Something New for Your Family Reunion Campfire

Campfire Éclairs


Our friends the Cutlers, introduced us to “Campfire Éclairs” several years ago and Campfire Éclairs have been a fun family reunion tradition ever since.  If you need a break from S’Mores (how could you need a break from S’Mores?) try these delicious Campfire Éclairs at your next family reunion.

Spray the end of a 1- inch dowel with cooking spray. Take a biscuit (i.e. Pillsbury dough, bannock dough or other substitute) or two, two if small, one if grand and wrap it around the end of the stick (make sure there are no holes in the dough). Roast over fire until golden brown. Cooking the dough will take a little patience.  You have to really move your stick around so that the end doesn’t burn.  But if you persist the end result is worth the effort.

Remove crust from stick when cool enough to touch and fill with vanilla pudding. Frost with chocolate frosting.

I found a fun new product that adds to the Éclair experience. This product hit the shelves of grocery stores in 2010 and comes from Pillsbury and is called “Easy Frost”.  It was the greatest thing for making campfire “Éclairs”.  It is rather expensive but for our family, the convenience was worth the cost.  Another way we make Éclairs more convenient is by using premade vanilla pudding in the individual serving packages.image

Aunt MO

He has no more backbone than a chocolate eclair
Theodore Roosevelt

Make a Deal at Your Family Reunion

If you have ever seen the television game show, “Let’s Make a Deal” you will probably remember that in the final moments of the show, Monty Hall would say, “I’ll give you $50.00 if you can give me a paper clip (or some other item). The audience member would dig frantically in their purse or pocket to find a paper clip and win that $50.00. Monty would sometimes ask for the strangest items but it seemed that 90% of the time someone would be carrying it around with them. Monty’s strangest “quick” deal was, “I’ll give you $50 for a Hard Boiled Egg.”


This little game can be a fun activity that you repeat throughout your family reunion. Not much preparation is required and you can use it to fill in any lag times in your reunion. Play “Let’s Make a Deal” while you’re waiting for a meal, between acts at your family reunion talent show or even during your reunion dance. Just be sure to assign a “crazy” uncle to play the part of “Monty” for extra entertainment.

One rule you might need to enforce is- the item asked for must be on them or in a purse or bag with them. They may not run off to their tent or car to get the item.

Instead of using real money as prizes buy a bag of small 100 Grand candy bars. Below is our list of items to ask for but I’m sure you’ll come up with some good ones of your own.

Baby Toy
Baby wipe
Breath mint
Chap Stick
Cough drop
Dental Floss
Deposit Slip
Lifesaver candy
Lip Stick
Paper lip
Pocket Knife
Sewing kit
State Quarter
Prescription paper

You can also ask for the person with the:
Most Credit Cards
Most Business Cards
Most pennies
Most pictures

Lot’s of famous families have played “Let’s Make a Deal”- the Flintstones with host "Monty Marble, Sanford and Son and the Simpsons. Plan to make this fun game part of your family too.

Aunt MO

Love is the only game that is not called on account of darkness.
Thomas Carlyle

T-Shirt Sayings and Slogan Ideas for Your Family Reunion

Choose a family reunion slogan to put on your reunion t-shirt. Wearing reunion t-shirts show identity and build family unity at your reunion. I’ve always thought it would be fun to have a family reunion “tour”shirt. Put a fun graphic or slogan on the front of your shirts and then on the back have 2011 Wells Reunion Tour and then list all the cities of where all your relatives live as the tour dates.

Check out this list of family reunion t-shirt slogans and sayings to find one that reflects the personality of your family the best.


General Family Reunion Slogans or Sayings- Express Yourself

Wells Family- You’ve Seen the Rest Now Play With The Best
Hugs Are Fully Returnable
Home for the holidays
It’s Never Too Far For Family
Back to our Roots
Celebrate your heritage
Watering the Family Tree
Gathering around the family tree
Honoring family, mile after mile, year after year
A people without knowledge of their history… is like a tree without its roots
Love Still Keeps Us Together
A past to remember, a present to celebrate, a future to generate
All Roads Lead Home
When God Made “Smiths”, He Was Just Showing Off
Petersons- Takes one to know one
Larson family- Why be normal when you can be Extraordinary
Proud to Be On the Stewart Family Tree

