Punch Board Game

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Punch Board For Your Family Reunion

You’ve seen punch boards on the popular TV game show, The Price is Right, but a punch board can be a fun addition to your family reunion.  A punch board can be an exciting way to award prizes at your family reunion.  You can use a punch board to make assignments or choose what activity you will do next.

A larger board can also be a fair way to divide into teams- for example- write families names on slips of paper (Aunt Geri’s family or Uncle Dan’s family etc.)  Punch two or more holes- those families join  together to make a tug a war, softball or family skit group.  You can use the same strategy to assign seating for meals to mix things up a bit.

Creating Your Punch Board

To create your punch board you will need:

  • sturdy poster board or a piece of cardboard
  • tissue paper
  • Plastic disposable  bowls, lunch sacks or sandwich bags
  • prizes
  • tape & hot glue
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  • The first  punch board we created we used one  sheet  of tissue paper to cover the entire back of the board.  Since then we have found that covering each hole with individual squares seems to work best as  punching one hole may pull the paper from around other holes.  Tape each square securely around individual  holes.

  • Behind the Punch Board

There are several  options for hiding prizes behind your punch board.  My favorite option is plastic bowls. Carefully run a line of hot glue around the rim of your bowl and attach it to the inside of the tissue covered holes, with the prize inside.  Be sure and put your prize or secret message inside the bowl before attaching it to the board. Other options include taping a lunch sack to the back of each hole or plastic sandwich bags.

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Punch boards also make fun advent calendars.  Create yours with 24 holes and 24 prizes.  Punch out one prize each day to help count down days until Christmas or your favorite holiday.

When You Were My Age Giveaway

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We’re so excited about our new and updated version of “When You Were My Age Party” that we’re giving away a free copy to one of our subscribers.  Just tell us what celebration you might  use this party  for in the comments section of this blog and we will randomly select one person to receive a free copy on December 1st, 2013.

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Our new version of “When You Were My Age” includes a fill in the blank invitation and gives you 37 pages of information for the years 1921- 2010.

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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 thrilled 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.

This is a great way to honor your Grandma or Grandpa on their special birthday or your Dad or Mom on their 50th anniversary. Celebrating a landmark birthday or anniversary is always going to be a lot of work but with this package you’ll be well on your way to saying "We love you" in a very special way.

When You Were My Age

Treasure Hunts and Scavenger Hunts

Puzzle Treasure Hunt

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Take a picture of where the treasure will be hidden.  Cut up the picture of the location into several pieces. (The older the participants the more pieces)

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Hide the pieces in a designated area. Players search for the pieces then try to assemble the puzzle to get the prize or treasure.

Sandbox Treasure Hunt

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Sandbox treasure hunts are tried and true hunts.  Hide pennies, nickels and quarters in sand or saw dust.  Be sure and keep the sawdust and sand contained in a #10 tub, children’s pool or on a sheet of plastic. 

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Who’s Got the Key? Treasure Hunt

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Gather as many spare keys that you can find. You will need a lot of keys so ask family members to bring their keys also. (You can purchase large lots of key blanks on eBay for under $10.00) Buy a lock and key. Put the lock on a treasure chest or box of some sort with hidden treasure in it. Hide all of the keys including the key that will open the lock. Everyone searches for a key, when they find a key they try it in the lock- if it doesn’t work they search for another key until someone finds the correct key and opens the treasure.

Digital Camera Treasure Hunt

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This is such a fun idea for a family reunion. You’ll need one digital camera for each team. Give each team a list of things to take pictures of.  If you want to put a family history spin on this hunt, challenge teams to find:

Someone who served in a war
Oldest relative at the reunion
Youngest relative at the reunion
Relative that  has won a trophy
Someone that had a rotary dial phone
Relative who came the farthest distance to the reunion
Someone who has lived out  of the country
The couple that has been married the longest

You get the idea- it’s fun to really make teams talk to their older relatives to find out the information.  Be sure and take a team picture with each relative.

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Cousin Bobbie planned a digital camera hunt as part of our Thanksgiving fun a few years ago.  We had to find as many things on our list as possible, take a picture of them and return back to the meeting area and determine the winner.  We had to find things like a scarecrow, pumpkin, cat, turkey and Christmas lights.

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Look for part 2 or this article next week and in the meantime- happy hunting!

