Silly Getting to Know You Game

image

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.”

Easter, Eggs, Bunnies and HORSES?!?!

That’s how we celebrate Easter at my house- with Easter eggs, chocolate bunnies and HORSES!  For years now I have told my kids- You don’t have to come for Thanksgiving, you  don’t have to come for Christmas- I just want you for EASTER!

The best Easter Egg hunt in the entire universe is held the Saturday before Easter at my house. Humans of all descriptions gather; greenhorns, cowboys and babies as well of horses of all breeds, colors and training, to find Easter Eggs hidden all over the farm. At our Easter Egg hunt it’s not about the eggs- it’s about the hunt- and the horses!

easter 2010 030

To make things more fair for the inexperienced and younger riders, Uncle Steven and I hide the eggs according to color. Each rider has a different color or style of egg. For instance, this year we have basketball eggs for Kory, Elmo eggs for baby jack, purple eggs for Megan, football eggs for Nic, chicken shaped eggs for Brynna, pink eggs for Janie and so forth. Assigning each rider their own color makes it possible for us to hide the eggs according to the rider’s ability.

Because Megan, Kory and Janie are experienced riders we hide their eggs in places that are hard to see and difficult to get to, but we hide green horn and children’s eggs in plain sight and in places easy for them to reach.  We watch for fun ideas about where to hide eggs for weeks leading up to the hunt.

easter 2010 052

We hide between 6 and 12 eggs per person depending on how many participants we have. We always hide a few “Golden” eggs with special prizes in them.  Although we haven’t limited how many eggs a person can find, our family is pretty good about making sure everyone finds at least one golden egg.

DSC_0087

After the hunters find all of their eggs they are allowed to hunt for the golden eggs that have special prizes in them such as movie tickets, gift certificates and coins. This is the most exciting part of the hunt as riders become a little more daring and often find themselves racing for the same golden egg as another rider.

easter 2010 075 After all the eggs are found everyone gathers together to open their eggs and discover the goodies and prizes in them. We usually play badminton and eat Sloppy Joes for lunch.

Planning around the weather has sometimes been an issue.  We remain in close contact with family members to reschedule from a morning Easter Egg Hunt to an afternoon hunt if needed due to stormy weather but we have never had cancel our Easter Egg hunt.

Because the horses haven’t been ridden much during the winter months they are usually feeling a little frisky for our Easter Egg Hunt. We used to give the riders a plastic shopping bag to put their eggs in but some horses would spook at the crackling noise the bags made so now everyone just plans on wearing a hoodie with pockets to put their eggs in.

easter 2010 072 

I always plan to fill extra eggs in case we have an unexpected rider, which happens more often then not.

For more unusual Easter Egg hunt ideas and fun family reunion themes, visit www.familyreunionhelper.com.

Good Idea: Finding Easter eggs on Easter Sunday.
Bad Idea: Finding Easter eggs at Thanksgiving.

Aunt MO

Win 500 dollars in free custom t-shirts from ClassB

Are you planning a family reunion for the first time? Then you’re eligible to enter the “First Family Reunion” essay contest and you could win $500 in free custom t-shirts from ClassB!

clip_image001

At ClassB, they love talking about t-shirts almost as much as we love talking about family reunions. Why did your family decide to hold your first reunion? Was it some sort of event that brought everyone together? Or perhaps you just decided that it’s about time you all got together! Whatever the reason, ClassB wants to hear all about it.

To enter, just submit a brief essay explaining why you’ve decided to hold your first-ever family reunion, what types of events and activities you plan to do, and what things you’re looking forward to the most. Remember, familyreunionhelper can help you with this part of your essay. Each of our reunion theme packages is loaded with fun activities, crafts, games, food and decorations to make your reunion planning so much easier.

ClassB judges will choose one winning essay and the person who submitted it will receive a $500 ClassB Gift Card to use toward custom t-shirts for your first family reunion. So on top of starting a new family reunion tradition, you’ll be starting another tradition— awesome family t-shirts!

