This is an old time favorite that’s fun and easy for all ages. Make it more “family reunion-friendly” by replacing number and letter combinations with family members’ names on bingo cards. As each family member’s name is called, have that person stand so everyone can put a name with the face.
Divide family members into teams with equal numbers of players. Give each team a jigsaw puzzle that is identical in number of pieces and level of difficulty. Be sure to give children easier puzzles.
Start a timer, and give everyone a set amount of time to complete the puzzle. The team that finishes their puzzle first wins. If no one finishes in time, the team with the most complete puzzle wins. Winners choose their rewards from a table of inexpensive gifts.
Family History Photo Swap
Before the reunion, contact family members and ask them to bring family pictures, both new and old. Have everyone label the back of the pictures with a pencil, marker or sticker so that they can retrieve these once the reunion ends.
Scatter the pictures randomly across several large tables. Encourage family members to look or even trade.
Water Balloon Toss
To start, the lines are about arm’s length apart. To start the game, each person tosses the balloon to his or her teammate. Each line takes a step backward. Players toss the balloon again. Take another step back. This continues until someone drops the balloon.
A team is out when its balloon bursts. The game continues until only one pair has an unbroken balloon.
Who’s the Baby?
In advance of the reunion, the organizer asks each adult family member to submit a photo of himself or herself as a baby or young child. They should also send along recent photos showing how they look now.
At the reunion, the game organizer sets up a board and attaches the photos in two columns labeled “Then” and “Now.” He or she numbers the baby pictures and assigns letters to the recent pictures. Family members who want to play can study the pictures during the reunion. They try to match the baby with contemporary picture and record their answers on a form that they drop into a box.
The actual match-ups are announced and the winner gets a prize.
Beforehand, the game organizer collects questions about the family. By quizzing family members, all can learn interesting facts about your family history. Where did Uncle Earl serve during the war? What year were grandma and grandpa married? What town in Texas was Great-grandpa John from? Which branch of the family has the most kids under 16 years old? Who just graduated from Howard University?
Write the questions on 3-by-5-inch cards and put the answers on the back. Next, divide the questions into whatever categories make sense. You might have questions about “Ancestors,” “Recent Events,” “Love and Marriage” or “Wacky Relatives.”
To play, divide into teams of two, three or four players. For each turn, a member of one team draws a card from a category and asks the question of the team whose turn it is. Move to a new category for each turn. Keep track of the number of right answers for each team to determine the winner.