A pretty sweet printable game- and it’s free!
Whenever I plan a I party or a family reunion I like to have an activity or game that people can play when they first arrive. The goal is to get family members, or friends, laughing and talking with each other. The “How Sweet It Is” free printable fits the bill and coming up with prizes for the winners is a snap- candy bars! I suggest the snack size because you’ll probably have several winners. This ice breaker game is great for large or small group games and for family members of most ages. You can download the free printable by clicking below. Don’t forget to download the answer key.
Nature Scavenger Hunt- fun activity for your family reunion
If your family reunion location is at a park or a campground this Nature Scavenger Hunt is a wonderful excuse to get outside, have some fun, and spend time together as a family.
Just print off our fun Scavenger Hunt printable on heavy cardstock and give everyone a copy along with a pencil and let the fun begin. You can work as teams or individually, it can be a race or a contest to see who finds the most items. Allow everyone an opportunity to show off their favorite find.
You can find the link for our Nature Scavenger Hunt below- or right-click on the picture above, save it to your computer, and print.
A Delicious Idea From My Nephew, Brayden, for Your Family Reunion
Sometimes I get in a rut- I forget that some people don’t pack up and head for the mountains when they plan a family reunion or family gathering- instead they head for the BEACH! And it was to the beach we went for a fun family party with my brother and his family.
We packed up the surf boards, sunscreen and mashed potatoes- yes, MASHED POTATOES! “Potatoes in a bag” is a fun and easy tradition Uncle Brett and Aunt Lisa have implemented in their family and would be a yummy idea for your family reunion no matter what location you choose.
Most of the prep for “Potatoes in a bag” was done at home. Everyone measured 1/2 cup potato flakes in a plastic baggie and added their favorite “mix-ins” to give their bag of potatoes their own special flavor.
At the beach, Uncle Brett heated up the water in his portable heater. When the water was hot we added 1 cup to our bag of potatoes and squished it up in the bag until it was well mixed and creamy. The potatoes were delish! The beach was chilly and wet, and the hot potatoes were a welcome treat.
Directions: Mix 1/2 cup of potato flakes with 1 cup boiling water. Stir until blended. Add your favorite mix-ins: salt, dry ranch Salad dressing, dry onion soup mix, Butter Buds, dried parsley flakes, beef jerky pieces, diced cheese stick and a beef stick. For thinner potatoes, add more water; for thicker, add more flakes.
If you’ve done eggs in a bag at your family reunion I think you’ll have fun with this idea. Set out all the ingredients and mix-ins and let your family create their own delicious mashed potatoes. Your bigger eaters may want to use 1 cup of potato flakes with 2 cups of water.
Thanks, Brayden, for a delicious family reunion idea! And if you’re looking for fun beach themed ideas for your family reunion, check out our Beach family reunion for lots of fun in the sun ideas.
NOTE: Whenever you add boiling water to your baggie, always use heavy-duty or freezer zip lock bags. Although there have been no claims of injury or illness, Ziploc® states their baggies are not intended to be used at high temperatures, so use at your own risk.
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I LOVE family reunion T-shirts! They are the ultimate “party favor” or “souvenir” that family members can take home with them after the reunion fun is over. Reunion T-shirts are a reminder of the good times had at that years family reunion.
There’s a new reunion T-shirt trend going around and I think it’s great! We used to take family pictures at our reunion like the one below (we used paper plates with numbers on it).
But now, families are having fun applying this idea to t-shirts. Each family has a different color, and each t-shirt gets a number on the back representing the order you joined the family (through marriage or birth).
You can have each generation be a color and the in laws all have their own color as well. Then, every person is either numbered according to birth order (by generation) or by when they married into the family.
If there are people at the reunion who aren’t yet married into the family, you can give them a shirt with a question mark on it as in, who will be the next lucky member of the family?”
When it comes to figuring out what number everyone is your most valuable resource will be the matriarch of the family. Make a list of each family member and when they became part of the family. You may want to ask your family to email you their birthdates and anniversary to make sure your list is accurate. Email the completed list to your family so they can double check your numbers.
A common design for the front of the shirts is a fun idea. You may want to have a t-shirt company print the common design on the front of each shirt and then apply the numbers yourself, especially if you are doing multiple colors.
Of course, you’ll want to take a family picture. Take a picture with everyone facing forward and then do a second photo of the back of the shirts. I just love this latest trend in family reunion t-shirts. If you decide to do this at your reunion, send us a photo and we’ll feature your family on our website.
