Visiting RelativesAt Thanksgiving, some families visit relatives they haven’t seen in a while. If you’re going to visit or camp with Grandma, Grandpa, aunts, uncles, cousins or other relatives this Thanksgiving (or any other time), understand that it’s normal to feel different emotions.
You might be really excited about seeing your grandparents! Maybe you can’t wait to play with your cousins. Or perhaps this will be the very first time you meet some of your relatives, and you’re feeling ... well, a little bit scared. That’s OK. It’s perfectly natural to wonder how they look, what they’ll say, and whether or not you have anything in common with them.
Just remember this: Your relatives are not weirdo creatures from outer space! They are part of your family. They may live far away, and you may not see them very often, but they care about you very much. And they’re interested in learning more about who you are and what you think.
So relax, have fun, and try these games to get everyone talking. The best time to play is when people are sitting around – like after they’ve had too much turkey and stuffing. Before you and your family leave for your trip, pack game supplies: writing paper (or index cards), several pencils, and a watch with a second hand.
A Few Of My Favorite Things
Start this game by handing out paper (or index cards) and pencils. Have everybody, including you, write down five of their favorite things, but first pick the categories. For example, ask people to list their favorite animal, song, breakfast food, color, and book. Or, have them write down their favorite sport, pizza topping, amusement park ride, cartoon, and ice cream flavor.
When everyone is done writing, collect the papers. Pick one from the stack and read the answers aloud. For example, you can say something like:
'This person likes soccer, pineapple on pizzas, roller coasters, Scooby Doo, and vanilla ice cream. Who is this person?'
Go around the group and ask everybody, one person at a time, to guess who it is. You can guess, too. Nobody is allowed to say his or her own name – that would make the game too easy! After everybody has had a chance to guess, say, 'Will the person who wrote this please stand up?' The mystery person is finally revealed!
Ask a new volunteer to pick a different paper and read the answers aloud. Then have everyone try to guess who this next mystery person is. The more you play, the more you’ll learn about your relatives, and the more they’ll learn about you, too.
Name That Tune
Ask a volunteer to think of a song. It could be something from the radio, a holiday tune, or even a silly song. Checking your watch, give him or her five seconds to sing any part of the song. Then, ask the group to name that tune. If someone guesses, that person becomes the next volunteer. If nobody guesses, then give your volunteer twenty seconds to sing or hum more of the song. If people still don’t recognize the tune, ask the volunteer to name it – and to choose the next singer.
Have fun! When you add music, games, and laughter to a visit with relatives, the time you spend with them becomes even more special.
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