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.

Using Your Super Hero Powers to Wipe Out Dead Air At Your Family Reunion

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How to Destroy Boring Family Reunion
“Dead Air”

Back in my 20’s I worked as a disc jockey at a radio station.  About the worst thing a deejay could do back then and I’m  pretty sure now, is to have “dead air”.  Dead air is an unintended period of silence during a radio broadcast.  I have been unfortunate enough to experience some  periods of dead air when I worked as a disc jockey, usually because I was unprepared, unorganized or because there was an equipment mal-function.  I have also experienced “dead air” at a family reunion.

It is most common to experience reunion or party dead air between the time when family or guests are arriving and the time when the planned activities are scheduled to begin.  I know you’ve experienced it- people just standing around in awkward silence not sure what they’re supposed to be doing and wishing that they had someone to talk to.

There is a solution to doing away with reunion dead air- be prepared, be organized and PLAN an activity that doesn’t have to be supervised.

A few of our favorite dead air busters are:

Sugar Cookie Decorating

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When we arrived at Aunt Karen’s dinosaur reunion twenty or so years ago, we found plastic wrapped dinosaurs shaped sugar cookies tied to trees and fences all around the park where the reunion was held.  After checking in, everyone went on a dinosaur hunt to find the perfect sugar cookie and then on  to the decorating station where we found frosting, sprinkles and candies to decorate our cookies.

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As we frosted and decorated our cookies, other family members arrived and we laughed, talked and ate our dinosaur masterpieces and Bam- dead air destroyed!

DIY Tee Shirts

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The Brown family used a creative idea to not only take care of dead air but to also personalize their reunion t-shirts.

Instead of doing a generic design on their shirts they did stick figures of a family and when family members arrived at the reunion  they painted their own shirt using fabric paints and markers.  Everyone was so busy and excited about their shirts they chatted and shared ideas and Pow- dead air busted!

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Boondoggle

Boondoggle will keep most kids, 10 and over occupied for any dead air during your reunion.  By taking two strings of boondoggle, you can weave, braid, or otherwise knot it to create some fun projects.

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Set out a few spools of boondoggle and a few clips or key chains and before   you know it, young and old will be making new boondoggle creations.

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You will need someone to man the boondoggle station that knows how to start boondoggle.  If someone in your family has been to a girl or boy scout camp they probably already know how to do boondoggle.  A good resource for learning boondoggle basics is Boondoggle Man- and Splash- dead air busted!

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NOTE: If using an activity for the older children, like boondoggle, don’t forget to set out something for the younger ones such as coloring pages, a kiddy pool  filled with sand or a few soft balls.

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Stating the Obvious

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Here’s the obvious boredom busters- set up volleyball, badminton, croquet, horseshoes or any activity that  will get your family interacting with each other. 

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I have a giant Checkers game that I set out at every reunion (it’s tradition) and before too  long one of the cousins will challenge an uncle to a game and a crowd will  gather around to watch. 

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to set these games up but it sure adds to the reunion fun.

When most of your family has arrived at the reunion it’s time to move on to your planned activities, usually ice breaker games, but with some extra planning and effort on your part their won’t be much ice to break- families members will feel right at home because you’ve used your super hero powers to destroy reunion dead air.

Family Reunion in an Afternoon

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You want to have a family reunion but…

You don’t have a 3 day weekend for your family reunion.

You don’t think you can stand listening to Uncle George’s lame jokes  for an entire weekend.

You can’t stand the thought of feeding all those hungry people.

Planning all those games and activities is just too overwhelming.

In my family reunion presentations I tell people that ANYTIME you get together with your family can be a family reunion.  There are no rules that say you have to spend a certain amount of time with your extended family to make it an “official” reunion.

A typical family reunion will assemble grandparents, aunts and uncles and tons of kids that share the same surname for a meal, some games and activities and maybe even some genealogy discussion and if all you have is a Saturday afternoon in the park then start planning!

