Thursday, September 8, 2011

Family Memories Board Game

I mentioned waaaay back in December that I made a Family Memories game for Hubs' cousins Christmas gift swap. I got the idea from here, and THEY got the idea from Family Fun, who provided a convenient cheat sheet PDF here. Admittedly, assembling this took a fair amount of time, and I put myself in a pinch by not really starting it until a week before Christmas or so. (oops.)

If you want to do this for Christmas, I'd suggest getting started now - compiling family trivia for questions and looking for the parts. Since I'm a tightwad, nearly EVERY piece was thrifted, purchased on clearance, or pulled from my random stash. Let me show you what mine looked like:

First, instead of calling the game "Memory Lane", I went with [our last name]~ville. It's kind of a joke, because our extended family has lived more or less in the same area for a hundred plus years, and it's referred to as a "suburb" of our very small town. And it's called just that - [our last name]ville.

I didn't have a whole lot in the way of old pictures scanned, but thankfully I was able to get my hands on enough to cover the box. I used a few duplicates under the name area, where it didn't really matter.

For the game board, I used some of Family Fun's suggestions, and just did what worked for me otherwise. I used some pretty blue paper that I had several sheets of on hand, and if I remember correctly, I think I used mod podge to stick it down. I also measured my board and calculated how big the each space should be so they fit well, and the corners are bigger than the rest.

I really liked the "pick a card" since it meant asking family trivia questions, so I put on five of those. As an afterthought, the Start space seemed a little lonely, so I made that "pick a card" too. I wasn't crazy about the "swipe" spot, where you steal a treasure from an opponent, but I put three of them on there anyway. "Score" spots were just picking a treasure. (See treasures below, by the way.)

If a player lands on a picture space, they are to share a memory of that. There is one space for each of the four brothers and one sister (and their spouses) in my father-in-law's family, and one space for Hubs's grandparents. Other spaces include the school in our small town where all of hubs' uncles and aunt and Hubs and most of his cousins attended plus a space for the school in the nearby town where they graduated; livestock (a cow and a pig), the city name signs from the two nearby big towns, a space for dogs, cats, & chickens; a space for the nearby town where they all went to high school; a space for farming & harvest; a space for holidays; and a space for the church where most of the family was baptized and attended. (I know it's a lotta spaces. whew.)

I provided a notebook and pen to jot down any stories or details that came about as a result of playing the game. For the trivia cards, I used business cards (I think?) and printed them out, including several blank cards to fill out as new stories came to light.

Trivia questions included tidbits such as:
Who was born in a sod house?
How did Great-Grandpa lose his leg?
How many times was the {small town} Bank robbed?
In what year were (each aunt & uncle and grandma & grandpa) married?
What is the age gap between (oldest grandchild) and (youngest grandchild)?
Name at least four of Grandpa's horses.
Who was the first (last name) to graduate from (small town) high school? (a trick question - no one with our last name actually graduated from the school. Either they didn't graduate, graduated before they married into the family, or graduated from another school.)

Aaand finally, the treasurers. I chose an ear of corn (prosperity), a cross (faith), an apple (health), a bell (security), a heart (love & family), and a dove (hope). These items and their meanings were partially chosen based on the items I had on hand. :>) I happened to have some tins to hold the items, so I put labels on them. I let Goose paint the treasures for me, by the way.

I kind of tried uploading the directions to a Google doc, but then figured since they were rather short, it was just as easy to paste them in here. Just know that they were prettied up for the actual game!
{NAME}~VILLE … a walk down Memory Lane

Object of the game: To be the first player to collect all six treasures and make it Home.

Setup: Each player chooses a game piece, and places it at Start. Shuffle the cards and place them face down on the board. Set the treasures off to the side. The oldest player goes first and play proceeds clockwise around the board.

How to play: Each player rolls the die on his or her turn and moves around the board. When you land on a space, follow the instructions.
Picture spaces – share a memory or fact about the people, location, etc. involved. For example, if you land on Grandma and Grandpa, you can either share a memory about one or both of them (it doesn’t even have to involve you), or a memory involving their house or yard.
Pick a card – take the top card from the pile and have another player read the question aloud. If you answer the question correctly, you may pick a treasure.
Score! – pick a treasure.
Swipe! – take a treasure from an opponent.
Start – if you land on Start during the game, pick a card. If you answer the question correctly, you may pick a treasure.

Once you have collected all six treasures, you can make your way towards turning up the path to Home. If someone swipes one of your treasures before you make it Home, you must go back down and continue around the board until your collection is again complete.

The first player to roll the exact number to land on Home wins the game. (Doesn’t everybody win with sharing all the memories, though?)

Blank cards are provided to add more trivia questions, and a notebook is also provided to record random details and memories. Players may also make notes directly on the trivia cards… especially if the answer is incorrect!

Game assembled by Lenetta [name] for the cousin gift swap, Christmas 2010. Treasures were painted by Goose, age 3. Many thanks to Grandma [name], [and other names], and others for helping compile trivia questions.
Let me know if you have any questions in making your own! I'll be linking up at Skip to My Lou and Life as Mom.


Anonymous said...

That is about the coolest game I have ever seen. You put a ton of work into it and it would be wonderful to have to play at family getherings. You ROCK!!!!

Lenetta said...

Thanks, Mom. :>)

Luanne said...

What a great idea!!

Abbi said...

This is very fun! My mind is whirring right now trying to figure out what sort of theme would be fun to make. I am so glad you got it posted.

Marci said...

I loved seeing your version of Family Fun's board game! If your interested in seeing my version, you can take a look here:

Lenetta said...

Marci, I can't comment on your blog, but you did a great job! How fun!