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

More Cousin Party Ideas

Cousin parties or camps provide a great chance for all of the cousins to spend time with each other and is a wonderful way for those long-distance cousins to get together with one another and nurture those relationships. The younger cousins begin to look up to the older ones and the older ones take on a protective nature.

The one thing that seems to be important to the success of a cousins party or camp is that NO parents are allowed.  Thanks to Lisa and Annette for sharing the following cousin party ideas.


Grandma and Grandpa Hale have a cousins Christmas party every year.  It is always on a Saturday afternoon in December.  They invite all grade school age children.  The kids who move out of grade school that year come back as the helper.  They are great helpers and take their job seriously.  No grown ups are allowed.  Grandma Hale been doing her cousins party for many years and she suggests that it works much better without any parents. 


Some of their cousin party traditional activities include:
* a craft
*play the candy bar game
*Decorate Grandma and Grandpa’s Christmas tree
*They go out for pizza
* They go to the theater, watch the dollar movie and see Santa or stay home and watch a movie if the party falls on a weekend that Santa is not visiting.
*White elephant gift exchange – They play the game where you can choose a new present or steal some one else’s
* Sleep over for one night
*They go to church – Two aunts come before church and have a beauty shop to do all the girls hair.
*They have a family night lesson – given by one of the older children who come prepared.
*They eat dinner and go home
Hint for parents of the cousins- Grandma and Grandpa are tired. Parents come on time!


The Parson family has a “Cousins Camp” that lasts an entire week.  The cousins come prepared to go swimming and fishing at the beach.  They eat watermelon and hotdogs and when they get back to Grandma’s house after the beach they make homemade ice cream while everyone showers. One of their traditional activities is to play hide and seek and Annie I Over.

The Parson family have a special “workshop”day where they the cousins rotate from station to station learning new things.  One year Grandma and Grandpa had a neighbor come teach the cousins how to play tennis, then the girls rotated to the fingernail painting station and boys rotated to the bird house building station.  The last station was decorating sugar cookies.  One year the cousins all made decorative stepping stones that have become a lasting treasure in Grandma’s flower garden.


When everyone is tucked into their sleeping bags at night Grandpa tells stories until the cousins reluctantly fall asleep.

Whether an afternoon, one night sleepover or a week long camp consider planning a cousin’s party with your family.  It’s a fun way to have a family reunion with the very best part of your family.

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.