Yay, we did it! The “official” family reunion season has come to an end and we survived! To celebrate, FAMILY REUNION HELPER IS HAVING A SALE IN THEIR ETSY SHOP! Follow the link below to receive 20% off any reunion theme package.This even includes the wildly popular Family Reunion Brag Badges! But hurry, sale ends September 15th, 2020 .
A Scavenger Hunt for Your Family Reunion
At our back to school faculty meeting we played a game using the Goose Chase app. The entire time we were playing the game I kept thinking how fun this game would be for a family reunion- and I couldn’t wait to share it with you.
Here’s how it works. GooseChase is basically a scavenger hunt. You go to the Goose Chase website where you build your game. You give your game a name and can also set how long the game will run and whether there’s a password to join.
Each GooseChase game has a list of missions for participants to complete. You can create your mission list using their bank of 100+ tested missions or by designing your own from scratch.
Missions have a name, description, point value and an optional link or photo to provide extra information. To complete a mission, select it from the list and follow the instructions to receive the allotted points. Our team had 6 people in it and we piled into a car and drove around to complete our challenges. With real-time activity feeds and rankings, you’re able to see everything as it happens. At the end of the game we were able to watch a slideshow of all the photos & videos which was a ton of fun.
“GooseChase got people moving around, talking to each other and laughing. If I have any reservations about GooseChase it is the cost. It may be out of the reach for some family reunions and church groups but they do have an educational license for schools etc. and there is a free version if you only have 3 teams.
You can read more about GooseChase at GooseChase.
The Ultimate “Getting to Know You” Game for Your Family Reunion
A family reunion “Brag Badge” is a small tag, somewhat resembling a “military dog tag” that represents the hobbies, interests, occupations and accomplishments of members of your family.
Collecting Brag Badges is so much fun that quite often children in the family will see a badge they want to earn and they’ll run off looking for a family member that will help them earn badge they desire and they’ll connect with a new cousin, aunt or uncle or be surprised by the accomplishments or interests of a favorite relative.
With Brag Badges, family members will have fun discovering their relatives that love ice cream, pizza and dancing. They’ll find relatives that drive trucks, teach school and relatives that have been to Hawaii. They’ll find relatives that are Eagle Scouts, Veterans and couples that have been married for 50 years. They’ll discover relatives that share their same birth month, like to read, play baseball and so much more.
Brag Badges are a perfect way for your family to to show off their interests, talents and achievements and are great way for family members to get to know each other!
When I use Brag Badges at a family reunion I require that badges are signed before they can be earned so that family members will always remember who the relative was that helped them earn the badge.
I display my brag badges at our family reunions in needle craft organizers you can purchase by following the link below. I like to leave the badges on a table and let reunion goers supervise themselves. You can purchase the needlepoint cases in the Family Reunion Store. If using all of the badges included in this download you will need to purchase several cases.
The graphics on these badges are so cute your family will love them! Over 60 different “Brag Badges” are included in this digital download- all in bright COLOR! There are 4 of each design but you can print as many copies as you need- depending on the size of your family. You don’t need one of each design for everyone in your family- it makes badges more valuable if the the number is limited.
Print the Brag Badges on card stock, laminate, cut and punch a hole in the top of each badge. The hole is for the ball bead chain to wear around your neck and to display the Brag Badge discoveries you have made. You can purchase 50 chains in the Family Reunion Helper store for less than $8.00.
This fun family reunion resource includes over 60 brag badges in color and printer friendly version. Brag Badges help family members connect in a way they will never forget. You can purchase a complete set of Brag Badges in the Family Reunion Helper Store
Aunt Lynn’s Camping Match Game has been a favorite activity at our family reunions for over 20 years. You play this game like you do most match games but instead of only one winner, everyone that finds a match receives a prize.
To play the game lay the cards face down on a flat surface.
Youngest player goes first.
Players take turns turning over 2 cards at a time.
The cards must be turned over completely so that all players can see them. A player makes a “match” if the two cards turned over are identical. (When printing the cards you will need to make two copies)
When a match is made the player puts the pair of cards beside them and takes the prize associated with that match. (see list below) and the next player takes their turn. We don’t let the person that finds a match continue to make matches until they don’t make a match. That way more people are able to earn prizes.
Examples of prizes for matches include-
Hike- Rocky Road
Logs- Tootsie Roll
Mosquitos- Slap Stick
You can give a grand prize to the player with the most matches if you want to.
You can download the complete printable game here.
My family is really enjoying punch boards. A punch board is an exciting way to award prizes. This game show activity allows each person to punch through the tissue paper to find a toy or treat, or whatever you decide to put in it. We have even put gift cards in them. Punch boards are perfect for family reunions, especially if your theme is a circus or carnival theme.
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 is a fun way to distribute prizes bit you can also 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.
