Got any BIG birthdays or anniversaries coming up in your family? How about adding a trivia game with questions about the honoree/s to the festivities? I'll show you what I've learned.
This past weekend was my sister and brother-in-law's 60th wedding anniversary! What a GREAT event, right? My niece and nephew and their spouses had really pulled off a grand event for their 50th. Their 60th was very special too, but the guest list was more family-oriented this time. I had seen a trivia questionnaire online for a 50th wedding anniversary--I thought that might work for the celebration for my sister's 60th. I considered since it was a more casual affair (with lots of great-grandkids to consider this time), that a trivia game just might work. I checked with my niece and she agreed--she told me to please bring it.
The procedure is pretty straightforward. My sister married in 1958, so I just googled major news events from that year. I also googled such things as the #1 hit of that year, the #1 movie, TV show, etc. I also thought it would be interesting if I asked such questions as "What was Papa's salary in 1958?" Things like that. I let people work in partners and I even let them google if they wanted.
Then add some personal questions about the couple such as....what are your pet names for each other? How did you meet? I gave a copy of the questions to the honored couple for them to fill out as well. Then we could go right to the source to find out the answer to some of those questions that only those two could answer. I let the kids and grandkids work in pairs if they wanted to. It prompted lots of discussion. And they learned some interesting facts about their parents/grandparents that night.
You get the idea. Just come up with questions about news events of the day, pop culture, salary, what car they drove back in the day, questions related specifically to their courtship and wedding. Make it FUN!
And you can see this would work for a milestone birthday (75, 80, 90, 100) or a retirement dinner. And besides being fun, family would really learn a lot about their loved one/s. That's very important too, in the life and traditions of a family.
When I found this online, one family had used it as a Family Feud-type game wherein the attendees tried to match the honorees. Or you can just have the party-goers fill it out, and award prizes to the one/s who got the most answers right. The important thing is just to have fun with it. And learn something about your family elders.
Please share anything you've done to celebrate important family milestones. I love to hear and add it to my repertoire.
Until next week, happy September!
Make your own match game or memory game, and use family pictures! Hours of fun for the little guys!
When my son and his child moved to another city, they were only able to visit 5-6 times a year. I saw a need to make a book or game so my grandson could learn family members and their names when he came to visit here. I ended up making a game, and based it on that old standby, "Memory."
Actually this concept has been around a while. You've seen the little books available in the baby department of retail stores. It's a baby-safe padded book that mom or dad can slip in pictures of family members. Parents can include that book in their nightly story time with baby, and eventually the child learns everyone's names.
Creating the game~
Because my grandson was over two years when he made these trips to our house, I opted for a match game. (Please note: Before he was born, I had made him a book to learn our names--instructions for that one are at the end of this blog.) The instructions for this matching game are pretty straight forward. Print up some pictures of family members, making sure they're fairly small. Walmart can print two images on a 4.6 size which would be perfect for the game. I also found an online site that would do a 2x3 size, also perfect for a memory game. Just know that you will need to print up two pictures of each family member.
I love my Print Shop application on my computer, so I made my own game cards. I just made a template before I started. Then I inserted pictures of family members that were appropriate size and I was set.
Playing the game:
You know the drill. I had 24 cards and you simply spread them out on the table or floor, being sure to mix them up. Then you and the child play the game, turning over two cards at a time hoping for a match. An added plus is that the child can sometimes play by himself. You could mail him one copy, and keep another one at your house to play together. Even after they learn everyone's name, they still get a kick out of playing.
Books, games and videos!
You can apply this same idea in a book, another game or even a video that you send to the grandchild in another city. I saw an idea on Pinterest wherein you use the pictures in an old "Guess Who," game. I just haven't felt that industrious to conquer that one.
But I do feel a book of family members is great. It can be for a new baby, a blended family with new relatives to learn, an adopted child, new grandchild, great-grandchild, or new cousin, niece or nephew. As I stated above, I made one for my youngest grandson and I made it before he was born. I included pictures of his cousins and other family members. It was a book to be read at bedtime (or of course, anytime), and it enabled him to become familiar with family members and family customs.
I'm sharing this idea this summer, because it's a great craft (making the game or book) to do as so many of us are staying inside where it's cool. This is a great creative endeavor to do at this time. Also, many of you are headed out.....going to family reunions. Often your kids and grandkids are seeing family members that they only see once or twice a year. This matching game can help them learn the names of their long-distance cousins!
Happy summer, everyone! Until next time!!
In case you're interested in that "Guess Who" game for family members, here's the website:
I know everyone loves to celebrate the coming of spring and the various springtime holidays. I've listed some of the activities that my grandchildren have enjoyed over the years. Maybe there might be at least one you can add to your repertoire.
I usually have my grands over on Saturday before Easter for a day of fun. My husband and I try to have a number of activities for the kids to do, so that the adults can visit and enjoy the spring weather. Here's our list: (And I added another list on March 28th--see below)
Dyeing eggs. No explanation here. You did it as a kid, and I'm sure you've helped your children and grandchildren dye eggs.
Decorating cookies with a springtime theme. You can get cookie cutters in various fun shapes--eggs, butterflies, and flowers.
Decorating cakes with a bunny burrow theme. If you read my blog, you know I'm all about decorating gingerbread houses at Christmas (or New Year's or Valentine's Day for that matter), so you know I had to do a take-off on that with a springtime theme. Here's our bunny house:
Decorating plastic eggs. That's fun too! Last year as the girls are getting older, and not so much into dyeing eggs, we got together and decorated plastic eggs. Then we put various Bible verses on strips of paper and tucked them inside. We delivered these to a local nursing home going from room to room to deliver and visit with the residents.
