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No matter the size of your family or how much you prepare, the kinds of games you play are what make your reunion a success. The key to great family reunion games is to have a variety at the ready. It’s vital to have a mix of short and long, getting-to-know-you and standardized classics, as well as physically active and quiet games for when everyone is worn out.
Toilet Paper Game
Without telling your relatives why, pass along a roll of toilet paper, instructing them to tear off a piece of any length they choose. Then, go around the room, having everyone tell one thing about themselves for every square of toilet paper they have.
Candy Bar Game
Purchase enough candy bars for each relative to have one, but remember: you cannot have more than one of each kind. Gather everyone in a circle and pass out one brown lunch paper bag to each player. Set a timer for the game; 30 minutes might be good to start with. Then, place all of the candy bars in a pile in the middle and have each player take turns rolling two dice. If they roll a five, a ten, or doubles, they either get to choose a candy bar from the pile and place it in their bag, or ask someone else for their candy bar. If they roll any other number, their turn is over. If they ask another player for their candy bar, they have to remember exactly which bar that person has in their bag. If they ask for the wrong variety, they get nothing and have lost their turn. After several times around, the pile of candy bars will be gone, and when a player rolls a five, a ten, or doubles, they can only ask other players for their candy bars. There may eventually be players with several candy bars and some without any. However, when the timer beeps, the candy bars are distributed so that everyone ends up with only one.
Beach Ball Game
Blow up a medium-to-large-sized beach ball and, using a marker, write as many open-ended, getting-to-know-you questions on the ball as will fit, such as “What was your first job?” “What is your favorite dessert?” and “What was the name of your first pet?” Ask the players to stand in a large circle and toss the ball amongst the players, trying not to let it touch the ground.As you play, try to get a pre-determined number of touches before the ball falls to the ground, perhaps anywhere between three and ten, depending on the age of the players. Once you reach the desired number of touches, the very next person to touch the ball will catch it. Holding the ball, they must answer whichever question their right hand is closest to.
Set up a table with slips of paper, pens, an empty bowl, and several random objects labeled with questions. For instance, have your relatives try to guess the weight of a spaghetti squash, the number of words in a newspaper, the number of polka-dots on a yard of fabric, the number of seeds in a small watermelon, the number of ounces in a container of water, and the length of a section of yarn rolled up in a ball. This game works well at family reunions because it can be played individually and on one’s own timeframe.
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