Old Fashioned Games for Family Reunionsby A. Elizabeth Freeman
Games bring cousins and distant relatives together at a family reunion. For your next reunion, stick with games that force people to interact and make use of the outdoors. You may want to plan a few classic icebreakers as well so that people who haven't seen each other in years can become reacquainted.
Prepare a Bingo grid. Put a short description of some family members in each space instead of the usual numbers. Make the descriptions things that are not readily apparent, so that relatives have to interact with each other to find the answers. For instance, one space may read, "Spent senior year of high school at space camp," while another may read "grows tomatoes every summer." Family members get other relatives to sign the spaces. The first person to get five in a row signed, wins. They shouldn't sign their own cards or have the same person sign more than once.
Let a little friendly competition bring the family together. Plan a few short, 50 yards or shorter, races to get everyone's blood flowing and hearts racing. A classic teamwork race is the three-legged race. Pair people of similar heights together or make the race more interesting by having the shortest family member run with the tallest. The wheelbarrow race, where one person rides in the wheelbarrow and the other pushes it, is another classic teamwork game. You can also try an egg race. During an egg race, contestants run from point A to point B, balancing an egg on a spoon.
Divide the family into several teams, either by individual families or into adults, teenagers and children. Prepare a series of challenges, such as a bean bag toss, limbo, 100 push-up station and a relay race. Have a person from one team begin the challenges, sending the next team member along after he has finished the first one, and then the next team member after the second player has completed the first challenge. Time each team as they go through the obstacle course. The team with the shortest time should get a prize.
Choose a food that is a family favorite, such as cherry pie or chocolate donuts. Have family members sit at a picnic table and place the food in front of them. Each person should have one whole pie or donut. Tie their hands behind their backs and tell them to eat. The first person to finish his pie wins. You can also try tying cookies or donuts on a string and hanging the string like a clothesline. Relatives must try to eat the food off the string, again with their hands behind their back.