Olympic Crossword Puzzle

Check out this fun Olympic themed crossword taken from the pages of our Olympic themed family reunion and party.
http://familyreunionhelper.com/products/products.php…

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The Ultimate Guide For Choosing a Family Reunion Theme

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Excite family members by using a reunion theme!

Are you looking for a way to excite family members and stir up interest about your next family reunion? Choosing a reunion theme is a great way to build excitement for upcoming and make it more likely family members will want to attend. clip_image004

A reunion invitation that invites you to a “Prehistoric” reunion for Brontosaurs burgers and a dinosaur egg hunt is more interesting than an invitation that invites you to a family reunion at “the park” for hamburgers.

A reunion theme helps to drive your reunion and with a little imagination food, games, activities, invitations and just about every other aspect of the reunion becomes a memorable event.

 

clip_image006Themes are inexpensive to implement and can inspire the creative side of many members in your family. Ask for their theme ideas, brainstorm and see what they come up with. Our best family reunion themes have come from brainstorming about themes. When a “Caveman”, Mafia and Oz theme were suggested in one of our brainstorming sessions I was kind of worried about what we would do but those themes are some of our favorites and have left us with some amazing reunion memories. Below are just a few family reunion themes that you may want to consider for your next family event.

All- Sport or Olympic Themed Reunion

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Get away from a boring sit around and just visit family reunion and jump into some action-packed fun with an All-sport or Olympic themed family reunion.

Activities- Soccer, volleyball, “whiffle” ball, Whacky miniature golf. Hold a cheerleader camp for the girls in your family and a sports camp for the boys. Go bowling or hold a family 5K. Give a family reunion MVP award.  For fun variations of these favorite sports- whiffle ball, soccer, bowling, swimming and volleyball plus lots of great ideas for your sports themed reunion.

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Food- Smoothies, “Breakfast of Champions” or “Long Jump” lunch hoagies.

Wear– Favorite team jerseys and t-shirt. Make a family t-shirt fashioned after a sports jersey.

Decorations: Pom, poms, pennants, sports balls, sports posters and plastic tablecloths.

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Olympic Reunion
Family History or Family Heritage Reunion

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If your family reunion is held near where the family originated, then schedule a trip to the old family homestead, church or cemetery. You can use this as an opportunity to share family memories, or go a step further and recruit the clan to clean up the ancestral cemetery plots or research the family in old church records. Hold your reunion at the family home if available or in the town where one of your ancestors were born, raised, married or buried. You can find more Family History ideas for your family reunion at wwwfamilyreunionhelper.com.

Food – Use an ancestor’s home country as theme for your meals. Use recipes from that county and set tables with a centerpiece of memorabilia and a picture of your ancestor. If your people come from Italy, serve a spaghetti dinner, from Mexico, serve tacos, enchiladas or tamales. Box lunches are a fun idea to share an old-time tradition.

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At our Family Heritage reunion, the girls in the family designed and decorated shoe boxes at home. We provided sandwich fixin’s, individual chip packages, fruit snacks and drink boxes along with cookies for dessert. The girls made lunches for two and put them in their box. We gave each box a number and the guys in the family each drew a number out of hat to determine which lunch they got to eat and which girl they ate lunch with. In a few instances, we had more girls than guys and so doubled up.

Activities – Play “classic” games at your reunion such as “3-legged race, gunny sack race, Annie I Over. Create a huge wall chart of your family so everyone can see how they are related. Take “old-time” photos and have everyone dress up. Make a family “time capsule”.

Dress – In the ethnic costume of your ancestors.

Ancestor Coloring Book- Making a heritage-coloring book about one of your ancestors is clip_image022a monumental task but it’s a wonderful way to make family history come alive for the little ones in your family. If you have an artist in the family, then designing a coloring book will be much easier for you. If you don’t have a talented artist in the family a great resource is http://store.doverpublications.com/by- subject-coloring-books.html.

 Family Heritage Reunion

Sun, Sand and Surf Reunion Theme

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If your reunion is in the summertime then it’s the perfect time for a Sun, Sand & Surf family reunion theme. Merge your beach reunion ideas with your Hawaiian reunion ideas for double the fun.

Invitations: Consider sending “Message in a Bottle” invitations to encourage family members to attend your family reunion or write out your reunion invitation on a beach ball with a permanent marker.

Activities: Sand candles and castles, sand art, volleyball variations and swimming pool games.

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Aquatic Obstacle Course: Use sprinklers, Slip-N-Slides, baby pools, limbo sticks and hula hoops to create an obstacle course for wet and wild reunion fun!

