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Category Ideas for DIY Trivia or Jeopardy Games (with free game planning printables!)

Get ideas for making your own categories for DIY Trivia or Jeopardy Game! Get inspiration for categories, clues, and how to set up your own homemade FUN group party game! 

DIY Jeopardy and Trivia Game with Free Printables

Real quick: Are you here looking for ideas for a Christmas-themed Jeopardy game for a holiday party or game night (that can totally be adapted for virtual Christmas parties this year)?! If so, I have a Christmas-themed Jeopardy post for you!! 

You may have already discovered just how much my husband and I (and our families) love games…we just look for any excuse to play them! One thing we’ve done at a few of our recent celebrations has been a DIY trivia/Jeopardy! game that we’ve customized to the event we’re celebrating. The game is always such a hit, so I thought I’d share some category ideas for DIY trivia or Jeopardy games in case you’re wanting create something similar for your next celebration.

Before I share categories, though, I thought I’d share with you how to set up your game. Once you determine the questions you’re going to ask, you can set your game up one of two ways: you can have groups of people write their answers down on an answer sheet (like in the photo above), or you can play more Jeopardy!-style with a board (like in the photo below).

Category Ideas for DIY Trivia or Jeopardy Game - a fun game for adults to play at parties and gatherings that you can easily customize to your particular celebration

I would say that the answer-sheet route is a bit easier to manage when you have a large group of folks – I’d say any celebration over about 15 people I would go the answer sheet route.

Category Ideas for DIY Trivia or Jeopardy Game - a fun game for adults to play at parties and gatherings that you can easily customize to your particular celebration

The “emcee” of the game just announces the questions, the groups huddle together and decide on their answers, write them down, and then you tally up the points at the end of the game.

Category Ideas for DIY Trivia or Jeopardy Game - a fun game for adults to play at parties and gatherings that you can easily customize to your particular celebration

Category Ideas for DIY Trivia or Jeopardy Game - a fun game for adults to play at parties and gatherings that you can easily customize to your particular celebration

Category Ideas for DIY Trivia or Jeopardy Game - a fun game for adults to play at parties and gatherings that you can easily customize to your particular celebration

However, if you want to make your trivia game a little more interactive, you can do more of a Jeopardy! approach with a board. When we did this, we made a board similar to this – just using old poster board (or some sheets of paper taped together) and some sticky notes with the points on them that we then took off the board when that particular category amount was chosen.

Category Ideas for DIY Trivia or Jeopardy Game - a fun game for adults to play at parties and gatherings that you can easily customize to your particular celebration

(You can get more specific instructions on how to create a DIY Jeopardy! game here.) When we’ve done this, we’ve just put all of the questions (I guess answers, if you will – Jeopardy! gives the answer and you have to come up with the question) on a sheet of paper, and then we removed the corresponding sticky note to the category amount. This made it way easier than writing the answer on the board large enough so that everyone could see it (like in the real Jeopardy! program).

Category Ideas for DIY Trivia or Jeopardy Game - a fun game for adults to play at parties and gatherings that you can easily customize to your particular celebration

Category Ideas for DIY Trivia or Jeopardy Game - a fun game for adults to play at parties and gatherings that you can easily customize to your particular celebration

Category Ideas for DIY Trivia or Jeopardy Game - a fun game for adults to play at parties and gatherings that you can easily customize to your particular celebration

I really love providing games for folks to do at gatherings whenever I can – I think they’re such a great way to build community, they’re fun, and they’re just a great way for folks to enjoy their time somewhere and get to know each other better. I feel like I have a sappy reason for just about everything I do, but seriously, games just bring people together like nothing else!

Category Ideas for DIY Trivia or Jeopardy Game - a fun game for adults to play at parties and gatherings that you can easily customize to your particular celebration

That being said, if you’re looking to create your own DIY trivia or Jeopardy! game, I wanted to provide you with a bunch of category ideas for you to consider. The categories below would apply to the “honoree” of the party or celebration – the birthday boy/girl, the retiree (for a retirement party), the graduate (for a graduation party), etc. Here are some category ideas to get you thinking!

