M & M or Skittle Ice Breaker Game

Getting to Know You Game

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Take a bag of M&M’s or Skittles candy and tell everyone to grab a handful…or specify a number (I prefer this if you have a large group so it doesn’t take so long- I suggest each family member take 4 or 5 candies) You might also choose to split up in smaller groups such as children under 12, 12 and over, young adults etc. if you have a larger group such as a family reunion.

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Assign a different meaning to each color, blue= family, green=hobbies, yellow=animals, brown= work or school etc. Participants must tell one thing about themselves for how many candies they have in their hands using the colors as their guide. They may also eat them as they share their information.  (“Blue…I have two sisters.”, then eats the candy. “Yellow…I have a dog named Kodi.”, and eats the candy etc.) If you have two or more of the same color you have to tell one thing per candy regardless the color.

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This is a good ice breaker because you can play it as soon as your party is supposed to start and those that come a little late can participate when they arrive.

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

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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



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


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


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.

Baby, Bronco, Backpack


If you’re looking for a fun game that any number of people can play and that doesn’t need a lot of advance preparation or props then “Baby, Bronco, Backpack” is the game for you.

Gather your group together and have them split into groups of two.  It’s usually best if groups are fairly evenly matched- same size and strength etc. but mismatched teams can add to the fun.

Explain the three poses teams must be able to form.



If the leader of the game says “BRONCO” one person in each group of two will jump down on all fours and the second team member will sit on their back as if they are riding a horse.


If the leader says “BABY” one of the players in each team of two will jump into the arms of the second team member as if they are being cradled like a baby.


If the leader says “BACKPACK” one of the players in each group of two will jump on the back of the second player like they are getting a piggy back ride.

The last team of two to form up the combination is out of the game and teams are eliminated until there are two teams left and the winning team is determined.

For larger groups you may need to say that the last three are out.
As teams get a little more experience you can make the game more fun by yelling out combinations of movements such as “BABY, BRONCO, BACKPACK, BABY, GO!” The teams of two will frantically go through all of those until they perform the last “BABY.”


HINT: One rule that may help you keep some control of the game is to explain before hand that the teams can not move until you say “GO!”

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.)



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.


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.

Twelve Classic Games for Your Family Reunion


I heard a quote once that has stuck with me. IT goes like this- “New and improved is not always better than tried and true”. That quote kind of sums up the games I’ve included here- they are not “new and improved” but they are certainly “tried and true” classic games that we probably all played as kids growing up. Try some of these classic games at your next family reunion or party.

Game #1. Three Legged Race

I remember doing the three legged race at the Fackrell family reunion when I was a girl, this certainly is “classic” reunion game.

Equipment: Bandanas or rope for each team of two

clip_image002How to Play: Each team breaks into pairs (matching an adult with a child keeps things fair and interesting). Using a bandanna or a piece of rope or twine, each pair ties one partner’s right ankle to the other’s left ankle. When the whistle blows, all of the pairs, assembled side by side at the starting line, race to the finish line. The first team whose pairs all cross the finish line wins.

Game #2. Clothes Pin Drop Game


Equipment: Canning jar or wide mouth bottle of any type, wood clothespins, chair

How to Play: When playing this game at family reunion you will want to divide into teams. You will need a bottle, chair and clothespins for each team. Place the bottle on the floor behind the chair. Players line up behind the chair. The first player kneels on the chair, leaning over the chair back. Each player gets 3 clothespins to try to drop in the jar. When each person has a had a turn dropping in the clothespins they count the number of pins in the jar. The team with the most clothespins in the jar is the winner. NOTE: You will want to make some rules about where you hold your hand while dropping the clothespins. I suggest keeping your hand at your chin.

Game #3. Kick-the-Can

If you like Hide ‘n’ Go Seek and Tag- this is the game for your family reunion!

Equipment: can (empty tin can)

How to Play: Depending on how many people you have, you choose one person who will be IT (you can have 2 or 3 if you would like.) You choose a designated "prison." By the prison you put a standing can. You have IT close their eyes while the rest go and hide somewhere. Then whenever IT chooses, they can go and look for their soon-to-be prisoners. Once a hider is captured, IT takes them back to the "prison" and that one has to stay there. The only way the prisoner may come out is if one that has not been captured kicks the can, then all those inside the prison are free. But, if the one who attempts to kick the can gets caught before kicking the can, he has to go to prison. You may decide when the game is over, by either everyone is captured or if IT gives up.
NOTE: At our family reunion we like to play this game in pairs- the game moves faster and no one gets stuck being "IT".

