The Time is Right


I used to watch a game show called “the Price is Right” at lunch at the pizzeria across the street from my high school. It seemed like a fun game, but I’m still not sure how the contestants remembered those prices so well. The Time is Right is similar in that you have to guess a number, but we will focus on what year something occurred.

This game is great for family reunions or reminding the hubby how long you’ve been married. It can also work well as a test game for memorizing dates from history. Either way, everyone will learn something new. It’s up to you how you use it.

Materials Needed:

  1. master sheet of questions
  2. computer
  3. scanner
  4. an easy to use program to make a slide show
  5. a game prize
  6. a screen with a projector so that everyone can see
  7. OR a large computer screen
  8. OR a mechanism to hook up your computer to a large TV screen


Create a Spread sheet with either 2 columns or 3 columns. The 2 column version will have one column labeled event and a second labeled when. A question in this set up will look like: EVENT Danny and Sandy got married WHEN 1978. The three column version is better for balancing how many event questions you have per person. It will be split up into who, what, and when. A sample would look like: WHO Danny and Sandy WHAT got married WHEN 1978.

Here are some sample questions you can fill out:

  1. birth
  2. got married
  3. graduated high school
  4. graduated college
  5. went to some location on vacation
  6. death (usually best done for a long gone relative as a challenge question)
  7. lost first tooth
  8. was pronounced cancer free
  9. moved to a new city
  10. bought a midlife crisis vehicle
  11. started own business
  12. immigration into a country
  13. become a citizen of that country
  14. bar or bat mitzvah
  15. christening
  16. year 2 people met
  17. pet joined family
  18. first car
  19. broke a bone
  20. certain haircut

Because you know all of these things, you will have to be the game host. If you don’t remember a lot of things about your family members and neither their Facebook photos nor your albums at home have the answer, please call them. Let them know in advance about the game and have them help.

The next thing to think about is how you want to divide up the teams. You can have each family be a team, pair one child with one adult to create a team, or have teams of kids against teams of adults.The last idea has its obvious problems. You know your family best.

There are 2 different ways to have the team reply. You can give each time a blackboard and chalk or a white board with dry erase markers and have them write down the year. The other way to play is to have each team decide on a buzzer sound from someone’s set of ringtones and alert messages. Hear each team’s buzzer before you play the game. They will buzz in, you will acknowledge the buzz, and then they will say the answer.

Each correct answer should give a team 1 point. Tally up all of the points at the end of each round or entire game. The winning team should get a prize of some sort.

The game usually consists of mini games, so I recommend breaking the questions up into mini games. All of these require an easily controlled software that can make a plain slideshow. Use non-iconic photos for the game. If you have to use photos that have an automatic date stamp, you should take care to black out the image of the time. Make a heading section for each game on your slide show.Take a look at game options:

Missing Person


Scan 5-10 photos of family into your computer. Upload these photos into photoshop or Microsoft paint. Use the circle or oval tool to drag a giant, black oval over your loved ones faces to completely cover them. This shouldn’t take any skill. Worse comes to worse, ask your child to help you out. Save these pictures as missingperson01 , missingperson02, missingperson03, etc. For this game, you’ll instruct the players to guess when this photo was taken. It’ll be relatively hard to tell who the family members are, so it’ll be a challenge to place them in a specific year. More well known photos should be used for this such as wedding photos.

Contestants must only answer what year the photo was taken.

Say What?

This game requires 5-10 old polaroid photos or photos that have something written in the back of them. Make sure that the dates are all blacked out.Who knows what we were thinking when we took these photos and wrote the captions on them. We’re not quiet sure what grandma hoped to record when she wrote down “we saw london, we saw france, we see Mickey’s underpants.” Only a special few will remember when she went to Las Vegas with her best friend 2 years ago.

For this game, you may only tell the contestants who wrote the comment and the context (such as saying Las Vegas) as long as it doesn’t give away the date. The players must guess the date in order to win.

Been There, Wrote That

Our penmanship as toddlers and elementary school kids is usually hard to read between the backwards ‘p’s, the misspellings, and those letters that looked as though they were being formed when an Earthquake hit. Use 5-10 of your children (and their cousins’) old art work of events and school journal entries with the dates blocked out as questions. Scan them into the computer or take a photo of them on a smart phone to upload. Name the files beenthere01, beenthere02, etc. Your child may have written ‘today my baby brother was born’, but he might not remember what his old hand writing looks like.

Contestants must correctly answer who wrote it and what year.

Save the Date

Your parents may have been married so long that they don’t remember when exactly or where exactly they got married. For this game, you’ll need 5-10 images of locations that you got off of Google to illustrate your statements. For instance, don’t use that photo of grandma and grandpa running out of the church together to start their lives. You should instead use that photo you got off the internet.

You’ll say the event: grandma and grandpa got married here. The contestants will have to guess the year.

Now and Then

Things change. The first house your parents bought was cute in all of your baby photos. Where is it now? Is it a renovated home with a new paint job, two editions, and a lighthouse in the front yard or has it been paved over to create a highway? For this game you’ll need 5-10 photos of something in the past and 5-10 image of what it looks like today.

When you ask a question, show the image of what it looks like today. When someone gives the correct year of the event, then you can switch to the old image. When asking the question, you should say the full event such as “Uncle Jim lost his first tooth in the yard and we couldn’t find it.”


Pets are our best friends, but we don’t always remember their events such as the year they were born, were brought into our families, won the local dog trick competition, or died. Use 5-10 photos of you and your family members’ pets with these sorts of the questions.

You may move onto the next photo when the contestants guess the correct year the event you described happened.

At This Point in Time

This game will be good for people who know world or U.S. history better than their own family history. Get 5-10 images that happened in the same year as a family member’s event. For instance, get a picture of Sputnik if great cousin Lewis was born in the same year that Sputnik was launched.

You will say the events’ name and the family member’s event. The contestants have to guess the year.

That Hair

We all make hair mistakes. Maybe they were in at one point, but most of the family wants to forget the year that your husband thought that mullets were cool. You should have 5-1o photos with different haircuts on your family members and 5-10 photos of strangers with that haircut. Show the photos of the strangers first and the family photo as a reward for guessing the year.

Just say the family member’s name and the style of hair or haircut. Don’t be mean about it. The winner should guess the year.

Ticket to Ride

We all buy different types of vehicles: cars, boats, bikes, and scooters. We may not remember what year we bought them. Use 5-10 photos of different vehicles family members have purchased over the years that you got off the internet so that they look shiny and new. Have them guess the year that Aunt Pam bought that 2008 Camry. Not many people may remember that she got it in 2009.

Say what item’s official title is and who bought it. Leave the guests to guess when.


If you played this game and had fun, please let us know in the comments!


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