When you think of family reunions do you get excited or get a headache? In the next few weeks we’ll be sharing some fun ideas that will help your family bond and keep things from getting boring.
When it comes to family reunion ice breakers, there’s a simple beauty to BINGO. Our Getting-to-Know You BINGO game loosens people up with some gentle competition and helps ease family members into conversations with people they haven’t seen in awhile.
Here’s What You Need:
1. At least 24 people
2. Family Bingo Sheet (FREE PRINTABLE!!)
3. Pencils for everyone
4. Small pieces of paper to write the name of each person playing
5. Hat or bowl to draw the names from
6. Prizes – we love giftcards for popular fast food/restaurants. Or buy some king-sized candy bars if you want to keep it simple (3-5 for your BINGO winners)
How the game goes:
1. As everyone comes in, have them write their name on a little slip of paper and put it into the bucket/bowl/hat that you’ll be drawing from.
2. Everyone playing bingo gets a customizable family bingo sheet. There is only one bingo board-and you only need one bingo board-because everyone will have different names written in those spaces, thus creating a unique board for everyone. If you have a 5-letter last name put that at the top instead of the word BINGO. If your name is longer you can shorten it then add an O. (For example: Mortenson is changed to MORTO.) If your name isn’t going to fit within 5 letters, we have a generic board (that says HOWDY) across the top that will work.
3. Allow 5-10 minutes for your participants to mingle getting family members
signatures on bingo squares that apply to them. (Each square will have a statement. For example: Likes to fish. Then Uncle Dean can sign his name there. Or : Has painted toenails. Your niece Heather can sign that.) You can only use a person’s signature once on your bingo sheet.
4. When everyone has their bingo sheet filled in with different signatures then the game begins. (Tell them to hurry up or your peeps will get bored.)
5. The bingo announcer pulls a name out of the bucket/bowl/hat with all of the names in it and reads it out loud. If a person has that name on their sheet they can put an X on that square (or use M&Ms or Skittles or Cheerios or whatever!!). If they don’t have that name they do nothing (or just moan). Keep drawing names and giving your participants time to see if that name is on their bingo sheet.
6. The game continues until the first person gets BINGO which means they completed a row, column, or diagonal with X’s. That winner is required to call out the name of your family bingo game ( for example-MORTO!) The winner comes to the front and says the statement from their bingo square along with the relative’s name who signed it. ( So, she would say “Likes to fish – Dean) She would do the same for every bingo square she put an X on (this helps your family learn about each other). If everything is accurate the winner gets to pick one of the gift cards.
7. If two people get Bingo at the same time, they both get a prize once their paper is verified. The game continues until you have given all the prizes away.
8. When the game seems to be dragging on too long wrap it up and move on to your next fun activity!
Here’s where you can find the FREE PRINTABLES! We’ve made one that is more suited for a youth activity (removed squares that say things like “is a grandparent”). Enjoy!!
So this one works if your name doesn’t fit within 5 spaces. It’s completely ready to go! Find the FREE PRINTABLE here.
This is the more generic board that will work perfectly for youth groups. Find the FREE PRINTABLE here.
Have a great time! And be sure to check back next week for more Family Reunion planning tips and games!