Family reunions do not happen often, so when you plan a reunion you have to make sure that it will be remembered by everyone. The reunion must be full of fun and the family must experience it as a family memory-making event. Well, planned family reunions are an ideal way of keeping family memories alive for generations.
You can make it a memorable event by engaging everyone in activities and games. Plan some games that everyone can participate in and other games for specific age groups. To assist you, we’ll discuss eight suitable games.
The Banana game
To start the banana game, let your participating family members line up from the youngest to the oldest. Give every participant a banana tied to a string and ask them to tie the string around their waists in such a way that the banana hovers just above the ground. When everyone is ready, you place a whiffle ball in front of each participant.
They have to use their hips to swing the banana to hit the ball without touching the string or banana. The first person to cross the finish line about 50 feet away is the winner. This game has no restrictions and any family member who can walk can participate.
The reason you’ve arranged them from the youngest to the oldest is to entice everyone to finish the race by competing with other family members in their age group. All you need for this game are whiffle balls, bananas, and string. The bananas can be part of the participants’ “prizes”!
Family Talent Show
Some may say that a talent show is not a game, but you can change it into a very enjoyable game by presenting small prizes for a variety of categories. The categories can include aspects like “youngest singer,” “oldest dancer,” “most original talent,” etc. And the “prizes” can be things like a “no dishwashing card.”
The talent show includes whatever the family can come up with. You have to contact all the people that will be at the reunion and ask them to prepare something to perform and make it clear that everyone has to do something.
The older family members can probably share “secret” stories about the family. Remember to make a video of the show to use at future reunions! You can also provide the video to all the family members at the reunion and send it to members who were not able to attend.
A photo hunt is like a scavenger hunt where participants search for and collect items that lead to a treasure. In a photo hunt, you use photos of some family members as clues. The photos must be of the person as a baby, a toddler, a teenager, a young adult, and a recent photo.
Mark every person’s photos at the back with a number from 1 to 5 and then hide them in chronological order from the oldest photo (number 1) to the most recent one (number 5). Hand every group the oldest photo (number 1) of a family member and let them search for photo number 2 of the same person. If they find the one they think is of the same person, they pick it up and take it with them.
Then the process repeats itself up to the most recent photo. The group then takes the 5 photos to the person on their photo number 5. The family member indicates whether all 5 photos are his or hers. When the other groups arrive the same procedure is followed and if all the groups haven’t picked up the correct photos, the fun is to sort them out as a big group.
Playing family trivia requires you to prepare a questionnaire so the younger family members get insight into some of the older family members’ histories. The questions include maiden names, travel experiences, jobs held, etc. You then have to split your group into different teams composed of both older and younger members.
What is important to remember with this game is that you must ensure that the whole group always hears the correct answers, as the goal is to learn more about the family. If you have a rather large reunion group you can make the game more interesting by grouping questions into categories and then every group can choose a category.
Some examples of workable categories for a family reunion include middle names, work-life, hobbies, travel, and many more. It can also be very informative and interesting for everyone if the relevant family members can elaborate on some of the answers.
Family Frisbee Golf Fun
Frisbee golf is a fun sport to play and it is a great family reunion game. Split your reunion group into teams and try to put family members who don’t see each other frequently together in the different teams. This game offers the opportunity to talk to each other in a relaxed atmosphere when walking from one “hole” to the next.
The game is played with rules similar to golf- the player with the lowest number of throws into a basket is the winner of that section. In theory, once one small group makes the Frisbee into the basket, they move on to the next hole and another small group starts after them, much like golf.
This gives a lot of “talk-time.” To utilize the game even more, build in an extra family event for the small groups at each “hole.” The events must be aimed at getting to know your family better. An example is that the two people with the highest scores must tell something about themselves.
Jigsaw Puzzle Family Race
To start this game, you’ve to divide your group into teams of 3 to 4 family members. The idea is to find the group that builds their puzzle the fastest and reward them with something special. During the puzzle-building activity, the family gets the feeling of working together.
If you have many small groups and two groups have completed their puzzles they can exchange their puzzles and compete against each other. Don’t rush the groups – remember the aim of all the reunion games is for family members to relax and enjoy each other’s company.
Puzzles are also very handy as an informal conversation tool. Put puzzles on two or three small tables with chairs and you will be surprised how many people go and sit to chat at these tables while building a part of the puzzle. Many family ties have been renewed around a table while building a puzzle and casually talking to each other or telling stories about the family history.
Who Am I
An excellent way to let the people at the family reunion find out who the family members they don’t know much about are is to play the well-known “Who am I” game. This is an excellent ice-breaker activity and a tool for everyone attending to find out who are the family members that are literally unknown to each other.
Write the names of all the people in attendance on stickers and put them in a hat or basket. Everyone has to draw a name and paste the sticker on their’s forehead. When everybody has a name on their forehead they start mingling.
Walking around in the room they ask questions like “Do I have children?” and “Am I a female?” etc. to try and identify their new identity. If the name on a person’s forehead is of somebody that person knows well, the new identity will easily be recognized.
The egg race is a very popular reunion favorite as it is ideal for a big group. Everyone chooses a partner and they stand facing each other about 30 feet apart. All players put spoons in their mouths and one of the partners places an egg on the spoon
This partner runs to the teammate across the way. The players must then transfer the egg from one spoon to another teammate’s spoon without letting it fall. The first one to get back to the starting line is the winner. The prize can be a chocolate egg for each of the two team members!
To make it more interesting you can group different age groups together. The elderly don’t have to run with the egg in the spoon – they can walk. It is a good idea to have the egg race near a swimming pool if possible as many participants will have to clean up if the egg switching has been unsuccessful!
The fun, games, and informal “competitions” of a family reunion are the aspects that will long be remembered. At your next reunion, you will often hear the words like “You are not going to beat me this time in this race!”
The success or not of the reunion you’ve organized will influence family members’ decisions whether to attend future reunions. So, put effort into planning your reunion’s fun and games. Good luck!