We have one punch board at our house that we change to fit the theme of the party we are having. If you’re having a super hero party or reunion the punch board becomes the perfect- Smash Hulk board.
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
- tape & hot glue
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.
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.
It wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t admit to you that building your own punch board may drive your crazy. Taping all the bags on the back and making sure the prizes stay in place can be frustrating so if you don’t want to go through the hassle of making your own punch board you can purchase a reasonably priced board by following this link.
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.
Barbeque Captain’s “Parrot”
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.
Game Ideas for Your Irish Party
Whether celebrating St Patrick’s Day or considering your Irish roots at your next family reunion here are a couple of fun Irish game ideas.
Musical Shamrock Game
Make very large green shamrock shapes about 2 feet square. They don’t need to be fancy just simple shamrock shapes. The ideas is similar to “musical chairs” game- you want to have fewer shamrocks than players. Scatter shamrocks over the playing area. Explain that as the music plays all the players must keep moving but must stay off the shamrocks. When the music stops players run to a shamrock. However, each shamrock must have three players on it. Those with only one or two as well as those that have nowhere to stand are eliminated. Remove a shamrock or two after each round. (You always want to have fewer shamrocks than players) Winners of the game are those who have not been eliminated when only one shamrock remains. Give out green lollypops, cupcakes or stickers for prizes.
Irish Scavenger Hunt
Divide into teams, giving each team an identical list of green items. Tell each team that they must stay together when searching for their green items.
Some ideas to search for:
- Something that grows green
- Something you are wearing that is green
- Green crayon, green colored pencil, green marker
- Find a plastic item that is green
- Find something soft that is green
- Something hard that is green
- Find something you can build with that is green
- Green snack
- 3 leaf clover
- Fruit that is green
- Vegetable that is green
- Pop Can
Irish “Road Bowling” Game
Croquet is supposed to have come from a game called Crookey in Northern Ireland but another fun “real” Irish game is “Road Bowling”.
Road bowling is an unusual version of bowling that is particular to Ireland. It is played with a steal shot, (or use your own idea for a ball of some sort) which is tossed under arm by the player down a twisty road. The player who gets to the finish line with the least amount of throws wins.
Why should you never iron a 4-leaf clover? You
don’t want to press your luck.
May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, and may trouble avoid you wherever you go.
How well do you know your chocolate bars?
Whether you are in charge of planning a party for family, friends, co-workers or you church, here’s a fun printable with a twist. Instead of identifying candy bars by their name or wrapper you try and recognize your favorite bars by how they look on the inside. You can download a printable copy of the game below.
- Baby Ruth
- Milky Way
- 3 Musketeers
- 5th Avenue
- Almond Joy
- 100 Grand
Although the candy bar game printable is lots of fun you can take your party to a whole new level by letting you guest actually EAT the candy bars.
Divide the group into teams. In advance, cut several well known candy bars into bite sized pieces. The object of this candy bar game is for the blindfolded person to guess the name of the candy bar by taste alone. No peeking and no hints allowed! Each player only gets one guess so give them a little time to come up with the correct answer. If the blindfolded player guesses the candy bar correctly, their team gets a point. The team with the most points at the end of the game is the winner. And what do you give as prizes- why candy bars!
Perfect Treats for Your Family Christmas Party
Simple to make and delicious to eat!
These cute reindeer and snowman stole the show at our family Christmas party last year. They are simple to make and delicious to eat. You can make them yourself or use these goodies as an ice breaker activity when your family first arrives at the party.
The Snowmen are easy to make using Hostess Sno balls. Just keep your eyes open for them because they seem to only be available at certain times of the year.
Use a little white frosting to glue an orange candy like an M&M or Skittle or Sixlet to the Sno Ball. You can also just do a dab of orange frosting. Use black frosting gel in a tube to make the eyes. Cut a paper straw in half and press it inside of the Sno Ball.
Making the reindeer are a little more complicated though once I figured out the process,even my little grandchildren were able to make their own reindeer.
Purchase a package of Little Debbie’s Swiss Rolls.
First you will need to cut two small slits on each side of the Swiss Roll and gently place one pretzel on each side.
Put a dab of white frosting where you want the eyes to go and carefully press the point side of two white chocolate chips into the Swiss Rolls to make the eyes. Use black gel to make the dots for the eyes.
Put a dab of white frosting to glue a red M&M nose below the eyes. Cut a paper straw in half and press it inside of the Swiss Roll.
HINT: Be very careful when placing the antlers and the eyes. If you push to hard your reindeer may look like this…
Unusual Halloween Party Ideas
At familyreunionhelper.com we love reunions AND we love parties! Of course, we specialize in wonderful family reunions but many of those reunion ideas translate perfectly into awesome parties. Check out some of our favorite Halloween party ideas- nothing super scary but family friendly activities that will make your guests SQUIRM!
