Jugball

clip_image004

Jugball is a game that the Stewart family “invented” about 20 years ago and has become a family favorite at our annual family reunions. It doesn’t matter what else we do or what our reunion theme is, we always play Jugball.

clip_image006

Jugball Milk Jugs

The most difficult part of Jugball is getting enough jugs for everyone to use. We ask family members to bring their own jugs and then an extra jug for someone who forgets theirs.  We just cut the bottom out of old milk jugs.  If you wanted to be  creative you could decorate them with duct tape  and  markers but we play with our jugs just the way they are.  A note about the ball- bring several types and sizes of balls to see what works for you.  You don’t want a ball that is too bouncy or it will be difficult to keep in your jug.

clip_image002

Jugball Rules- sort of

I’ve never played Jugball but those that do assure me that it is  an easy game to learn.  It’s pretty much like football with goal being to get the jugball into the end zone in a teammate’s jug.

First mark off a large field, with boundaries and two end zones.

The game begins with a(throw off), and the receiving team may either catch the jugball, and move it from there, or drop it, or let it hit the ground upon reception. Then, the receiving team works the jugball forward, toward the other team’s end zone. The ball may move only through the air.

clip_image008

Upon catching a pass, a player must stop running (you are allowed to be carried two steps by the act of the catch), and try to find a teammate who is trying to get open. This game continues until a point is scored, at which point the scoring team throws off.

If, at any point, the jugball hits the ground (not during a throw off), the team who was not in possession before the fault assumes control.

A score happens when a player catches the jugball in the other team’s end zone. If an out of bounds pass happens, the other team throws in from that spot on the boundary.

The defense may cover the player with possession of the ball, like defenders in basketball (but the jugball may not be knocked out of a players jug, it must be allowed to be thrown). Also, if the other team is on offense, it is worth simply knocking down the jugball if catching it is difficult, as this will also result in a change of possession.

clip_image010

My favorite thing about Jugball is that our family just made it up at  family reunion.  It doesn’t take a lot of expensive equipment or extensive planning- you just do it.  If you’re family tries Jugball it might become a family tradition at your reunions or maybe… you’ll make up your own game.

The Jumping, Running, Throwing Fun of an Obstacle Course

I’m not writing this blog for you, I’m writing it for me.  Every time I need to create an obstacle course I have to rethink every type of course we’ve done in the past.  Next time I have to make an obstacle course I’m just going to search for this blog,hopefully you’ll get some good ideas too.

Kids love obstacle courses and they’re pretty easy to create just using the things you have around your house or party area. 

The easiest way to create a course is to assign each person one obstacle or if it is for a family reunion, assign several families to each bring an obstacle.  You  can do this with little or no advance notice using just the things you have in the course area.

If you have a committee that is putting the course together spend some time brainstorming ideas for your course layout. If you will be at a campground you may be able to take advantage of a water hazard, large rocks and logs.

Eight to ten challenges is a good number for most people.  Here’s some tried and true obstacles that have proved to be fun  over the years.

Jumping Obstacles

Bales of straw or hay make a fun obstacle.  Other jumping obstacles can be logs, laundry baskets or rolled up sleeping bags.  Instead of jumping you can crawl under or over a row of chairs.

obstical course (2)

Running Obstacles

Lay a ladder on the ground and children run through the ladder making sure they step in the hole between each rung on the ladder.

Every obstacle course needs a tire challenge of some sort.  When runners reach the tires, they have to run through them, placing one foot in each of the tires. The more tires you have the harder it becomes.

Swinging Obstacles

Everybody likes a good old rope swing and it’s a fun addition to any obstacle course. If you aren’t near a natural water hazard fill up a kiddy wading pool to provide an extra challenge. Several big knots tied in the rope’s end makes it easier to grab.

Balancing Obstacles

obstical course 3

Using logs, 2x4s or wooden planks makes for a fun balancing portion of your course.

Throwing Obstacles

Throw beanbags into a bucket or basket.  If you have access to a basketball hoop, require participants to make a basket before moving to the next challenge.  If football is your sport of choice throw a ball through a goal post made of PVC pipe.

obstical course 4

Silly Obstacles

Purchase some old couch cushions from the thrift store, mattress or foam pad and set out for participants to run through. This challenge will really slow runners down- just be sure to tell them there is no jumping allowed.

