New and Improved Circus Family Reunion or Party

Ladies & Gentlemen,
Children of all Ages…
Family Reunion Helper
is proud to present…
A Circus and Carnival family reunion!

Not everything is new about familyreunionhelper’s “Circus” reunion but we’ve made some changes that we think you’ll love. 

Circus Invitations

Our new fill in the blank Circus invitations are so fun.  Just print on cardstock, fill in the blanks and mail to family and friends. There are two styles to choose from and a “save the date” card.

Circus Water Bottle Labels

The Circus family now includes circus themed water bottle labels that come in three fun styles and circus bag toppers that can be stapled to bags of popcorn, animal crackers or cotton candy.

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Although we’ve included some fun circus printables to our circus theme we’ve kept the tried and true games and activities that we know your family will love.

If you’re looking for a family reunion that gives your family a chance to clown around then a “Circus” theme is the one for you.

Circus Family Reunion

Circus Reunion

New and Improved Campfire Songbook

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Campfire Songbook

After months of hard work the familyreunionhelper.com new and improved "Campfire Songbook" revision is ready to go! The book is FREE to familyreunionhelper.com subscribers. FREE Campfire Songbook link

The revised addition is in landscape format and includes cute graphics from scrappindoodles.com.

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HINT: Give family members a link to the songbook and ask them to print their own songbook to bring to your family reunion or sing a long.

HINT: Set your printer to print – front to back.

HINT: Laminate the outside cover of your songbooks so they can be used for many sing a longs to  come.

Guitar Tabs for Traditional Songs

Also included in this new songbook are a few pages of songs with guitar chords.  Experienced guitar players can easily pick out  the chording to a song but for me, having the chords written down is huge help.

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Already a subscriber but would like a copy of the new Campfire Songbook? Send Aunt Mo an email and she’ll make sure you get a copy of the updated songbook. Email Aunt MO

Pengaloo for Family Game Night

 

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My family consists of 8 adults and 4 children 6 years and under.  We like to get together for family game night every Friday.  We make homemade pizza and play games.  We have some fun games that we adults like to play but we’re always on the look out  for games that the kids can play. 

Our latest find is Pengoloo.  It’s a very simple but well-done memory game.

There are twelve cute wooden penguins with a hollow space to hide one of twelve brightly colored eggs (2 each of 6 colors).

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Players roll the dice to determine what color eggs they are looking for and then look under two penguins. If they get a match, they get to keep it; if both match, they get another turn; otherwise, it’s the next player’s turn.

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The first to get 6 eggs wins, or the one at the end with the most eggs.

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Our little ones, and the big ones too, had a fun time playing this game for family game night. The game is very sturdy and I think that it will last a long time.  It costs under $25.00 and you can purchase it by clicking on the  link below or in the family reunion helper store.

http://familyreunionhelper.com/store.php

Skijoring- Winter Family Fun

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What do you do when you have an old snowboard in your shed, six horses on winter vacation and five acres of snow in your pasture- you go skijoring!

Skijoring is a winter sport that originated in Scandinavia. It involves towing a skier behind horses or dogs.  Having to choose between horse  power and dog power- we choose the horses. 

Horse skijoring usually takes two people and one horse. One person rides the horse while the skier is towed behind on skis or a snowboard.

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The rider determines how fast you go and the route, while the skier holds on and tries to maintain enough control to maneuver around obstacles or perhaps towards obstacles such as a jump.

Skijoring How To

We saw a demonstration of horse skijoring at Ogden City’s Winter Fest a couple of years ago and have talked about giving it a try ever since, but this is the year we made it happen.

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We began slowly, beginning first with an inner tube.  Our horse, Raleigh, wasn’t very excited about a black donut following behind him, but with some patience and encouragement he soon caught on so we took the next step- we added a live  person!

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That didn’t seem to bother Raleigh so we strapped on the snowboard and that’s when the real skijoring began.

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Skijoring Tips

We used a light, nylon rope for our skijoring which worked fine but hope to snag a waterskiing rope before we go skijoring again- the handle would be much more comfortable.

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One thing we did discover was that when the  horse made a turn the skier would be whipped around and would come right up to the side of the horse, very much like coming out of the wake when you are water skiing only a little more extreme.

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Skijoring Jumps

Our first attempt at Skijoring was so much fun we couldn’t wait to go at it again and this time we decided to add a jump.

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Even though it was a relatively small jump we did manage to get some air.

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Raleigh- the Skijoring Hero

Although the humans did a great job at skijoring the true hero was Raleigh, our 8 year old bay Quarter horse who was thoroughly dried off and given an extra measure of oats at the end of the day.

