S.T.O.P. Game How-To’s



All Together Now

YPTU Clip Art Stop SignThe STOP Game draws on the children’s game where a gift is passed around to music.  When the music STOPs, the child holding the gift opens it.

In organizing parties for my two daughters, this game always generated the most excitement.  As adults, we don’t change much, but I did change up the game a bit.

The “new” game combines the basic concept of that gift-passing game with the added fun of trivia and singing, making it both kid- and adult-friendly.



ABC (easy as one, two, three)

Here’s how you play in five easy steps:

Step 1:  Everybody gathers in a circle, either around a dining table, a room, the backyard, the campfire, deck or patio.

Step 2:  A basket (the Challenge Basket) containing trivia and song challenge cards is passed around the room from person to person while upbeat music is played on a CD or an MP3 player.   As the Challenge Basket is passed around the room from person to person, players sing along to the recorded music.

Note:  As administrator, you create a playlist ahead of time, aiming for songs that are easy to sing with well-known lyrics. For Christmas, I selected well-loved Christmas songs and carols. Make sure they are fun and upbeat.  A great CD will work, too.

Step 3:  The administrator  STOPs the music at some point during the song.

Step 4:  Whoever is holding the Challenge Basket when the music stops is the “Challenger.”   He or she selects a Challenge Card from the Challenge Basket and then presents the challenge to the group. The group takes on the challenge.

Step 5:  One player receives a prize with each Challenge, opens it, and then you start all over again with a new song.



YPTU Clip Art IpodListen to the Music

In the Music and Trivia challenges that I have created for the game, players either guess at multiple trivia questions (never just one) or sing with a music challenge — always together.

No one is put on the spot.  It’s all about group participation.

The next section gives suggestions on how to liven up the party with the perfect choice of music for different age groups.   And in the STOP GAME Challenges page, I provide some examples for Song and Trivia Challenges.




Music of My Heart

Music for Passing the Challenge Basket is a key to the game’s success.  It has to be fun and encourage singing or at least chair-dancing to the beat.

If you have a room full of Baby Boomers, nostalgic and upbeat songs from the 60s and 70s will ramp up the fun.  Try to find songs they may have not have heard in a while versus those always heard on radio.

Do you have Gen X-ers?   Any upbeat artists from the 70s and 80s are great.

YPTU Clip Art Hand ClappingMillennials?  The boy band groups from the 90s, plus current music from Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato (my niece’s favorite), One Direction or any other favorite of the moment (that is family friendly).

Don’t forget the little ones who may be in the circle (not sure what their generation will be called!)  Disney songs are a great choice since everyone knows those, from grandchildren to grandparents.

If you are lucky enough to have members from the Golden Generation in your STOP Circle, be sure to download some selections from Elvis Presley, Tony Bennett, Perry Como, Nat King Cole, Bill Haley & the Comets, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry, Ella Fitzgerald, Dean Martin, Doris Day, Frank Sinatra, Connie Francis.

Their songs are such ageless classics that everyone tends to know them.



Don’t Worry Baby

You might be wondering what a Challenge Card looks like.  Don’t worry, I won’t leave you hanging!    The next page gives you some examples.

Take a look at them and then make up some of your own specifically geared to your own people.   You can do it if I can!


The CHALLENGE BASKET filled with Trivial Pursuit Cards — the easy way to play!  See HELPFUL HINTS.

No time to create your own?  Check out Helpful Hints for the EASY METHOD to play using your Trivial Pursuit cards (or cards from any other trivia game, like Blast from the Past or Jeopardy).





Next: Challenges!

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