Our family is BIG on family reunions. We have always had them, before I was born, until now, and still going. We have big extended reunions, but we also do our immediate family reunion too. Since I am in charge of the immediate family reunion this year, I thought I would share a few tips and suggestions.
How to Plan a Family Reunion
• If your family is BIG, plan it, put in on the calendar and take as many people as can come. If you try to wait until EVERYONE can come, you might be waiting a long time.
• Plan in advance. I booked a cabin last fall for our family to enjoy this summer. Good places schedule up fast, especially on holiday weekends.
• Be organized. Organize the meals (meal assignments), organize activities, and organize games. Having a plan (but still being flexible) is very helpful.
How to Make Your Family Reunion Fun
1. Activities as a family
Birthday Bash – It has become our tradition to have a big birthday bash at our reunion every year. We celebrate everyones birthday’s at once. We do a gift exchange and enjoy cake and ice cream.
Water games – Whether it is swimming, sliding, water balloons, a lake, a river, or a pool, we seem to always find some water to play in.
Parks – Last year, we found these teeter-totters at a nearby park. Everyone got in on the action and it ended up being one of the highlights of the reunion. We laughed and laughed.
Horse Ride – When we are close to home, we enjoy adding a horse back ride into our activities.
Scavenger Hunt – Work as teams (mixed of both adults and kids) to get to the prize. My favorite activity like this we have done is when Mark and Natalie planned an amazing race. We had to go to certain locations and take pictures (proof we were there!) One of the stops on the amazing race was getting a milkshake and eating it. Tons of fun for everyone.
Family Pictures Video – Several year ago I started making “slide show” type movies to watch at each reunion. I use pictures collected from everyone of all the events within the last year. Most years, after watching the new video, we watch the old ones too! The kids love this. It reminds me of when my dad used to pull out the slides and we would laugh for hours.
Service Projects – Emily planned a service project for our family last year. We all went to a rest home and did some musical numbers for them to enjoy. We played the piano, sang, and played some bells. The old people loved it and hoped we would come back again.
2. Activities for the kids
Story time – Last year, Emily assigned each of us mom’s to tell a story to the kids each night. (About 2 stories per night.) These can be favorite stories, family stories, “when I was young” stories, scripture stories, or made up stories. The kids will love it.
Crafts – My kids love anything to do with paper, scissors, glue, and tape. This year I am thinking about decorating T-shirts.
Boys/Girls time – One year, we had the girls make jewelry while the boys went bowling. Girls love doing crafts, but the boys might enjoy a hike better.
3. Activities for the adults
Game night – After the kids go to bed, us adults love to pull out the games. Sometimes it’s games that we can play all together, and sometimes we have a few games going at once. We grew up playing cards, so that is what we enjoy playing the most. A new favorite is Wackee Six.
Question game – Visiting with each other is fun, but sometimes a few questions help get the ball rolling. Last year, Emily had questions that we all drew out of a hat and had to answer. Some were serious, like where do you see you and your family in the next 5 years? Some were more funny, like what is a funny memory you have from your childhood? I think we could visit all night very easily, if our spouses would let us. 🙂
4. Document your family reunions
Take lots of pictures. My kids love looking back at the things we have done together. It is also fun to note the location, who was in charge, the activities you did, etc…
Planning a family reunion is a lot of work, but the memories that we make with our families will stay with us forever. It will be time well spent, I promise.
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