How to Play Fishbowl Game

How to Play the Fishbowl Game

The Fishbowl Game is a fun-filled memory game that combines Charades, Password and Taboo.  It is also an easy game to learn, which means children and adults can play it together.  The Fishbowl Game can be played with large groups, which makes it perfect for family get-togethers.  It also works well as a school classroom activity or a team building exercise.

Preparation

You will need a few objects to play The Fishbowl Game.  Gather the following:

  • 3-4 pens
  • Paper and scissors
  • A container to hold the paper (a fishbowl is ideal!)
  • A timer of some kind (a smart phone will do the job)

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.

Playing the game

Step 1: Populate the fishbowl

Start by separating everyone into two equal teams.   Each player 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 should’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.

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:

  1. The starting team selects a player to go first.
  2. 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.
  3. The player will then use words to get their team mates 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 McDonalds”
  4. If the player thinks the word or phrase is too hard, they can “pass” and put the paper back into the fishbowl.  However, players are only do this once per round.
  5. If the team successfully guesses the word, they get to keep the piece of paper.
  6. 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 the each team’s score, fill the fishbowl with the pieces of paper and move onto round 2!

Step 3: Play the “password” round
The next round 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.


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.  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 bed sheet 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.

We hope you enjoyed reading How to Play Fishbowl Game.  For more fun games, subscribe to the blog or follow us on social media!

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