Games and Activities for Your Family Reunion
A family reunion wouldn't be the same without the games and activities to liven it up. Listed below are the great ideas that have been used and re-used in many of our gatherings. Feel free to modify, copy, or borrow these suggestions and have a stupendous, exciting adventure in this magical world of games.
Have some other games to contribute? Share them too!
1. Get Acquainted Card: Fill up the cards/chart with the name of the person whose characteristics match those on the card. A name is allowed only to appear once. The first group to complete the chart is the winner.
Variation: You can have a team helping each other to finish one card.
Sample items on the card: Is six feet tall, is your cousin, has pierced ears, loves to drink milk, can drive a truck, born in the month of December, collects stamps for a hobby, is under 15 years old, has long hair, can recite a nursery rhyme, is 140-145 pounds, etc.
2. Family Hunt: Form several groups. Give each group a list of people/items that they need to "collect." The group who completes the list first shall be the winner. By the way, make sure that the people they gather line up. When it's complete, the group shouts FAMILY!
- Get a child between ages 2-10 years old whose name begins with letter A.
- Get a married couple who has been married for 20 years and more.
- Get a person who is a graduate of a medical profession.
- Get a person who is the eldest sibling in their family.
- Get a person whose birthday falls in February.
- Get a person who has a pet dog.
- Get a person who is 5 feet tall.
- Get a person who weighs between 100-120 pounds.
- Get a person who is wearing a pink slippers.
- Get a person who is wearing eyeglasses.
3. Animal Farm: Prepare rolled sheets of paper with different farm animals written on it. Examples: Frog, Pig, Duck, Birds, Dog, Cat, Rooster, Cow, Sheep, Goat. Each one will have to get one paper. When the gamemaster says GO, you will have to sound off the animal written on your paper (ex. meow for cat and moo for cow). Now go around the room to look for the other animals the same as you. When you are finished, you have to get to know their names, ages, occupations, and schools. The first group to finish is the winner.
Variation: You can also ask one representative per group to introduce his "animal" family.
4. Arrange the Family: Form the participants into groups. The game master will call out an instruction and the group that can follow the instruction correctly gets a point. The group with the most points wins.
- Arrange yourselves from the oldest to the youngest.
- Arrange yourselves alphabetically.
- Arrange yourselves from the heaviest weight to the lightest.
- Arrange yourselves from the shortest to the tallest.
- Arrange your birth month starting from January to December.
5. Guess the Voice: Call all the parents (just one parent will do) and their children. The parents will face the opposite direction as the child group themselves at their back. The children will be given a phrase to say aloud. The parent will have to identify the voice of their child. Example: The child will say "I am special!" (note: The game master will be the one to direct who will call out first. This is done one by one.) When the mom or dad hears the voice of their child, they would say "That's Mia!"
Be Smart, Be Creative Games
1. Designers on the Loose: Divide the participants into several groups. The group will choose one person to be the "mannequin." The goal of the game is to design an outfit (Specify a style. For instance, an evening gown or a belly dancing costume—let your imagination run!). Now here's the twist: design the outfit with materials such as newspapers or manila paper or old magazines only; also supply them with odds and ends (your choice) like colored papers, ribbons, etc... Make sure you assign judges and come up with a scoring system. Be sure to announce a time limit or time frame (15-20 minutes will do) to finish their design. After, you can let them pose or do a ramp modeling. The group with the highest points of course is the winner!
Options: You could also dress up a Santa, decorate a Christmas tree (yes using one of your relatives as the tree), make a "girly-looking" girl into a tough looking one (we did this one for our teachers and we were laughing so hard as they had to walk and pose like tough guys) or the other way around, design gowns for the men.
2. Lights, Camera...Action! Form two groups with equal number of participants, 6 or more per group. The gamemaster will call out a scene (e.g. a bank robbery); and at his directive "ACTION!", the players will portray that scene. At the count of ten, the gamemaster shouts "FREEZE!" The judges will now look at the scene and give the group points for clarity, beauty, and ingenuity. (Tip: Persons can be used as props like a table or chair since no props are allowed.)