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Because there were a lot of people that wanted to get into the action we kept the four-wheeler running with inner tubes in tow.

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When I do my family fun presentations I encourage families to “make the ordinary- extraordinary” and skijoring is a perfect example of that.  All we did was took a look at what we had available to us and turned it into some extreme family fun.

One last thing- “LIKE” us on Facebook to be eligible to win a FREE family reunion theme package!  Like us HERE.

Four of Our Favorite Team Building Activities

There’s nothing like some good team building activities to get your family, friends or youth group working together and learning to depend on each other.  Here’s a few of our favorites.

Helium Stick

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Helium Stick is a team building game that will get your whole group laughing.

You play Helium Stick by lining up in two rows which face each other.  Give them the Helium Stick- a long, thin, lightweight rod such as PVC pipe.

Ask the players to point their index fingers and hold their arms out. Lay the Helium Stick down on their fingers. Get the group to adjust their finger heights until the Helium Stick is horizontal and everyone’s index fingers are touching the stick. The challenge is to lower the Helium Stick to the ground.

NOTE: Each person’s fingers must be in touching the Helium Stick at all times. Pinching or grabbing the pole in not allowed – it must rest on top of fingers. Everyone’s fingers MUST be touching the Helium Stick!

It sounds easy but the stick seems to float to the top until the group works diligently to lower it to the ground. The trick is that the collective upwards pressure created by everyone’s fingers tends to be greater than the weight of the stick. As a result, the more a group tries, the more the stick tends to ‘float’ upwards.

I like this team building activity because it doesn’t require a lot of equipment or advance preparation. Hope it’s fun for your family.

Shark Island

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Object: The entire group of 12- 20 people must board a 2-foot-square
Platform without anyone touching the ground around it.

Rules:
Everyone must remain on the platform for at least 10 seconds.
Everyone must have both feet off the ground.
Don’t put people more than two high.

Outcome:
Talk with the participants about teamwork, leadership and problem
solving skills. Emphasize that when someone feels that they have a
problem that is impossible to solve, that we can work together as a
family to help them find a solution.  The most difficult part of this team building activity is getting the platform.  If you are not able to get a platform you can tape your square on the floor and use a piece of carpet.  It’s not quite as "thrilling" as a raised platform but can still be  learning experience for your group.

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The Couch Game

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To play this game you need equal numbers of guys and girls, and form a team of each. You can ask girls to join the guys team if required and vice versa. You will also need a couch, which can be a real couch (which would replace four seats) or four adjacent seats or lawn chairs.

Write all of the players’ names onto pieces of paper and give one slip to each players. You become whoever your piece of paper says you are – don’t tell anyone whose name you have.

Everyone sits in a circle, alternate guy, girl, with four people on the couch and the rest on chairs. Have one extra, empty chair.

The object of the game is to get all your gender onto the couch. The person who is sitting with the empty chair to their left calls out a name, trying to get the opposite gender off the couch. The person with that piece of paper must stand up and move to the empty chair. They then swap their piece of paper with the caller. The next person to call is the one with now empty space to their left.

For example, say that Megan calls out "Jack". Grandpa has the name "Jack" on his paper so he moves to the empty chair and exchanges papers with Megan. So Megan now becomes "Jack". The person who was next to Grandpa now has an empty space on the left and is the next caller.

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This goes on until one team has 4 of their own players on the couch.

This game starts off slowly and the games don’t last long but as the players catch on they will really start paying attention and memorizing the names people are exchanging.

Human Ladder

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Object: The group lines up in two rows with each row facing the other. Each pair of persons (one from each row) facing each other will hold a dowel. (One 3′ x 1½’ dowel per person or a 3’ x 2×2 stick.) The object is to have one person standing at the end who will crawl across the horizontal ladder formed by the dowels. Caution: Make sure the dowels you have will support your group member’s weight! A volunteer starts at one end of the human ladder and climbs (horizontally) along the rungs of the ladder. After the climber passes over a rung of the ladder, team members "leap frog" to the front of the ladder, allowing the climber to continue climbing indefinitely. 

Rules:
The climber must touch every rung of the ladder.
The group can hold the dowels in any manner desired— high, low, or forming a turn.
Do not hold the rungs above shoulder height.

Pumpkin Tree

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Everything in October doesn’t have to be scary or frightening- find a way to celebrate the fall season by creating a pumpkin tree.  Our grandchildren were so excited to see pumpkins growing on the tree in our front yard when they came to visit this weekend. 

Grandpa grew so many pumpkins this year that even after arranging them around flower pots and bushes and lining them down the sidewalk there were still lots of pumpkins just begging to be part of the the yard décor, so Grandpa hooked pumpkin stems over the branches of our tree and now we have a “pumpkin tree”. 

