I’m certain the idea came from an issue of Family Fun magazine almost ten tears ago.

Recently, the kids unearthed a hefty stack of fluorescent index cards wrapped in a rubber band.

The Game of Keigley.

Taking an idea from the magazine, I had created a game custom-designed for our family about our family.

The goal of the game was to have fun learning about family details and testing our knowledge about how life in our home operated.  Plus, it had the added bonus of encouraging positive habits, such as turning out the lights and picking up your dirty clothes.

The set up is simple.  

A stack of cards.  A sharpie.  You create as many cards as you would like with questions that fit your house.

Since the kids rediscovered the original game (I have no idea how it managed to survive through two moves) we have had a pleasant trip down memory lane as we played The Game of Keigley together.

“Get a point for every diaper you’ve changed today” one card reads.  (So grateful I’m not stockpiling points for that one any longer.)

Our cards say stuff like this:

Lose a point if the lid to the toilet is up.

Gain three points if you fed the pets today.

Tell us where our family meets in case of a fire.

After discarding the no longer relevant questions (Get three points if you played with the goats today.) we added a few new ones to the stack.

We had to do a little refresher.  The last time we had played this game half of the children sharing our last name weren’t even alive yet and only one of our kids could read.

The rules are simple.  One point for every correct answer unless the card dictates otherwise.  First person to reach an agreed-upon point total wins.

In our house, the victor is allowed to choose an upcoming dessert.  (Everything’s always about food here, for some reason.)

You can, of course, give your version complicated rules and whatever twists makes your family laugh.  The prize can be a high five or an afternoon free of chores.

The kids have loved playing The Game of Keigley.  It’s a good dinner table game and an easy conversation starter.  Plus, it’s funny.

My favorite card is the random one that asks, “What color was the shirt Mommy was wearing when she wrote this card?”

Here’s a few more sample card ideas:

Name five healthy snacks.

Lose two points for every unnecessary light on in the house.

Two points if you made your bed today.

Bonus – Earn five points if the car’s gas tank is more than half full.

You know, you could actually make this game look pretty adorable too.  You could use cute cards in fun colors and charming fonts.

Back when I created this stack of cards I had just quit teaching high school full time but was still directing the school’s theater program.  I had a ten year old who was desperately struggling through elementary school.  I had a one year old.  We were in mid-process of adopting a six month old.  And I was pregnant.


Fluorescent colored index cards scrawled with sharpie it was.

I think you understand.

Really, it was a miracle that I read a magazine and picked up a pen at all.

We’d love to hear some new card suggestions if you decide to create a game for your family.

Oh – you should probably name yours something different though.  It might be sort of tricky to explain to your kids why the stack of index cards on your kitchen table is named The Game of Keigley.