Family gatherings can be loads of fun for everyone. If it’s been a long time since the last gathering, family members will appreciate the opportunity to catch up on the latest family news. But even if the latest gathering was more recent, another gathering allows family members to strengthen the family bonds by spending more time with each other. Games can play a large role in these gatherings and help to strengthen those bonds.
Active games are great for children who feel cooped up and need to spend time outside. These games also provide a way to get exercise. Older family members may feel the urge to participate–the more, the merrier. Some active games to play at family gatherings include the egg toss game, in which people pair off and throw an egg back and forth at increasingly farther distances. If the egg breaks, that couple is out. The last couple standing with a whole egg wins. A sack race is another active game, and it offers an opportunity for everyone to watch and get a good laugh. A three-legged race is another fun game for a family gathering. Two active games for younger children–although older kids can certainly have fun with them–are Duck, Duck, Goose and Hide and Seek.
Indoor games can be played by older family members while the children are outside, burning energy. Indoor card games like rummy, hearts, spades and bridge have the added bonus of giving players plenty of free time to chat and catch up on old times. Board games will work well when the family gatherings are small. For large gatherings, board games can limit the number of players; some at the gathering may feel left out. Other board games, like chess, checkers and backgammon, are are popular.
A few traditional favorites may also be played at family gatherings. Charades is a game that helps break the ice and bring family members closer together. It is a game that also allows gathering planners to turn off those television sets, which can work to isolate some family members, who prefer to remain glued in front of the tube. Another favorite is an outdoor game, croquet. For family members to play croquet, the weather will have to cooperate, but it offers a mix of providing some activity and exercise while being slow enough to allow family members to chat and catch up on family news.