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Let’s look at a possible schedule for a possible family reunion in an afternoon.

Things to do in advance

Be sure to reserve your location if holding your reunion at a park or hall.  Ask family members to bring a sack lunch for the noon meal and make food assignments or ask everyone to bring a potluck dish for the evening meal.

Send out invitations

Include food assignments and items such as swim suits or softball equipment.  If you are planning to go swimming, golfing, bowling etc. include how much these activities will cost.

Choose a theme.  A family reunion doesn’t have to have a theme to be successful but creating a theme for a family reunion is a great way to interest people and make them more likely to attend. A reunion invitation that invites you to a “Prehistoric” reunion for Brontosaurs burgers is more interesting than an invitation that invites you  to a family reunion at “the park”. It also makes things more fun when it comes to being imaginative with food, games, activities, invitations and just about every other aspect of the reunion. 

10:30 Registration

Set up a registration table for attendees to receive a name tag and schedule of activities.  This is a great time to get family member’s phone numbers, email and home addresses.  Provide an activity  that family members can participate in while waiting for everyone to arrive.  Try a huge game of badminton or volleyball for the teenagers, sugar cookie decorating or a coloring page for the youngsters and printable Older Than Dirt Game for the older generation.

11:00  Ice Breaker getting to know you games.

  My favorite ice breaker game is DO YOU LOVE YOUR RELATIVE?

The group sits in a circle with room in the center.  The person that is “IT” does not have a chair and stands in the center of the circle. “IT” walks up to one of the people in the circle, points to someone and asks, “_________, do you love your relative?” The individual pointed to can say one of two things:

“Yes I love my relatives (everyone sitting in the circle must move to a new chair)

“No, I don’t love my relatives but I love everyone _____________________.” Fill in the blank with things like- everyone that is wearing green, everyone that likes chocolate, everyone that has a dog or everyone that wears glasses. (Only the people that meet the requirements move to a different chair.)

In both situations, the person that asks the question runs to sit on a chair. The person left standing, without a chair to sit on, is the new “IT”.

Family Reunion Helper has lots of fun Ice Breaker Games.  You will need to plan on playing two to three games.

12:00  Sack lunches and family photo

After lunch you will want to take a picture of your family.  It doesn’t need to be professional, just a record of who attended the reunion.

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1:00  Extra Curricular Activity

Arrange in advance for your family to go swimming, bowling, roller skating, hiking or a road rally scavenger hunt. Some families like to split up during this time so people can participate in several activities- some may go golfing while others shop or make a craft. This will be your major activity.  For some activities such as boating or visiting an amusement park you may need to schedule more time.

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3:00 Theme Activities Craft or Fund Raiser

If you have chosen a theme for your reunion now is the time to do some of those activities.  This is also the time to do any fund raising such as an auction or raffle.

4:30 Genealogy Spotlight and Business Meeting

Ask someone that is a good story teller to share an interesting story from your family history.  It is very important that this presentation appeal to all family members and includes pictures and props.  You may also want to take a few minutes to discuss any family business such as when and where to hold you next reunion.

5:00 Dinner

You may do a potluck dinner, a meal that reflects your reunion theme (dinosaur theme- Brontosaurus Burgers, western theme- chuck wagon beans etc.) Other simple meal ideas are a baked potato or taco bar, grilled burgers or have your favorite pizza place deliver a variety of pizzas.  Do not serve dessert at this time.

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6:00 Talent Show Free Time

This is the time to let family members share their talents.  Play Let’s Make A Deal to keep everyone interested between acts.

7:00  Wrap it Up

Serve dessert and thank everyone for attending your reunion.  You will be tired and ready to clean up and go home but some family members will want to hang around and visit.  Put them to work helping you clean up. 