Inspirational Family Reunion Slogans or Sayings

Don’t Forget to Remember
It’s not where you go or what you do It’s who is beside you that counts.
The Legacy Never Ends
New Vines from Strong Roots
Blessed by the Best, Pass It On!
We’re so elated ’cause we’re all related
In Time of Rest – in Time of Test – Family is Best.
Far Apart In Miles But Bound Together In Love.
Out of Africa
Unforgettable in So Many Ways
Zammekumme, translates as "coming together."
Bless Grandmothers! – They Minimize Our Failures and Magnify Our Successes
Reuniting the Past and Shaping the Future

Funny Family Reunion Slogans and Sayings

They’re dragging me to a party where I won’t know anyone and they call it a family reunion
It’s a Stewart thing- you just wouldn’t understand.
9 out of 10 monkeys insist we are not their descendants.
Stewart family reunion- don’t blame me
We put the FUN in Dysfunctional
From the Root to the Fruit. Ain’t we a Hoot
You Lost Me At Hello
Jensen Family- If we stopped arguing we wouldn’t talk at all
CRAZY is a relative term in my family
Places to Go, People to Annoy

Family Reunion Theme T-shirt Slogans and Sayings

Sport Theme
Petersons- The Race is On
Jensens- From Start To Finish – United!
Age and Treachery Will Always Beat Youth and Skill
The Older I Get the Better I Used to Be

Bootcamp or Patriotic Reunion Theme

United We Stand
Army: Be All That You’re Told to Be
God, Guts, Glory

Olympic Reunion Theme

2011 Family Reunion: Passing the Torch of Heritage
One team, one family, one win.
Our Olympic Rings Are Wagon Wheels

Western Reunion Theme

Round ’em up
The herd is gathering.
Packers- How the West Was Won
What’s the Difference Between In-Laws and Outlaws? Outlaws Are Wanted

Family Reunion Picnic or Barbeque Theme

The Wells- Grillin’ & Chillin’

Mafia Family Reunion Theme

If You Can’t Beat Them, Arrange to Have Them Beaten

Pool or Water Family Reunion Theme

The Trouble With the Gene Pool Is That There’s No Lifeguard.
No water too cool for a family so hot
Jensen Family Reunion- a whale of good time

Redneck Family Reunion Theme

If It’s Called Tourist Season, Why Can’t We Hunt Them?

Cruise or Pirate Reunion Theme

Hijinks on the High Seas
Surrender the Bounty
We treasure our family

Ten Ideas for Your Family Reunion- part 2

Family Reunion Idea #6- Right/Left Gameimage

A Right/Left game is an activity everyone at your family reunion can participate in. We always ask each family member to bring a “white elephant” gift (wrapped or unwrapped) to the family reunion or party.  I always bring a few extra gifts in case someone forgets. 

How to Play: Form a circle, each time you hear the word right, pass the candy, prize, grab to the person on your right. When you hear the word left, pass to the person on your left. When you finish this story everyone opens the gift they are LEFT with. HINT: Be sure and read with lots of expression and pauses- the children in your family will have fun anticipating RIGHT or LEFT. Writing a Right/Left story is pretty easy but you can find a fun family reunion Right/Left story here.

Family Reunion Idea #7- Bloomers Game!!


I have to include this game for your family reunion in this list because it makes me laugh.  This is a very scary game for boys ages 10- 14. (There is nothing scarier to a boy of this age than women’s underwear) This game is  good game for any family reunion but is especially fitting for a family “heritage” reunion theme.

Everyone should sit in a circle. Ask if they know what old fashioned bloomers are. Explain that in the olden days they used to call women’s underwear “bloomers”.

Hold up a box that is neatly wrapped. (In advance, you should have wrapped the box in at least ten different layers of wrapping paper.) Tell your family that inside the box are a pair of bloomers.

Everyone will pass the box around the circle while music is being played. When the music stops the person holding the box must open the box and model the bloomers for everyone to see.


Be careful how you word your instructions because inside the box is not a pair of old fashion women’s bloomers but a pair (two) bloomers from the garden. The look of relief on the person’s face when he finds out it’s just “flowers” he is modeling and not “underwear” is a joy to see.

Family Reunion Idea #8- Tell a Scary Story

If you will be camping or sleeping over at your family reunion plan a few scary stories to share.  I have found it best to assign out scary stories in advance of your reunion so that scary story tellers can be well prepared.  There are lots of scary story resources on the web- just give your story tellers advance notice so that they can do the research and find the best ones.

