Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Top 10 Family Reunion Games


3
Family Telephone
The idea behind telephone is to see how much a sentence is distorted as it's whispered from one family member to another.
The idea behind telephone is to see how much a sentence is distorted as it's whispered from one family member to another.
©iStockphoto.com/fabervisum

This is a classic game that many of us played as kids. With a family twist added, it makes a great pastime for a reunion. The game is also known as "Chinese Whispers" or "Broken Telephone." The idea is to see how much a sentence is distorted as it is whispered from one person to another to another. In the family version, a fact about a family member or about the family in general is the message that travels the "telephone."

All those who want to play sit in a circle of chairs. The first person whispers a short one-sentence fact about himself or herself to the next player. Or it could be something odd or interesting about another family member. "I shook hands with the mayor of Buffalo," or "Uncle Stan used to ride a motorcycle."

The person who hears the sentence whispers it to his or her neighbor. The rules say you can only whisper the sentence once. If the person doesn't understand, he or she passes on what he or she thinks you said. The message continues around the circle until it reaches the last person, who says the sentence out loud.

Of course, by the time it reaches the end, the message is usually altered or garbled. The final result can be very funny. "I took a bath there in the buff," or "Uncle Stan sued to find the icicle." The first person then explains what the original message was and maybe tells a story about the fact.

It's an easy game that encourages everyone to participate. It's fun, a great icebreaker, and it helps others learn things about family members.