Family reunions gather an entire family together, including cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. The whole family has the opportunity to catch up, learn new names, and build friendships with distant relatives. However, hosting a family reunion can be tense if you're not prepared with games to entertain large groups of people with dozens of young kids. In this article, you will find 10 of the best games for everybody at your family reunion.
1. Battle Royal Tag
Playing Battle Royale Tag pits everyone against each other, making it one of the best games for a family reunion. Because the game has everyone interacting with one another, it encourages kids to play with cousins or aunts they haven't seen in years.
The premise of a battle royal game is that it's everyone against everyone else. Every participant is a tagger. If another person tags you, you have to sit on the ground. The last person standing at the end of the game wins the round.
This game can be played over and over again, giving young kids a new shot at winning. Because everyone is tagging, Battle Royale Tag goes by extremely quickly. The fast pacing of Battle Royale Tag makes it the perfect game to play in between other activities or while the adults are trying to keep the younger kids entertained.
Keep in mind that older kids have an advantage over younger kids in Battle Royale Tag. To level out the playing field, you could give the younger kids an by having the younger kids hold a pool noodle and use the pool noodle to tag. If an older kid or adult gets too close, the young person can swing the pool noodle to tag their enemy.
2. Family Scavenger Hunt
Kids love the excitement of searching for treasure while adults and older kids will enjoy the competition of a scavenger hunt. Hosting a scavenger hunt will pull the different families together, helping everyone laugh and bond over the competition.
To host a family reunion scavenger hunt, create a list of things you will want to search for. The easiest scavenger hunt for a large group is a photo scavenger hunt. When the group finds the object they're looking for, they will need to take a picture to prove that they found the object. Photo scavenger hunts keep everyone honest and stop competitive uncles from the temptation of cheating ;)
For this activity, bring everyone to a nearby park and hand out a list of items they need to find, and take a picture with it. When they take the picture, their whole family must be in the shot. Each family competes against the other families to be the first to cross all the items off their list.
This activity is perfect for family reunions because it encourages everyone to take lots of pictures. It documents the family reunion and gives plenty of photos for the group to keep. At the end of the scavenger hunt, consider printing out each family's best photos and adding them to your family reunion scrapbook. You can also hold a competition where each family shows off their funniest photo and vote on who has the best moments.
This clean, easy activity is perfect for kids and adults, making it one of the best games to play at your family reunion
3. Puzzle Time
One of the easiest ways to get an entire family working together is by introducing a puzzle. Everyone can do puzzles. From your elderly grandpa to the small three-year-old, the whole family will be on the floor, piecing together the puzzle to create a beautiful picture.
It helps to choose a puzzle that is interesting to everyone participating. You can also set up several puzzles to interest multiple people. Puzzles encourage everyone to work together towards a common goal. It also stimulates conversations and helps everyone to feel more comfortable.
Working on a puzzle is the perfect way to wind down after a day of intense action. It's fun, simple, and requires very little skill. Putting together a puzzle is the perfect way to end your night.
4. Group Video Games
Playing a group video game can encourage young kids to participate in family games. Often, the most difficult family members are young teenagers. Father than playing with other family members, young teens would prefer to play their PlayStation or Xbox away from the screaming kids. However, you can pull them back into the family activities by playing family-friendly games.
There are a variety of fun family games on the Nintendo Wii or Nintendo Switch. Some of the best games to play on the Wii include MarioKart, Super Smash Bros, Animal Crossing, Super Mario, Wii Party U, Zelda, and Wii Sports Club. These games incorporate multiplayer action to engage everyone in the party. This is the perfect way to engage young kids and teenagers.
Other fun multiplayer video games (not necessarily for the Wii) include Among Us, Clue, and Extreme Exorcism (for players nine and up). Typically, adults are encouraging teenagers to drop their electronics and focus on family time. However, these great video games can help bring the family closer together.
5. Family Talent Show
Everyone has talent. One of the best ways to show off each family's talents is by having a family talent show. For the family talent show, make sure that you've given a warning in advance, ensuring that the acts have plenty of time to prepare.
Hosting a family talent show will be one of the things you can do during your family reunion. Everyone loves to be entertained. During your talent show, encourage everyone to participate. If possible, include an act from every participant, even if it's a short skit. The important thing is that everyone is having fun and laughing.
The family talent show should be the center of the night, so make sure that you plan out plenty of time for the talent show. Some family talent shows take up several hours. Beforehand, prepare snacks and drinks. For young kids who have short attention spans, set up a puzzle in the other room.
You will make some of the best memories of your family reunion during your family talent show. It gives the young kids a chance to stand in the spotlight and receive validation and allows the family comedians to get the whole room bursting from laughter.
Charades is an easy game that ensures everyone can participate and have the same level of interaction. It's also a classic family reunion game.
To play charades, separate the group into two teams. Give each team a list of phrases, different for each team. The phrases can be book titles, movie titles, songs, or commonly said slogans. The phrases should be common and not too difficult to guess. Once the teams have their slips, select one person from the starting team to begin. Hand them a slip of paper with one of the phrases.