Here are sample scenes which you can use:
- Mother giving birth in the delivery room
- Lovers in the park
- An acrobat show
- At a beauty parlor
- A rock concert
- Handicapped people in a marathon
- Firemen to the rescue
- Animals in the zoo
- A wake (at the funeral)
- Family watching a funny TV show in their home
3. Team Gift Wrapping: Break the players up into teams of two. Each pair of players must hold hands and not let go. With their free hands, the teams must wrap up a box, put a ribbon around it, and tie a bow. The team that wraps the package first wins. You could also give extra points if it's nicely done!
4. Guess the Occupation Game: Form two groups. This is a combination of charades and message relay ("Telephone"). This time what we pass on is the action and not words. All participants start by facing the other end. The gamemaster will prepare flashcards with different occupations. He will call the first people of each group to face him. He flashes a card to them and when he gives the signal, the person will run to his teammate and pat their shoulder. That person will turn and face him, and he will show him the action. This will go on until the last person in line who will then run to the gamemaster to guess the occupation.
Remember: No mouthing of the word and no talking aloud while the game is going on. Also no spelling of the occupation is allowed. Of course, the group with the most points wins.
Suggested Occupations (add your own): teacher, farmer, judge, architect, doctor, dressmaker, chef, gymnast, fireman, politician, etc.
5. Math Fun: Divide the participants into two groups. The gamemaster will prepare math equations for them to answer and flashcards numbering from 0 to 9. The ten participants of each team will hold one flashcard apiece. For instance, the gamemaster will call out "1+7 -3 X 8 is equal to?" The people holding the flashcards 4 and 0 will run to the front to show their answer. The group who gets the most correct answers wins the game.
1. Team Groupings: Since a reunion is an opportune time to mingle, we made sure that families were mixed and placed on different teams. The color coding helped as we asked everyone to wear their team color. This grouping was also used during the games and activities, which contributed to the bonding of the group.
2. Team Cheer: Before the games started, we allotted a time where the teams met each other and composed a cheer for the group. We then asked them to perform their cheer with matching actions.
3. Talent Show: This is a beautiful way for members of the clan to showcase their talents and shine. We witnessed some dancing, singing, playing the piano, a bit of acting, and interpreting a song using gloved hands.
4. Exercise Sessions: Interested in early morning exercise? We also scheduled aerobics and walking and yoga stretches by the beachfront as early as 6 am. Some also went swimming. It was a wonderful way to start the day as one was able to breathe in the crisp morning air. The people who joined the morning exercises had a grand time chatting too before the instructor arrived (hehe who turned out to be me.)
5. Theme Night: We also agreed to a night where everybody was all dressed up according to a specified theme. Sample themes: Fairy Tale, Hawaiian, Indians, Pirates... use your imagination! We had a Hawaiian luau as we crossed over to a little island by a little boat and walked back on foot because it was already low tide.
6. Outdoor Activities: Depending on the venue of your reunion (and if weather conditions permit) you could come up with outdoor play, such as sports, water games, mountain climbing, rafting, or snorkeling. You could even have a bonfire and exchange stories at night.
Honoring and Remembering
1. The Family Tree: We made sure we had a family tree with pictures pasted on a wall for everybody to see.
2. Sharing: Our great grand aunts/uncles were asked to share about their past. They talked about the members of the family and shared things we didn't know. It was a good way to pass on the information to the younger generation.
3. Prayer: We included a prayer time (since we are Catholics, a mass was also celebrated) where we thanked God and prayed as one big family.
4. Introduction of Each Family: We also took the time to introduce each family to everyone. It was a perfect time to take pictures.
5. Picture Taking/Video: Remembering is captured in the hearts, in our memories, and also in videos and photos. So we made sure we had lots of those.
I know there are a thousand ideas for games and activities for reunions and other parties/events. The trick is to be able to discern what activities would suit your group. Also choose a great game master(s). The ability to conduct a great game plus the cooperation of everyone will ensure the success of your event.