Have a Circus and Carnival Family Reunion

 

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

image

No need to run off and join the circus- you’re family will have more fun than they ever imagined when you create a Circus-themed family reunion!

Circus Parade

image

Begin your family reunion with a circus parade. Ask everyone to dress up as clowns, wild animals, popcorn venders or circus performers. Decorate bikes, strollers and wheelchairs and give prizes for the most creative and unusual costumes. You might want to have a few extra crazy wigs, wacky bow ties and plastic noses for those that forget their costume.

Carnival Booths

My favorite thing about a circus themed family reunion is that it is so easy to make assignments.  Assign individual families a game booth for your carnival. They can be responsible for the game and prizes for their booth.

DSC_0056

IMG_1603

Circus Acts

Assign family members a circus act (silly and creative acts are the best) and don’t forget a ringmaster to keep things lively.

DSC_0127

image

DSC_0116(1)

Face Painting

Get the teenagers in your family involved by asking them to be in charge of a face painting booth.  Kids love to have fun with their favorite animated characters and cartoon idols. Face painting is popular but you will need more than one painter to accommodate all the children that want their faces painted at your circus reunion.

DSC_0113(1)

Circus Party Games and Activities

You can find lots of fun circus party and and game activities in familyreunionhelper.com’s reunion theme package.  Consider a game of “Clown Softball”.  It’s a mixed up and silly way to play softball that will get team members and spectators laughing.

Or how about a “Big Top” parachute?  Parachutes are so fun and can add to your circus theme if you call it the “Circus Big Top”. The best thing about a parachute is that up to 25-30 people can be kept busy and that there are no actual winners and losers in the games.

image

image

It’s important to include activities for family members that don’t want to be as physical as the younger set. Pass out copies of the “How Well Do You Know the Circus?” Quiz and give a box of animal crackers to the person that gets the highest score.  Test your circus knowledge with this sample question  from the quiz.

1. About how long is the RINGLING BROS. AND BARNUM & BAILEY train?

a. 1 mile

b. 21 cars

c. 1.5 miles

The answer- A, 1 mile.

You can find a copy of the quiz as well as lots of fun activities at familyreunionhelper.com. They are included in the Circus themed reunion.

DSC_0121

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.

Thanks to the Banner family for many of the photos posted in this blog.  You can certainly tell that they are a supportive and fun family.  Organizer of the Banner reunion was the Ric and Jill Crowther family.

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.

image

image

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

clip_image002

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.

Scan0029

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.

Scan0030

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

Skijoring- Winter Family Fun

ski jorring mom's nikon 119

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.

ski jorring mom's nikon 147

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.

ski jorring mom's nikon 095

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!

ski jorring mom's nikon 096

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

ski jorring mom's nikon 122

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.

ski jorring mom's nikon 143

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.

ski jorring mom's nikon 167

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.

ski jorring pt 2 005

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

ski jorring pt 2 023

ski jorring pt 2 014

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.

 ski jorring pt 2 002

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.

ski jorring mom's nikon 171

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

http://familyreunionhelper.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/DSC05388.jpg

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

clip_image004

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.

clip_image003[4]

The Couch Game

clip_image002

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.

clip_image003

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

clip_image002[6]

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.

Scene Setters for Parties and Family Reunions

camp pt2 074

How do you turn a forest campground into a ship on a tropical cruise? Scene setters!  I love scene setters- they are inexpensive (each piece is under $20.00 and the add ons are usually about $5.00) and they instantly make your reunion or party theme come alive!

For our “Cruisin’” family reunion we used a cruise ship scene setter to give the allusion of  being in the ocean on a luxury cruise ship.  Scene setters are usually used in a room and applied with some sort of “Sticky Tack” or tape.  Taking scene setters outside is where the real challenge is!

