Interpersonal relationships in today’s world remain an enigma, thanks to technology, globalization, and the busy character of most jobs. People are losing their personal touch, losing a sense of the value of relationships, yet deep down, their hearts seem to be yearning for meaningful relationships, amidst the havoc.
This is why when it comes to family, most people cannot compromise. They hold regular brunches with their close family members and once in a while, call out their scattered extended family members for family reunions.
As such, the value of family reunions cannot be underestimated. Family unions remain our source of strength, unconditional love, and joy.
Despite their importance, the reality of matters is that they are often bittersweet. Family reunions mean seeing people we probably have no idea existed, people that we have fallen out with in the past but cannot expunge from our lives, and even sad memories of lost loved ones.
Even with the tense atmosphere, we must all admit that family reunions remain significant. They allow us to rekindle relationships, create new memories, strengthen us, and even give us a boost of TLC before returning to our normal lives.
As for the tension, one great way to keep sane, chase the boredom away, and forget all interpersonal conflicts is through reunion games. Continue reading to find out more about family reunion games.
Reasons Why Reunions Need Reunion Games
They break the ice. Reunion games get the social game started. Even after not seeing people for a long time, or not knowing some existed, you can be at ease after breaking the ice through social games. They are known to get rid of the ‘shy period’ quickly which is the period that people are reluctant to talk to each other because they feel quite unfamiliar with each other.
They make the crowds intermingle. Through gaming, personalities are revealed, and people with commonalities start identifying each other and can start sharing more about their lives. On the other hand, even the different characters interact with each other perhaps out of mere curiosity and interest in a new subject.
They are fun, humorous, and filled with joy. Games bring a smile to people’s faces, they rekindle a kindred love and are fun. They, therefore, make the reunion fun and memorable. If you want to ensure the reunion goes well, start with games, and end with games, and they’ll dissolve any bitter encounters that may have happened.
They unite the family. Old and young, we could all do with some games. They are a great way to reunite the family despite having huge age differences.
Fun Indoor Games for Family Reunions
There are various games for family reunions. These vary in complexity, meaning they will suit different age groups present in the reunion. Most adult games will also be harder to find and set up since kids are easily entertained.
Whichever the game, however, you can be assured that as players chitchat, cheer and make merry, they are deemed to foster love, and create lasting memories. To add some spice to the games, add some prices and treats!
“Who’s Who” Baby Picture Contest
For this game, everybody coming to the reunion must be asked to carry their baby pictures along with them and write their names on the back of the photos. On the day of the game, these pictures will be numbered and pinned on a bulletin board, and when the games start, everyone will be asked to name all the photos. The person with the highest number of names correct wins the game. Additionally, the person with the best smile, cutest photo, or funniest picture can be rewarded.
Family Jigsaw Puzzles
A large-format jigsaw puzzle can be made out of family photos. From here, speed tests or sharing out several pieces to see who manages to complete the puzzle first can be played during a sunny afternoon.
This one is a great game for the whole family. Unique character traits, funny memories, interesting facts, and other outstanding personalities are written down on small pieces of paper, after which they are all collected in a bag. The host is then appointed, picks the bag, and after he/she reads each paper, all other family members have to guess who the paper is referring to. It’s a fun game, full of life and humor, and will get everyone talking about the good old days!
In this game, all relatives, young and old queue up in a line, then the first one in line whispers a family secret to the next person. This goes on and on until the last person shouts the words that reached them. As the message is being passed on, it gets distorted into funny messages which can be extremely hilarious.
All family members showcase the talents they have. Grandma could sing a sweet song to grandpa as a cousin spices up with a guitar and somebody else dances. Wouldn’t that be nice? This platform allows children to be confident and cultivates everybody’s potential.
Just like any party, board games like Chess, Scrabble, Carom Board, and Monopoly, will help family members relax on a sunny afternoon. They are especially great for older adults who may find running and physical activities too hefty.
This game has one word attached to it: Fun! Be prepared, as winning this game is no easy fit. Balloons are tied on everyone’s ankle, and they have to run after each other bursting other’s balloons while protecting theirs. Last man standing wins.
Commands like lining up from the oldest to youngest and the ones closest to home to the further from some are prepared, and the family teams have to line up accordingly. The first team to finish wins.
Last but not least, the cherry on top! You could choose from any of the yummy snacks and fruits (like watermelons! Yum!)and let the family teams choose their contestants. You could also do tacos, pies, and cupcakes.
Hula Hoop Competition
This is a game that will bring you a lot of laughter. Especially when you watch the one that is not playing well.
Fun Outdoor Family Reunion Games
Traditional sack races are one of the most popular family reunion games for both kids and adults. The races can either take place individually or in pairs. For combined races, each person places one leg in the sack or pillowcase and together attempt to make it to the finish line – preferably without falling over and giving onlookers a reason to laugh.
Tug of War
Another traditional game that is fun for the whole family is the tug of war. Spray paint a line on the lawn and place a rope across the line ensuring it is divided equally. Tie a ribbon at the halfway mark. Divide the family into two teams. You can divide in any way you wish such as girls against boys or young against not so young.
