includes Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Cream, Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream and Shea Butter Hand Repair Cream. This kit is packaged in a clear nylon bag tied with ribbon. As an added bonus, the kit also includes a pair of cotton gloves to help keep in the moisture. The person that wins this gift will have to hide it from the rest.

15. Woodwick Candle Fireside


Everyone likes to hear the crackling of the fireplace or of a veritable campfire. With this candle, not only will they get the sound and relaxation listening to the crackle from the wick, but the fireside scent will top it off. This candle is available in two sizes and will put off the scent for 100 hours. You won’t go wrong giving this candle jar to your friends at the party.

16. The Grill Light by Knight Lighter


This unique gift will be sure to lighten up the room. This light is the perfect BBQ companion, but has many other uses as well! Made with a durable Nylon Glass Fiber and 11 gauge steel clamp, this light is made to withstand heavy heat and light rain. Clip it in your dark closet or onto your beach chair. If you need light, grab the grill light as well. Make your friends fight for this gift at the swap party.

17. Heat Sensitive Color Changing Coffee Mug


This 16 ounce, ceramic mug will confuse everyone in the room. The mug will change color and design when it is hot, and will change again as the beverage cools down. This mug can be fun for everyone, and with this design, even the kids will love it. Keep a sleepy person on their toes with this happy conversation piece.

18. Rustic Whitewash Tabletop Chalkboard Sign


The chalkboard that is meant to go on tabletops in homes is great things to give someone as a gift for a housewarming party or any other occasion. They are fun products that anyone can enjoy. Witty, encouraging, helpful, or sweet things can be written on it in any household. Chalk even gives them the freedom to draw, be creative, and set the tone for the house and any guests who enter in. You can’t go wrong with this gift!

19. Play Visions 450 Nose Aerobics Game


This gift will be fun for anyone! Enjoy watching your adult friends play this game when they put on the plastic glasses and try to catch the tiny ball in the little basket. This can make any party entertaining, or watch your co-worker secretly play behind his cubby. For ages 5 and up, but this game will be a riot when the adults try to play!

20. Hidden Alcohol Sunscreen Flask


This is the best gift for the adult party. These two, 9.7-ounce realistic sunscreen bottles, will conceal your drinks so you can sneak them in with you wherever you go. They are leakproof with airtight seals and are food-grade safe. Extra seals and a funnel are included. The flasks easily hold approximately nine shots each, and can easily be passed around for sharing.

21. Knock Knock Bathroom Guest Book


This unique book will have everyone spending time in the bathroom at the next party. Each page is designed for the guest to answer questions, draw a picture and describe their bathroom experience. No more trifling through an outdated magazine, or critiquing the color of your host’s bathroom. Even the serious grump at the party will laugh at this book!

Is there a Difference Between Yankee Swap vs White Elephant Gift Ideas?

Historically speaking, yes, there is, although in the modern world, Yankee swap gifts ideas and White Elephant gift ideas are quite the same thing. The Yankee swap gift concept goes back to the American Civil War, they say, when generals were swapping prisoners in a barter system that had nothing to do with human rights as we know them.

On the other hand, the idea of receiving a White Elephant is, by all means, and purposes, a burden. The king of Siam proved to his people back in the day that getting a white elephant was a punishment and not so much of a token of appreciation.

In conclusion, White Elephant gift ideas should be a bit ridiculous and useless in nature, while Yankee swap gift ideas, no matter how brutal, had some intrinsic value to them. Today, we do not make much of a difference between them and both are extremely fun gifting exchange ideas.

Best Yankee Swap Gifts: Bottom Line

Whether you call them White Elephant gift ideas or Yankee swap gift ideas, we hope our suggestions proved useful to you to have some fun with family, friends, or co-workers this year. If you have more ideas you tried already and made the hoped impact, tell us everything about them in the comment section below! We would love to upgrade this article with some of the best Yankee swap gifts that our readers vouch for and recommend!