Each roll is usually 30 feet long and 4 feet high and because we were camping for our reunion we had to work around trees, rocks and other obstacles.  Uncle Richard, who works in construction, came to the rescue and very quickly built a background for my scene setter to go on.  Here’s how we did it-

Making Room Scene Setters Work Without a Room

camp 008

I didn’t care if the scene setter was 30 feet long or not- I believe ours ended up being 24 feet long.  Uncle Richard used plywood (the quality didn’t matter) and 2×4’s to brace it and hold it up.

camp 009

Once the background was up we used spray adhesive to attach the scene setter.  The trick to using spray adhesive is to spray both the plywood AND the scene setter.  It took three of us to keep smooth and straight but it wasn’t hard and it didn’t take long.

camp 004

 

camp 005

There will be a few creases but it didn’t bother us at all. 

camp 108

After putting up the two large sheets of our scene setter we cut out the individual “add on” decorations.  Use your own wall adhesive for hanging or we found that if you get the add on a little wet it will just smooth on and although not permanent, adhered to our scene for the three days of our reunion.  I didn’t use all of the add ons provided- just our favorites.

camp 109

The pictures below show how a scene setter works.  This is how the makers of scene setters visualize the finished product.

Cruise Scene Setter

Tropical Cruise Ship Scene Setter

This is the top scene setter.

Ocean and Sky Backdrop

This is the bottom of the scene setter.  Each piece is 4 feet tall by 30 feet long.

Cruise Ship Deck BackdropCruise Ship Deck Backdrop

This is the “add on” we used.  We had to cut out each piece before we applied it to our scene.

Jungle Scene Setter

Other scenes are available like this fun jungle theme.  It is made up a jungle “trees” roll AND a jungle “foliage” roll.

Then you add decorations and animals.

Sports Stadium Scene Setter

I love this sports stadium scene setter.  Imagine holding a sports themed reunion or party and putting this along the walls of your gym or party room.

Sports Stadium Insta Theme

Pirate Design a Room

Design-A-Room Pirate Pack - Party Decorations & Backdrops & Scene Setters

I’ve used scene setters before- just last Christmas I used a brick like scene setter to take Santa pictures with the kids.  We held our party in the church gym and the brick background sure looked nicer than the boring white wall that we would’ve used.

reindeer games photos 109

If you don’t do a 30 foot long scene and a have some pieces of your scene setter left over use on your serving table as a table cloth.

You can purchase all of the items I’ve shown you in the Family Reunion Helper store.  You’ll need some help and good adhesive to put it up but the way it transforms your room or your OUTSIDE party is almost magical.

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.

image

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.

clip_image002

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.

clip_image002[1]

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)

clip_image002[2]

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?

clip_image002[3]

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.

Glow in the Dark Party

clip_image006

If it glows in the dark I’m probably going to love it!  In fact, this year at our family reunion we’re having a glow in the dark 5K race- it’ going to be so cool!

For my oldest son’s birthday this year we had a glow-in-the-dark party and we tried  a lot of fun, new ideas. 

Black Lights

Black lights will really help your party glow. You can rent black lights for about $10.00 a day but we found black light strips at Walmart for under $20.00 which included the light bulb and stand. We only needed two lights to light up our party.

end-of-2011-157_thumb

We put black lights everywhere for the ultimate glow!

    clip_image012

  • Glow In the Dark Jello

  • clip_image008
  • I decided to try my hand at glow in the dark jello.  The secret ingredient is “Tonic Water”.  Tonic Water is found on the soda isle of your grocery store.  HINT:  Don’t use diet Tonic water.  HINT:  Tonic water taste nasty!  Use as little as possible.  The recipe below calls for 1 cup of Tonic water- I cut that in half and it worked great!
  • 2 8 serving boxes of Jell-O- I used blue.
  • 1 cup of Tonic Water- I used 1/2 cup
  • 1 1/2 cups of Water- if reducing Tonic water increase this to 2 cups
  • Bring the Tonic Water and the water to a boil
  • Stir in the Jell-O mix and allow it to completely dissolve
  • Pour into clear cups and refrigerate until set. 
  • To serve put on table with black lights and let the glow begin.

Glow in the Dark Kick Ball

The best part of our party was glow in the dark kick ball.  Glow in the dark anything is really hard to photograph but here’s a picture of a kick ball my daughter ordered online.  It is available from flybynightsports.com/ for less than $20.00.  You just add 4 glow sticks to the ball and it glows.  These glow balls are called “volleyballs” but we were afraid the glow sticks would make the ball uncontrollable so we choose to play kickball with them.  We’ve used the ball three times and kicked it to death but it seems unaffected by all the abuse.  You can find glow in the dark volleyball instructions at familyreunionhelper.com/.

clip_image010

Mark bases with glow necklaces and sticks and make sure all the players are decked out in their glow finest.

wells party 035

 

wells party 040

Glow in the Dark Whiffle Ball

Another glow in the dark favorite at our family gatherings is glow in the dark whiffle ball.  Wiffle Ball is a fun game that is played like baseball but the balls and bats are made out of plastic. We were always sad when the sun went down and we had to go inside but no more- now you can play Glow in the Dark Wiffle Ball and the darker the better.

http://familyreunionhelper.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/image3.png

No matter what glow in the dark activity you choose you can find many great glow products in the family reunion helper store.