The  Branson Family Reunion web site list five reasons to have a family reunion.  One reason it lists is “Tradition”. “Tradition should be a big part of your family.  Taking the time to come together and teach (in a fun way) the tradition of your family will keep it alive and strong.”  Although planning a reunion can be a lot of work bringing your family together, if only for an afternoon, can be a rewarding way to keep traditions alive.

 

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. 

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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.

Are You Ready for Christmas?

Take this test to find out if you’re ready for Christmas                           A fun icebreaker game for your family Christmas party

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If you have attended a Christmas party give yourself 1 point, if you hosted a holiday party give yourself 5 points. If you didn’t yell at anyone while you were setting up for the party give yourself 2 extra points.

Give yourself 1 point if you’ve started you Christmas cards, add 5 points if you’ve mailed them. If you sent your holiday greeting on Facebook deduct 2 points.

Give yourself 1 point if you’ve started Christmas shopping and 5 points if you’ve finished all of your Christmas shopping. If you had to pay 2-day or overnight shipping on an online order so it would get here on time deduct 2 points.

Give yourself 1 point if you’ve begun your Christmas baking, and 5 points if you’re all done. If you put sprinkles on something give yourself 2 extra points.

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Give yourself 1 point if your gifts are all wrapped and 5 points if you wrapped them yourself. Deduct 2 points if you paid someone to wrap them.

If you have purchased your Christmas ham give yourself 1 point. If you have purchased a Christmas turkey give yourself 5 points. If you shot a Christmas goose, give yourself 2 points.

Give yourself 1 point for each item you’ve eaten in December: sugar plums, a roasted chestnut, Figgie pudding, Christmas goose or eggnog. (5 points possible)

If you are wearing something red or green give yourself 1 point. If you are wearing a Christmas sweater give yourself 5 points. If you are wearing Christmas underwear give yourself 2 extra points. (Must be willing to prove it.)

If you have sung “Jingle Bells” this Christmas give yourself 1 point, if you have gone caroling, give yourself 5 points, if you have performed in a Christmas play, program or concert give yourself an extra 2 points.

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If you have watched the movie, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” give yourself 1 point, if you have watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” give yourself 5 points.

If your birthday is in December give yourself 1 point, if it is Christmas Day give yourself 5 points.

If you’ve seen Santa this year, give yourself 1 point. If you’ve sat on Santa’s knee give yourself 5 points. If you’ve kissed Santa give yourself 2 extra points.

If you’ve put Christmas decorations outside your home, give yourself 1 point. If you checked to see if they were working give yourself 5 points. Take 2 extra points if your lights were still working when you after put them up.

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If you will have 10 or less people at your table for Christmas dinner give yourself 1 point, if you will have more than 10 people at your table for Christmas dinner take some headache medicine, put your feet up and give yourself 5 points.

25 points or more- Congratulations, you’re ready for Christmas! Christmas is definitely your thing. You love every minute of the holidays.

15- 24 points- You’re getting closer! Just a few more presents to buy and it’ll be time for some hot cocoa!

Less than 15 points- It’s not Christmas yet! RIGHT? Going shopping now…

Merry Christmas from www.familyreunionhelper.com

Aunt MO

“ I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas with a note on it saying, toys not included.”
Bernard Manning

Right and Left Story for Your Family Reunion

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Assign each family member to bring a “white elephant” gift (wrapped or unwrapped) to your family reunion or party. Everyone sits in a circle. As you read the story, they pass (the gifts) left when you say left, and pass them right when you say right. When the story ends, everyone opens the gift they are LEFT with. I have capitalized the words RIGHT and LEFT in the story for easy identification.  Be sure and read with lots of expression and pauses- the children in your family will have fun anticipating RIGHT or LEFT.

Family Reunion Right/Left Story

Let me tell you what happened to Uncle Harv and Aunt Ethel on the way to this reunion. Harv and Ethel decided to get an early start because they didn’t want to be LEFT out of all the fun. Since both of their cars were in the shop, they borrowed their neighbor’s two ton truck. (These are the neighbors to the RIGHT of them, not the LEFT.) Harv sat in the driver’s seat and Ethel sat RIGHT next to him. The kids all climbed in and took the space that was LEFT.

