Treasure Hunts and Scavenger Hunts part 2

 

Scavenger Hunt Clues Using Pictures

Take a picture of the location of a hidden clue but only take a portion of the picture. In the example below you can see that just a portion of the word is shown.  You could do part of a clock, drinking fountain, corner of tent, a car wheel with interesting rims etc.  When the hunters figure out what the clue is a picture of they run to that location to get their next picture clue and so on until they find the treasure.  This does take some advance planning but makes for fun hunt for even the very young that may not be good readers.
1234

12345

Secret Codes Hunt

Writing secret codes is another way to generate clues. Using numbers in place of letters is an easy way to create the code (1=a, 2=b, etc.), but  using a backwards letter code can make things a little extra challenging. Decipher the  clue to find out where to look for their next clue.

Urban Race

DSC04882

As a Youth Council advisor for our town, I had the fun opportunity to participate in a Great Urban Race at Utah State University.  The teenagers learned a lot about the university by unscrambling clues and completing challenges to complete the race.  The kids loved it and I couldn’t help but think what a fun activity it could be for a family reunion, especially if you held your reunion in a town that your family had ties to. 

Urban Race is the team race that’s part photo hunt and part trivia. Teams must solve clues to find checkpoints throughout the city. To move on they must take photos or perform certain tasks to earn points.

The fun part of an urban race is that the use of cellphones is  okay. Teams may call family members left back at the reunion site to get help with difficult trivia. Everyone gets a chance to participate in the fun.

Riddle Clues

Scavenger Hunt Ideas & Riddles | Treasure Hunting | Riddle Me

The most difficult part of a treasure or scavenger hunt for me is making up the  clues, it’s also time consuming. I found a website that can help with that- it’s called “Riddle Me”. They have over Over 10,000 Riddles on 1,200 objects and can target different age groups and types of gatherings.  Their program also lets you be in control over the time of the activity, because it lets you decide how many clues to print in a scavenger hunt.

Treasure Hunts and Scavenger Hunts

Puzzle Treasure Hunt

DSC_0061

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)

wedding 19770001

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

clip_image002

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. 

clip_image006

Who’s Got the Key? Treasure Hunt

clip_image004

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

temple day 5 and 6 078

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.

little black camera 234

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.

little black camera 241

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

The Jumping, Running, Throwing Fun of an Obstacle Course

I’m not writing this blog for you, I’m writing it for me.  Every time I need to create an obstacle course I have to rethink every type of course we’ve done in the past.  Next time I have to make an obstacle course I’m just going to search for this blog,hopefully you’ll get some good ideas too.

Kids love obstacle courses and they’re pretty easy to create just using the things you have around your house or party area. 

The easiest way to create a course is to assign each person one obstacle or if it is for a family reunion, assign several families to each bring an obstacle.  You  can do this with little or no advance notice using just the things you have in the course area.

If you have a committee that is putting the course together spend some time brainstorming ideas for your course layout. If you will be at a campground you may be able to take advantage of a water hazard, large rocks and logs.

Eight to ten challenges is a good number for most people.  Here’s some tried and true obstacles that have proved to be fun  over the years.

Jumping Obstacles

Bales of straw or hay make a fun obstacle.  Other jumping obstacles can be logs, laundry baskets or rolled up sleeping bags.  Instead of jumping you can crawl under or over a row of chairs.

obstical course (2)

Running Obstacles

Lay a ladder on the ground and children run through the ladder making sure they step in the hole between each rung on the ladder.

Every obstacle course needs a tire challenge of some sort.  When runners reach the tires, they have to run through them, placing one foot in each of the tires. The more tires you have the harder it becomes.

Swinging Obstacles

Everybody likes a good old rope swing and it’s a fun addition to any obstacle course. If you aren’t near a natural water hazard fill up a kiddy wading pool to provide an extra challenge. Several big knots tied in the rope’s end makes it easier to grab.

Balancing Obstacles

obstical course 3

Using logs, 2x4s or wooden planks makes for a fun balancing portion of your course.

Throwing Obstacles

Throw beanbags into a bucket or basket.  If you have access to a basketball hoop, require participants to make a basket before moving to the next challenge.  If football is your sport of choice throw a ball through a goal post made of PVC pipe.

obstical course 4

Silly Obstacles

Purchase some old couch cushions from the thrift store, mattress or foam pad and set out for participants to run through. This challenge will really slow runners down- just be sure to tell them there is no jumping allowed.