Using Your Super Hero Powers to Wipe Out Dead Air At Your Family Reunion

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How to Destroy Boring Family Reunion
“Dead Air”

Back in my 20’s I worked as a disc jockey at a radio station.  About the worst thing a deejay could do back then and I’m  pretty sure now, is to have “dead air”.  Dead air is an unintended period of silence during a radio broadcast.  I have been unfortunate enough to experience some  periods of dead air when I worked as a disc jockey, usually because I was unprepared, unorganized or because there was an equipment mal-function.  I have also experienced “dead air” at a family reunion.

It is most common to experience reunion or party dead air between the time when family or guests are arriving and the time when the planned activities are scheduled to begin.  I know you’ve experienced it- people just standing around in awkward silence not sure what they’re supposed to be doing and wishing that they had someone to talk to.

There is a solution to doing away with reunion dead air- be prepared, be organized and PLAN an activity that doesn’t have to be supervised.

A few of our favorite dead air busters are:

Sugar Cookie Decorating

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When we arrived at Aunt Karen’s dinosaur reunion twenty or so years ago, we found plastic wrapped dinosaurs shaped sugar cookies tied to trees and fences all around the park where the reunion was held.  After checking in, everyone went on a dinosaur hunt to find the perfect sugar cookie and then on  to the decorating station where we found frosting, sprinkles and candies to decorate our cookies.

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As we frosted and decorated our cookies, other family members arrived and we laughed, talked and ate our dinosaur masterpieces and Bam- dead air destroyed!

DIY Tee Shirts

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The Brown family used a creative idea to not only take care of dead air but to also personalize their reunion t-shirts.

Instead of doing a generic design on their shirts they did stick figures of a family and when family members arrived at the reunion  they painted their own shirt using fabric paints and markers.  Everyone was so busy and excited about their shirts they chatted and shared ideas and Pow- dead air busted!

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Boondoggle

Boondoggle will keep most kids, 10 and over occupied for any dead air during your reunion.  By taking two strings of boondoggle, you can weave, braid, or otherwise knot it to create some fun projects.

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Set out a few spools of boondoggle and a few clips or key chains and before   you know it, young and old will be making new boondoggle creations.

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You will need someone to man the boondoggle station that knows how to start boondoggle.  If someone in your family has been to a girl or boy scout camp they probably already know how to do boondoggle.  A good resource for learning boondoggle basics is Boondoggle Man- and Splash- dead air busted!

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NOTE: If using an activity for the older children, like boondoggle, don’t forget to set out something for the younger ones such as coloring pages, a kiddy pool  filled with sand or a few soft balls.

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Stating the Obvious

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Here’s the obvious boredom busters- set up volleyball, badminton, croquet, horseshoes or any activity that  will get your family interacting with each other. 

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I have a giant Checkers game that I set out at every reunion (it’s tradition) and before too  long one of the cousins will challenge an uncle to a game and a crowd will  gather around to watch. 

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to set these games up but it sure adds to the reunion fun.

When most of your family has arrived at the reunion it’s time to move on to your planned activities, usually ice breaker games, but with some extra planning and effort on your part their won’t be much ice to break- families members will feel right at home because you’ve used your super hero powers to destroy reunion dead air.

Fun Party Games for Your Family Reunion

Are you looking for a fun game for your family party or reunion? Here’s a few fun  party games that also work well for  family reunions.  These games  work well for most ages  and abilities.

Paddle Ball Contest

I bought a dozen paddle balls, for under $10.00) from Oriental Trading (http://www.orientaltrading.com) so that we could have 12 people compete at a time. Everyone needs a partner so count off in twos. One person will compete, the other will count. I suggest coming up with some rules, for example, competitors must hit the ball down not up, they must not touch the elastic or the ball.

Give everyone a 1 minute “warm up” to practice and develop their technique. Time for 1 minute and award medals to those that hit the ball the most times.  Then reverse and let the counter have a chance with the paddle.

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Feeding Frenzy Pudding Game

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You will need one single serving of pudding for each participant. Teams of two sit one behind each other. The person behind puts their arms underneath the person in front. (See pictures) The person behind must feed the person in front the pudding. First team done is the winner of that round. Teams then reverse and the person that was in front now sits behind and its their turn to “get even”!