Game 4. Wheelbarrow Race


Game 5. Pin the Tail on the Donkey

I like this game because it can be adapted to fit any family reunion theme you are using. For instance, you can do pin the “crown” on the “king” if you are using a medieval theme for your reunion or “Pin the moustache on the outlaw” if you are using a western theme.

Equipment needed: Donkey picture and tails, tape or pins

How to Play: Hang up a picture of a donkey without a tail. Line the kids up a few feet away and give each one a tail e a different color). Blindfold the first child and slowly spin him around three times. Point him in the direction of the poster to tape on his tail. The child that puts the tail closest to the correct spot on the donkey is the winner.

Game #6. Gunny Sack Race


You can get gunny sacks, also known as burlap bags or potato sacks at co-op or feed stores such as IFA or Cal Ranch.

Equipment needed: Gunny sacks

How to Play: Line your family up at one end of the field. Contestants should step into the bag, one foot at a time until both legs are inside. The bag should come up to at least the player’s hips. Both legs have to remain inside the bag and the bag should stay up around the waist. On the word “GO”, racers begin hopping to the finish line.

Game #7 Duck, Duck Goose

Once I decided to be clever and adapt this game to my family reunion theme. It didn’t work- kids just want to play it saying “duck, duck goose”. They don’t like a “new and improved” version of this game.

Equipment: none


How to Play: In this game, kids sit down in a circle facing each other. One person is "it" and walks around the circle. As they walk around, they tap people’s heads softly and say whether they are a "duck" or a "goose". Once someone is the "goose" they jump up and try to chase "it" around the circle. The goal is to tap that person before they are able sit down in the "goose’s" spot. If the goose is not able to do this, they become "it" for the next round and play continues. If they do tap the "it" person, the person tagged has to sit in the center of the circle. Then the goose becomes it for the next round. The person in the middle can’t leave until another person is tagged and they are replaced.

Game #8. Mother May I (or Father may I, or whatever fits your family reunion or party theme!)

Line all children up on a start line and put one child on the finish line who is “Mother”. Mother will then tell each child, one at a time, to “take one giant step forward” or “do 3 spins forward” or “take 2 baby steps forward”. That player must then say “Mother May I?” Mother then gives permission to take the steps. If a child forgets to say, “mother may I?” then that child must return to the start line. The first child to cross the finish line wins and gets to be the “Mother” next.

Game #9.Red Light Green Light

Equipment needed: none


How to Play: Line your family up on the starting line. Choose one of your family members to be “it” . “It” stands on the finish line. “It” shuts his eyes and calls out “green light”. At this signal, the other children begin to run towards the finish line. Then “it” calls “red light” and opens his eyes. The other players, when they hear “red light” must freeze. The first child to reach the finish line wins and gets to be “it” next time.

Game #10. Red Rover


Equipment: none

How to Play: Divide the family into 2 teams. Each team makes a line by holding hands and stretching the line out. The two teams are arranged facing each other about 20 feet apart. One team begins by saying, “Red Rover, Red Rover, send (person’s name on other team) over.” The person whose name was called runs from his line and tries to break through the hands of any two people on the other team. If he successfully breaks through he then chooses one opponent to take back to his team with him. If he does not break through he must stay on the opposing team. The team to get the most players wins.

Game #11. Blind Man’s Bluff

Equipment: Bandana or other blindfold and a big open area

How to Play: Chose someone to be “it”. They count to 12. (You don’t want to give them too long to hide or get too far away”.) As “it” counts everyone else finds a place to hide or stand in the playing area. When “it” gets to 12 he then yells “stop.” Everyone must freeze where they are. “It” then says, “BLIND MAN’S” and the players must each say, “BLUFF”. You may not move and “it” must try to find each of the other players blindfolded using only their voices as direction to them.

Game # 12. Tug-0-War


Another classic game that can be adapted to your family reunion theme. Pit family against family or make up team names that fit your reunion theme.

Equipment needed: About a 120 foot rope (Measure 15 feet from the center in each direction and tape the rope at those points. When this line crosses the line on the ground, the team on that end has lost.) and perhaps some gloves

How to Play: Line both teams up on their respective ends of the rope. Each team pulls until one side’s tape crosses the line.