  • YEAR THEY WERE BORN
    • Famous events that occurred the same year they were born:
    • Trivia about the year they were born – the cost of gas/a gallon of milk/a postage stamp; movies/tv shows/books/songs that were popular that same year; etc.
      • Examples: Within 2K, name the average price of a house in America in 1986. Which NFL team won the Super Bowl in 1978? First recorded by an American blues musician, this song spent more weeks at #1 than any other song in 1950.
  • THIS DATE IN HISTORY (the date they retired, the date they graduated, etc.)
  • TRIVIA ABOUT THEIR JOB
    • Think about some fun facts regarding their workplace environment, what type of work they do, etc.  
      • Examples: This many students graduate from the high school where Aaron teaches each year. On an average day, Jake uses how many different computer programs to complete his work? Wayne once traveled to Washington, D.C. this many times in one year for business.
  • FACTS ABOUT THEIR CHILDHOOD
    • Schools they attended, activities they were part of, funny habits they had, trivia about their favorites from when they were little like a favorite stuffed animal, blanket, etc.
      • Examples: What was the name of the Dallas hospital where Meghan was born? What grade did Charlotte skip in school? Don’t get lost thinking about it, but this was Debbie’s favorite game to play in elementary school.
  • TALENTS THEY HAVE
    • Perhaps they’re particularly good at singing, dancing, a sport, a certain subject, etc. Think of trivia along those lines.
      • Examples: Anne once performed in how many school plays in a single year? When Aaron takes road trips, he enjoys doing this type of mental math problem using the numbers he sees on highway signs.
  • THEIR FAVORITES
    • Foods, sports, teams, TV shows, movies, music, books, places to visit, etc.
      • Examples: The Aggies went to how many straight Cotton Bowls in the 1980s? How many of those did they win? Lucy and Ethel famously worked in this type of factory for only one day. What is Kayla’s favorite holiday?
  • THEIR BELONGINGS
    • Trivia about their vehicle, house, wardrobe, etc.
      • Examples: What is the color of Thom’s front door? These two fixtures need fixing on Katy and Justin’s refrigerator. Jane has at least 25 of these trendy fashion pieces hanging in her closet.
  • SCHOOLS THEY ATTENDED
    • Trivia about their high school/college, what they did in school, their favorite subjects, etc.
      • Examples: These were the two colors of Gina’s high school. One summer during grad school, Dave gave tours of this historical building. In what college subject did Shelle never receive below a 90 average?
  • HOBBIES
    • Activities they regularly do, clubs they’re part of, sports they play, statistics/trends/topics they follow, etc.
      • Examples: What does Catrina own 200 of as part of her arts and crafts collection? Jason was the first person in line in his college town to purchase this video game.
  • PETS
    • Information about current or former pets they’ve had
      • Examples: Aaron and Mauri’s dog, Gipper, got his name based on the nickname of which president? How often does Zach ensure that his dog, Stella, gets a haircut? Emily’s cat once caught this many mice in one evening and left them on her doorstep. 
  • FAMILY MEMBERS
    • Fun facts about siblings; if they’re a parent, perhaps fun facts about their kid(s); if they’re a grandparent, fun facts about their kid(s) & grandkid(s)
      • Examples: Which of Jim’s children enjoys playing the guitar? How many of Lisa’s grandchildren have never been on an airplane? Which of Judith’s siblings has one gold tooth, one silver tooth, and one porcelain tooth?
  • TRAVEL EXPERIENCES
    • Has this person traveled to several places? Or do they perhaps routinely travel to the same location(s)? Perhaps you can do a trivia category on the places they’ve visited.
      • Examples: To which two Northeastern states does Karen travel each summer? What European country is the home to the church that partners with Rachel and Travis’s home church in college?
  • HOMETOWN 
    • Fun facts about their hometown – the best restaurant in town, historical markers, famous people who came from their hometown, what their hometown is known for, etc.
      • Examples: Which taco place (Pam’s favorite restaurant) considers itself to serve “The World’s Best Breakfast Taco” and recently served it’s 1,000,000th breakfast taco? What famous musician, known for having 60 number-one hits, was born in Poteet, Texas?
  • HOME STATE
    • Fun facts about their home state – history, state bird/tree/song/etc., random facts their state is known for, etc. 
      • Examples: The state capitol building in Austin opened May 16, 1888. How much taller is the capitol dome of Texas than the Capitol in Washington, D.C.? Which northern state is known for its production of dairy?  
  • SURPRISING/UNIQUE FACTS ABOUT THEM
    • Funny quirks, unique experiences they’ve had, hidden talents, etc. 
      • Examples: What condiment is the oldest item in Pete’s refrigerator right now? What food does Sharon make sure she eats each morning for breakfast? What event does Robin deem as being the oddest and most interesting thing to happen to her?
  • PARTY THEME
    • What type of theme is the party you’re hosting? Is it a decades theme (70s, 80s, 90s, etc.)? A beach theme? A movie theme? A sports theme? Create a category dedicated to trivia that would fall under the theme of the celebration.
      • Examples: Which men’s hairstyle was trendy (but never should’ve been!) in the 1980s? What sport was invented in the 19th century as a safer alternative to football?