How to Play Fishbowl Game: Rules, Regulations, and Tips

The Fishbowl Game is a fun-filled memory game that combines Charades, Password, and Taboo. It is easy to learn and perfect for large groups, which means children and adults can play it together during family get-togethers, school classroom activities, and team-building exercises

To set up the game, players split into two teams, take three strips of paper each, fill their paper with a word (cheeseburger, Shakespeare, blanket, etc), and place their filled-in paper into the fishbowl. Once all the papers are in, teams take turns in one-minute intervals trying to guess which words are written. There are four possible ways to play the game – each way changing how descriptive participants can be when trying to get their team to guess their word. 

Today, we will learn how to play the Fishbowl Game, focusing on its rules, regulations, and instructions. We will also insert some tips throughout this guideline.

The Fishbowl Game’s Competitive Spirit

The first thing to learn regarding how to play the Fishbowl Game is its core component: competition. The teams race against each other to offer correct answers and score as many points as possible. It is an amazing game to play indoors with the kids during the lockdown and one of the funniest challenges to organize with your teens and their friends during a summer day in the backyard.

How Many People do You Need to Play the Fishbowl Game?

The Fishbowl Game is a party game for large groups. It works well for a wide bunch of friends spending an afternoon together, as a newlywed after-party game with a host of guests, a bridal shower game for large groups, or a crowd game for kids and teens on camp, and so on.

In other words, you can play the game in six or eight people, but it is best to think about it in terms of ten to twenty participants. It keeps things more interesting and more entertaining. Since the main purpose of the game is people giving their best shot at describing things, playing out a word, or engage in other spectacular manners of conveying a meaning, the more the merrier.

How to Play the Fishbowl Game: Rules and Regulations

You will need a few objects to play The Fishbowl Game, so start by gathering them in one place.

Gather the following materials:

  • 3-4 Pens
  • Paper
  • Scissors

  •   A container to hold the paper (a fishbowl is ideal!)
  •   A timer

Cut the paper into small strips that are big enough for players to write a couple of words on.  Each player will require three strips of paper.

How to Play the Fishbowl Game

Step 1: Populate the fishbowl

Start by separating everyone into two equal teams. Now that you have Team A and Team B, each player in each team will then take three strips of paper and write a word or familiar phrase on each piece.  Players will have to guess the words or phrases later on, so they shouldn’t be too obscure.  Each player then folds their pieces of paper in half and places them into the fishbowl.  After all of the pieces of paper are in the fishbowl, someone has to shake the bowl to mix them up. For this reason, you might find the game also called “Salad Bowl.”

Choosing the words may be a little challenging – don’t forget you will have to say everything about those objects/concepts but their name. Also, at some point during the Fishbowl Game, you might end up acting upon them, play mime with them. So go beyond the animal charades you play with the kids and give your friends (or yourself) a good run for their money. In between words like a dictator, propeller, psychedelic, or tourniquet, you can throw in some nicer, easier words, like: giggle, fishbowl, or spoon.

Step 2: Play the “Taboo” round

The taboo round is first up.  The goal of this round is to guess as many words or phrases as possible within 1 minute.

The round progresses like this:

  •   The starting team selects a player to go first.
  •   That player will grab a piece of paper from the fishbowl and reads it.  The 1-minute timer will start as soon as they pick a piece of paper from the fishbowl.
  •   The player will then use words to get their teammates to guess the word or phrase that is on the paper.  They cannot use any hand gestures — only words.  They can’t say any of the words that are on the paper, as they are the “taboo” words.  For example, if the word is “Cheeseburger” they might say “You eat this at McDonald’s”
  •   If the player thinks the word or phrase is too hard, they can “pass” and put the paper back into the fishbowl.  However, players can only do this once per round.
  •   If the team successfully guesses the word, they get to keep the piece of paper.
  •   After 1 minute has elapsed, the other team gets their turn.  They also have 1-minute to guess as many words as possible.

Each team continues to take 1-minute turns until all of the pieces of paper have been removed from the fishbowl.  When the fishbowl is empty, each team counts the pieces of paper they have gathered.  Each piece contributes 1 point to their score.  After tallying each team’s score, fill the fishbowl with the pieces of paper and move onto the next round!