Scrapbooking Your Reunion with Digital Photo Books

scrapbook blog pictures 007

After we’ve played all the reunion games, roasted all the marshmallows, sang all the songs and I’ve taken 700 pictures of the action, I can hardly wait to get back home and see what amazing pictures I’ve taken of my family reunion.  I load my pictures on my computer and begin to make a family reunion DIGITAL scrapbook.

scrapbook blog pictures 010

Making these reunion scrapbooks is fun for me- much less time consuming than the “olden days” when I had to measure, cut and paste everything. And did I mention the MESS- there is NO mess with digital scrapbooking. You just slide your digital photos into predesigned layouts, add digital stickers and some suitable digital paper backgrounds and and then you send it off to the printer. Setup and cleanup are literally as easy as pushing a button. Everything is contained within your computer- NO SETTING UP OR PICKING UP AFTERWARDS. 

I recently read an blog by Bradylou that lists about 10 reasons why digital scrapbooking is a good alternative to traditional scrapbooking- she has some great ideas- read her blog at bradylou.com

I always make a reunion scrapbook for myself and one for Grandma and Grandpa (taking advantage of BOGO sales.)  Everyone enjoys reliving reunion memories when they visit Grandma and look through the books.

co;nference 023

I use two scrapbook companies for my digital scrapbooks- Picaboo and Mixbook.

Picaboo Photo Books

I prefer Picaboo when I have a lot of photos I want to include in my book. Picaboo does not force you to spend hours uploading photos before you can create a project. Rather, with Picaboo installed, you can make a complete, ready-to-order book in a short amount of time. Picaboo has amazing customer service and I love their “chat” service. When I have an idea but don’t know how to implement it I just chat with their helpful costumer service people.  Picaboo has cool and FREE backgrounds you can use- thousands of them- I love the pizza one pictured below.

Picaboo is running a deal this week for up to 40%.

Up to 40% off Classic books and calendars. Ends 7/16. Use code: SUNNYDAYS.

scrapbook blog pictures 011

Mixbook Scrap Books

Mixbook does not require that you download their software. The feature I like most about Mixbook is that it allows you to choose one of their professional designs (or you can start from scratch) and easily and quickly create a photo book. I also like the “stickers” you can add to yourbook.  You can move, crop, rotate, pan and zoom on photos; add stickers and backgrounds; and create custom layouts.

clip_image001

Right now Mixbook has a deal going-

Deal:Get $15 off $50!
Code:15OFF50
Valid: 07/12/12 4:00 am PST – 07/16/12 11:59pm PST
Restrictions: This offer is only valid with coupon code 15OFF50. This offer cannot be combined with other coupons, vouchers, Groupons, or applied after an order has been placed. Discount applies only to completed projects. No adjustments on previous purchases. Shipping and taxes will apply.
Offer expires 07/16/2012 (11:59 pm PST).

Once your scrapbook is completed you can sell additional copies for family members that preorder them or auction them off at your net reunion auction as a fundraiser.

Check Aunt Mo’s blog next week to find out how to make genealogy or family history photo books.

Cruisin Family Reunion Theme

I’m so excited for our 2012 family reunion theme- cruisin’.  We will visit 6 different “ports” while camping out at Box Elder campground.

camp 2012 page1

Each of the 6 “original’ kids in my husband’s family will be responsible for one meal and a 2 hour block of time.  Every family is choosing a theme and planning their meal and activities around that theme.  During that 2 hours they can plan any activities, crafts or games they want.  This will give every family the opportunity to plan an activity they have always wanted to do or to choose a family reunion favorite.

camp 2012 page2

I’m pretty excited about this  reunion  format- I think it will relieve some of the stress I have when planning a reunion and give everyone a chance to make the reunion exactly the way they want.

Aunt MO

HINT: I got the backgrounds for these “beach” themed flyers from http://delightful-doodles.com/.