Spray Bottle Relay

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Set a garbage can 12′ from the foul line and place container of balloons behind the foul line. When the clock starts, player may toss balloon in the air from behind the foul line and attempt to direct it into the trash can using only the spray bottle. If the balloon hits the ground, the spray bottle, or any part of the player’s body, it’s void. A player may reuse an old balloon or use a new balloon to make a new attempt from behind the foul line. To complete the game, player must move 1 balloon through the air and into the trash can using only the water from the spray bottle within the 60-second time limit.

Pool-ategories!

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This game is as fun to watch as it is to play. First, chose a leader to be the “caller”. After you have chosen the caller, they will think of a category (colors, animals, ice cream flavors, etc).  People will line up at the diving board. One person will jump off the diving board and the caller will say a category as soon as they leave the diving board. The person who jumps off has to name something in the category before they hit the water. If he or she does, they return to the line. If they do not, they are out. Then the next person in line goes.  The last person in the game is the caller for the next round.

Balloon Stomp

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I think this is Uncle Scott’s favorite party game and it really does work well with a large group of people.

An area of your family reunion site is cordoned off or you could use an inside area. Participants tie a balloon to each ankle. On a whistle all the contestants have to try to stomp on each other’s balloons and pop them. If both of your balloons are popped you are out. The winner is the last one with a un-popped balloon on their leg.

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We Want Your Family Reunion Photos!

We’ve all got them- those great family reunion photos where you, by either luck or skill, capture the perfect family reunion moment.  Well, now you can use those photos to receive $5.00 off any family reunion theme package and a chance to win a FREE familyreunionhelper.com theme package.

 

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Submit Your Family Reunion Photo for $5.00 Off

Just for submitting your favorite photo you will receive $5.00 off any reunion theme package. (Does not apply to “Pipe Chimes” or “When You Were My Age” packages.)

Family Reunion Helper Photo Contest Rules

Photo must be of 2 or more people at a family reunion or party.

Include- name of the family reunion, descendants of, date and location the photo was taken.

Photos do not need to be recent, they can be old photos from a family reunion photo album.

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You must be a family reunion helper subscriber. Subscribe to familyreunionhelper

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So go on, take your best shot and email it to auntmo@familyreunionhelper.com 
for your $5.00 off coupon code and your chance to win a free family reunion helper theme package.

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Aunt Mo

In-Laws, Outlaws and Offspring- a New Family Reunion Song

Family Reunion Helper gave away a free family reunion theme package  to one of our lucky subscribers, Dana Jo Forseth.  What a wonderful surprise to make a new friend and learn more about this talented songwriter and singer. 

Dana Jo has written a lot of songs and  her latest album. “Driven”, features a family reunion song called, “In-laws, Outlaws and Offspring”. I love, love, love the lyrics of Dana Jo’s reunion song- oh, the picture she paints through her words.  I can just see family members lip syncing the song at our reunion talent show. Smile

“One hundred people scattered through
Some dozen rooms we rent
And whoever can’t deal with their mother-in-law
Is free to bring a tent”

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You can listen to her song on Dana Jo’s webpage
http://danajoforseth.com/category/audio/

You can purchase the song on Amazon where you can also listen to snippets of all the songs on her latest album, the mastered versions , and that way they have a link to purchase right there. 
http://www.amazon.com/Driven/dp/B006QYO5C8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1330196058&sr=8-1

Dana Jo and I have corresponded through email the last month or so and I had the opportunity to learn a little more about her passion for singing, songwriting and family.

AUNT MO: Dana Jo, tell us a little about yourself.

DANA JO: I was born and raised on a farm outside of Fairfield, Montana, and I’ve always loved music.  I studied Business in college and work now as an accountant at a utility company in Montana, but I love to write, play and sing.  I’ve always wanted to record, and I hope I’ll have more opportunities to do that in the future.

AUNT MO: Where did you get the idea for your family reunion song, "In-laws, Outlaws and Offspring"?

DANA JO: I come from a very large family (there are over 150 people on my mother’s side of the family) and every 3 years, we gather for a week, usually at a lake or in the mountains somewhere.  Growing up, I’ve always known members of my family, and even though many of us get together all the time for holidays and weddings, these reunions are to credit (blame? Smile) for how close we are as a group.   The memories I made there are as much a part of my childhood as the place I grew up. 

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(A favorite family reunion activity- kids playing in the lake (“flying off the rope swing” etc) back in the 80s.)