I recently attended my nieces wedding, luncheon and reception. Everything was beautiful and I loved being part of the festivities but like most weddings and such there is a lot of downtime for those of us who are basically spectators. During one of these downtimes my brother introduced us to a fun game you can play on your phone that involves everyone.
The name of the game is Psych! Choose from a variety of fun categories in which each player makes up fake answers to real trivia questions.
According to the games own description- the idea behind the game is to get together with a bunch of friends and answer ridiculous trivia questions. The catch is, the multiple choices you’re given include the correct answer as well as a bunch of incorrect answers which are provided by the other players. So, say for instance the question popped up of “Who is the Editor in Chief of TouchArcade?” “Eli Hodapp” would be in there somewhere, along with whatever else anyone playing decides to toss into the mix as possible answers.
Anyone who knows me will understand that, after playing a few rounds of Pysch! with my family, my “reunion” brain kicked into gear and I immediately began to think of ways to use the game at a family reunion.
Can you imagine how excited the teenagers in your family would be if you asked them to get their cellphones for a game they would be playing. Psych! is a clever way to get family members that just can’t seem set their cellphones down to join in a game or activity to participate with the group.
Psych! is also a pretty fun way to get to know family members that you see only once a year at the family reunion. Some of the game options give you a real opportunity to see into your cousin’s psyche.
“PSYCH!” is the perfect app for game night, road trips, or even waiting in line. So grab your phones, gather ‘round, and get ready for a gaming experience unlike anything you’ve ever tried!
NOTE:There’s in-game ads as well, which can be removed for $2.99. If you’re just downloading the game to play with a friend (who might have bought a ton of stuff in-game), it’s totally free.
What’s a Mashed Potato Bar?
I had never heard of a “Mashed Potato Bar” until recently when my daughter came home from a family function with her husband’s family and they had hosted a mashed potato bar. My daughter raved about how delicious and fun the mashed potato bar was.
Of course, I’ve eaten at lots of baked potato bars and for any years a potato bar was our go to meal at family gatherings but a mashed potato bar is a fun new twist to that traditional and rather over done family reunion meal.
Here’s how you put a Mashed Potato Bar together for your next family reunion or party.
Of course, the main ingredient is mashed potatoes. You can make your own (see recipe below) or you can use already prepared potatoes such as the ones Costco carries.
Mashed Potato Bar Toppings Ideas
Serve your potatoes in large crock pots to keep the potatoes warm and set out various toppings. I’ve listed a few of our favorites but use your imagination to customize to your needs:
Chopped green onions
Finely shredded cheese
Ranch salad dressing
Grilled zucchini and summer squash
Caramelized onions and peppers
Freshly grated Parmesan
Grilled tri-tip sliced thin
Country Gravy (I like to stay away from gravy, it’s the obvious choice and people aren’t’ as creative if they have gravy as a choice)
Salt and pepper
The Idaho Potato Board has their own list of ingredients for a Mashed Potato Bar which you can find by clicking on the link below.
Serve on plain plates or bowls or fancy things up a bit by using goblets as your dishes. You can always find a miss-matched assortment of goblets and wine glasses at your local DI or Goodwill.
A good basic mashed potato recipe includes just a few ingredients. Note: Baking and Russet potatoes tend to be heavier and starchier than Yukon Gold potatoes.
Basic Mashed Potatoes Recipe
- 8 Potatoes
- 1/2 Cup melted butter
- 1 can Evaporated Milk ( I melt my butter in a bowl with the milk for creamier potatoes.
- Fresh Pepper
- Peel and dice potatoes and put in pot of boiling salted water. Cover and simmer until potatoes are fork tender (20-30 minutes, depending on quantity of potatoes). Remove from heat and drain.
- Mash potatoes with a potato masher or a hand mixer.
- Add butter and milk
Be sure and sign up to receive a copy of familyreunionhelper.com’s FREE reunion cookbook HERE
Let us make you an offer you can’t refuse-
When it was first suggested that we use “Mafia” as our theme for the Stewart family reunion I was a little apprehensive but after three days of Mafia activities over Labor Day I’ve decided that “Mafia” is just another word for “Family”. Family can also be friends, and so a Mafia theme for a reunion or party is a great idea. Included in this party pack are invitations and activities for a party or reunion for either your friends or your family.
You will have fun creating Mafia names for your guests using the list of names and name tags included in this party theme package.
Guests can also fill out an application to join the Mafia using the “Complete Mafia Dictionary” to decipher Mafia lingo.
Test your Mafia IQ to see if you should be “The Boss” or “Knuckles”.
