Five Fantastic Indoor Games
for Family Reunions

Family reunions can be so much fun! Aunts, uncles, grandparents and babies, long-lost cousins, young and old, getting together as an extended family. But what happens when the weather is just too miserable to enjoy an outdoor reunion? Here are Five Fantastic Indoor Games for Family Reunions.

Table Story is one of our family's favourite indoor parlor games. Everyone sits in a circle. One player starts the story with a few sentences, ending in a way that the next player can continue the story. For example, "Nathan and Luke had pitched their tent and were preparing the evening meal at the camp fire. It had been a hard day's hike and they were tired from their walk. Nathan took out some rice, when he noticed something strange about the boiling water in the billy." The next player may continue the story about camping and hiking, or she may change it to include a princess or a flying saucer, as long as the story makes sense. The story can end after two or three rounds.

A more active indoor game for family reunions is Dumb Crambo. Players are divided into two teams. Team One leaves the room while Team Two chooses a common word that can be mimed. The chosen word should also have at least three other words that can be acted and sound similar to the chosen word. For example, you could choose "drive" which sounds similar to "five", "dive" and "hive". Team Two tells Team One one of the similar words (for example, "hive") and Team Two tries to act out and guess the correct word through mime. Teams cannot say anything during the round, except Team Two may say, "Boo, Hiss", if the mimed word is wrong or, "Hooray", if they guess the correct word. Team One continues playing until they guess the correct word. Teams swap roles each round.

Taps is a fun game for players sitting around a table. Each player puts both hands on the table, one in front of the player on their left and the other in front of the player on their right. This means that each player will have one hand from the player on their left and a hand from the player on their right in front of them. To start of the game, one player taps his left hand on the table while keeping his wrist on the table. The player whose hand is immediately to the left of his hand (which will actually be the second player to his left) must then tap their hand, and so on around the table. It may take a while to get the hang of this, so have a trial run before you play the game properly. A player who does not tap their hand within one second, or who taps the wrong hand, or who moves their hand when it is not their turn must remove their hand from the circle; two hands and you're out. To make the game harder, any player may double tap during their turn, which reverses the direction.

Fractionary is another favourite game for our family. Each player is given a sheet of paper and a pen or pencil. One player chooses an obscure word from a dictionary (such as "Marten") without telling the players the true meaning. He writes the word and definition on his sheet of paper while each of the other players writes the word and a made-up but realistic definition on their sheet of paper. The papers are given anonymously to the first player, who reads them out. Players vote for the definition they think is real. Players who guess the right definition gain two points, while one point is given to a player each time another player chooses their definition. Players take turns choosing a new word each round.

Another fantastic team game is Chinese Whispers (also known as Broken Telephone or Rumours). The two teams line up on opposite sides of the room so they cannot overhear each other. An organiser chooses a phrase and whispers it to the first player in each team, who must whisper it to the next player and so on down the line. The phrase should be said clearly, once, to the next player - it cannot be repeated. The final player on each team then whispers their version of the phrase to the organiser. When both teams have stated their phrase, the organiser reads them both out. Usually the phrase has changed dramatically, and it is so much fun to hear the way it changed as it went down the line.

These five fantastic indoor games for family reunions make any get together so much fun. Even if someone doesn't want to participate themselves, they can enjoy watching everyone else. Try them at your next family gathering!

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