Just make sure that the teams have more or less equal strength so that they both have a chance at winning. The object of the game is for one team to pull the other over the painted line in the grass. The team that succeeds in pulling their opponents over the line first, wins.
A Cooking Contest
Create a simple cooking contest to challenge each family member’s cooking abilities. The contest can either take place individually or in teams. Whether it’s burger cook-off or pie-eating contest, these games are always a hit.
This an old-time favorite but can be updated with the use of technology. Use GPS coordinates or clues sent to mobile phones to keep the game interesting for all ages. It is also a good idea to divide the family into teams including kids and adults so that everyone has a fair chance. Multiple age-appropriate treasures are ideal.
Combining a number of different games into one event ensures ongoing fun and competition. Keep score on a large board so that each team (or individual) can keep track of who is winning. Bragging rights and a small trophy are the spoils for 1st place.
Selfie Hot Potato
Set the timer on the camera app on your phone and let participants sitting in a circle to pass the phone around. They have to make a funny face while looking at the phone. If the timer goes off while they are holding the phone, their funny face gets snapped and they are either out of the game or have to complete a challenge that is decided by the other participants.
Buy a stack of folding paper and a book on how to fold paper airplanes and let the kids (and adults) have at it. At the end of the day, let everyone get a chance to see how far their paper airplane flies. The winner has folded the paper plane that flies the furthest.
Fill plastic bottles with water and a dash of food coloring and set them up on the lawn to be bowled over. Alternatively, use glow sticks to light up the “lanes” and add the challenge of bowling in the dark.
Split the family up into teams and run fun relay races. Relays are when one team member has to finish a task before another can begin the same task. The winner is the team that completes the tasks first. Egg races, sack races, or pie-eating contests can all be done in relays.
Set up your own course with a range of different holes. Family members need to get a frisbee in the “hole” before they can move on to the next hole. The winner is the person or team that finishes first.
You can make the event more challenging by adding riddles or clues that must be solved at each “hole” before participants can move on. These clues can be personalized to allow family members to learn more about one another.
Look online for frisbee golf discs for plenty of fun at your next family reunion.
Family Reunion Planning Tips
- Setting a date where everyone can make it. Ask key family members which dates will suit them best and then poll other family members to see which of 3 dates will be convenient for most. Alternatively, select a significant occasion such as a birthday or anniversary where family members will make a greater effort to attend. You can select multiple dates to set up regular family reunions.
- Schedule deadlines heading up to the event on a calendar. Give yourself plenty of time to plan a successful reunion – the experts all agree that it takes about a year to plan a major event. Keep track of when deposits need to be paid, reservations confirmed and travel accommodations made for those attending from out of town.
- Delegate tasks to other family members. Take their strengths into consideration – an accountant or bookkeeper to manage the budget, creatives to design t-shirts and other paraphernalia and organizers to help plan the event, and keep track of all the details.
- Book a venue that is central or near where most family members live or are located. Your hometown or a vacation destination is likely going to attract the greatest attendance. Remember to reserve early and to look for venues that can accommodate the whole family while offering a wide range of activities.
- Apart from the budget for the reunion, take into consideration affordability for all. Seniors with a limited income, young couples just starting a family and those who are pinching pennies may not be able to afford to attend an extravagant reunion. Make sure that everyone understands that the costs will be shared and don’t be afraid to ask relatives to shoulder some of the costs for other family members.
- Meal planning for a single day event or an extended reunion needs to take multiple factors into consideration. Variety, different dietary requirements, and how many meals will be eaten together are all important as are whether the meals will be catered, contributed by the entire family, or each person left to their own devices.
- You want to capture the special, funny, and other moments of the reunion forever. Consider hiring a professional photographer for the reunion or ask several reliable family members to snap pics throughout the event. Having multiple photographers can help capture moments that a professional photographer may have missed. Set up a photo booth or set up a camera on a tripod to take automatic shots at timed intervals. Set up a backdrop and take a few formal shots of all the family members to make sure you have at least 1 picture of everyone who attended the reunion. Share the photos on social media platforms so that everyone can access them and remember the day.
- It is going to be impossible to plan for every minute of every day when planning a multi-day reunion. Make provisions for those early risers and the young and the restless. Provide maps of the town with interesting attractions, coffee shops, activities, and trails that family members can visit between planned group events.
- Communication is the key to planning a successful reunion. Keep family members updated on the progress and confirm that they will still be able to make it. Confirm venue bookings, entertainment, catering, accommodation, catering, etc. Be proactive, keep everyone in the loop, and inform them of changes.
After the reunion, family members are probably going to contact you to thank you for your efforts in planning the event.
Take this time to conduct a short survey of the games and activities that they enjoyed the most or other favorite parts of the event. This will help you plan even more successful reunions in the future and even turn one or two of the activities into a family tradition.
Forming traditions are a great way to forge bonds and connections between family members that will last way into the future. The right planning will result in an event that is so much more than a reunion and creates lasting memories to share for years to come.
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