More plastic egg decorating. This year we even invested in one of those egg decorating machines. That was very fun and easy for my four-year-old grandson to manage. Unfortunately I just have one photo of him at the helm of the "Eggmazing Egg Decorator", but I'm sure you've seen the commercials. It was a very fun activity and the older grands enjoyed it too.
Lighted Easter eggs! This year we added a new activity--hunting Easter eggs after dark. You simply insert a battery-powered tea light into the largest plastic eggs you can find.
Miscellaneous games we've played over the years. Always fun to add several activities to keep the young grandchildren entertained. One year we had several "stations" the kids could visit. We raided the kids' toy box and retrieved a Matchbox Racing Track for one activity. And we've even been known to go fly a kite after the festivities!
Website for that egg decorator:
Website with more ideas for springtime-themed house decorating for those who long to decorate gingerbread houses in the spring!
Spring is such a great time for family fun at the park or in your own backyard. I know many of you get together then. Please share photos, game suggestions, and favorite family recipes. I always promise to share.
Thanks for reading!
Addendum~ (March 28th)
This week's blog was about "gramping," going camping with your grandchildren. A friend wrote that blog, and it got me searching for other fun games to play when camping. It's spring and I know many of my grandparent friends will be taking their grandkids (and even great grandkids) camping. So here we go:
More games to play when GRAMPING~
o Making coffee and hot chocolate and drinking it.
o Roasting a hot dog
o Telling scary campfire stories
o Catching butterflies
o Playing horseshoes
o Cooking breakfast
o Blowing bubbles
o Putting on insect repellant
o Catching a fish
o Spotting a deer or bear
o Skipping stones on a lake
o Paddling a rowboat
You get the idea. Just think of lots of fun camping activities, write them on slips of paper, and each team draws a slip and acts it out. You can even make it more fun by inserting various animals doing the action. Examples: A bear making coffee or an ant roasting a hot dog and so on. Besides team members trying to guess the action, they would have to guess the animal as well. Sounds fun to me!
I hope you'll go gramping and play lots of outdoor games with your grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and friends. And really, all these games can be played in your own backyard or neighborhood park. Thanks again to my friend Gail for "stirring the pot" and reminding us all of the joys of camping with our families.
I'll end with my favorite camping giggle:
I don't always move to the other side of the campfire, but when I do, the smoke follows me.
Last week's blog was about our family's annual gingerbread decorating competition. There's always time after the decorating to play a few games. These are some of our favorites from previous years:
Wrap Up a Snowman!
One year after we finished decorating the gingerbread houses and cleaned up our mess, we had a race wrapping up a cousin in each family in toilet paper! It's true! The kids along with their parents had to wrap up a kid in their family as a traditional snowman. Alas, I bought cheap bathroom tissue and it kept tearing as they wrapped. I provided hats, toboggans and scarves. But everything else they had to create out of construction paper. It was too fun!
So that everyone would have a turn being decorated, I also had supplies for a reindeer and a Christmas tree. These were wrapped in crepe paper which I found at the craft store. Again, the siblings had to design ornaments out of construction paper and get them taped on the tree.
Another game we love is rollick. I had never played that before, but it's a lot more fun that charades. In fact, it's charades in reverse. Divide in two teams and ONE PERSON on your team guesses and everyone else acts it out. This even works for the little guys who are not reading yet. Just take them aside before the clock starts and tell them the action. For instance, it might be, "Elves making toys in Santa's workshop," or "Decorating and eating Christmas cookies." Once the clock starts, you act it out, but just like in charades, you can't talk!
This is the traditional game of charades, but adapted to a Christmas theme. You can either have each team submit a Christmas movie or a Christmas carol to the other team, or make it easier and get a list of Christmas carols online, print them out, and cut them to size and put in a Christmas tin for drawing. This game is for older kids who can read. But fun nevertheless.
Another favorite and one that our family does in partners--an older cousin or parent/grandparent with a younger cousin, is Christmas Scattergories. It's fun and such a bonding time when you can work together on your answers. I printed up the Scattergories sheet and provided each team of two with the sheet, pencils and a thick magazine on which to write. We just got comfortable on the couches and chairs in the den in front of the fire. If you're not familiar with the game, simply check online for the rules. Someone simply throws the lettered dice, calls out the letter, and all your responses for that game have to start with that letter. You'll also need a timer. As I said, the rules are online, or perhaps you own the packaged version and can use the rule sheet and timer in the box.
Christmas Sock Hop!
This one is not so much a game, but just a good old-fashioned dance. Simply roll up the rug, everyone put on their Christmas socks and dance to "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," and other holiday favorites! This is perfect if your grandkids are toddlers and much too young for the games above.
Along those same lines, you can also ask your young party-goers (once again I'm speaking of older kids for this) to bring a pair of Christmas socks with a $5 gift tucked inside. Then everyone exchanges gifts and puts on their Christmas socks for the rest of the party. Really puts everyone in a festive mood.
Fun Christmas games found online~
All these games I found online and on Pinterest. Sometimes it's nice to read from someone else which ones are successful and kid-tested. I'm thinking some of these are great for an adult party as well--in fact I'm sure of it.
This blog is about activities and traditions for grandparents and their grandkids. I hope you found some today that you might can add to your repertoire. And as I always say, write me games and activities that you've done with your grandkids at Christmas. I'm thinking about adding some "Minute to Win It" games this year. Let me know if you've done any of those. They look so fun!
Websites that might be helpful:
Merry Christmas, happy HOLY days, and a prosperous New Year to you and yours!
Retired school teacher and now full time grandmother sharing ideas and looking for new ones about grandparenting!