Halloween Party Ideas to Make Your Guests “Squirm”
When I think of things that make me squirm I think of bats, worms, snakes and spiders- all typical Halloween creatures. Oh, and what about eyeballs- sure to bring on a squirm!
It’s a Halloween Party!
Today’s the day we’re going to make you SQUIRM!
Snakes, witches, and bats galore – Let’s see what this Halloween has in store. Bring your family for a night of Squirms!
A few old brooms decorated with bows and lights makes for a fun entrance to your party. Wrap plastic snakes around the broom handle and spiders in the bristles.
Silhouettes make decorating easy. You can purchase spooky silhouettes or easily make your own using black paper such as teachers use for bulletin boards. Put silhouettes in windows for a fun Halloween decoration- you want your guests to start “squirming” with fright before they even get to the door.
Don’t want to make your own silhouette- the cat pictured is actually a Martha Stewart Halloween Witch Silhouette Window Cling. This image clings to glass or mirrors and can be reused year after year.
Squirmy Vampire Soap
You will need a small jar, laxative tablets (over the counter product at pharmacy), rubbing alcohol, soap and water.
In the jar, crush one or two laxative tablets and add a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol. Rub some of the mixture on your hand and allow to dry. Then wash it off with soap. The soapy water will turn bright red!
NOTE: Do not eat or drink this solution.
What happened? The laxative contains a substance called phenolphthalein, which turns bright red when mixed with an alkali base like soup.
Squirmy Peanut Butter Eyeballs
2 cups powdered sugar
½ cup creamy peanut butter
3 Tablespoons butter, softened
½ – 1 pound white chocolate candy coating
Small bag of M & M’s or Skittles
Tube of red decorator frosting
1. Blend peanut butter and butter until creamy. Add sugar. Continue beating until it comes together and is about as thick as thick cookie dough. When well blended shape into 1 inch balls and put in the fridge on waxed paper to chill until firm. (30 minutes)
2. Melt the white candy coating in the microwave. Microwave in 60 second intervals stirring at the end of every minute until candy is smooth and creamy. Dip peanut butter balls in the candy coating and place back on your waxed paper. Immediately press a candy on top to make an iris. Place back into the fridge until set.
3. Using the tube of red decorator frosting make red squiggly blood vessels.
HINT: Since taking these photos we have found that to clean your eyes up a bit, use a paring knife to cut the excess candy coating from the eyeball- it will give your eyeball a cleaner look.
HALLOWEEN GAMES to make you Squirm
Worms in a Pie
You will need gummy worms, whipped cream and aluminum pie plates. Place gummy worms in the bottom of the pie plate and then cover with whipped cream. On the word “go” players try and eat as many gummy worms as they can find in the cream. You can award prizes for the most worms found or most worms found in a time limit. For extra fun, blindfold the contestants.
Take a ping pong ball and decorate with markers to look like blood shot eyes. Then get plastic pumpkin or party cups. Now give each child an eyeball and place the plastic pumpkin or cup at the bottom of stairs or across the floor. Have each player toss or bounce the eyeball down the stairs or across the room. The goal is to see if their eyeball bounces into the pumpkin. You can give a prize to those that get it in the pumpkin. Also for young kids, you may want to place paper cups together and have each cup worth a prize.
Speaking of “eyeballs”…
SCARY STORY to make you SQUIRM-
The Legend of White Eyes
I didn’t write it nor do I know where it came from- maybe it really is a true story and came from the pages of my history book. I’ve heard a lot of scary stories when I’ve been camping but this is the only story that made me scream- I hope you scream too.
Advance preparation- besides practicing the telling of this tale you will need to take a ping-pong ball and cut it in half. Color a small dark dot on each half with a permanent marker. These will be your “white eyes”. Keep them concealed in a closed hand. When the time is right, pop them on over each eye. (You may customize place names in your story to suit the occasion) NOTE: I would wait to tell this story until the little ones in your family had been tucked into bed.
There on that side of the lake (point) is where this story took place. As you all may know, the area around here was a busy place 100 years ago due to the Gold rush. Miners turned this whole region upside down in a quest for GOLD!
Greed can be a dangerous thing, especially where Gold is involved. To find more gold meant faster production, and digging deeper underground. It also meant sacrificing safety, but they didn’t care because there were a lot of foolish men around looking to make their fortune.
One day an underground mine collapsed with 16 men still waiting to come up from a full day’s work. Hour after hour went by as they awaited their rescue. The conditions were terrible. It was pitch-black dark, and very hot, dry and dusty down deep in that shaft. The men collected droplets of water that seeped down the tunnel walls in an attempt to satisfy their dying thirst. Days went by and still no rescue. To stave off hunger, they ate rats, mushrooms, and eventually… their dead co-workers.
(Throw a log on the fire for dramatic effect! Poke away at the embers.)