And don’t forget cones (good for zig zagging) and hula hoops (good substitute for tires).

A stopwatch (or the stopwatch on your cellphone) is essential for keeping track of their course times.  You can keep times individually or run your obstacle course as a team relay event.

Setting up an obstacle course is a wonderful way for adults and children to get some fun physical activity. Kids will do it as  part of an organized activity but when the “official” activity is over they’ll continue to play and be entertained making their own kind of fun.

Famous Aunts & Uncles Family Reunion Game

How well do you know the aunts and uncles in your family?  Well,here’s a test to find out how well you know “famous” aunts and uncles that you’ve come to love through TV, books and in the movies.  Pass copies of the test out to older family members when they arrive at your reunion or during down time. Give prizes for the best(WHOPPERS, SMARTIES,100 GRAND) and worst (Milk DUDS) scores.

Famous Aunts & Uncles

www.familyreunionhelper.com

image

1. Andy Griffith’s Aunt

2. Mr. Television

3. “Wizard of Oz” aunt

4. Uncle on “Adams Family”

5. Forgetful Aunt on “Bewitched”

6. Uncle housekeeper on “My Three Sons”

7. Common sense aunt on “Fresh Prince of "Bel-Air”

8. Harry Potter’s strict uncle

9. Trademark for pancake flour and syrup

image

10. Luke Skywalker’s uncle from “Star Wars”

11. Tom Sawyer’s aunt

12. Cissy, Buffy & Jody’s uncle on “Family Affair”

13. Whitney Houston’s famous singing Aunt

14. Motorcycle riding uncle on “Full house”

15. George Clooney’s favorite singing aunt

16. The richest duck in the world

image

17. Aunt that Amy stays with in “Little Women” 

18. He wants YOU (for the US Army)

19. Spiderman’s uncle and adoptive father

20. Who lived with her aunts at 133 Collins Road?

Famous Aunts & Uncles Answer Key

Answer Key

1. Andy Griffith’s Aunt- Aunt Bee

2. Mr. Television Uncle- Miltie

3. “Wizard of Oz” aunt- Auntie Em

4. Uncle on “Adams Family”- Uncle Festus

5. Forgetful Aunt on “Bewitched”- Aunt Clara

6. Uncle housekeeper on “My Three Sons”- Uncle Charley

7. Common-sense aunt on “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” Aunt Vivian

8. Harry Potter’s strict uncle- Uncle Vernon

9. Trademark for pancake flour and syrup- Aunt Jemima

10. Luke Skywalker’s uncle from “Star Was” Uncle Owen

11. Tom Sawyer’s aunt- Aunt Polly

12. Cissy, Buffy & Jody’s uncle on “Family Affair”- Uncle Bill

13. Whitney Houston’s famous singing Aunt- Dionne Warwick

14. Motorcycle riding uncle on “Full house” – Uncle Jesse

15. George Clooney’s favorite singing aunt- Rosemary Clooney

16. The richest duck in the world- Uncle Scrooge

17. Aunt that Amy stays with in “Little Women”- Aunt March

18. He wants YOU (for the US Army)- Uncle Sam

19. Spiderman’s uncle and adoptive father- Uncle Ben

20. Who lived with her aunts at 133 Collins Road?- Sabrina the Teenage Witch

A “ready for printing” copy of this game as well as other fun “Pencil and Paper” games is included with every family reunion theme package purchased at familyreunionhelper.com/

Looking for another fun game to test your knowledge?  Try the Older Than Dirt game and find out who is older than dirt at your next reunion.

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

Splash

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

BAM

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.

clip_image002

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

POW

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!

Stewart Summer party 037

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.

5th grandparets 013

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.

5th grandparets 016

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!

Splash

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.

clip_image002[4]

Stating the Obvious

24th volleyball 029

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

clip_image002[6]

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.

Holiday Trivia Party Game

Do you know the original name of “Memorial Day”?  Do you know the names of the three US presidents that died on Independence Day?

Find out how well you know your Holiday facts by playing the Holiday Trivia game at your next reunion or party. 

image

Holiday Trivia

We played the Holiday Trivia game at a  “Holiday and Seasons” couples wedding shower .  Each guest was assigned a holiday or a season and they brought a gift that kept with that holiday theme. 

brady's shower 011

Holiday Shower Gift Ideas

Some examples of gifts are:

Winter- crockpot and soup bowl
Spring- Sandwich maker (because it warms up)
St Patricks Day- Smoothie maker with green smoothie mix and green cups to drink it in all wrapped in green.
Halloween- a broom as in”witches”
Valentines Day- everything you need for a romantic dinner for two
Independence Day- a Flag
And the list goes on.