I have a favorite scary story that Uncle Steven has shared at many family reunions, girls camps and scout camps.  Family members that have heard the story at previous family reunions are always excited for him to share the story with reunion “newbies”.

I didn’t write the story but like all the best scary stories it has been passed down through generations of story tellers.   The story is called “White Eyes” and  requires some 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 can find a free copy of the story here.

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.

Family Reunion Idea #9- “Are You Older Than Dirt?” Game


It’s important to provide a wide variety of games and activities at your family reunion.  You will want to have lots or physical games but will also want to consider “Pencil and Paper” games that are not able to participate in the more active games.  One of my favorite “Pencil and Paper” games is the “Older Than Dirt” game.  In this game participants answer  twenty questions about life styles throughout the years.  For example, question number one says-

1. In the 1940′s, where were automobile headlight high beam switches located?

a. On the floor shift knob

b. On the floor board, to the left of the clutch

c. Next to the horn

You can find the entire free test, “When You Were My Age” at

Family Reunion Idea #10-Pipe Chimes

pipe chimes 2 001

Make a set or two of musical pipe chimes.  Making music with pipe chimes is an easy and inexpensive way to have fun with your family. My Mom saw pipe chimes more than thirty years ago and our family has been making music with conduit pipes ever since.

Pipe chimes are easy to make and don’t require the use of expensive tools. Cut pipes to exact measurements and create your own set of musical pipe chimes. It’s so easy you might want to make two sets for use at your larger family reunions.

As long as you can read numbers, you can play pipe chimes. They are numbered 0 to 20; they also each have their note name on them, so you can play a song that you know the melody to.

You can find easy to follow instructions and thirteen fun chimes songs here.

Do I Have to Invite Everyone To My Family Reunion?

I received a question from someone planning a family reunion in August this year. This reunion planner expressed some concern over who they should invite to their reunion. There was one family in particular that she didn’t feel comfortable inviting to the reunion for various reasons.

imageIf this is your first family reunion then deciding who to invite to the reunion is one of the first questions you have to ask when planning your reunion. There are all types of reunions. You can plan reunion with just your brothers and sisters and their families for a reunion on a smaller scale. Every generation you go back makes your reunion bigger and the more people and food you need to plan for.

If you are concerned about including a family in your reunion you may want to stop short of inviting families from that generation. There are plenty of reunions or “parties” you could have that won’t include that family. For instance have a “Cousins” party or a “descendants of _____” reunion. If you are inviting the descendants of _____ and they are part of that group it is difficult to not include them, but you can invite anyone you want to a party.

image Edith Wagner of Reunions Magazine puts it this way, “A family reunion is not a wedding where you pick and choose who to invite. A family reunion should include everyone or at least you should invite everyone. Occasionally there may be family members you’d rather not encounter. On the other hand, not everyone wants to come, either, which is how it often works out.”

A good rule of thumb when deciding who to invite to your family reunion is to start with your closest relatives and work out. Begin with “Mom and Dad”- not much of a family reunion, then invite brothers and sisters and their families. Ask yourself if you have access to a reunion site that will accommodate this number of people and if you do then start adding branches from your family tree- grandparents, great grandparents etc.

Keep in mind that the further back you go the greater the numbers and keep in mind that families tend to multiply. We began with about 20 people at our first family reunion and now we’re pushing 100.

Hint: Large reunions need to be announced very far in advance to give everyone enough time to plan around it and save up. All family reunions require a significant amount of planning but larger reunions require many more hours of planning and lots of help from reunion committees.

So basically the question we should be asking is “What KIND of a reunion do I want to have?”  Those are the people you should invite.

Thanks, Linda, for a great reunion planning question.

Aunt MO

Family Reunion Quotes


I love good quotes.  I like to end each of my blogs with a quote about families or family reunions. The quotes I am including in this blog are not quotes I have written but quotes from people with minds immeasurably smarter than mine.  They may help you as you plan your family reunion as you use them in family newsletters, invitations and posters. 

I have listed my top ten family reunion quotes at the first of this blog and encourage you to read to the bottom of this blog so you don’t miss out on a good laugh with “Funny Family Reunion Quotes”.


