FAMILY REUNION HELPER IS HAVING A SALE IN THEIR ETSY SHOP!
Until midnight tonight, you can purchase any family reunion theme package using our special ETSY coupon.
Follow the link below to receive $5.00 off any reunion theme package.
FAMILY REUNION HELPER IS HAVING A SALE IN THEIR ETSY SHOP!
Until midnight tonight, you can purchase any family reunion theme package using our special ETSY coupon.
Follow the link below to receive $5.00 off any reunion theme package.
I’ve been a Shrinky Dink fan for probably 30 years or better, way before they had the fancy kits they have now. When I first started making Shrinky DInks we called them Shrink Art and we used either plain sheets of plastic or clean or clear #6 plastic we got from the bakery.
In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, Shrink Art is made with thin plastic sheets that shrink down about 45% when you put them in the oven. Not only does the material shrink, but whatever artwork you draw/print on them will also shrink with it. So, you can draw and color a design in it’s large form where it is easy to see and work with and then shrink it down so it is more the size of a charm or an ornament.
I love to use shrink art for family reunions and parties. They make great dog tags, charms, pins and beads. Our Oz inspired family reunion includes a template to be used with Shrink Art. We had so much fun making the dog tags and our family loved wearing them during the reunion.
To make Shrink Art,preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
Trace your design on the plastic using a permanent marker such as a Sharpie marker. You can draw your own design or trace a clip art picture you found on the internet or use a coloring page.
Color your picture with permanent markers or colored pencils. If your plastic has a rough side, color on that side.
Cut out your picture and if you will be putting it on a string or chain punch a hole in it. You will not be able to make any holes or cuts once your picture has baked as it will be too thick.
Line a cookie sheet or tray with foil or baking paper. Arrange your pictures,color side up on the tray.
Bake in the oven for 3- 5 minutes. Keep your eye on them as they bake (that’s half the fun). At first your pictures will curl up but don’t panic, they will flatten out again. Once they flatten out bake for a few more seconds then remove from the oven. If they aren’t quite flat you can flatten them by pressing them a little more with a hot pad or wooden spoon.
When cooled remove them from the pan and you’re ready to use and enjoy your Shrink Art.
The Shrinky Dinks brand makes some fun pre-printed designs that you can purchase if you want to try out the process before striking out on your own. You can purchase the pre- printed Shrinky Dink designs or sheets of plain Shrinky Dink plastic by following the link below.
At Familyreunionhelper.com we sell reunion theme packages. What’s a theme package you ask? Most of our digital downloads include 45 or more pages of invitations, name tags, water bottle labels, games,activities, templates and printables that compliment the theme you have chosen.
The following is an example of a name tag from our Heritage Reunion.
This cute invitation is from our Circus reunion. Just print it off and then fill in the blanks with your personalized reunion information.
Our Caveman reunion invitation is sure to get the kids excited about attending all the prehistoric fun.
Water bottle labels are a wonderful way to address your reunion theme and if everyone writes their name on the label, bottles don’t get mixed up or lost as easily.
Our theme packages also include pages and pages or games and activities that go along with the theme you’ve chosen. You can spend hours searching the web for your ideas but these have been tried and tested and we know they work. Here’s a page from our Superhero reunion.
Our reunion theme packages include tons of extras like these certificates from our Medieval Reunion and printable signs from our “No Place Like Home”, Oz inspired reunion.
Each of our reunion theme packages includes printable games and puzzles that go along with your theme. Like this Valentine’s game that is part of our “Home for the Holidays” reunion.
Our reunion themes also include food ideas that compliment your theme. Check out this recipe for “Parrot” (tastes a lot like chicken”)- it serves 100.
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 ounces dehydrated onions
7 pounds 3 ounces catsup
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 pound 8 ounces brown sugar, packed
48 pounds chicken, cut-up
For barbecue sauce: Simmer chicken stock and onions over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add catsup, garlic powder, and brown sugar. Simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently. Set aside.
Rinse chicken in cold water. Drain well. Arrange 25 pieces of chicken on each sheet pan (18 x 26 x 1 inch). Brush 3/4 to 1 quart of barbecue sauce over chicken in each pan. Bake uncovered until tender, checking frequently. Cook in conventional oven at 425 degrees F for 45 minutes.
Many of our themes have printable food tents like our Western Reunion food tent featured here.
We’ve tried to think of everything we could to make your reunion planning easier and less stressful. Check out Family Reunion Helper.com today and choose the reunion theme package that best suites your family. You can be sure that each package is jammed packed of ideas, game, activities and printables to get your creative juices flowing. Click on our logo below and follow the link.
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.
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.
Themes 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 a 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.
Sun, Sand and Surf Reunion Theme
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.
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.
Wedding Anniversary or Significant Birthday Family Reunion Theme
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.
Decorations –Photos and other various memorabilia of the couple’s life together.
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.
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.
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
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.
– 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.
Food- 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.