It’s a long way to this reunion from Harv and Ethel’s house and I guess Harv began to get a little sleepy. The truck began to serve to the LEFT and to the RIGHT and then to the LEFT again. Before Harv knew it, the truck had LEFT the road and was going RIGHT into the burrow pit.

“You get RIGHT back on that highway!” Ethel screamed.

“I’m trying!” Harv yelled back as the truck bounced around. “I just hope I can keep this truck upRIGHT!”

Just then a house appeared RIGHT before their eyes and sure enough the truck ran RIGHT into the big, locked gate that stood RIGHT in front of it. Everyone began screaming and soon the people that lived in the house came running from all directions- from the RIGHT and from the LEFT. They were RIGHT neighborly though and invited us RIGHT into what was LEFT of their house to have breakfast with them. Although Harv and Ethel were anxious to get RIGHT back on the road, and Uncle Harv’s RIGHT knee felt a little stiff, they decided the nice thing to do was to eat breakfast with the family.

The family consisted of Ma and Pa Dowinkle and their eight kids. (Everyone in their family was LEFT handed- isn’t that odd?) Harv and Ethel LEFT their coats RIGHT by the front door. As we Harv and Ethel and their kids sat down at the huge kitchen table the Ma Dowinkle asked that they sit on their RIGHT side so that they wouldn’t bump elbows. Ethel sat RIGHT next to Ma Dowinkle and Harv sat RIGHT next to Pa Dowinkle. There was room for everyone RIGHT at the big table, in fact there was even some room LEFT- over.

Breakfast was so good that no one LEFT anything on their plate. After eating, Harv and Ethel gave all ten of the Dowinkles a big hug and LEFT.

“I’m driving the rest of the way to the reunion”, Ethel said, “Is that  alRIGHT with you?” She asked the kids. The kids cheered and Ethel turned RIGHT out of the Dowinkle’s driveway and LEFT their new friends in a RIGHT big cloud of dust. She headed RIGHT for the freeway and before anyone knew it, they arrived at the family reunion RIGHT on time.

So, if you see Uncle Harv and Aunt Ethel at clip_image002

the reunion be sure and ask them if they are feeling alRIGHT and give Uncle Harv a pat RIGHT on the back and Aunt Ethel a kiss RIGHT on the cheek and let them know how glad we are that they could come to the family reunion.

Well, that’s the end of the story- there isn’t any more LEFT- I know I’m RIGHT because it was my job to WRITE the RIGHT/LEFT story- and WRITE it I did. Isn’t that RIGHT?!?!

Aunt MO

“Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game.”  Donald Trump

Gimme A Point

Use this game as an ice breaker game for your family reunion or party.  Make a copy of the game for every participant and give them a copy and a pencil when they arrive at your family reunion.  Your family can work on the game until you feel like everyone has arrived at your reunion site then call everyone together and go through the questions.  Your family will want to share their unusual and funny answers.  Be sure and have a prize for the winner of the game and perhaps for the person with the lowest score.  This is also  a fun time to give out a few family reunion awards such as the  tallest person at the reunion, the person that traveled the farthest to the reunion or the youngest person at your family reunion. 

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1. Give yourself 1 point for every button you are wearing.

2. Deduct 1 point for every 5 minutes you were late for this reunion.  

3. Add 1 point for each size shoe in shoe you are wearing. (Size 7- 7 points)

4. Add 5 points for every penny in your pocket or purse.

5. If you are wearing any pink, add 10 points to your score.

6. If you made your bed this morning give yourself 10 points.

     If your mother made your bed deduct 5 points.

     If your bed is not made deduct 10 points.