Food: Sub sandwiches, fruit trays, shish kabobs, fruit kabobs, gold fish crackers.

Decorations are easy for a beach themed family reunion. Use beach umbrellas, Beach towels, Beach balls, Paper party lanterns, Paper Palm trees and party lights on a string. travel posters, flowers, straw skirt table. Don’t forget to use pink flamingos in your decorating and be sure to include music from the Beach Boys to round out your reunion theme.

Beach Reunion

Wedding Anniversary or Significant Birthday Family Reunion Theme

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Planning a family reunion around an important wedding anniversary or milestone birthday makes for an easy but memorable family reunion.

Invitation – Put two photos of the honored couple on the invitation: their original wedding photo and a current photo.

Food – Finger foods and a “wedding” cake.

Activities- “When You Were My Age” A Celebration of Life’s Memorable Moments. This is such a fun program, fashioned after a Bill Cosby Show episode and was called, “When Mom Was my Age.” We have done variations of the program for 70th and 80th birthdays and 50th wedding anniversaries. Each time we do “When You Were My Age” everyone is a good sport and excited to be a part of the celebration. Everyone has a part on the program and an opportunity to highlight world events and significant family happenings throughout the life of your loved one. Download the “When You Were My Age” from Family Reunion Helper or write a “This Is Your Life” program for your reunion celebration.

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Decorations –Photos and other various memorabilia of the couple’s life together.

When You Were My Age

Three Ring Circus and Carnival Reunion Theme

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Begin your reunion with a circus parade and invite everyone to dress in fun costumes and march around your reunion site.

Food –Circus food- corn dogs, cotton candy and popcorn.

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Activities – As your family arrives, have then guess how many circus animal cookies or peanuts are in a jar. The person who guesses closest to the actual number wins the jar full of treats. Have a carnival. Assign 6- 10 family members a carnival booth. Children earn prizes at each booth. Face painting, fishing booth, fortune teller, Plinko, Dart Throw etc. Consider renting a bounce house for the little ones in your family. For more ideas check out the family reunion “circus” theme at www.familyreunionhelpercom/

Decorations – Balloons, tents and circus animal cutouts.

Circus Reunion

There’s no place like home- Wizard of Oz Theme inspired theme

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Oz Themed Activities

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Design an obstacle course depicting famous scenes from the movie. Run through a tissue paper poppy field, jump over bale of straw etc. Make bottle tornados and make a yellow brick road out of scrap lumber. Plan an activity that represents each Oz character such as paper plate lions, red glitter shoes and

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Decorations- Make flying monkeys from black poster board and hang around your reunion location. Use rainbow colored tablecloths (one color per table).

Food- “Ding Dong” the witch is dead Ding Dong cakes, rainbow lollypops, Lions, Tigers and Bears animal crackers and melted witch treats.

 

There's No Place Like Home

Western Themed Reunion


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Western Reunion Themed Activities

Make ponies from dollar store pool noodles and have a pool noodle rodeo. Shoot at targets with rubber band guns or pvc pipe bow and arrows. Make a family totem pole or try some line dance.

clip_image056Food- Call the food you serve” vittles”. Have a chili cook off., have a Texas Straw Hat food bar or serve barbeque, spareribs or grilled hamburgers. Use tin pie plates, mason jars with handles and lots of bandanas.

clip_image058Decorations- Put up a large ranch sign at the party entrance. Print off some wanted posters. To make it more fun, get hold of some photos of the guests and put them on the posters. Place some paper or real horseshoes on the path leading to the party entrance. Create a teepee out of a large sheet and some wooden dowels. Create a large cactus out of a cardboard box or even buy some inflatable ones. Cover the party food table in a red and white checkered cloth and hang up a sign saying “SALOON”.

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Western Family Reunion

Candy Bar Game

How well do you know your chocolate bars?

How well do you know your chocolate candy bar game

Whether you are in  charge of planning a  party for family, friends,  co-workers or you church, here’s a fun printable with a twist.   Instead of identifying candy bars by their name or wrapper you try and recognize your favorite bars by how they look on the inside. You can download a printable copy of the game below.

Answer Key

  1. Snickers
  2. Butterfinger
  3. Baby Ruth
  4. Milky Way
  5. PayDay
  6. Whatchamacallit
  7. 3 Musketeers
  8. 5th Avenue
  9. Almond Joy
  10. 100 Grand

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Although the candy bar game printable is lots of fun you can take your party to a whole new level by letting you guest actually EAT the candy bars. 
 