DANA JO: A few of my relatives (more-so, the “outlaws”) were good with a guitar and I spent hours with my cousins sitting around a campfire, wishing I knew how to play one.  This was one of the first songs I ever wrote—and while I am nostalgic for our reunions (and they do still go on), I approached it almost with an irreverence…because, well, that’s how my family approaches a lot of things.

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(This is a picture of all eight of the Ward sisters doing a chorus line styled leg-kick back in 1975.  This became somewhat of a tradition at every reunion for as long as they all could do the kick.)

AUNT MO: I love the lyric that says "playing guess whose kid that is."  I think that is so funny- sounds like you’ve spent some time at family reunions. What are some of your favorite family reunion traditions?

Back when I was a kid, we would plan a lot of activities for the evenings that would get us all together as a group.  We’d have a trivia night, Water Olympics, an award ceremony, talent/skit show, game/tournament nights and the like for everyone, then as the younger and older would wander off to bed, we’d stay up and tell scary stories around the campfire, or (when I got older of course) play poker and drink a few beers.  Another favorite activity was cooking meals in the kitchen with our cousins and siblings, or learning from the aunts how to bake cinnamon rolls or potato bread.  One year we tried a karaoke night.  I don’t think we ever did that again…

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(The the evolution of reunion activities to playing “Just Dance” on the Wii.)

AUNT MO:  I love the song title, “In-Laws, Outlaws and Offspring”- how did you come up with that?

DANA JO: I didn’t come up with it—my Mom, Caroline Forseth, did.  I stole it from her after realizing I’d never heard the term anywhere else.  As to how she came up with it?  I’m not really sure…but I just think she’s a genius.

AUNT MO:  Tell us about the first song you ever wrote.

DANA JO: I wrote lyrics for years before I ever finished a song.  When I was a junior in high school, I was just starting to put together enough music theory to understand how to pair the music with the words.  So I finished my first whole song that Easter, and played it publicly for the first (and only) time at my high school’s spring concert.  It was also the first time I ever sang a solo in front of people—so talk about nerves!   I hadn’t told anyone about it other than my band teacher—my parents were very surprised and I think a little delighted.  The song was nothing special—it was called “So Far From Yesterday” and the register was so high I could hardly sing it. But I could only play it in the key I wrote it in.  Luckily, the critics were silent and the night ended with some really great pizza in a neighboring town.

AUNT MO: What a great story, you’ve come along way from high school spring concert- you’ve just released a new album- who do you hope will hear the album?

DANA JO: I’m just trying to get it out to the ears of the people who will love it—and that could be anyone at all.  Even though it (and I) came from a rural place, I feel like there’s something on this record for everyone.  It celebrates family roots, grieves losses and explores sadness, deals with a bad day, enjoys love, and shakes off heartbreak.  The emotions are universal, and being mostly-acoustic, many of the songs are so stripped down that fans of all different genres can enjoy them.  I really enjoyed writing these songs, and I’m so excited that people finally get to hear them.

Good luck to Dana Jo and her family and just in case you’re wondering- Dana Jo choose Book One of the Pipe Chimes books so I bet the Forseth family will be making music on the conduit pipes at their next family reunion.

Aunt MO

Win a FREE Downloadable Family Reunion Theme

Sign up for our Aunt Mo’s blog for a chance to win a free gift plus more!

To "kick off" the family reunion season, Family Reunion Helper is giving away three free gifts to a few of our lucky subscribers.

Just subscribe to our announcement list and you could win a free, downloadable reunion theme package of your choice!   You can choose from any of our reunion theme packages- Western, Beach, Caveman, Medieval, Pirate, Boot Camp, Heritage, Home for the Holidays or the popular All-sport theme. Other lucky subscribers will receive a free downloadable copy of our "Pipe Chimes" book or our latest product, "When You Were My Age", the perfect theme for that 50th anniversary or significant birthday you are planning. Remember, these three gifts will only be given to three Family Reunion Helper subscribers so don’t wait- subscribe today!

In addition for a chance to win the free give away you will also receive the following items just for signing up:

The new and improved
“Feeding The Flock”
Family Reunion Cookbook

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Campfire Songbook

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Human Foosball Instructions

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Remember, all of our products can be downloaded instantly so that you can get right to work on your family reunion or party.  So don’t delay- win a free family reunion theme package by signing up today- it’s free!