If you’re looking to create a trivia game or Jeopardy! game for an event that isn’t necessarily honoring one person (i.e. not a birthday party, retirement party, graduation party, etc.), here are some ideas for categories you can include:

Category Ideas for Family Reunions:

  • Fun facts about parents & grandparents’ lives growing up – places they worked, where they went to school, how they met, etc.
  • Fun facts about other family members such as aunts, uncles, and cousins – think about places they’ve lived, where they’ve worked, funny stories of things they’ve done
  • Trivia about the state/country the family is from
  • Trivia about the location where the family reunion is taking place

Category Ideas for Other Parties/Celebrations/Gatherings: 

  • Company business party
    • Trivia about the year the business was founded, fun facts about the owners/managers/coworkers, interesting facts about the business itself and the services/products it provides, etc.
  • Holiday party
    • Consider categories that include famous songs for a particular holiday, events that frequently take place that time of year, food that’s served in honor of that celebration, etc.
  • Church gathering
    • Trivia about the town where the church resides, trivia about the church itself, facts about the year the church was founded, fun facts about the pastor, etc.

That’s just a handful of ideas to get you started! Do you have others for me to include on this list? Comment below – I’m always looking for additional trivia ideas! This game never goes out of style and it’s such a great game for just about every age! 

Christmas-Themed Jeopardy Game Ideas

Be sure to grab your free game planning printables to help you plan a super fun Jeopardy!-style game for your celebration!! Just enter your details below and you’ll get ’em right away!

Love this party game idea?! Be sure to save it to your favorite Pinterest board to remember for later!

DIY Jeopardy Game for Parties - Tons of Category and Question Ideas for a Homemade Jeopardy Board, perfect for teens and adults at birthday parties, showers, parties, and game nights! #jeopardy #partygames #boardgames #gamenight

 

DIY Jeopardy Game for Parties - Tons of Category and Question Ideas for a Homemade Jeopardy Board, perfect for teens and adults at birthday parties, showers, parties, and game nights! #jeopardy #partygames #boardgames #gamenight

 

4 Comments

  1. We have 8 birthdays in a 2 week period, including my daughter who turned 13, so I made one of your jeopardy games for her birthday and included questions about the other birthday celebrators. It was so much fun!! I had fun making it and being “Alex”. I learned so much about those people in my family!! I might do another one someday and include the rest of the family- maybe at Thanksgiving!! Great idea. Thanks for the tutorial. The cell phone addition someone mentioned above is a good idea also, it was hard to tell who buzzed in first, but I like not having technology involved!

    1. Yay! I’m so glad you had fun!! We absolutely love doing this! Recently, we’ve started transitioning into making it more of a trivia-style rather than Jeopardy-style…I think with us having young kiddos and with both my husband and I needing to play the hosts (so one of us can keep track of points and people buzzing in and one person can keep track of giving the clues), it’s been more difficult for us to host and really pay attention to who buzzed in first. The trivia style still works out really well and is still fun, it just reduces the need to have to always be on alert with who chimed in first and then making sure we’re accurately keeping score of positive or negative scores. (And YES, totally feel ya on loving not having tech involved!!)

  2. We made your Jeopardy-style game for our foreign exchange daughter’s going away party. We divided the teens up into 2 teams, chose team captains, and the team whose captain texted in the correct answer first got the points. This allowed the team to discuss the answers, but just submit their “final answer” and it also gave us a way to know which team “buzzed in” first. For score-keeping, I just made 2 piles with the sticky notes, one for each team. At the end before Final Jeopardy, they added up their points. I was afraid that the teenagers might think this was kinda dorky, but they really got into it, and our foreign exchange daughter LOVED to see how well her friends had truly gotten to know her during her exchange year. She felt so known and loved, and she thanked me for the game. I highly recommend this for a party to honor someone!!! Our categories were Favorites, Family, Memories, Germany (her home country), and Misc.

    1. I love what y’all did with the texting option – that makes it completely clear on whose answer came in first! Such a brilliant idea!!

      We were just talking about Kim last night with the Tideys – we were telling her how much we loved having y’all here with her and how much y’all just absolutely adored her for the year she was here!!!

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