Several people have stopped to ask how we made the tree- no, we tell them, we did not use wire to fasten them to the tree, no, we did not use hot glue.  We merely hooked the pumpkin’s own stems over small branches or balanced pumpkins on larger branches.  I wouldn’t necessarily recommend taking a nap under the tree though, for a stiff breeze might just blow a pumpkin out of the tree and onto your head.

Squirmy Halloween Ideas & Breakfast With Witches

However. if you’re looking for a way to be scary during this Halloween season check out Aunt Mo’s “Squirmy” ideas at

CAULDRON

Squirmy Halloween Ideas

or the fun “Breakfast with Witches” party at

ROCKIN WITCH

Breakfast With Witches

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..and Happy Fall to You!

P.S. Can you find the “scary” black dog in the above picture

Not-So-Newlywed Game

Cruise ships are famous for their scrumptious never-ending food and their fun entertainment.  Many  entertainment options are designed to get ship-goers an opportunity to participate in the fun.  As we plan our “Crusin” family reunion we looked for opportunities to get family members involved and decided a “Not-So-Newlywed” game would fit the bill.

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Rules for Not-So-Newlywed Game

The Newlywed Game is played in couples. Choose a variety of couples such as the longest married couple; the most recently married, a favorite of the family, and a couple that you just know will have funny answers. It is best to limit the game to four couples though you may use more if you need to. The disadvantage is that the more couples the longer the game so think about you audience and how long the game will keep their interest.

There are two rounds- one for the men and one for the women. Couples are awarded points for each correct answer based on the value of the question. All couples receive the points for each correct answer. Highest score after the second rounds wins the game.

There is no right or wrong answers- the answers the couples give must just be the same.

Begin the game with all couples sitting together at the front of the room or your playing area. Introduce the host of the game (Choose someone who will be happy to do it, has a good sense of humor and will make the game fun for everyone.) Then excuse the women (have them escorted to a room or area here they will not be able to hear their husband’s answers) The host can then ask the husbands the following questions. Do not attempt to explain the questions- if they have a question about the question just repeat it but don’t explain it.

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Not-So-Newlywed Questions for Men

5 pts What is your wife’s blood type?

5pts. What is your wife’s favorite salad dressing?

5 pts At what specific game or sport will your wife say that she is better than you?

10 pts. What traffic sign best describes your wife?

10 pts. Without looking what is the highest denomination bill in your wallet right now?

25 pts. What cereal best describes your marriage? Life, Fruit Loops, Lucky Charms, Nut ‘n Honey

When you have answers for all of these questions, invite the women back in to sit by their husbands and ask them the same questions you asked the men.

5 pts What is your blood type?

5pts. What is your favorite salad dressing?

5 pts At what specific game or sport are you better at then your husband?

10 pts. What traffic sign did your husband say best describes you?

10 pts. What is the highest denomination bill in your husband’s wallet right now?

25 pts. What cereal best describes your marriage? Life, Fruit Loops, Lucky Charms, Nut ‘n Honey

Recognize the couple with the highest score so far and of course, poke a little friendly fun at the couple with the lowest score. Then dismiss the men and ask the women the next round of questions.

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Not-So-Newlywed Questions for Women

5 pts. What is your husband’s shoe size?

5 pts. What color is your husband’s favorite tie?

5 pts. What was the last movie you and your spouse last saw together?

10 pts. When did your husband say he actually realized for the first time that he was seriously in

love with you?

10 pts. What is your husband’s favorite snack before going to bed?

25 pts. What movie star will your husband say he is most like: Sean Connery, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise or John Wayne?

When you have answers for all of these questions, invite the men back in to sit by their husbands and ask them the same questions you asked the women.

5 pts. What is your shoe size?

5 pts. What color is your favorite tie?

5 pts. What was the last movie you and your spouse last saw together?

10 pts. When did you realize for the first time that you were seriously in love with your wife?

10 pts. What is your favorite snack before going to bed?

25 pts. What movie star will your wife say you are most like- Sean Connery, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise or John Wayne?

Total the points and award prizes to the winning couple. You may also award smaller prizes to the 2nd and 3rd place couple and a booby prize to the losing couple (box of Milk Duds for being such duds)

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Additional Questions to Substitute as Needed:

What is your spouse’s dream car?

What is your spouse’s favorite color?

What will your wife say is the one gift she received this Christmas that she loved the most?

What is the most unusual piece of clothing that your wife wears?

What is the color of your spouse’s toothbrush?

Which one of your wife’s friends would you say is the biggest gossip?