Top Ten Family Reunion Quotes

#1 “A tree without roots will fall over” -unknown

#2 "How will our children know who they are if they do not know where they came from." unknown

#3 "Heirlooms we don’t have in our family. But stories we’ve got."         -Rose Cherin

#4 “I wish I could relate to the people I’m related to.” -Jeff Foxworthy

#5 “When we die we become ‘stories’ in the minds of other people.” -Unknown

#6 “This packrat has learned that what the next generation will value most is not what we owned, but the evidence of who we were and the tales of how we loved. In the end, it’s the family stories that are worth the storage.” -Ellen Goodman

#7 “If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?” -Stephen Levine

#8 “The lack of emotional security of our American young people is due, I believe, to their isolation from the larger family unit. No two people – no mere father and mother – as I have often said, are enough to provide emotional security for a child. He needs to feel himself one in a world of kinfolk, persons of variety in age and temperament, and yet allied to himself by an indissoluble bond which he cannot break if he could, for nature has welded him into it before he was born.”
– Pearl S. Buck

#9 “Human beings are the only creatures on earth that allow their children to come back home.” -Bill Cosby

#10 “ The reason grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is that they have a common enemy.” -Sam Levenson

Family Reunion Quotes

"In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future." -Alex Haley

“The great gift of life is to be intimately acquainted with people you might never even introduce yourself to, had life not done it for you.”     -Kendall Hailey

"Generations pass like leaves fall from our family tree. Each season new life blossoms and grows benefiting from the strength and experience of those who went before."  -Heidi Swapp

"If you don’t believe in ghosts, you’ve never been to a family reunion." -Ashleigh Brilliant

"Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present and future. We make discoveries about ourselves."  -Gail Lumet Buckley, writer

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” – Jane Howard

"Like branches on a tree, our lives may grow in different directions yet our roots remain as one."  -Author Unknown

You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you. -Frederick Buechner

“It is important for us … to cultivate in our own family a sense that we belong together eternally, that whatever changes outside our home, there are fundamental aspects of our relationship which will never change. We ought to encourage our children to know their relatives. We need to talk of them, make effort to correspond with them, visit them, join family organizations, etc.” -Pres. Spencer W. Kimball

"People are generally irrational, unreasonable and selfish. They deserve to be loved, anyway." -Mother Theresa

“Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present, and future.” – Gail Lumet Buckley

“A good way to learn to love our relatives is to spend time together in well-planned family reunions. A family reunion can be a very personal and privileged gathering. If you have never organized your family for a reunion, start now—you will receive joy far beyond your expectations. Yes, there will be discouragements. Some family members will say they don’t have time or that they are too busy. But the rewards more than compensate for the discouragements.” -Alma Heaton

"The future belongs to those who give the next generation reason for hope." – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

“Family is essential because we all yearn to feel like we belong to something greater than ourselves.” -Laura Ramirez

Family Quotes

“Having children makes you no more a parent than having a piano makes you a pianist.Michael Levine

“Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” -Robert Frost

“Watching your daughter being collected by her date feels like handing over a million dollar Stradivarius to a gorilla.”-Jim Bishop

"The best effect of fine persons is felt after we have left their presence." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

I don’t care how poor a man is; if he has family, he’s rich. -M*A*S*H, Colonel Potter

“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.” -Richard Bach

“Blood’s thicker than water, and when one’s in trouble it’s best to seek out a relative’s open arms.” – Author Unknown

“To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.” -Barbara Bush

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” -James Arthur Bladwin

The past is not dead. It isn’t even past. -William Faulkner

"Perhaps the greatest social service that can be rendered by anybody to this country and to mankind is to bring up a family." -G.B. Shaw

“Our most important and powerful assignments are in the family. They are important because the family has the opportunity at the start of a child’s life to put feet firmly on the path home.” -Henry B. Eyring

“Families that play together stay together, especially when their play is uplifting and wholesome. Family vacations, holidays, birthday celebrations, and other activities build strong bonds and feelings of self-worth. The phrase “Remember when we…” is sure to bring love and laughter in the years to come.” -Unknown

"Be a storehouse of happy memories." -Gretchen Rubin

"Let us open wide the windows of our hearts, that each family member may feel welcome and ‘at home.” -Thomas S. Monson

"The family – that dear octopus from whose tentacles we never quite escape, nor, in our inmost hearts, ever quite wish to." -Dodie Smith