Divide the group into teams. In advance,  cut several well known  candy  bars into bite sized pieces. The object of this candy bar game is for the blindfolded person to guess the name of the candy bar by taste alone. No peeking and no hints allowed!  Each player only gets one guess so give them a little time to come up with the correct answer.  If the blindfolded player guesses the candy bar correctly, their team gets a point. The team with the most points at the end of the game is the winner. And what do you give as  prizes- why candy bars!

New Years Man- A Family Tradition

You’ve probably never heard of the  New Years Man but it’s a family tradition that has  been part of our family for generations.New Years Man

At midnight on New Year’s Eve, it’s customary in Spain to quickly eat 12 grapes, one at each stroke of the clock. Each grape supposedly signifies good luck for one month of the coming year.  People around the world celebrate the  coming of the new year in many different ways but our families’ New Years tradition is one you’ve probably never heard of.

Every New Years Eve, if we have cleaned our rooms and put away our Christmas gifts, the “New Years Man” will  stop at our house and leave one last holiday gift.   I have no idea how the New Years Man tradition in  my family but it’s a tradition that goes back many generations. 

My Mom  remembers- “On  New Years Eve,  at bedtime we would make a “nest” out of our clothes.  While we were sleeping the New Years man would come and put goodies in our nest—It was always something to eat, candy, fruit etc.  Not toys.  Never a lot but we could tell he had been there “checking ” up on us. We  thought it was fun!” 

The tradition continued when  I was a child.  My parents used the New Years Man as a bribe to motivate us to clean up and put our Christmas things away. 

The New Years Man tradition has evolved to him bringing a small toy, treat or book etc. on New Years Eve for every girl  or boy that has put away their Christmas presents and cleaned their room so that it is spotless.  On New Years Eve we write our names on  a paper plate and if our rooms are clean the New Years Man will leave us a special prize.

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I don’t know what the  New Years Man looks like and I don’t know where he comes from but  I  do know that as a child I was extremely motivated to get my room cleaned and my Christmas gifts put away so that the  New Years man would leave me one more gift for the season.  I’m  sure that having the  house  clean  and orderly for the first day of the new year was well the effort  for my parents.

Cute Christmas Treats for Your Family Party

Perfect Treats for Your Family Christmas Party

Simple to make and delicious to eat!

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These cute reindeer and snowman  stole the show at our family Christmas party last year.  They are simple to make and delicious to eat. You can make them  yourself or use these goodies as an ice breaker activity when your family first arrives at the party.

The Snowmen are easy to make using Hostess Sno balls.  Just keep your eyes open for them because they seem to only be available at certain  times of the year.

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Use a little white frosting to glue an orange candy like an M&M or Skittle or Sixlet to the Sno Ball. You can also just do a dab of orange frosting. Use black frosting gel in a tube to make the eyes. Cut a paper straw in half and press it inside of the Sno Ball.

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Reindeer

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Making the reindeer are a little more complicated though once I figured out the process,even my little grandchildren were able to make their own reindeer.

LITTLE DEBBIE SNACK SWISS ROLLS CHOCOLATE & CREME 12 CT

Purchase a package of Little Debbie’s Swiss Rolls.

First you will need  to cut two small slits on each side of the Swiss Roll and gently place one pretzel on each side. 

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Put a dab of white frosting where you want the eyes to go and  carefully press the point side of two white chocolate chips into the Swiss Rolls to make the eyes. Use black gel to make the dots for the eyes.

Put a dab of white frosting to glue a red M&M nose below the eyes. Cut a paper straw in half and press it inside of the Swiss Roll.

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HINT: Be very careful when placing the antlers and the eyes.  If you push to hard your reindeer may look  like this…

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Black Friday-ish Family Reunion Sale

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Never happened before and may never happen again- it’s a family reunion “Black Friday” sale! This year Family Reunion Helper is giving you a jump start on your 2018 family reunion. Buy one family reunion and get one family reunion theme package for free.

Purchase any of our family reunion theme packages through our website store- www.familyreunionhelper.com. When your purchase is complete send an email to auntmo@familyreunionhelper.com with the name of the reunion theme you’d like for FREE and Aunt Mo will email your free reunion theme package to you within 24 hours.

This offer is good today through midnight (mst) November 25, 2017.

Thanksgiving Jeopardy

Looking for a fun game to play  with your family between Thanksgiving dinner and the Pumpkin  Pie?