Your essay must be 250 words or less, and only one essay per family will be considered. Deadline for submissions is midnight on March 31, 2011, so get those submissions in soon!

Click here for complete contest rules and to enter now.

Good luck!

Keeping in Touch When the Reunion is Over

All good things must come to an end, but saying goodbye at the end of your family reunion doesn’t mean you have to wait until next year’s reunion to visit with your favorite cousin. In today’s high tech world it’s pretty simple to keep in touch through emails, web pages and social networking. Why just this month I learned, through social media, that Cousin Bobbie has a new car, Cousin Lindsey is having dog problems and I don’t dare say who… is expecting another baby.

Take Advantage of Email

clip_image002E-mail is a great way to send a spontaneous note. People love to catch up on the latest family news, and you’ll find that they will reply to your message more often than not!

It’s hard to beat the convenience, and cost savings of sending emails when planning your family reunion. You do have to be sensitive to those that haven’t yet discovered email and be sure they aren’t kept out of the loop.

Online Chat
clip_image004

A unique way to plan your family reunion and to keep everyone up to date on reunion plans is to invite your relatives (or those who can participate) to join in an online family chat. It’s easy to set up a private chat room on America Online just by going to People Connection and selecting Private Room. Tell everyone the name of your room and when you plan on "talking." Use the chat to plan the event and the details of travel. Roundtable chats are also an excellent way to keep in touch after everyone returns home. Other chat options are Google Talk, Skype, Yahoo Instant Messenger or MSN Live, a Microsoft program. Talk to family members at your next family reunion and find out what chat method will work best for them when planning your family reunion.

Family Newsletter

clip_image005

A family newsletter is a great way to keep in touch with each other between reunions. A monthly newsletter is great but often difficult to keep up with. A quarterly newsletter can be a better option. Ask family members to email information about family activities and upcoming events such as weddings, baptisms and births. Include information about your upcoming family reunion. A family newsletter is a great family reunion planning tool. To save on postage expenses only mail your newsletters to family members that don’t have email.

Family Webpage

clip_image007

By creating a website for your family, you can share special events such as birthdays, graduations, family reunions and parties. A family webpage can also be a great place for family reunion planning and to share ideas. For a family webpage to be successful family members have to be committed to participating by checking the site regularly and contributing to conversations.

You might consider using websites such as Carepages, Caringbridge, www.mygreatbigfamily.com or Blogger for your family webpage. They need very little computer knowledge to "operate", yet provide an excellent forum for families communicate and to send out family reunion planning updates.

Technology has changed how we keep in touch. Studies have shown that almost half of the baby boomer generation is on social networking sites, and 31 percent say the first time they saw photos of a new grandchild or family member was through the internet. Two-thirds of boomers, or about 64 percent, E-mail friends and family more frequently than they call them on the phone. The internet helps us be more connected to loved ones and when used appropriately can help with family reunion planning and distributing reunion information.

Aunt MO

“Trees without roots fall over.”

Planning a Family Reunion? Its Time to Get to Work

Planning a family reunion can be a nightmare. But the good news is that you are not alone, we can do this together. I don’t know your specific situation but I can tell you that if you will follow three important keys you will be on your way to having a successful family reunion. So let’s get to work- first key is…

clip_image002Choose a permanent reunion date!

This is the most important aspect of reunion planning- it’s not much of a reunion if no one can attend.

clip_image004

When we began planning the “Stewart” family reunion we were only working around about 20 people and it was fairly easy to find a date that was good for everyone, but now that we are more than 100 family members strong we would never be able to find a date that met everyone’s needs. Lucky for us, about 20 years ago we set Labor Day weekend as the permanent date for our family reunion.

We have found that holding the reunion at the same time every year helps family members plan their busy lives around that weekend. They always know when the Stewart reunion will be and although the location may change the date never does. Unbelievable but true- we usually have all but about 3 family members attend our reunion each year.