"Our family is a circle of strength and love, with every birth and every union, the circle will grow, every joy shared adds more love, every crisis faced together, makes the circle stronger." -Unknown

“I grew up with six brothers. That’s how I learned to dance -waiting for the bathroom.” -Bob Hope

"Our most treasured family heirlooms are our sweet family memories.” -Unknown

“Our most basic instinct is not for survival but for family. Most of us would give our own life for the survival of a family member, yet we lead our daily life too often as if we take our family for granted.” -Paul Pearshall

“Nobody has ever before asked the nuclear family to live all by itself in a box the way we do. With no relatives, no support, we’ve put it in an impossible situation.” -Margaret Mead

When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses. -Joyce Brothers

“The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.” -Erma Bombeck

Family Heritage and Genealogy Quotes

I trace my family history so I will know who to blame.

"The measure of a woman’s character is not what she gets from her ancestors, but what she leaves her descendants." -Unknown

"He who plants a tree plants hope." – Lucy Laroom

"Genealogy, n. An account of one’s descent from an ancestor who did not particularly care to trace his own. " -Ambrose Bierce

“When our hearts turn to our ancestors, something changes inside us. We feel part of something greater than ourselves. Our inborn yearnings for family connections are fulfilled when we are linked to our ancestors…” -Russell M. Nelson

"We are who we are because they were who they were. . ." Unknown

“Genealogists never die, they just lose their roots.” -Unknown

“If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.” -George Bernard Shaw

"If you don’t recount your family history, it will be lost. Honor your own stories and tell them too. The tales may not seem very important, but they are what binds families and makes each of us who we are. " -Madeleine Engle

What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life – to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories.”
– George Eliot

Genealogy: A hay stack full of needles. It’s the threads I need.              -Unknown

“Every man is a quotation from all his ancestors.”  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

"To our children, we give two things, one is roots, the other is wings." -Unknown

Genealogy: Collecting dead relatives and sometimes a live cousin!        -Unknown

"To forget one’s ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root." -Chinese proverb

Genealogy: Where you confuse the dead and irritate the living.            -Unknown

"The kind of ancestors we had is not as important as the kind descendants or ancestors have." -Unknown

“Research: What I’m doing, when I don’t know what I’m doing.”           -Unknown

“Take nothing but ancestors, leave nothing but records. “                      -Unknown

“A family tree can wither if nobody tends it’s roots.” -Unknown           

“When we die we become ‘stories’ in the minds of other people.” -Unknown

“We all grow up with the weight of history on us. Our ancestors dwell in the attics of our brains as they do in the spiraling chains of knowledge hidden in every cell of our bodies.”
– Shirley Abbott

“Heredity: Everyone believes in it until their children act like fools!” Unknown

“Kinship: it’s all relative!” -Unknown

“When you search for ancestors, you find great friends! “ -Unknown

“Still trying to decorate my family tree. “ -Unknown

“It’s hard to be humble with ancestors like mine!” -Unknown

Funny Family Reunion Quotes

"There is no such thing as "fun for the whole family."-Jerry Seinfeld

“Humans are not proud of their ancestors, and rarely invite them round to dinner. -Douglas Adams”

“You Might Be a Redneck If…Your family tree does not fork.”
-Jeff Foxworthy

“Any family tree produces some lemons, some nuts and a few bad apples.” -Unknown

"Some family trees have beautiful leaves, and some have just a bunch of nuts. Remember, it is the nuts that make the tree worth shaking." -Unknown

Shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall! -Author Unknown

“Friends come and go, but relatives tend to accumulate.” -Author Unknown

“I don’t have to look up my family tree, because I know that I’m the sap.” –Fred Allen

“Always be nice to your children because they are the ones who will choose your rest home.” -Phyllis Diller

“My childhood should have taught me lessons for my own parenthood, but it didn’t because parenting can be learned only by people who have no children.” -Bill Cosby

“Important families are like potatoes. The best parts are underground." -Francis Bacon

“I think my family tree is a few branches short of full bloom.” -Author Unknown

“A family reunion is an effective form of birth control.” -Author Unknown

“A family is a unit composed not only of children but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold.” –Ogden Nash

“If you ever start feeling like you have the goofiest, craziest, most dysfunctional family in the world, all you have to do is go to a state fair. Because five minutes at the fair, you’ll be going, ‘you know, we’re alright. We are dang near royalty. “ -Jeff Foxworthy

“Never let an angry sister comb your hair.” – Patricia McCann

“Parents are not interested in justice; they’re interested in peace and quiet.” – Bill Cosby.