Despite their hopelessness, they scraped away at the rock and debris to try and dig their way out, confident that others would be digging from the surface as part of the rescue attempt. They dug and they dug, day after day, frantically hoping to see daylight from the surface. The days stretched into weeks, and then from there, the few men left alive lost track of time, and started losing their minds.
An eternity later, the survivors finally broke through, and made two very surprising discoveries. One: there was no search party. The mining company had abandoned the mine, and simply walked away. And two… all that time underground had affected their eyes… Their eyeballs were all white, except for an itty bitty black pupil. And they could no longer tolerate sunlight.
Being left for dead was bad enough. Turning into some sort of White-eyed freak was too much. They snapped. In their rage they made a pact to hunt down every man who abandoned them in that old mine. And soon after, mysterious instances of men being killed in the mountains around here started.
The locals at first thought it was a bear or a cougar doing all the killing. The victims were usually found mauled, bloody and torn. But; closer examination showed the teeth marks on the bodies… were from human teeth!!
(Throw log on the fire!)
One by one, those white-eyed freaks killed off every miner, and any other man they could find in this area. And to this day, you won’t find any mining around these parts. Keep in mind this all happened 100 years ago. You’re probably wondering what happened to those white-eyes?? They should all be gone now due to old age, or at least that’s what they thought… until a few weeks ago. I heard on the radio, they found a hiker mauled on that trail on the backside of the lake. And on that dead man’s neck… human teeth marks!!!
Heed my words, kids: As long as you’re close to the fire, the light will scare ‘em away, but if you need to go into the dark… (pop in the ping-pong ball props)
BEWARE of the WHITE-EYES!!!!
HALLOWEEN SQUIRMY SONGS
Road Kill Stew
(Tune: “Three Blind Mice”)
Road kill stew, road kill stew.
Tastes so good, just like it should.
First you go down to the interstate.
You wait for the critter to meet it’s fate.
You take it home and you make it great.
Road kill stew, road kill stew.
Squirmiest Song Ever
Nobody likes me; everybody hates me;
Guess I’ll go eat worms.
Chorus: Long, thin, slimy ones; short fat juicy ones;itsy, bitsy, fuzzy, wuzzy worms.
First you get a bucket; then you get a shovel;
Oh, how they wiggle and squirm.
Next, you pull their heads off, then you suck their guts out;
Oh, how they wiggle and squirm.
Down goes the first one, down goes the second one;
Oh, how they wiggle and squirm.
Up comes the first one; up comes the second one;
Oh, how they wiggle and squirm.
Everybody likes me; nobody hates me!
Why did I eat all those worms?
Chop up their heads, and squeeze out their juice,
And throw their tails away.
Nobody know how I can survive
On worms three times a day!
(Tune: “Auld Lang Syne”)
Should old worn sneakers be thrown out;
Or stink upon a shelf?
Should holey, moldy, gym socks walk
To the washer by themselves?
My smelly shoes, so torn and rank;
How comfortable to me!
My gym socks match them perfectly;
Let’s my piggies wiggle free!
Halloween Party Jokes
Q: What do you call a ghost in a torn sheet?
A: A holy terror
Q. What do you call a witch who lives at the beach?
A. A sand-witch.
Q. What do you call a witch’s garage?
A. A broom closet.
Q. What is a Skeleton’s favorite song.
A. Bad to the Bone.
Q. Why can’t a Skeleton Lift Weights?
A. He’s all bone and no muscle.
Q. What is a Mummie’s favorite type of music?
A. Wrap music!
Q. Why don’t mummies take vacations?
A. They’re afraid they’ll relax and unwind.
I was going through some old family reunion papers and found this fun recipe for Ooey Gooey Gax- some people call it “slime”. Kids love Gax/slime and it’s a perfect party craft especially if you’re outside.
2 Tablespoons white glue
2 Tablespoons water
3-4 drops food coloring
1 Tablespoons Borax – usually found in the laundry detergent section of your grocery store
Plastic bag for storing Gax
- Mix 1 Tablespoon of Borax powder to 1 cup warm water. Stir until all the powder has dissolved. This makes sodium borate.
- In a smaller separate bowl, mix 2 Tablespoons glue and 2 Tablespoons water and stir well.
- Add 3 drops of food coloring to the glue/water mix and stir.
- Add 1 Tablespoon of the sodium borate to the glue/water mixture.
- Stir and let sit for a few minutes and then it will be ready to play with.
- Place in an airtight container (Bag).
Hints: Don’t leave Gak on fabric, vinyl or wood. Do not eat Gak. Make a batch of Gak before getting to your reunion so you know how it works.
This recipe only makes a small batch.
To make Glow in the Dark Slime: Add several drops of glow-in-the-dark paint during the mixing in stage 1.
The cute graphics you see on this page may be purchased from-