And don’t forget cones (good for zig zagging) and hula hoops (good substitute for tires).

A stopwatch (or the stopwatch on your cellphone) is essential for keeping track of their course times.  You can keep times individually or run your obstacle course as a team relay event.

Setting up an obstacle course is a wonderful way for adults and children to get some fun physical activity. Kids will do it as  part of an organized activity but when the “official” activity is over they’ll continue to play and be entertained making their own kind of fun.

Famous Aunts & Uncles Family Reunion Game

How well do you know the aunts and uncles in your family?  Well,here’s a test to find out how well you know “famous” aunts and uncles that you’ve come to love through TV, books and in the movies.  Pass copies of the test out to older family members when they arrive at your reunion or during down time. Give prizes for the best(WHOPPERS, SMARTIES,100 GRAND) and worst (Milk DUDS) scores.

Famous Aunts & Uncles

www.familyreunionhelper.com

image

1. Andy Griffith’s Aunt

2. Mr. Television

3. “Wizard of Oz” aunt

4. Uncle on “Adams Family”

5. Forgetful Aunt on “Bewitched”

6. Uncle housekeeper on “My Three Sons”

7. Common sense aunt on “Fresh Prince of "Bel-Air”

8. Harry Potter’s strict uncle

9. Trademark for pancake flour and syrup

image

10. Luke Skywalker’s uncle from “Star Wars”

11. Tom Sawyer’s aunt

12. Cissy, Buffy & Jody’s uncle on “Family Affair”

13. Whitney Houston’s famous singing Aunt

14. Motorcycle riding uncle on “Full house”

15. George Clooney’s favorite singing aunt

16. The richest duck in the world

image

17. Aunt that Amy stays with in “Little Women” 

18. He wants YOU (for the US Army)

19. Spiderman’s uncle and adoptive father

20. Who lived with her aunts at 133 Collins Road?

Famous Aunts & Uncles Answer Key

Answer Key

1. Andy Griffith’s Aunt- Aunt Bee

2. Mr. Television Uncle- Miltie

3. “Wizard of Oz” aunt- Auntie Em

4. Uncle on “Adams Family”- Uncle Festus

5. Forgetful Aunt on “Bewitched”- Aunt Clara

6. Uncle housekeeper on “My Three Sons”- Uncle Charley

7. Common-sense aunt on “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” Aunt Vivian

8. Harry Potter’s strict uncle- Uncle Vernon

9. Trademark for pancake flour and syrup- Aunt Jemima

10. Luke Skywalker’s uncle from “Star Was” Uncle Owen

11. Tom Sawyer’s aunt- Aunt Polly

12. Cissy, Buffy & Jody’s uncle on “Family Affair”- Uncle Bill

13. Whitney Houston’s famous singing Aunt- Dionne Warwick

14. Motorcycle riding uncle on “Full house” – Uncle Jesse

15. George Clooney’s favorite singing aunt- Rosemary Clooney

16. The richest duck in the world- Uncle Scrooge

17. Aunt that Amy stays with in “Little Women”- Aunt March

18. He wants YOU (for the US Army)- Uncle Sam

19. Spiderman’s uncle and adoptive father- Uncle Ben

20. Who lived with her aunts at 133 Collins Road?- Sabrina the Teenage Witch

A “ready for printing” copy of this game as well as other fun “Pencil and Paper” games is included with every family reunion theme package purchased at familyreunionhelper.com/

Looking for another fun game to test your knowledge?  Try the Older Than Dirt game and find out who is older than dirt at your next reunion.

Four of Our Favorite Team Building Activities

There’s nothing like some good team building activities to get your family, friends or youth group working together and learning to depend on each other.  Here’s a few of our favorites.

Helium Stick

http://familyreunionhelper.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/DSC05388.jpg

Helium Stick is a team building game that will get your whole group laughing.

You play Helium Stick by lining up in two rows which face each other.  Give them the Helium Stick- a long, thin, lightweight rod such as PVC pipe.

