Family reunions are so much fun! Uncles, aunts, grandparents, babies, nieces, nephews, young and old, meeting together as an extended family. But what do you do if the weather is so dreadful that you can not enjoy an outdoor reunion? Try these five fantastic indoor games for family reunions.
Table Story is one of our favourite indoor parlour games. Players sit in a circle. One player begins the story with two or three sentences, ending in such a way that the following player can keep the story going. For example, "George and Nathan had set up their camp site and were preparing the evening meal. They were both a little tired from the day's hike. George checked the boiling billy and noticed something different about the water." The following player can continue the story about hiking and camping, or she could alter it to include a flying saucer or a jet plane or anything else, as long as the story continues to make sense. The story can finish after two or three rounds.
If you want a family reunion game that is more active, try Dumb Crambo. Players divide into two teams. Team One leaves the room while Team Two chooses a familiar word that can be acted out. The chosen word should have at least three other similar sounding words that can also be mimed. If you chose "drive", there is also "dive", "five" and "hive". Two One returns and Team Two tells them one of the similar words ( "hive"). Team Two then tries to guess the correct word by miming words like "hive". No one is allowed to speak at all, except Team Two says "Boo, Hiss!" if they mime a wrong word, and "Hooray!" when they finally mime the right word. Teams swap places each round.
Taps is an entertaining game for players seated around a table. Everyone places their left hand on the table in front of the person on their left and their right hand in front of the person on their right, so that each player has one hand from each neighbour in front of them. At the beginning of the game one player taps their left hand on the table without lifting their wrist. The player whose hand is immediately to the left of that hand (the second person to their left) then taps their hand. This continues in the same way around the table. Practise for a few minutes before you play the proper game. Any player who does not tap their hand within one second, or who moves the wrong hand, or who taps their hand out of turn must remove their hand from the circle; if both hands are removed, you're out of the game. As if this was not hard enough already, any player can double tap to reverse the direction of the game.
Another favourite game for our family is Fractionary. Each person has a sheet of paper and a pen / pencil. One player chooses an obscure word from a dictionary (such as "diptych", a painting on two boards that can close like a book) without telling the other players the meaning. She writes the word and definition on her paper while the other players write the word and a made-up definition to suit the word. The first player collects all the papers and reads them anonymously. Players vote for the definition they believe is the right one. Anyone who guesses the definition correctly receives two points, while a player receives one point any time someone chose their definition. A new player chooses a word for each round.
Chinese Whispers (also known as Rumours or Broken Telephone) is another fantastic team game. Two teams are lined up so they can not hear each other. An organiser whispers a phrase (such as "Princess Alena sat amongst the broken wreaths and cried stridently") to the first player in each team. The phrase must then be whispered from player to player down the line WITHOUT REPEATING IT. The final player on each team whispers their version of the phrase to the organiser. When both players have told their phrase, the organiser reads them both out, along with the original phrase. It is so much fun to hear how much it changed as it went down the teams.
Family reunions are even more enjoyable with these five fantastic indoor games. Even non-participants can delight in everyone else's fun. Try them for your next family gathering!