When we celebrate a birthday or some other special occasion we like to play a “Twenty Questions” game. We’ve played Twenty Questions for birthdays for more years than I can remember. My big problem with the game is making up new questions every time so I decided to be selfish and write this blog so I would have a permanent record of questions to use.
I’ve included three sets of questions to target three different age groups- the “over the hill”, “prime of life” and a version for kids. These are not icebreaker questions but questions for testing your knowledge of the person whose life you are celebrating.
You can give everyone a copy of the questions and ask them to write their answers down or read the questions aloud and everyone, including the birthday person writes their answers on a blank piece of paper. (You don’t need to get the answers to the questions in advance.)
These are not icebreaker questions- but questions to test your knowledge of a friend, family member or other loved one. Their answer IS THE CORRECT ONE!
Over the Hill
What did you want to be when you were small?
What was your favorite song during your young adult years?
What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?
What’s the tallest building you’ve been to the top of?
How many the cities have you lived in?
What was your favorite family vacation?
If you could go back in time to change one thing, what would it be?
Is there anything you wished would come back into fashion?
What is your favorite book to read?
In the evening, would you rather play a game, watch a movie, or read?
Who is your favorite author?
What was the last movie you went to?
How many pillows do you sleep with?
How many languages do you speak?
How many time a month do you go grocery shopping?
If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?
If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Would you rather vacation in Hawaii or Alaska?
What one thing could you not go a day without?
If you could share a meal with any 3 individuals, living or dead, who would they be?
Prime of Life
How many houses have you lived in?
What time of day were you born- morning, noon or night?
What is the best roller-coaster you ever went on?
What was your favorite toy as kid?
What was your first job?
How many pairs of shoes do you own?
What’s your favorite type of foreign food?
What spice do you use the most?
What was the last thing you recorded on TV?
Are you a clean or a messy person?
What is your favorite form of exercise?
What time do you usually wake up in the morning?
What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?
What is your favorite pizza?
What was the last sporting event you attended?
How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
Where do you want to retire?
If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be?
If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?
What is your dream car?
When you grow you will probably be __________?
What is your teachers/coaches name?
Who is your tallest friend?
What super hero/Disney princess would you like to be?
Where would you rather live- ocean or moon?
What was the last restaurant you ate at?
Best fieldtrip you’ve been on?
Where would you like to go on vacation?
Right now- is your room clean or messy?
What was the last book you read?
If you could play any musical instrument, what would it be?
Make a live family tree and take a photo. Arrange family members as they would be on a genealogical chart of the family. Begin with Grandma and Grandpa. Add a branch consisting of their children and spouses. Add additional branches for each of their children and so on. Be sure and take a picture- preferably from an elevated position.
Mix family members up and divide into groups or ten or so. Challenge family members to put themselves in order of their birth date (day, month and year). If you have mostly young children the challenge should be to get in a line, oldest to youngest. To make the challenge more difficult try doing it blindfolded and tell them “No Talking!” It’s amazing how resourceful they will be communicating in other ways.
To involve your entire family ask those that were born in January to get together in one group; do the same for each of the other months. Then have the members of the January group give their birthdates, such as January 21, January 9, etc. and line up accordingly. This is fun activity that forges an immediate bond between those that share the same birthday or even birthday month. This activity is especially effective with reunions of 100 or more participants.
Family Reunion Concentration Game
This activity takes some advance planning. Create a "memory" or "concentration" game. You will need 54 cards with 26 pairs of pictures on them. With so many digital options this is a fairly easy but still a time consuming idea. Make two copies of each photo- be sure and include name, birthdate and birthplace of each person. You can make a game using ancestors or using photos of family members that are attending the current reunion. With this game you will reconnect with the past or make connections with the present.
Family Tree Chart
Make a huge family tree on and display it during the reunion. You can have large 36” x 48” “engineering prints” made at Staples for under $10.00 that work perfectly for this kind of presentation. Be sure and make 8 1/2 x 11 copies of the tree for each family to take home. The chart pictured above is another option. It is available from My History and is a fill in the blank type chart.
Name Tags for Your Family Reunion
Be creative with your reunion name tags. When family members check in at your reunion site give them each a name tag. But instead of the same old “my name is” name tags be a little creative. Put different design on name tags so that everyone with design sits at the same table for meals and are on the same team when dividing for activities. This helps family members get acquainted or Reacquainted with family members they don’t see often. The tags above are from the family reunion helper Heritage Reunion.
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.
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.
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.