“My family is really boring. They have a coffee table book called ‘Pictures We Took Just to Use Up the Rest of the Film.” Penelope Lombard

"Reunion after long separation is even better than one’s wedding night." -Chinese Proverb

“Every family tree has some sap in it.” -Author Unknown

Aunt MO

…After all, all he did was string together a lot of old well-known quotations. H.L. Mencken on Shakespeare

Annual Proclamations and Observances


I just became aware of three official proclamations pertaining to family reunions and thought it was interesting that there are basically three “official” family reunion month.

Make your family reunion official by issuing an official proclamation. You can ask for a proclamation from your city for many reasons including the date of your family reunion. You could ask that the day of your reunion be declared, “Wells Family Reunion Day” or “Stewart” Family Reunion Day.

Use a proclamation to recognize an ancestor or a special family member. Dignitaries are anxious to grant such requests especially if the family has a long history of service in the community. Some communities will even dedicate a week to your special event, cause or industry.  Reads more about obtaining an official proclamation for your family reunion here.

 Family Reunion Month A Proclamation in 1985 To raise awareness of a growing trend of runaway children and newly formed organizations to help reunite families of runaways the Congress, by House Joint Resolution 64, has designated the period between Mother’s Day, May 12, and Father’s Day, June 16, 1985, as "Family Reunion Month" and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this period.

National Family Reunion Month While some commercial enterprises have dubbed August as National Family Reunion Month many social groups including churches observe National Family Reunion Month in the month of July.

Annual Family Reunion Planning Month A family awareness group with a focus on genealogy and traditional family reunion planning established in 2005 named November as "Annual Family Reunion Planning Month". Mark A. Askew, Founder, Legendary Heritage Heirlooms, "Family Reunion Planning Month." (November, annual monthly family reunion awareness observance)

Do’s and Don’t for Large Group Game Playing

 DSC05388Don’t plan games that make people feel uncomfortable mentally or physically

Don’t force people to participate.

Don’t allow “leaders” to choose sides.  This will lead to hurt feelings and discouragement.  At one of our family reunions we had everyone put their name in a hat and then we drew out names to make teams- what a disaster.  It took forever to get people to put their names in the hat and then everyone was so noisy they couldn’t hear whose name had been drawn.  Try this idea for choosing teams.  Line your family up tallest to smallest and count off into as many teams as needed.  If you need four teams count one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four etc.   For variation use Colors–Red-Blue, Red-Blue, etc. or by first letter of their name (not their last name if you are at a family reunion- veryone might be on the same team.)


Another idea for separating into teams is to pass out cloth hair elastics for people to wear around their wrists to designate whose team they are on and you still keep some amount of control over whose team people are on.

Do keep the instructions for the games as simple as possible.

Do keep control of the game.  Explain the rules and demonstrate the procedure if necessary but after that stick with the rules.  Children are notorious for wanting to change the rules especially if they have played some other variation of the game before.  Explain that there are many different ways to play the game but that your family is playing it by the rules you’ve already explained.

Do have a back up plan and be ready to improvise if necessary.


Do vary activities.  Even if your family is enjoying the game don’t let it go on too long.  The idea is to stop while everyone is at the peak of fun then waiting until interest is waning.

Do plan circle games.  To separate into two circles make one big circle then break in half, having each half become a circle of its own.

Do have more than one game leader.  If you have more than one game leader you can take turns leading the games.  That gives leaders time to prepare their props and get their game ready while the family is playing the current game.

For fun family reunion games click here.

Aunt MO

By the time the fool has learned the game, the players have dispersed

African Proverb quotes

Silly Getting to Know You Game


When planning your next family reunion or party you will want to plan some fun “getting to know you” games. Here’s a fun idea to get to know a little more about your relative.

Wrap a gift of some kind that would be fun for any family member at your reunion or party. preferably something that goes along with your family reunion theme.

You don’t need to sit in a circle or in any organized order. In fact, you can play this game as you are eating a meal or waiting for an activity to begin. The important thing is that everyone can hear the poem as you read it so they can pass the gift around as directed.

