First celebrated in 1882 to honor the American worker, Labor Day, for most people, is also a Monday free from work.
If you’re planning to have a party or picnic, you can make things festive by playing some games with a Labor Day connection. These games are great for kids to play, or if you have a good group of grown up friends who like to play, any of these will be fun.
Labor Day Charades
In honor of the worker, players in a Labor Day game of charades act out all kinds of jobs — everything from a garbage man to the president. You can create slips of paper with names of jobs before the party or let players make them before starting play. The idea is to get teammates to guess what job is being acted out based on the actions performed. You can suggest playing the game with some simple rules or, for those who want to play the game the traditional way, come armed with some typical rules from a source such as Enjoy a Game.
In many communities, the emphasis on Labor Day is that it signals the end of summer. In keeping with that theme, you can give guests a chance to say goodbye to summer with such games as a water balloon fight, a watermelon seed-spitting contest, or a game of softball. You might also come up with some funny summer-related relays such as giving each team an enormous swimming suit that team members must take turns putting on (over their clothes), running to a folded beach chair, setting the chair up, sitting in it momentarily, and running back to the next player.
The Boss Says
This game is based on the child’s game, Without a Pair, but I’ve re-titled it The Boss Says in honor of Labor Day. It requires a large group. The players number off in twos; all the “ones” form a circle, and all the “twos” form a circle outside that one. The circles are adjusted so that there is one more person in the inner circle than in the outer circle. Music is the signal for everyone to walk around to the right. When the music stops, each player in the inner circle must quickly find a partner in the outer circle. One person is left without a partner; he must report to “The Boss,” who advises the leftover worker what job he must perform in the center of the circle. For example, the boss might direct the worker to imitate a ballet dancer or a window washer.
For a quiet game, printing out and enlarging crossword or anagram puzzles about Labor Day, such as those available at The Holiday Spot, is one way to keep guests entertained inside or out. The game starts with the group dividing into teams of three or four players; each team should receive only one pencil. Teams compete to be the first to correctly finish the puzzle. As the teams work, a moderator calls out clues every so often, such as “The answer to number 14 down is ‘September’.”