How many windows will your spouse say are in the largest room of your home?

What is the license plate number on your car?

What was your curfew when you were dating?

What did you do on your first date?

What percentage of the housework would your husband say he does?

Husbands, if your wife could send you to a Body Repair Shop, what on you would she have fixed?

What home improvement project needs to be done next at your house?

What time of day was your first child born?

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Home for the Holidays Family Reunion

You can find more fun activities like the “Not-so-Newlywed” game in the “Home for the Holidays” reunion theme package.

“Home for the Holidays” is one of our favorite family reunion themes. It is especially appropriate if you have a family member such as a serviceman or missionary that has been away from the family for awhile.

We celebrated every holiday we could think of during the three-day family reunion. We went trick or treating to family trailers and tents. When we woke up Sunday morning, the children found the Easter Bunny had left plastic eggs all over the campground and we had a huge family birthday cake. We celebrated Thanksgiving with a delicious turkey and even played a Christmas Right/Left game.

Candy Bar Posters and Cards

Candy bar posters or cards are a fun way to recognize, wish good luck, award or congratulate.  My son received a candy bar poster from his aunt and uncle the first time he water skied. 

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Candy Bar Cards for all Occasions

We’ve given candy bar cards to family members when they were moving out of state, to our neighbor when he was competing in the state track and field meet, to my son when he graduated from college and for just about every reason under the sun and we’ve used candy bar posters to thank people when they’ve done something for special us. My daughter was once even asked on a date with a candy bar poster.

The most challenging part of making a candy bar poster is deciding what candy bars to use.  Usually we just go to the store and buy a handful and then come back to the house to figure out what to say.

We use a glue gun to glue the candy bars to poster board.  The sturdier the board the easier the poster is to handle.  Be  little careful with chocolate bars as they will melt in hot weather.

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Popular Candy Bars

The most popular candy bar cards is 100 Grand but my personal
favorite is the m-azing barBig Hunk is a great one when asking your favorite guy to a girls choice dance or for a Father’s Day card. No matter what the occasion you could always say, “You’re m-azing!  Unfortunately you can’t buy the M-azing bar anymore.

 


Candy Bar Card Phrases

Below is a list of phrases we’ve used for our candy bar cards:

Extra Gum:  You are Extra special.
                    You did an Extra great job.

UP2U Gum":  It’s Up To You!

York: Maybe you’d like a trip to New York.

Riesen:  Remember that everything happens for a Riesen.
              You’re the Riesen our family shines.

Bit O Honey:  You’re my Bit O Honey

Mounds:  We’ll have Mounds of fun!

Look: It’s been Mounds of hard work but Look how far you’ve come.

Smarties: You are such a Smartie!

Pay Day:  Hope you get a 100 Grand Payday.

Twix:  Just be Twix you and me…   

Skor:  I hope you’ll Skor big with lots of presents on your birthday.    

Almond Joy: Your new baby will bring you Mounds of Joy. (Cross out the word Almond)

Chunky:  If you eat all the candy on this poster you’ll get Chunky.

Rocky Road: When it’s a Rocky Road, lean on me

100 Grand: You’re worth a 100 Grand!
                   We wouldn’t trade you for a 100 Grand!

PayDay:  We hope your Payday will be worth a 100 Grand!

Take 5: “You worked so hard, Take 5
              ”Take 5, You deserve a break!

  Uno:    Uno we love you!
               Thank you for sharing what Uno with us!”

Airheads: You may be an Airhead but we think you’re great!

Red Hots: Your performance was Red Hot!
                 You‘ve been in red hot pursuit…
               

Big Hunk: You have a Big Hunk of Talent!
                Hey, Big Hunk!

Reeses Pieces: We just love you to Pieces!
                         Without your help we would have fallen to Pieces!
         

Whoppers:  You’re a Whopper of a coach.             

Milky Way: You are the brightest star (cross out burst) in the Milky Way!
Starburst:

Sweetarts:  You’re such a sweetart.

Junior Mints/ Mentos:  We were Mint to be together!

Now and Later:  We’ll always love you- Now and Later

Rock Pops: You totally ROCK!

Nerds:  Even when you’re a Nerd we think you’re worth a 100 Grand.

Lifesavers:  You’re a Lifesaver!         

Crunch: Crunch the competition!      

If this delicious blog has made you hungry read about a fun candy bar game.   It’s a fun matching game that you can personalize for your family reunion or party.  For instance:

Janie’s fiancé- “Big Hunk”
Grandma- Hugs and Kisses
Aunt Marilynn and Aunt Marci- M & M’s
Uncle Rick’s IQ- Zero