The following verses are just ideas to use for your poem. You can easily write your own verses and even target specific members at your family reunion.

Getting To Know You Poem

Take this gift-now don’t be shy!
Give it to someone with blue eyes.

Yes, you are the lucky one
But give the gift to someone who has a teenage son!

Look around from seat to seat
And give it to one whose cooking can’t be beat.

Some of us are tiny and small
but give the gift to the one most tall!

Next look for someone that has the newest wife
and give it to the love of his life.

Birthdays come and birthdays go
Give this gift to the oldest person you know.

Don’t let the gift get out of sight
Give it to the person sitting on your right.

The longest hair will win it now
If you have long hair, step up and bow

The gift goes to someone with a college degree
a good education pays off we can all agree.

The one with the most buttons of any kind
Will get passed the gift right now, this time.

We should stop now, it’s really time
The gift is yours to keep and everything is fine!

You’ll find lots of fun ice breaker games here

Aunt MO

“The grass isn’t greener on the ‘other side’, the grass isn’t greener on your side. It’s Greener where you water it.”

10 Fun Family Reunion Ideas- part 1

I’m not going to say these are my “Top Ten” family reunion ideas but if I made a “Top Ten list these ideas would certainly be in the running.  However, if I had to choose my number one favorite family reunion idea it just might be #1 in this list- the Cat-Eye Hike!

Family Reunion Idea #1- CAT-EYE HIKE


This is a hike that is best done when it is very dark. Cut cat’s-eye shapes from reflective tape, available at bike stores or RV stores. It is best to set up your hike the night before guiding groups on the hike. Put cat eyes on markers or apply cat eyes to index cards and then use the cards to mark the trail.   You can find more information about Cat-Eye Hikes in the “Caveman” family reunion theme in the family reunion helper store.

Family Reunion Idea #2- BEADS!

Oh how I love beads- pony bead to be exact.  When used as rewards they are great motivators.  We have used beads as rewards at “Boot Camp” and “Beach” themed family reunions.  Award beads when family members complete certain tasks or activities.


Family Reunion Idea 3- “A GAME OF CLUE”


Murder Mystery Game for Your Family Reunion. This is a family friendly murder mystery game that has been simplified so that it will work for most ages at your family reunion. If you want to make it more difficult you will need to make adjustments to the clues. It is very important to have a practice with your cast before you present the game. (We practiced for about an hour and went through the scenes three times working out all the details) I sent the cast a copy of the script about a month before our family reunion and asked them to get their own costumes and props. I did not tell them who committed the crime until the practice. Most of our actors used their scripts and did not memorize their parts.

This murder mystery game includes the script, score cards, character name tags and lots of pictures for costume ideas and is available as  free download at

Family Reunion Idea #4- WHEEL OF DOOM


For a girls camp my daughter attended, she was asked to create a “Wheel of Doom”.  The idea was that the girls would spin the wheel to determine what kind of utensil they would eat with for dinner.  The girls had so much fun with the wheel that we decided to use it at our family reunion.   We used it several times and the family loves it every time!

Our Wheel of Doom is made out of piece of particle board.   You can easily change the wheel to fit whatever your family reunion theme is.  We printed off pictures that go along with each category  and taped them to the wheel.  You can even repaint the wheel for each reunion theme.  For instance we painted the board in different camouflage colors for the Boot Camp family reunion and we painted it with glitter paint for the Medieval family reunion.   As you can see, our wheel is not too fancy but it’s given us some fun and SUSPENFUL moments at our family reunions.  It’s fun to watch the children as they anxiously wait to see where the arrow will land. 

You can read more  about the “Wheel of Doom” on Aunt Mo’s blog at

Family Reunion Idea #5- HERITAGE COLORING BOOK


Make a family heritage coloring book about the life of one of your ancestors.  If you’re an artist then this is probably going to be a fun and easy project for you but if you have little artistic ability then this can be quite a challenge.  To make my Heritage Coloring books I searched through old coloring books, magazines and of course the web to find “pioneerish” looking pictures and adapted my story to the pictures.  Although a Heritage coloring book is a lot of work it is a wonderful way to share the story of your ancestor’s life’s with the younger ones in your family.  You can find more information about about Heritage coloring books and resources for making one in the “Heritage” family reunion theme by clicking here.