Ask the players to point their index fingers and hold their arms out. Lay the Helium Stick down on their fingers. Get the group to adjust their finger heights until the Helium Stick is horizontal and everyone’s index fingers are touching the stick. The challenge is to lower the Helium Stick to the ground.

NOTE: Each person’s fingers must be in touching the Helium Stick at all times. Pinching or grabbing the pole in not allowed – it must rest on top of fingers. Everyone’s fingers MUST be touching the Helium Stick!

It sounds easy but the stick seems to float to the top until the group works diligently to lower it to the ground. The trick is that the collective upwards pressure created by everyone’s fingers tends to be greater than the weight of the stick. As a result, the more a group tries, the more the stick tends to ‘float’ upwards.

I like this team building activity because it doesn’t require a lot of equipment or advance preparation. Hope it’s fun for your family.

Shark Island

clip_image004

Object: The entire group of 12- 20 people must board a 2-foot-square
Platform without anyone touching the ground around it.

Rules:
Everyone must remain on the platform for at least 10 seconds.
Everyone must have both feet off the ground.
Don’t put people more than two high.

Outcome:
Talk with the participants about teamwork, leadership and problem
solving skills. Emphasize that when someone feels that they have a
problem that is impossible to solve, that we can work together as a
family to help them find a solution.  The most difficult part of this team building activity is getting the platform.  If you are not able to get a platform you can tape your square on the floor and use a piece of carpet.  It’s not quite as "thrilling" as a raised platform but can still be  learning experience for your group.

clip_image003[4]

The Couch Game

clip_image002

To play this game you need equal numbers of guys and girls, and form a team of each. You can ask girls to join the guys team if required and vice versa. You will also need a couch, which can be a real couch (which would replace four seats) or four adjacent seats or lawn chairs.

Write all of the players’ names onto pieces of paper and give one slip to each players. You become whoever your piece of paper says you are – don’t tell anyone whose name you have.

Everyone sits in a circle, alternate guy, girl, with four people on the couch and the rest on chairs. Have one extra, empty chair.

The object of the game is to get all your gender onto the couch. The person who is sitting with the empty chair to their left calls out a name, trying to get the opposite gender off the couch. The person with that piece of paper must stand up and move to the empty chair. They then swap their piece of paper with the caller. The next person to call is the one with now empty space to their left.

For example, say that Megan calls out "Jack". Grandpa has the name "Jack" on his paper so he moves to the empty chair and exchanges papers with Megan. So Megan now becomes "Jack". The person who was next to Grandpa now has an empty space on the left and is the next caller.

clip_image003

This goes on until one team has 4 of their own players on the couch.

This game starts off slowly and the games don’t last long but as the players catch on they will really start paying attention and memorizing the names people are exchanging.

Human Ladder

clip_image002[6]

Object: The group lines up in two rows with each row facing the other. Each pair of persons (one from each row) facing each other will hold a dowel. (One 3′ x 1½’ dowel per person or a 3’ x 2×2 stick.) The object is to have one person standing at the end who will crawl across the horizontal ladder formed by the dowels. Caution: Make sure the dowels you have will support your group member’s weight! A volunteer starts at one end of the human ladder and climbs (horizontally) along the rungs of the ladder. After the climber passes over a rung of the ladder, team members "leap frog" to the front of the ladder, allowing the climber to continue climbing indefinitely. 

Rules:
The climber must touch every rung of the ladder.
The group can hold the dowels in any manner desired— high, low, or forming a turn.
Do not hold the rungs above shoulder height.

Not-So-Newlywed Game

Cruise ships are famous for their scrumptious never-ending food and their fun entertainment.  Many  entertainment options are designed to get ship-goers an opportunity to participate in the fun.  As we plan our “Crusin” family reunion we looked for opportunities to get family members involved and decided a “Not-So-Newlywed” game would fit the bill.

image

Rules for Not-So-Newlywed Game

The Newlywed Game is played in couples. Choose a variety of couples such as the longest married couple; the most recently married, a favorite of the family, and a couple that you just know will have funny answers. It is best to limit the game to four couples though you may use more if you need to. The disadvantage is that the more couples the longer the game so think about you audience and how long the game will keep their interest.

There are two rounds- one for the men and one for the women. Couples are awarded points for each correct answer based on the value of the question. All couples receive the points for each correct answer. Highest score after the second rounds wins the game.