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Our family tested our knowledge of Thanksgiving traditions and history at our family dinner last Thanksgiving. I came up with the questions and printed them  off on half sheet papers.  We followed basic TV Jeopardy rules and adapted as necessary for our situation.An example of answers and questions  for the “First Thanksgiving” topic are as follows:

First Thanksgiving Answer Key
100: When was the first thanksgiving? 1621
200: The president who made Thanksgiving a national holiday? Abraham Lincoln
300: How long did Thanksgiving last? 3 Days
400: How many people where at the first thanksgiving? 140
500: What Indian Tribe? Wampanoag

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You can download a pdf file of the Jeopardy game we used by clicking on the link  below.  It’s ready to print with 1/2 sheet question cards and a list of answers.  Heading cards are on a half sheet and feature the graphics shown in the photo above.  Take a quick look at the questions before printing and make sure they are still applicable.  Happy Thanksgiving!

FREE Thanksgiving Jeopardy printable

Family Thanksgiving Turkey Trot

Start a new Thanksgiving tradition this year with a family 5K.

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I ran  into an  awesome young man at our local 5K fun run in July.  It was his Turkey Trot  shirt that caught my eye and I had a fun time talking to him about this fun family tradition.

Every Thanksgiving, this family hosts a 5K race for all visiting family members and friends. All that want to  participate, bring their running or walking shoes and burn off all those weighty Thanksgiving dinner calories before the turkey even comes  out of the oven.

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What a fun idea to have t-shirts made for the big race- a fun memento of a fun day.  I love any activity that gets family members up off their seats and moving and a family turkey trot certainly does that whether you trot or waddle across the finish line.

Beads! Family Reunion Activities

This bead activity is perfect for your western themed family reunion.

Thanksgiving Day Arrowhead Necklace craft

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I Love Beads!  I really do.  I use them for so many activities at family reunions. 

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The best thing I ever did with beads was to make a bead reward box for our family reunion in Lake Powell.  Instructions and printables  for the bead box are included in our Beach family reunion theme  package.  You can find it by clicking here- Beach Reunion

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Western Family Reunion

More recently, I came across this fun, simple and inexpensive bead activity that would be perfect for your western themed family reunion.

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To represent the Native American culture, make beaded arrowhead necklaces.  You can limit the number of beads that can be put on each necklace or let them go wild.  Pony beads are cheap and easy to come by at any craft store. 

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I thought the arrowheads would be hard to find or too expensive but felt pretty lucky when  found a set  of 50 Indian agate replica arrowheads at Amazon for under $10.00.  Just click on the link below to purchase.

Arrowhead necklaces would also be a fun activity on  Thanksgiving.  Set up a table away from more traditional Thanksgiving activities and let  your guests build their own creation.

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Bead Geckos

Another fun bead activity for your reunion is bead geckos.  Read our blog on Family Reunion Helper.com for detailed instructions. Bead Gecko Blog

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Halloween Ghost Cake With Flaming Eyes

Ghost Cake With Flaming Eyes

Posted on October 18, 2015

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When I was a young mother I attended a workshop that included some fun holiday cooking ideas.  The most memorable idea I came away from the workshop with was this ghost cake with flaming eyes.

The best thing about this ghost cake is that you get maximum effect for minimum effort, so, if you are a busy mom or grandma, you can whip this cake up very quickly but the “wow” factor is huge!

To make the eyes flaming you place a lemon extract-doused sugar cube inside of a clean eggshell for each eye and then you light the cubes on fire. When presenting the cake turn out the lights before bringing in the cake.

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Ghost Cake Recipe

Ingredients:

1 (18.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix, mix according to package directions
1 (7.2-ounce) package fluffy white frosting mix or make your own 7 minute frosting. (No Cook 7 Minute Frosting Recipe)
2 sugar cubes & 1 teaspoon lemon extract
Licorice string, chocolate chips, m & m’s- whatever you want to make a mouth

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan.

Prepare the cake mix as directed on package. (When you break the eggs, crack each in the middle and pour out the egg. Then save the 2 best shell halves. Wash these halves and turn upside down to dry.) After mixing, pour the batter into the pan.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. When cooled, you can remove the cake from  the pan and put on a sturdy piece of cardboard or a tray so that you can trim your cake to look more ghost- like.  I just left my cake in the baking pan and felt like it looked ghost- like enough without the extra work to decorate it.

Frost the cake. Place the 2 egg shell halves round sides down on cake for eyes. Place 1 sugar cube in each shell half. Make a mouth of licorice string.

Just before serving, pour 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract over each sugar cube. Light the eyes and amaze family and friends!