Sharing family history: Playing games your ancestors might have at family reunions
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Are you planning or getting ready to attend a family reunion but not sure what you are going to do? There is nothing like learning to play games your ancestors enjoyed with neighborhood friends. The following are a few games that are fun and easily engage family members during reunions. For example:
Teach and engage with family members games they played when they were children.
Equipment needed: One sack per participant.
How to play: The old standard get in a sack and hop to the finish line.Three-legged race
Equipment needed: Some short pieces of rope.
How to play: Divide up into teams of two. Tie the right leg of one teammate to the left leg of the other teammate. Now try to run the race. Hopefully they’ll gradually get in sync and it won’t be quite as hard to make it there.
Variation: Tie five people together and see what happens. Keep moving the numbers up until you have all the kids on two teams, all tied together.Egg toss
Equipment needed: One raw egg for each team.
How to play: Divide up into teams of two. Have them stand, facing each other, two or three feet apart. Pass out the eggs, one to each team. Have the player with the egg throw it to his teammate. After the toss, every team with an unbroken egg is still in the game. Have each team member take one giant step backwards (away from his teammate) and toss the egg again. Repeat this until only one team has an unbroken egg.
Variation: You can also use water balloons, though it isn’t as funny when it breaks.Tug of war
Equipment needed: Strong, thick rope (not nylon, which can stretch and break).
How to play: Divide the group into two teams (try to make them even by total size, not necessarily by numbers). On the mark, each team tries to pull the other across a line — a small creek, mud hole or the stream of water created by a hose.
Variation: One branch of the family against the other, male against female, etc.Red light, green light
How to play: Choose one person to be the stoplight. Everyone else is a car. The stoplight stands at the finish line with his or her back toward the starting line. Everyone else lines up. The stoplight calls, "Green light!" At this signal, everyone races toward the stoplight. The stoplight can shout "Red light" at any time, and then turn around quickly to see if he or she can catch any of the cars still moving. If the stoplight sees someone still moving, that person must go back to the starting line and start over. Whoever gets to and tags the stoplight first gets to be the stoplight for the next round.
Variation: Have two stoplights standing up there. Then the cars have to watch both.Red Rover
How to play: Divide everyone into two large groups. Each group lines up, joining hands and facing the other group. One group shouts in unison, "Red Rover, Red Rover, send Johnny right over." Whoever’s name is called (in the place of "Johnny") has to run toward the group and try to break through the line between two people by breaking their hand grips (or perhaps through their arms). If he successfully breaks through, he can take one of the other team’s players back to his group. If he fails to break through, he must join the other team.Capture the flag
Equipment needed: A very large area in which to play, two rags that serve as flags, and a middle boundary.
How to play: You break into two teams and set the sides. Both teams hide their flag. Then you break and go across the center, trying to steal the other team’s flag and make it back to your home area without getting tagged. If you get tagged, you’re caught and go to the other team’s prison. The only way to get out of prison is for someone on your team (who isn't also in prison) to touch you in jail. Then you can run free (be careful, you can get recaptured if you get tagged on the opponent's side of the field again). First team to get the other’s flag and bring it across the boundary line wins.Kick the can
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