There is no right or wrong answers- the answers the couples give must just be the same.

Begin the game with all couples sitting together at the front of the room or your playing area. Introduce the host of the game (Choose someone who will be happy to do it, has a good sense of humor and will make the game fun for everyone.) Then excuse the women (have them escorted to a room or area here they will not be able to hear their husband’s answers) The host can then ask the husbands the following questions. Do not attempt to explain the questions- if they have a question about the question just repeat it but don’t explain it.

clip_image002

Not-So-Newlywed Questions for Men

5 pts What is your wife’s blood type?

5pts. What is your wife’s favorite salad dressing?

5 pts At what specific game or sport will your wife say that she is better than you?

10 pts. What traffic sign best describes your wife?

10 pts. Without looking what is the highest denomination bill in your wallet right now?

25 pts. What cereal best describes your marriage? Life, Fruit Loops, Lucky Charms, Nut ‘n Honey

When you have answers for all of these questions, invite the women back in to sit by their husbands and ask them the same questions you asked the men.

5 pts What is your blood type?

5pts. What is your favorite salad dressing?

5 pts At what specific game or sport are you better at then your husband?

10 pts. What traffic sign did your husband say best describes you?

10 pts. What is the highest denomination bill in your husband’s wallet right now?

25 pts. What cereal best describes your marriage? Life, Fruit Loops, Lucky Charms, Nut ‘n Honey

Recognize the couple with the highest score so far and of course, poke a little friendly fun at the couple with the lowest score. Then dismiss the men and ask the women the next round of questions.

clip_image002[1]

Not-So-Newlywed Questions for Women

5 pts. What is your husband’s shoe size?

5 pts. What color is your husband’s favorite tie?

5 pts. What was the last movie you and your spouse last saw together?

10 pts. When did your husband say he actually realized for the first time that he was seriously in

love with you?

10 pts. What is your husband’s favorite snack before going to bed?

25 pts. What movie star will your husband say he is most like: Sean Connery, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise or John Wayne?

When you have answers for all of these questions, invite the men back in to sit by their husbands and ask them the same questions you asked the women.

5 pts. What is your shoe size?

5 pts. What color is your favorite tie?

5 pts. What was the last movie you and your spouse last saw together?

10 pts. When did you realize for the first time that you were seriously in love with your wife?

10 pts. What is your favorite snack before going to bed?

25 pts. What movie star will your wife say you are most like- Sean Connery, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise or John Wayne?

Total the points and award prizes to the winning couple. You may also award smaller prizes to the 2nd and 3rd place couple and a booby prize to the losing couple (box of Milk Duds for being such duds)

clip_image002[2]

Additional Questions to Substitute as Needed:

What is your spouse’s dream car?

What is your spouse’s favorite color?

What will your wife say is the one gift she received this Christmas that she loved the most?

What is the most unusual piece of clothing that your wife wears?

What is the color of your spouse’s toothbrush?

Which one of your wife’s friends would you say is the biggest gossip?

How many windows will your spouse say are in the largest room of your home?

What is the license plate number on your car?

What was your curfew when you were dating?

What did you do on your first date?

What percentage of the housework would your husband say he does?

Husbands, if your wife could send you to a Body Repair Shop, what on you would she have fixed?

What home improvement project needs to be done next at your house?

What time of day was your first child born?

clip_image002[3]

Home for the Holidays Family Reunion

You can find more fun activities like the “Not-so-Newlywed” game in the “Home for the Holidays” reunion theme package.

“Home for the Holidays” is one of our favorite family reunion themes. It is especially appropriate if you have a family member such as a serviceman or missionary that has been away from the family for awhile.

We celebrated every holiday we could think of during the three-day family reunion. We went trick or treating to family trailers and tents. When we woke up Sunday morning, the children found the Easter Bunny had left plastic eggs all over the campground and we had a huge family birthday cake. We celebrated Thanksgiving with a delicious turkey and even played a Christmas Right/Left game.

Game Night!

Invite tons of your friends or family to a “game night”!  Begin by setting up game stations.  Let your guests choose a game they would like to play and when everyone has made their game choice set a timer for 15 minutes and let the fun begin.  When the timer dings everyone rotates to a new game whether they have finished the game they have been playing or not.

