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Family History Photo Swap

You had no idea that your grandfather played baseball when he was a teenager. The photo swap activity will help you learn a lot about your family.

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Of all the activities in this story, the family history photo swap takes the most preparation. The payoff, however, is tremendous for everyone involved. You'll learn many new details about your family in just a few hours, and the pictures add a visual impact that makes this game especially unforgettable.

In the weeks before the reunion, contact family members and ask them to gather up family pictures, both new and old. The pictures can be of relations, snapshots of homes or other special family locations. Have everyone label the back of the pictures with a pencil or sticker so that they can retrieve these once the reunion ends.

At the beginning of the reunion, affix sticky-note tabs to each image, along with a number; each picture receives a unique number. Then scatter the pictures randomly across several large tables.

Each player looks at the pictures. They guess the location or the person and write the number on the picture next to their notes.

Once everyone has made his or her guesses, picture owners gather their images. They then take turns presenting the images to the group, sharing the name of the person or the location in the picture, telling extra background details for fun. The winner of the game is the person who logged the most correct matches.

This game is low on competitiveness and won't appeal to younger children. However, it sparks great storytelling and lets each family member share a part of their lives unfamiliar to other relatives.

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