7. If your eyes are brown or green give yourself 5 points.

8. If you have grey in your hair give yourself 10 points.

9. Add 1 point for every egg you have eaten this week.

10. Give yourself 5 points for every game of golf you played in July.

11. Add 1 point for every baseball game you’ve watched this summer.

12. If you emptied the dishwasher or washed the dishes today give yourself 10 points.

13. If you are over 6 feet tall give yourself 5 points.

14. If you are under 5 feet tall give yourself 10 points.

15. If you sent more than 100 texts this week add 5 points to your score.

16. If you are over 50 and sent 1 txt this week add 10 points to your score.

17. Give yourself 1 point for every mile you walked or ran this week.

18. If you are wearing a belt give yourself 5 points.

19. If you have a dog give yourself 5 points.

20.  Give yourself 1 point for every 100 miles you traveled to be at this family reunion.

Okay, you can add up your score and put the total here-         

___________

More fun family reunion games are available in the “family fun” drop down at www.familyreunionhelper.com/ 

Aunt MO

“People are more honest around  a campfire.”- Megan

Best Ever Relay Race Games

from www.familyreunionhelper.com

Relay races have been a part of our family reunions since I attended the Fackrell family reunion in Lyman, Wyoming way back in the 1960’s. We did traditional relays like the wheelbarrow race, 3-legged race and the gunny sack race. Those races are fun but I wanted to share some relay races that aren’t so traditional. Let me introduce you to some of our favorite “Best Ever” relay races- hope your family likes them too.
Most relay race games ask you to form 2 or more even teams. As in any relay race, have a starting line and a finishing line (You can easily make start and finish lines using flour sprinkled on the grass or dirt, or spray paint or long ropes or hoses.)and teams race to one end of the course and back as quickly as possible. Mix your running relays with creative relays that let family members who aren’t fast runners be successful in other ways.

Sponge Relay Race

I asked my two cute nieces, Sydnee and Maicie, what their favorite relay race game was and they both agreed it was the “Sponge” race.

You will need two 5 gallon buckets- one filled with water and one empty. Each team will also need a large sponge.

Set the buckets of water on one side of the course with the sponges in the bucket. Place the empty buckets at the opposite end of the course. The object of the game is to be the first team to fill the emptyclip_image002 bucket (you can also use a milk jug for the empty container) with water. The first player of each team soaks the sponge with water runs to the empty container and squeezes the water into it then runs back to pass the sponge to the next player. This continues until the first bucket is empty or everyone has had a turn. Winner is the team that has the most water in their once empty container.  You may want to add a little food coloring to the water to make the water line easier to see.


Human String Relay

You will need 2 Spoons and 2 Ball of yarn, equal lengths.  Tie a spoon to the end of a ball of yarn.  Line up both teams single-file.  clip_image004

On the word, "Go," the first person from each team must put the spoon down his shirt, as well as his pants. When it comes out of his pant leg, he must then pass it to the next player (As it is still attached to the first player).

When the spoon has gone through the entire line, and everyone is attached, then the last person at the end of the line must clip_image006reverse the process (While the first person winds the string into a ball as it comes back out of each person’s clothing).

When the team finishes unwinding the string then the first person in that line needs to shout, "Done!" The team to finish unwinding the string first wins.

Hula Hoop Relay #1

Each team makes a circle, connecting it by holding hands.

Give each team a hula hoop. On the word “go” each team must move the hula hoop around the circle.. To do this, participants must move their arms and shoulders to make the hoop travel around the circle. At no point may any of the participants break their grasp on their teammates’ hands. The first team to move the hula hoop around the circle wins. To make it more complicated add a second hoop going th opposite way.

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Hula Hoop Relay #2

You will need 1 hula hoop for each team and items to make an obstacle course such as orange cones, garbage cans, lawn chairs, etc.

Begin by creating a course-a straight line to a goal and back, or create a slalom-type trail around obstacles. When the race begins, the first player from each team rolls the team’s hoop (using his hand or a stick) along the entire course before returning to the starting line and passing the hoop to the next player. The race continues until all of the players on one team complete the course.