038

This is a great way to mix up family members at your family reunion and help them to get to know each other a little better.

According to a Hasbro press release, a 1999 article in Psychology Today asserted that you can learn more about someone by playing a game than going on 10 dates. And you can learn more about yourself by playing a game than you can from several therapy sessions.

You can make signs to help your guests easily find the game they would like to play.

006

Board game suggestions for your game night party:
  • Monopoly
  • Clue
  • Cranium
  • Life
  • Jenga
  • Sorry
  • Candy Land
  • 042
  • Shoots and Ladders
  • Scrabble
  • Apples to Apples
  • After rotating through four games (approximately one hour of game playing time) have everyone come together to play one giant group game.  Some game suggestions are:

Trivial Pursuit
Bingo

037
Taboo
Pictionary
Outburst
Trash or Treasures

image
Scattergories
Minute to Win it

image

For refreshments, set up a fun candy station that guests can help themselves to during their game playing or ask everyone to bring a treat to share.

image

You must invent your own games and teach us old ones how to play.
Nikki Giovanni

Mafia Family Reunion

When it was first suggested that we use “Mafia” as our theme for the Stewart family reunion I was  a little apprehensive but after three days of Mafia activities over Labor Day I’ve decided that “Mafia” is just another word for “Family”.

My favorite activity was the marshmallow wars- the longer the game went the more strategic the teams got.  I hate to admit I was on the losing team but if the winner is the team that had the most fun it would most certainly be my team!

camp 2011 151

The “Godfather” of our family got a little help to get around the reunion site.

mom's camera 442

“Gangster” ball and “Mob”  Ball were two favorite activities.

DSC_0391

We printed our own Mafia “funny” money.  It featured portraits of the Godfather and Godmother.

DSC_0418

Family photos with a Mafia twist were snapped as family members entered the “speakeasy” and sat down to a delicious Italian dinner and murder mystery theater.

DSC_0263

A picture of the “Family” was taken in our black Mafia shirts.

DSC_2409

Look for the all the “Mafia” reunion fun at family reunion helper- Aunt MO will soon be posting everything you need to have your own Mafia themed  family reunion so your family can learn how to put “Family First” too.

camp 2011 198

Aunt MO

Badminton the Unappreciated Sport

stewart invitational 068

Badminton is the official sport of our family.  We love it so much that my children gave me a “professional” net for my birthday.  (We were tired of the poor quality of nets we purchased from retail stores.) 

Badminton has an interesting history dating back to 18th century India where it evolved from two children’s games, battledore and shuttlecock. In these games, a shuttlecock was kept in volley across a line using small rackets.

PC, Badmitton, Horses 001

Recently we held the “Stewart Invitation Badminton Tournament.”  My son and I even found a trophy with two “birdies” on it at the local thrift store to use as a prize.  Everyone came dressed in their best badminton “uniforms”.  We ate dinner and then began the tournament. 

stewart invitational 046

Because we had quite a few teams in our so called tournament we played best 2 out of 3 games and only played to 15.

The objective of badminton is simple, that is to hit the shuttle over the net so that it lands in your opponent’s court before it can be returned.

stewart invitational 040

You can hit the shuttle fast, slow, high, flat or low. You can smash it with maximum power or “dink” it gently over the net.

Badminton would be a fun game to set up at your next family reunion and have a tournament that is ongoing during your reunion.  Put up a bracket and make teams responsible for playing each other. If you have a large family make it a single elimination tournament.  Play the championship game at the end of your reunion.

Why Badminton?  Anyone can play, almost anyone.  At our tournament we had players from 6 to 60, pregnant players, and players with chronic illnesses.  We had players that would dive for the birdie and players that had to step over the line to serve.  But no matter what the skill level everyone had fun- at least until the sun went down and it got dark.  Guess the next thing I  need for my badminton court is- lights!

Aunt MO

Trash or Treasures Family Reunion Game

Trash or Treasures Family Reunion Game

Trash or Treasure is a fun game for your whole family, indoors or outdoors and it can be adapted to all family reunion themes.