Holiday and Seasons Newlywed Game

We also played a variation of the “Newlywed/Oldywed game which included lots of holiday questions such as:

What’s your favorite holiday?

Does your spouse wear green on St Patrick’s Day?

What is your spouse’s favorite Thanksgiving food?

Does your spouse prefer a real or artificial Christmas tree?

But you don’t have to have wedding on your calendar to celebrate the holidays and seasons- try a holiday and seasons theme for your family reunion. It’s especially appropriate if you have a family member such as a serviceman or missionary that has been away from the family for awhile.  Celebrate the birthdays they have missed, have a big Thanksgiving dinner and exchange Christmas gifts.

And if you’re wondering what the original name  of Memorial Day was…

Holiday Trivia Answers

1. Cupid is the symbol of Valentine’s Day because he is the son of whom?

a. Venus
b. Vesuvius
c. Aphrodite

2. On Christmas Eve 1923, which US president began the country’s celebration of Christmas by lighting the National Christmas Tree with 3,000 electric lights on the Ellipse located south of the White House.

a. President Calvin Coolidge
b. President Abraham Lincoln
c. President Warren G. Hardy

3. What is the name of the famous Christmas play written by Charles Dickens ?

a. "A Christmas Carol”
b. “The Nutcracker”
c. “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”

4. What is the number one non-chocolate candy consumed on Easter?

a. Peeps
b. Brachs Marshmallow Eggs
c. Jelly Beans

5. What is the name of the Jewish New Year?

a. Ramadan
b. Rosh Hashanah
c. Yom Kippur

6. Memorial Day, the day to remember those who have died in service, was given a different name in the beginning. What was it?

a. Day of Remembering
b. Remembrance Day
c. Decoration Day

7. If the ground hog sees his shadow on Ground Hog Day, legend says we get how many more weeks of winter?

A. 4 weeks
B. 6 weeks
C. 2 months

8. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both of whom had not only signed the Declaration of Independence but went on to serve as Presidents of the United States, died on July 4th, 1826. Another Founding Father who became President, died on July 4, 1831 becoming the third President in a row to die on Independence Day. Who was it?

a. James Monroe
b. James Madison
c. James A. Garfield

9. Jack o’ Lanterns originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed-out __________ to keep away spirits and ghosts on the holiday.

a. Turnips
b. Pumpkins
c. Watermelons

10. Chocolate candy bars top the list as the most popular candy for trick-or-treaters. Which candy bar is the number one favorite?

a. Snickers
b. M & Ms
c. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

11. If you don’t wear the color Green on St. Patrick’s Day you may get __________.

a. Punched
b. Pinched
c. Tickled

12. Just as Santa Claus is the mascot of Christmas, who is the mascot of New Year’s Eve?

a. Father Time
b. New Year’s Ghost
c. Dick Clark

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.

clip_image004[4]

Feeding Frenzy Pudding Game

clip_image002 clip_image004

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

clip_image002[4]

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!

duck dynasty wells reunion 005

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

image

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.

Sardines a Silly Hide and Seek Game

 

clip_image002

 

Sardines, a fun game for large groups

This is fun hide and seek game for large groups so it’s perfect for family reunion.  Just think of “Sardines” as the opposite of “Hide and Seek”.The object of the game is to find the person hiding and hide with them.  “Sardines” is best played in a large area with many hiding places such as a campground, large yard, field, or park.

How to Play Sardines

clip_image002

First choose someone to be “it”.  “It” hides while everyone counts slowly to 20. When they’re done counting everyone hunts for the “it”. When they find “it” they hide with him/her until the last person finds the hiding group. This person now becomes “it” and hides.

Sardines is especially fun with big families and groups.  It is a fun game to play in the dark. There is no advance preparation needed. Sardines is a good game to keep in your game repertoire to play when  you need a filler or when you need a game for the kids in the family so the adults can get a little down time- just don’t forget to “seek” for the kids after they “hide”.

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.

Pengaloo for Family Game Night

 

093

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).

094

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.

091

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

099

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