Rock, Tree, Bridge Relay

This relay comes from Stacey Hanson. We tried it at a family and about died laughing. Check out the video at www.familyreunionhelper.com/ for a video of Stacey’s class playing “Rock, Tree, Bridge”

I’ve included a video of instructions for this next relay on the first page  of this website. This is not my family but a school teacher, Stacey, and her students. I think this clever relay is so fun and after you watch the video it will be easy for you to play too.

To play, get into teams of 3 and make a line. The first person in line is the rock. He ducks down on his knees with his head tucked in. clip_image013

The second person in line jumps over the rock and stands up and becomes the tree. clip_image002[18]

The third person in line jumps over the rock, goes around the tree twice, and makes a tent with his body and becomes the bridge.

                              clip_image014The person who was the rock then goes around the tree 2 times, goes under the bridge, and becomes a rock again.  They keep repeating this pattern until their team reaches the finish line. The first team to finish wins.

Leap Frog Race

This was my favorite relay race game when I was a little girl- I know you’ve played it clip_image016but maybe there is a little girl in your family who would like it as much as I did. Let’s hop to it!
This is a game for 6 or more players and should be played outside or in an open area.
All you need are two teams of at least three, and a start and finish line.
To play, the two teams each line up single file. Players then leap frog over each other. The last player jumps over her teammates. When she leaps over the two people ahead of her, the new last person in line then jumps over her two teammates.
The first team to leap frog down to the line and back wins!

Crazy Waiter

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You need a couple of sturdy paper plates and ping pong balls.

Divide into two teams, and stand in 2 lines. Demonstrate how to hold the plate- like a waiter. (Thumbs and fingers cannot be on top of the plate)
Now put a ping pong ball onto each plate a give one to the leader of each line. On the word go, their job is to run as fast as they can weaving in and out of each player down the line, while balancing the ball on the plate. Once he gets to the back of the line he then runs straight up to the front again (without weaving) and gives the plate to the next player, and runs down to the back position.

The next player repeats the process. If the ball falls off the plate the player must return to the front and restart. First team to run the course wins.

clip_image004[9]You may also map out an obstacle course to run through or for a more simple game have players run to a central marker, like a chair or an orange cone, run around it and then run home.

Another fun variation on this game is the “Golf ball on spoon relay”. This relay is just like “Crazy Waiter” only you use a golf ball on a spoon.

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Divide into relay teams. First player holds a long turkey feather (or any other feather). At the word "Go" each throws his feather, javelin style, toward the finish line. As soon as it comes to earth, he picks it up and throws it again, and continues until across the finish line. He then picks it up and runs back to his team to give the feather to the next player.

clip_image022Ice Cube Melt

To play, form teams of at least 6 people. Each team lines up and gets an ice cube. The first person in each line rubs the ice until his hands get too cold. Then he passes it to the next person in line. She rubs it until her hands get too cold. Keep passing their ice until it melts. The first team to melt their ice wins.

This is also a fun game to play with a T-shirt but requires some advance preparation. Get a T-shirt for each team and soak it in water. Put the T-shirt in the freezer overnight. First team to melt their shirt enough for someone to get it over their head and wear it is the winner- brrr.

It’s All in the Name

Print the alphabet on pieces of cardstock- one letter on ¼ piece of paper. Yu will need to copy it more than once and make additional cards with the most used letters of the alphabet. (E,A,I,O,R,T,N,S,L) Some good alphabet cards can be found at http://www.eslflashcards.com/preview.php?id=31

Dump all the letters in the middle of the room or playing area. Teams race to collect letters to combine them into words such as family names, places and traditions. For instance, at the Wells reunion, I would ask them to find words like “Wells”, “England”, Waldhere” and “Wells Fargo”. The words must be spelled correctly, all the letters in order, to receive a point.

Aunt MO

“I don’t have to look up my family tree, because I know that I’m the sap.” –Fred Allen