Aunt MO

Silly Getting to Know You Game


When planning your next family reunion or party you will want to plan some fun “getting to know you” games. Here’s a fun idea to get to know a little more about your relative.

Wrap a gift of some kind that would be fun for any family member at your reunion or party. preferably something that goes along with your family reunion theme.

You don’t need to sit in a circle or in any organized order. In fact, you can play this game as you are eating a meal or waiting for an activity to begin. The important thing is that everyone can hear the poem as you read it so they can pass the gift around as directed.

The following verses are just ideas to use for your poem. You can easily write your own verses and even target specific members at your family reunion.

Getting To Know You Poem

Take this gift-now don’t be shy!
Give it to someone with blue eyes.

Yes, you are the lucky one
But give the gift to someone who has a teenage son!

Look around from seat to seat
And give it to one whose cooking can’t be beat.

Some of us are tiny and small
but give the gift to the one most tall!

Next look for someone that has the newest wife
and give it to the love of his life.

Birthdays come and birthdays go
Give this gift to the oldest person you know.

Don’t let the gift get out of sight
Give it to the person sitting on your right.

The longest hair will win it now
If you have long hair, step up and bow

The gift goes to someone with a college degree
a good education pays off we can all agree.

The one with the most buttons of any kind
Will get passed the gift right now, this time.

We should stop now, it’s really time
The gift is yours to keep and everything is fine!

You’ll find lots of fun ice breaker games here

Aunt MO

“The grass isn’t greener on the ‘other side’, the grass isn’t greener on your side. It’s Greener where you water it.”

Game Ideas for Your Irish Party

Whether celebrating St Patrick’s Day or considering your Irish roots at your next family reunion here are a couple of fun Irish game ideas.


Musical Shamrock Game

Make very large green shamrock shapes about  2 feet square.  They don’t need to be fancy just simple shamrock shapes.  The ideas is similar to “musical chairs” game- you want to have fewer shamrocks than players. Scatter shamrocks over the playing area.  Explain that as the music plays all the players must keep moving but must stay off the shamrocks.   When the music stops players run to a shamrock.  However, each shamrock must have three players on it. Those with only one or two as well as those that have nowhere to stand are eliminated.  Remove a shamrock or two after each round.  (You always want to have fewer shamrocks than players)  Winners of the game  are those who have not been eliminated when only one shamrock remains.  Give out green lollypops, cupcakes or stickers for prizes.


Irish Scavenger Hunt

Divide into teams, giving each team an identical list of green items.  Tell each team that they must stay together when searching for their green items.

Some ideas to search for:

  • Something that grows green
  • Something you are wearing that is green
  • Green crayon, green colored pencil, green marker
  • Find a plastic item that is green
  • Find something soft that is green
  • Something hard that is green
  • Find something you can build with that is green
  • Green snack
  • 3 leaf clover
  • Fruit that is green
  • Vegetable that is green
  • Pop Can

Irish “Road Bowling” Game

Croquet is supposed to have come from a game called Crookey in Northern Ireland but another fun “real” Irish game is “Road Bowling”.
Road bowling is an unusual version of bowling that is particular to Ireland. It is played with a steal shot, (or use your own idea for a ball of some sort) which is tossed under arm by the player down a twisty road. The player who gets to the finish line with the least amount of throws wins.


Why should you never iron a 4-leaf clover? You
don’t want to press your luck.

May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, and may trouble avoid you wherever you go.

Aunt MO

Clever Ice Breaker Game Idea

This is a fun idea for an ice breaker game for your next  family reunion or family party.  It is even a fun idea for a work, school or church function.

Divide into groups of about 10.  The groups work together to determine the  total amount of points they have  earned.  Each team will need a team captain and recorder. 


You can make up your own list of points but here are a few ideas to get  you started.

1.  Counting January as one point, February as two points and so on, add up the total points of your group.

2. Score one point for each college attended.

3. Score one point for every button on each shirt.

4. Total number of pennies teammates have in their pockets.

5. Total of all sizes added together- one shoe only per person.

6.  Hair color score- Black hair- 2 points, Brown hair- 1 point, Red hair- 3  points, Grey hair- 5 points, Blonde- 1 point

7. Five points for everyone that is  wearing glasses, 2 points for contacts.

8. One point for every child each person has, twins- 5 points, triplets- 10 points.

9. Minus 1 point for every soda or pop consumed.  Plus 1 point for every glass or bottle of water.

10. 1 point for everyone that is wearing a watch.