Decorations- 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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A family reunion is a perfect time to remember a special loved one who has passed on. At more and more reunions, weddings and family gatherings I am seeing beautiful displays dedicated to a special family member that isn’t in attendance. I especially loved the sentiment in this display my niece put together at our last family reunion to remember my father-in-law.
Memory tables, or Remembering tables are not large displays such as you would find at a funeral or memorial, they are small and simple table displays to give you pause and a minute to remember your loved one when you see it.
At a reunion you can always decorate the table in the theme of the reunion- the theme for the reunion in the above picture was western so the table was decorated in bandanas and sunflowers.
The most important part of a memorial table is a few photos of the person who has passed but accent those photos with flowers or candles. Photos can highlight special moments in their life such as childhood, marriage and photos with children and grandchildren. You may want to set a photo book on the table for those who want to spend more time looking at memories.
If you’ve lost someone who is dear to you, it is only natural to be saddened that they are no longer with you when your family gets together for special occasions and there are many ways to remember them.
You may have seen a white rose on a chair at a wedding ceremony, signifying that a spot has been saved for a loved one that has passed on well, my father-in-law had a special chair he sat in for every family reunion we had. He passed away in 2012 but we continue to set his chair up (along with his favorite hat) at our reunions. It almost feels like he’s watching over us as we go about our reunion fun and it helps us remember the wonderful contributions he made to our family.
A balloon release, in honor of a loved one, is a wonderful way to send our love to the heavens but recently I’ve seen “butterfly” releases as a way of remembering someone. There’s an Indian legend that goes something like this-
If anyone desires a wish to come true they must capture a butterfly and whisper that wish to it. Since butterflies make no sound, they can’t tell the wish to anyone but the Great Spirit. By making a wish and releasing the butterfly the wish will be taken to the heavens and be granted.
You can find more information about butterfly release at Butterfly Release Company.
The simplest way to remember a loved one is to have a moment of silence, perhaps as the family gathers together for a meal.
Some of my favorite quotes about remembering those we love are below.
My Grandma Hooton was an amazing cook. She was famous for her homemade cinnamon rolls, chicken noodle soup and cabbage rolls- among other things such as fudge and divinity. Grammie, as we called her, would work in the hay fields all day with the hay crew and then, while the rest of us were taking a break because we were so tired, she would be in the kitchen cooking up a delicious chicken fried steak dinner with all the trimmings.
Sometimes Grammie would round off the meal with a yummy chocolate cake and it wasn’t until recently that I realized how perfect it was for large family gatherings. The cake is made in a large jelly roll pan and it serves 24 but it’s easy and fast to fix so you can make two pans fairly simply.
1 (5-oz) box cook and serve chocolate pudding mix (not instant)
3 cups milk (for the pudding)
1 box DRY chocolate cake mix
2 cups chocolate chips (semisweet or milk)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Make pudding to package directions then combine it with 1 package DRY chocolate cake mix. (DO NOT add the eggs and oil etc) Spread in a prepared 9 x 13 inch pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips and chopped nuts on top. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.) Cool completely before cutting.
I feel fortunate to have several of my Grandmother’s recipes and some day I’d like to make a “heritage” cookbook but for now I’ll just share this delicious recipe at my next family reunion.
I read this poem on Facebook and it really touched my heart. I had such an amazing childhood- a huge backyard for whiffle ball games, a room of my own and parents that supported my love for horses and music. Gatherings with extended family were a huge part of my child, vacations by myself to my grandparents house in Wyoming, cousin sleepovers and of course family reunions.
I don’t know who wrote this poem but I hope they won’t mind that I share it with you. I think it could easily be part of a family reunion or heritage scrapbook or a touching tribute for a special person in your life.
But years roll on and i cannot go back,
whether I was born in a mansion or a shack.
I can start right now in the hour that’s here,
to do something more for the ones I hold dear.
And since time in its flight is traveling so fast,
I can’t spend it regretting that which is past.
But I’ll try to make tomorrow a happier day,
By doing my Good unto Others…Today.
A fun, traditional ice breaker game for your family reunion is the “Find Someone Who…” game. The printable game card is set up similar to a BINGO card but our family prefers to just play the game using the entire card.
Give everyone at your reunion a copy of the game card and a pen or pencil. (Different colored pencils or markers make for a colorful card when the card is filled up.
Instruct your family to have reunion goers sign the squares that apply to them. You can make up rules that best fit your family reunion- you may only sign one time on a card or two times on a card etc.
You may give prizes to those that complete a row across, down or diagonal such as in family reunion BINGO, but I like to award prizes to those that get every square signed. ‘’Smarties” candies are great prizes for those that only get a BINGO but consider giving
Kudos bars – Kudos to you
Bar None - You are the best
Milky Way or Mars bars – You’re Out of This World
M&Ms – Magnificent & Marvelous Award
or an award that goes along with your family reunion theme.
Copy, paste and print on card stock this family reunion Bingo card for lots of ice breaker fun at your next family reunion. You’ll be surprised at what you’ll learn about your family.