How to Destroy Boring Family Reunion
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
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
Stating the Obvious
Here’s the obvious boredom busters- set up volleyball, badminton, croquet, horseshoes or any activity that will get your family interacting with each other.
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.