If you are having an indoor party consider playing the party game, “Mafia”. The game of Mafia is all about the power of bluffing and knowing when other people are bluffing themselves. You can be a member of the Mafia, a towns person, the FBI or the Moderator in this elimination and guessing game. You will vote out other players and try to avoid being murdered in the middle of the night by the Mafia!
If you planning an outside party play “Steal the Flag” using marshmallow shooters. Instructions for making custom shooters are included.
Printables include invitations, The “Complete Mafia Dictionary”, Mafia Application, Mafia funny money, Mafia IQ test, water bottle labels, Mafia name tags and playing cards for the game, Mafia.
Cosa Nostran (This thing is ours!)
Family reunion bingo is a great ice breaker activity for family reunions or parties of any kind. I created a family reunion bingo card several years ago that we have used over and over again. I recently received a request to create some variations to the original game and mix things ups a bit. The competed Bingo game cards are below and ready for you to play.
Family Reunion BINGO- the Basic Game
Give family members a BINGO card and a pencil and allow a few minutes for your family members to mingle as they get signatures in the bingo squares that apply to them. You can only use a person’s signature once on your bingo sheet. The game can end at this point with prizes for everyone that completely fills up their BINGO card or you can take the game a step further.
Family Reunion BINGO Variation
Write everyone’s name on a piece of paper and put it in a hat. Pull a name out of the hat one at a time and read it out loud. If a person has that name on their sheet they can put an X on that square. If they don’t have that name they do nothing. Keep drawing names from the hat until someone get a BINGO by competing a row, column, or diagonal with X’s.
I have created 5 variations of my original BINGO card that you can download and print by clicking on the file below.
Family Reunion Helper proudly announces the completion of their latest family reunion theme- Superhero!
Now you can bring all the action-packed adventure and excitement of your favorite superheroes to your family reunion!
A superhero reunion will appeal to family members of all ages. Superheroes have unique skills, wear awesome costumes and save the world on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis.
A superhero family reunion lends itself to action-packed games, superhero training and fun activities.
This reunion theme package includes a fun printable reunion invitation, secret super power cards, water bottle labels, superhero training cards, “what’s my super power?” activity, Kapow!, Boom! and Zap! signs and fun printables for napkin rings and table decorations.
Our superhero reunion is jam packed with more than 35 pages of ideas for many of your favorite superheroes: Batman, Spider-man, Thor, Hulk, Captain America, Iron-man, Flash, Hawk-eye and even Aqua-man.
With the Superhero reunion theme your family will want to save helpless citizens, fight the forces of darkness and defeat the evil villains. Plan a superhero reunion and let your families’ powers shine. Whether they’re saving the planet or saving your family, a superhero family reunion or party will be a memorable reunion for anyone who has ever yearned to make right what’s wrong in the world.
You can find the superhero reunion theme at Family Reunion Helper.com and by clicking on the link below.
Piñatas are a fun activity for birthdays, celebrations and family reunions and because they’re made with paper Mache paste and newspaper strips they’re inexpensive to make though can be expensive to fill. You can make your own piñata or buy one in any shape or design that will add to your party’s theme.
Traditionally, to play the piñata game,you blindfold the first child in line and turn them around three times, and give them a wooden stick so they can swing at and if lucky, hit the piñata.
Piñata Fun with Dice
At a recent family reunion we did a fun variation of smashing the piñata by using a large dice made from a square box. Each child rolled the “dice” to determine how many swings with a stick they would have at the piñata. If they roll a four they try to hit the piñata 4 times.
HINT: When planning to use a piñata as one of your activities be sure to have a plan for how you will hang it up- tree, a beam if inside or 2 adults could hold a rope or a pole with the piñata hanging in the middle. For safety’s sake keep everyone away from the person swinging at the piñata.
”Pull” piñatas are perfect for small children or for times when sticks may not be appropriate. Fill them with treats as you would a classic piñata and instead of hitting it with a stick just choose a ribbon and pull to release the trapdoor and the treats.
One of the most clever ideas I’ve seen on Pinterest recently is a piñata cake. No smashing involved with this piñata but you will find plenty of treats inside. Below are some quick instructions but for more detailed information click on the photo below- they’re the real experts.
A piñata cake is simple to make- just make a 3 layer, round cake. Leave two of the layers intact for the top and the bottom. Frost the bottom layer.
For the third layer, the middle layer, cut the center out and place the remaining ring on top of the bottom layer. Fill the center of the cake with small, unwrapped candies such as M and M’s or Skittles. Make sure you fill the cavity to the top with candy. Frost this layer then top with the remaining cake layer.
Frost and decorate the cake as desired.
If you haven’t already, don’t forget to read about “HUMAN” piñatas. Just follow the link below to read about all the crazy fun!