Family Reunion Right Left Game

right left game

I love “Right/Left games!  It’s a great way to exchange “white elephant” gifts but… I absolutely hate the “Mrs. WRIGHT RIGHT “ games that you can find on the web (let’s get creative people!) so I wrote my own right/left game that is designed for use at a family reunion.  Hope you like it.


First thing you need to do  is assign each family member to bring a white elephant gift to your family reunion or party. Decide if you want them to bring their gifts wrapped or unwrapped.  Most people will bring funny, used items they no longer want so I always like to  include some more desirable gifts that will get everyone excited about winning.  Large candy bars, money, and 2 liter bottles of soda are always a hit.

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.

January 2011 download 096

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 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

Ten Ideas for Your Family Reunion- part 2

Family Reunion Idea #6- Right/Left Gameimage

A Right/Left game is an activity everyone at your family reunion can participate in. We always ask each family member to bring a “white elephant” gift (wrapped or unwrapped) to the family reunion or party.  I always bring a few extra gifts in case someone forgets. 

How to Play: Form a circle, each time you hear the word right, pass the candy, prize, grab to the person on your right. When you hear the word left, pass to the person on your left. When you finish this story everyone opens the gift they are LEFT with. HINT: Be sure and read with lots of expression and pauses- the children in your family will have fun anticipating RIGHT or LEFT. Writing a Right/Left story is pretty easy but you can find a fun family reunion Right/Left story here.

Family Reunion Idea #7- Bloomers Game!!


I have to include this game for your family reunion in this list because it makes me laugh.  This is a very scary game for boys ages 10- 14. (There is nothing scarier to a boy of this age than women’s underwear) This game is  good game for any family reunion but is especially fitting for a family “heritage” reunion theme.

Everyone should sit in a circle. Ask if they know what old fashioned bloomers are. Explain that in the olden days they used to call women’s underwear “bloomers”.

Hold up a box that is neatly wrapped. (In advance, you should have wrapped the box in at least ten different layers of wrapping paper.) Tell your family that inside the box are a pair of bloomers.

Everyone will pass the box around the circle while music is being played. When the music stops the person holding the box must open the box and model the bloomers for everyone to see.


Be careful how you word your instructions because inside the box is not a pair of old fashion women’s bloomers but a pair (two) bloomers from the garden. The look of relief on the person’s face when he finds out it’s just “flowers” he is modeling and not “underwear” is a joy to see.

Family Reunion Idea #8- Tell a Scary Story

If you will be camping or sleeping over at your family reunion plan a few scary stories to share.  I have found it best to assign out scary stories in advance of your reunion so that scary story tellers can be well prepared.  There are lots of scary story resources on the web- just give your story tellers advance notice so that they can do the research and find the best ones.

I have a favorite scary story that Uncle Steven has shared at many family reunions, girls camps and scout camps.  Family members that have heard the story at previous family reunions are always excited for him to share the story with reunion “newbies”.

I didn’t write the story but like all the best scary stories it has been passed down through generations of story tellers.   The story is called “White Eyes” and  requires some advance preparation. 

Besides practicing the telling of this tale you will need to take a ping-pong ball and cut it in half. Color a small dark dot on each half with a permanent marker. These will be your "white eyes". Keep them concealed in a closed hand. When the time is right, pop them on over each eye.

You can find a free copy of the story here.

I’ve heard a lot of scary stories when I’ve been camping but this is the only story that made me scream- I hope you scream too.

Family Reunion Idea #9- “Are You Older Than Dirt?” Game


It’s important to provide a wide variety of games and activities at your family reunion.  You will want to have lots or physical games but will also want to consider “Pencil and Paper” games that are not able to participate in the more active games.  One of my favorite “Pencil and Paper” games is the “Older Than Dirt” game.  In this game participants answer  twenty questions about life styles throughout the years.  For example, question number one says-

1. In the 1940′s, where were automobile headlight high beam switches located?

a. On the floor shift knob

b. On the floor board, to the left of the clutch

c. Next to the horn

You can find the entire free test, “When You Were My Age” at

Family Reunion Idea #10-Pipe Chimes

pipe chimes 2 001

Make a set or two of musical pipe chimes.  Making music with pipe chimes is an easy and inexpensive way to have fun with your family. My Mom saw pipe chimes more than thirty years ago and our family has been making music with conduit pipes ever since.

Pipe chimes are easy to make and don’t require the use of expensive tools. Cut pipes to exact measurements and create your own set of musical pipe chimes. It’s so easy you might want to make two sets for use at your larger family reunions.

As long as you can read numbers, you can play pipe chimes. They are numbered 0 to 20; they also each have their note name on them, so you can play a song that you know the melody to.

You can find easy to follow instructions and thirteen fun chimes songs here.