White Elephant Gift

Have everyone bring a “trashy” white elephant gift. These could be a mostly used bar of soap, a comb with missing teeth, tacky old jewelry, a boring movie, an outgrown toy, a broken anything- whatever you consider TRASH. (My Mom once brought a delicious looking box of chocolates but she took a bite out of each candy.)

clip_image002

Treasures

Gather a few packages that contain treasures: These are things that you should provide such as gift certificates, movie pass, candy bar, DVD, homemade cookies, a roll of dimes etc.

Encourage everyone to wrap their gift creatively using fancy gift wrap, aluminum foil, newspaper, comics, wallpaper, brown bags, gift bags or whatever they have on hand.

To play the game everyone should sit in a circle. Pile all of the packages in the center of the circle.

clip_image004

Before beginning the game stress the need to be fast and accurate.

· Have one pair of dice for every five or six players.

· Keep passing dice to the left. Players take turns trying to roll a six – not a combination of dots that add to six on both dice but six dots on one die.

· When they roll a six they may grab one package from the pile and open it; double sixes let them grab two packages to open.

· Dice move around rapidly and before long more than one player is diving for the same package.

· Once all the presents are gone from the center, rolling a six allows them to steal packages from neighbors. The robbing is the favorite and funniest part of the game.

· The “stealing” part of the game should only last a few minutes. Everyone will want to steal the “treasures”!

NOTE: The younger children in your family won’t understand why they got a “trash” present and may be upset. I always have something to trade with them like a dollar store prize or a 2-liter bottle of soda.

Best Family Reunion Balloon Game Ideas

As I was diligently working on family reunion helper’s latest family reunion theme- CIRCUS!, I was reminded of some fun games we have played using balloons.  Balloons are easy to incorporate into your family reunion theme- just keep a bag of balloons in your reunion planning kit and if you need a game to fill up some time pull them out and ta-dah – you’ve got  a fun family reunion game that will keep your reunion “popping”!

image

Balloon Stomp

image

An area of your family reunion site is cordoned off or you could use an inside area. Participants tie a balloon to each ankle. On a whistle all the contestants have to try to stamp on each other’s balloons and pop them. If both of your balloons are popped you are out. The winner is the last one with a balloon on their leg.

Bead Bop

Fill 20-30 balloons with two to four beads each and hide the filled balloons around your family reunion area. Divide your family into two or more teams. Each team must find as many balloons as they can, pop them by themselves, and return with their beads. The team with the most beads at the end of the game is the winner.

Balloon Blast

image

A large number of balloons are inflated and placed around your family reunion site. If outside, try to find an area where balloons aren’t popped by rocks etc. A few special balloons have a winning ticket placed inside them prior to being blown up. On the word “GO” everyone tries to pop the balloons (no pins allowed- they may only use their body) as quickly as possible to find the winning tickets. The contest ends when all the balloons are burst and prizes are awarded.

Balloon Pop

image

This is really a less hectic version of Balloon Blast, Balloons are attached to a fence, wall or a ceiling. Give participants a pin on a stick or turn the game into a balloon dart game and give everyone three darts. If they pop a balloon that contains a winning ticket they get a prize.

HINT: To fool family members, you may wish to put a ticket in all the balloons although most will say "Sorry Try Again" or something similar.

HINT: If you put balloons on the ceiling put some small squares of colored craft tissue inside when blowing them up. When the balloon pops this comes down like confetti adding to the fun.

HINT: Instead of prizes you can write some challenges down on small scraps of paper (examples include: sing a song, do a ballet move, say the alphabet etc.).

Balloon Hug

image

Blow up about 20-30 balloons and place them on the floor. Each person has 2 minutes to pick up and hold as many balloons as possible. They must pick up the balloons all by themselves without help, put them in their clothes, between their legs, under their arms, between their teeth, etc. Two or three people go at a time while others watch and then let the next group take a turn. The person who holds the most balloons when their time is up is the winner and will compete in the “finals” for the championship!

Psycho Balloons

image

Blow up balloons, putting a small marble through the neck of each one before tying the end. (This makes the balloons move in unexpected ways.) Release into the group one more balloon than people. The object is to keep the balloons up in the air. Play this in two teams, each side with an extra balloon. The team who lets a balloon drop to the floor first loses.