Step 3: Play the “password” round

The next round in the Fishbowl Game is played in a similar fashion, with each team having 1-minute to guess as many words or phrases as possible.  The team that went second last time will get to go first for this round.

The main difference is that the player reading the paper can only use one word to describe the word or phrase.  So, if the word is “Cheeseburger” this time they may use a single word like “McDonalds” to describe it.  The team needs to remember the words that were mentioned in the first round and use the “password” as a hint.  The teams continue to alternate with 1-minute rounds each, then the pieces of paper are tallied and placed back into the fishbowl. The game of Taboo is easy and it makes an excellent indoor party game for kids and adults alike. While you need to keep it PG 12 for the children, if you play with your group of friends, you can take things up a notch just for the fun of it.

Step 4: Play the “Charades” round

The next round plays out in the same way, with each team taking their one-minute turns.  The main difference here is that player with the paper cannot speak.  They must use physical gestures to communicate the word on the paper.  For “Cheeseburger” they might pretend to be holding and eating a cheeseburger.  Have some fun with words describing fewer objects and more concepts, states, traits, and so on. Playing mime for the word psychedelic can take even a half an hour if the “mime” doesn’t convey the message as he/she should and the crowd has no idea of what the word or the gesturing mean. True story.

At the end of the round, the scores are tallied up once more.  The team that has the most points from all three rounds is declared the winner!

Step 5: Bonus round

Why let the fun end there?  If you want to take The Fishbowl Game to the next level, play the spooky version!  Get a bedsheet from the cupboard and drape it over the player who is reading the pieces of paper.  The team will then have to guess the word while the player makes movements beneath the sheet!  It is very challenging and a ton of fun. Adding a bit of horror genre vibe to a party game makes the Fishbowl Game one of the best choices you have when you want to organize some campfire games for adults. When it comes to kids, keeping things as less scary as possible may be the best idea.

Fishbowl Game Question Ideas

To spice things up, you can use questions instead of phrases during the first guessing round. It’s a far more challenging endeavor than merely explaining what the word is.

Think of it the same way you’d think about Jeopardy, except in reverse. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • In what country are April Fool’s jokes climaxed with the saying “Doroughe sizdah”?
  • The concept of promoting and measuring an entire locality’s happiness level is known as what?
  • Which element, previously used in the production of felt, lead to the expression “mad as a hatter”?
  • Donuts are traditionally sold in boxes containing how many pieces?
  • Why did the production team decide to fine anyone who showed up late in the movie “The Shawshank Redemption”?
  • Which Country won the 2015 Davis Cup?
  • What U.S. state is known as the “Land of Enchantment”?
  • Which labor standard were the striking workers out to achieve which eventually led to the Haymarket Affair?
  • After his crucifixion, who takes down the body of Jesus Christ off the cross of Calvary?
  • The Dingo is a free range dog found mainly in which country?
  • Who trains Luke Skywalker to fight against the Galactic Empire?
  • The vernal equinox signifies the advent of which season in the Northern Hemisphere?
  • What substance is Han Solo frozen in during “the Empire Strikes Back”?
  • The first male African-American tennis player to win the U.S Open and the Wimbledon tournaments was?
  • What ingredient in bread causes it to rise?
  • “Life is Beautiful” has been named one of the top-five favorite films of which prominent figure?
  • In 2007, a major-motion picture based on which television show was released?
  • Screenwriter Luc Besson and actor Jean Reno worked on another assassin movie before “Leon”. What is its name?
  • What cartoon character is popular in Sweden during Christmas?

Play the Fishbowl Game: Bottom Line

The Fishbowl game is easy to set up and enjoy with a large number of people. The more participants you have, the more and better the words will be. This game taps into peoples’ imagination (and vocabulary), leading to some hilarious moments. The fact that this game mixes two of the best and most popular party games of all times – Taboo and Charades – means that you can come up with plenty of Fishbowl Game Ideas of your own. Play as many bonus rounds you can concoct, keep the score, invent new challenges, and have tons of fun.

You don’t have to wait for a rainy day to play this game inside the house, either. If you have a backyard, the world is your oyster! Or fishbowl!

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