Coal Mining Games to Play at a Party

by Lori Soard
Get the whole family involved in these games.

Get the whole family involved in these games.

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Themed parties can be memorable events for children and adults alike. If you're planning a coal miner-themed party, then mining games will tie in nicely. Coal mining can be difficult and dangerous work, so coal miners don't actually play games while mining. However, there is a lot of trivia about mining that can be used to create games.

Coal Miners and Canary

Here is a new twist on an old favorite -- hide and seek. In the past, coal miners took canaries in the mines with them to let them know if deadly gases might be in the air. For this game, choose one or two people to be canaries and everyone else is a coal miner. The coal miners hide throughout a darkened house, or the "mine." This can also be played outdoors. The canaries attempt to find the miners. When the canary tweets or whistles, the miner must flash his flashlight on and off. The flashlight must be pointed straight in front of the player and not covered over. As the canary (the seeker) finds players, they are escorted safely out of the mine to home base.

Coal Minor Trivia

Divide party goers into two teams. Create categories, such as Coal Mining Gear, Famous Cave-Ins and Uses for Coal. Use sources like the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine and the Kentucky Coal Museum to research facts about coal mining and create questions for the game. Both of these places also offer coal carved into different shapes or as jewelry and paper weights. These can make excellent gifts for the team that gets the most questions correct.

Coal Bubble Blowing Contest

Around Christmastime, drug stores and big box retailers like Walmart carry small pouches of bubble gum shaped like small pieces of coal. You can also buy it in bulk year round on This is a twist on the old tale that if you aren't good, Santa will leave a lump of coal in your stocking. Purchase multiple pouches of this gum and have a bubble blowing contest. Whoever blows the biggest coal bubble is the winner.

Company Store

Adults will appreciate this survival type game. First, divide the guests into family groups of five. Give them a list of common items and their costs in the company store. Set the prices to whatever time period you want the game to be set in. You can find examples of food costs by using the free online Food Timeline. Next, give each person a certain amount of play money to purchase those items. You should have a store manager and different colors of paper to represent the different items. If you want to really get into it, you could even buy some play food, available in most toy stores. Families can earn extra items by bartering and trading with each other. Give the families a set amount of time to collect as many items as they can from the list. The family with the most items at the end of the time wins.

About the Author

Lori Soard has been a writer since 1995, covering a variety of topics for local newspapers and magazines such as "Woman's World." For five years, she served as a site editor for a large online information portal. Soard is also the author of several published books, both fiction and nonfiction.

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