10 Enjoyable Things to Do at Family Gatherings

10 Ideas for building bonds, deepening connections, and influencing the members of your family

Written by

Deborah Haddix

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Gathering matters.

Last week we considered the importance of family gatherings and the special space that “gathering” creates. In this space, we have the privilege of building bonds, deepening connections, and influencing the member of our family – across generations.

But these important and crucial benefits will only occur when we are intentional to involve our family in togetherness.

Things to Do Together

Play Games

Mix it up to keep things fresh and interesting. Pull out the store-bought board and card games, make up your own games, or go outside.

Store-bought:

Apples to Apples, Scattergories, Pictionary, Telestrations, Uno

Made Up:

Who Am I? – On stickers or post-it notes, write out names of famous people or family members (one per sticker). Each person selects one and places it on their forehead without looking at it first. Now have fun trying to figure out who you are by asking questions of other family members.

Alphabet Train – Choose a category (flowers, famous places, animals, etc.) and decide who is going first. The first player names an item that fits the category. Keeping with the category, the next player must name something that begins with the last letter of the previously named item. (Ex: First item named is DOG, the next player must name an animal that begins with the letter G.)

Telephone – A classic. One member of the family thinks of a phrase or sentence and whispers it into the next person’s ear. This continues until everyone present has “heard” the message. The final person to hear it, repeats it aloud to the family to see how close it now is to the original.

Guess Who – Give everyone an index card or sheet of paper. Ask them write down 3-5 facts about themselves. Then collect the cards and mix them up. Pull out and read one card at a time to see if others can guess the family member. (This can be done in one sitting or spread out over the duration of your gathering.)

Would You Rather? – Pose “Would you rather….?” questions for some fun and insight. Books of these questions can be purchased if you have trouble coming up with your own.

Higgledy Piggledy – Choose who will begin the game. That person must think of a rhyming pair of words and then using only synonyms, give clues to the words. For example, if the secret phrase is “lovey dovey,” the clue might be “infatuated bird of peace.”

20 Questions – One person thinks of something that can be classified as a person, place, or thing. Member of the family try to guess the item using only “yes” or “no” questions. They must guess the item in 20 questions or less.

I Spy – Another classic. The first person starts by saying, “I spy with my little eye, something…”, and adds the color of the thing he is looking at. Everyone tries to guess what the person is looking at.

Outdoor:

baseball, kickball, soccer, tag, croquet, four-square, hide and seek

Create Stories


One person starts a story with a one-line opening. Each family member then adds a sentence to the story until everyone has participated.


Celebrate Theme Days

Go crazy and celebrate things your family enjoys. For example: knock-knock joke day, ice cream day, silly day, or superhero day. If you have trouble thinking up days to celebrate, try searching a site like National Day Calendar.

More Ideas of Things to Do Together

Hold a Scavenger Hunt

Visit an Amusement Park

Go Swimming or Play in the Water

Hold Your Own Cupcake War (or similar family war)

Enjoy a Family Picnic

Host Your Own Grandparent Camp (or Cousin Camp)

Plan a Family Vacation or Reunion


Connect: Passing the Faith is a resource for Christian grandparents who are seeking practical ideas for building strong relationships with their grandchildren. The book is filled with pages of ideas, tips, and more.

Available on Amazon.com.

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About the Author

Deborah Haddix

I am a child of God, wife, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, niece, and friend who loves nothing better than spending time with those I love.

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