Once the player has the slip of paper and is ready to act it out, start the timer. The timer indicates how long the team will have to guess what is on the player's card. The player can use an assortment of hand gestures to determine what category the phrase is in, how many words are in the phrase, or the number of syllables in the word. The group can decide on what certain hand motions mean prior to starting the game.
Here are some of the most common hand gestures for charades.
- Book Title: Put the palms of your hands together and then unfold them as if your hands are a book.
- Movie Title: Pretend to crank the wheel on an old fashioned movie reel.
- Song Title: Put on hand on your chest and pretend to belt out opera lyrics or hold a pretend microphone for a pop song. Remember not to actually sing or mouth words.
- TV Show: Draw out a rectangle to show a TV screen and then click a pretend remote.
- Quote: Use quotation fingers.
- Number of Words: Hold up the number of fingers to show how many words your team is trying to guess.
- To Say, "Sounds Like...": Cup your ear as if you're listening to something. This is useful when your team is struggling with a word, and you can think of an easier word that rhymes with the correct term.
- To Say, "On the Nose!":Touch your nose and then point at the person who said the right word. This means that they guessed correctly.
There are nearly endless options for gestures that you can play with. Simply make sure that the whole family knows what means what before the game starts. Try and guess as many phrases as you can within the timeframe. When the timer runs out, pass the deck of cards to the next team. Continue playing for as many rounds as you have time for.
As one of the most popular games of 2020, Telestrations is the perfect addition to your family reunion. Telestrations is a fun game that isn't competitive. It gets the group laughing and avoids hurting feelings since there's no winning or losing. Instead, Telestrations is a cooperative game that does have a hero or villain.
To play Telestrations, you will need the Telestrations cards and markers. Start by handing everyone a card and then rolling the dice. The dice will show which number the person will write on the front of their drawing cards. Once everyone has written the word, pass the deck to the next person in the circle. The next person will flip to the next page and draw the word. Once finished drawing, they will pass it to the next person. That person will then write what they think the previous person drew (without looking at the original word).
As the decks make their rounds, the pictures and guesses will get further and further from the original word, ending in hilarious mix-ups where the entire group can laugh. For example, one person might start with the word "dungeon." The next person might think that the drawing is a picture of witchcraft and write down that word. The next person will draw "witchcraft," but the next guesser could think it's a picture of a rockstar and write "rockstar." The more people playing this game, the funnier the end results will be.
When the cards are full, return the cards to the original owners. Give everyone a moment to flip through and watch as their original word descends into madness. Then, let everyone share.
8. All Sports
To pull the whole family together, bring a variety of group sports that allow everyone the opportunity to participate. This is also a great way to get out kids' energy or to encourage everyone to spend more time outside. Some of the best games to include in your All Sports games include:
- Nine Square. This is an easy activity that everyone can play. Nine Square is a great game for middle schoolers and adults and puts everyone on an even playing field. It has medium competitiveness, making it perfect for low-key family reunions.
- Frisbee. Playing frisbee is a great way to encourage kids to make a new friend with a cousin or other family member.
- Flag Football. To avoid potential injuries, play flag football. It's the same as football but without the tackling. It ensures that young kids can participate in the game without worrying that they will get hurt in the center of a dogpile.
- Soccer. Playing soccer encourages the family to work as a group while spending time together outside. It's a competitive game and is perfect for highly active families.
- Old-School Games. Some of the best games are older games. Have your grandparents teach their favorite game to the group.
- Gaga Ball. This is a simple version of dodgeball that's fun for groups of all ages.
Playing sports helps the groups to spend the daytime hours outside. This will release pent-up stress (because not everyone's family reunion is perfect) and encourage the group to bond.
9. Exploding Kittens
Exploding Kittens is a strategy game mixed with Russian roulette. It's a fun card game perfect for large groups. If you're looking for a classic game with intense action and suspense, Exploding Kittens is the perfect game for your group.
To play, you will need an Exploding Kittens card deck. The game also has several extension packs for those who are invested in the game. Best of all, the game is so simple that even young kids will have the same shot to win as adults playing the game.
Within the deck of cards, there are exploding kittens. When someone draws an exploding kitten, they blow up and are out of the game unless they can diffuse it with a green diffuse card. The goal is simple—don't blow up. The players need to do everything in their power to avoid drawing an exploding kitten.
There are a variety of cards in the deck that let you see what the next card will be (since you can't end your turn without drawing a card or playing a "skip" card). For example, you can play a "See the Future" card, which allows you to view the top three cards in the deck. If the next card is an exploding kitten, you will have to play a card that either shuffles the deck or skips your turn.
Players compete with one another to be the last one standing. The last person left is the winner of the game. There's a reason why Exploding Kittens is one of the most popular card games in the country.
Can you ever go wrong with Jenga? Jenga is a classic game that can be found in nearly every household. It's simple to play, fast to set up, and doesn't have many rules. It's competitive but also laid back, making it a great game for large groups of mixed ages.
To play Jenga, set up the Jenga tower. Have the group sit in a circle and select one person to start. The starting playing will draw out a single block from anywhere on the tower and set the block on top. The next person will do the same. As the round continues, the tower becomes more unstable. The players will have to be careful, or else they might draw the wrong block. If someone draws a block and the tower collapses, game over!