Add up the total of points each team has and award prizes to the team that has the “most” points, “least” points, “most unorganized” etc.

Brain Teaser and Mind Reader Party Games

Brain teasers and Mind Reader party games are great fun! They can be used for family reunions to draw people together.  Brain Teasers make great ice breaker activities because they get everyone working and talking together to come up with a solution.  I still remember the first brain teaser I ever heard- 



That brain teaser drove me crazy and I finally asked, no begged for the answer.  You’ve probably already figured it out but just in case you need a little help- the doctor is the MOTHER!  So obvious!!

Research has long been touting the positive effects of playing brain teaser games but brain teaser games are actually fun too. Our family has several brain teaser games and activities that we can get together on a moments notice.  If we have some down time and need to find something to do we pull one of our favorite brain  teasers out of the hat and immediately have a fun activity for those that want to participate.  It doesn’t take long before some of us are pulling out our hair in frustration and others are laughing hysterically from the sidelines. Here’s a few of our favorite brain teasers  and mind reading games and activities.

Spoon Pictures Game


At least two people will need to know how to play this game. One is sent out of the room (the mind reader), and the other remains inside to take a picture of someone. This is done by holding up a spoon or some polished surface to a player’s face. When the picture is taken, the mind reader is called in, given the spoon, told to look at it, and guess whose picture it is.  The mind reader studies the spoon and then says whose picture they see on the spoon. The mind reader leaves the room again, while another picture is taken, is called in, and guesses that, and so on.

If any family member thinks he can be the mind reader, he may have a trial, but he may fail.

The secret- the person that took the pictures sits in exactly the same position as the person whose picture was taken.  If his feet were crossed and his hands folded, the leader will take that position. If another person is in that position, the one who guesses waits until one makes a change, and thus the name can be guessed.

Chinese Silverware Reading Game

Drop a pile of table knifes, or forks or spoons and it writes someone’s name. So your partner goes out of the room. Everyone in the room picks a person to be "IT" You then arrange the utensils in some random supposedly meaningful way. Partner walks back in looks intently at the utensils and then pronounces whose name they spell. What they are really watching is the way you are sitting because you are imitating the person who’s IT. (You could use any thing as your props- sticks, matches etc.)

Crystal Clear Game

This is a fun brain teaser game to do right before dinner, perhaps while everyone is waiting in line to get their food.  (They can think about the game as they move through the line.) Line six glasses up in a row. The odd ones are full, the even ones are empty. The object is to move only one glass, and by so doing line up three full glasses next to three empty glasses.


Answer- Pour the contents of glass number five into glass number two and replace glass number five.


Magic Squares Game

Once again it will necessary for two of the players to know how to  play this brain teaser game.    Arrange nine books or magazines on the floor in columns and rows of three.  Send the “magician/mind reader” out of the room.  As a group, choose one of the books or squares.  When the book is chosen, the magician is called in. Ask everyone in the room to concentrate on the chosen book.


Begin by pointing at different squares repeatedly saying "Is it this the one?” The magician will tell him to stop when he is pointing at the correct square.

The trick is simple. The first time the accomplice points to a square, he points to the relevant part of the square to indicate where the correct item is in the grid of 9 items. So if he points to the top right of the first square, the correct item in the item is in the top right of the grid. For instance, the picture below shows us that the book is the one in the top right corner.  Keep pointing to a couple of books before pointing to the book that is “it”.


You can vary this a bit so the accomplice shows the magician on  his second or third point if you want to. As people catch on they can become magicians and see if they get it right.



For this brain teaser game, all players will need to sit in a circle, and one is given a pair of scissors.  In turn, the scissors are passed around the circle, from one player to the next.  As a player passes the scissors to the next person they say either "I pass these scissors CROSSED" or "I pass these scissors UNCROSSED", and will be told if they are right or wrong.  The object is to try and find out what the rule is.  To make things more interesting, make a great play of turning the scissors around and opening and closing them.  The game continues until all have solved the mystery, or you take pity on those family members that remain clueless. 

The secret of this game has nothing to do with the scissors- it’s whether you have your legs crossed!


“I pass these scissors open.”


“I pass these scissors closed.”

Aunt MO

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”  ~e.e. cummings