If you can’t choose a permanent date, plan your next reunion date before you end the reunion you are currently attending. Planning in advance will increase the odds that more people will be able to attend the reunion, which translates into more fun for everyone. If you book early, you can most likely get better rates and/or reserve your preferred hotel or retreat site, flights and other travel arrangements. Most campgrounds and parks can be booked a year in advance.

Last of all, stick to your decision. Changing dates in the middle of planning can create a huge amount of anxiety and additional work.

To read the complete article,  “The Three Keys to a Successful Family Reunion” , follow the link below.

"Three Keys to a Successful Family Reunion"

Planning for Stormy Weather When Planning Your Family Reunion

 

This weekend I planned a fun two-day party at my house for 25 of my favorite family members. We planned to go horseback riding, play Badminton, Human Foosball, watch a movie and sleep outside. Fifteen minutes before the party was to begin, with no warning, the winds came up and the rains came down, and the thunder started booming. I’m actually amazed that I didn’t begin crying but with a few adjustments we were able to have a very fun party.

clip_image002

Every outdoor reunion or party should have an alternative plan, in case the weather becomes uncooperative. When planning a family reunion it isn’t always reasonable to cancel the reunion or reschedule, instead you need to have a “plan B”.

I remember a family reunion we attended in Delta, Utah many years ago. The reunion was held at Great Grandma Stanworth’s tiny home and so everyone brought their tents and trailers to camp out. The reunion was great fun until the wind started blowing. It blew so hard that the tents were laying flat on the ground and we couldn’t even talk to each other because our words were just blown away.

If you don’t want to pack up and go home when the storm hits, that’s the time to plan for another activity. If you’re close to a town, take everyone bowling, to an indoor pool or a movie. Hopefully, two hours later, the wind will have died down. If not, stop at a restaurant or fast food place for an ice cream treat or a full meal. If the weather still isn’t cooperating stop at a park with a bowery and play a few games.

We played a fun new game at our “outdoor” party this weekend. It’s called “The Couch Game”. Directions and rules for playing the game can be found at www.familyreunionhelper.com/ but basically, you split into two teams, boys against the girls, and through strategic maneuvering, try to get four of your teammates sitting on the couch.

A couple of years ago we had rain at our big Stewart reunion. The weather did shut down a few of our planned activities but we were lucky because our reunion location included a huge bowery with an indoor kitchen. Everyone stayed in the bowery and we played a lengthy game of Bunko and ate dinner until the storm blew over.

Portable, easy-to-setup pavilions are a great solution to keep family members out of the rain and provide shade even on bright sunny days. Unless there is a major storm, good family reunion planning dictates you provide your guests with shelter from the rain. Many of the gazebos on the market will provide adequate shelter unless you are hit by a major storm. Renting a big tent can be very expensive; in fact sometimes I think it would be cheaper to just buy one that you can count on having every year. In our area you can plan on paying $495.00 for 30×30 tent and they go up in price from there.

clip_image004

I think a better option is to reserve an alternate location in advance. If your reunion site does not have a bowery or a rec hall of some sort, consider reserving a church’s culture hall or a school gym near your family reunion site. Our school rents their gym for $75.00 a day and our church’s gym is free but must be reserved in advance. We can rent our town’s civic center for $50.00 a day.

Plan backup activities if rain pushes your family reunion inside. If your outside activities have been washed out, planning alternatives will keep your family busy. Plan on setting up a minimum of three stations (activities) at different places. Divide the family into three groups and then rotate them from activity to activity. Each activity should take 20 to 30 minutes but each should last the same amount of time. Do a craft at one station, have story time at a second station, play a game at the third station. You could ask three different members of your family to plan a “rainy day” activity to be used “just in case” or use the activities you have already planned for your reunion and move them inside.

Other rainy day activities might be:

Having a table set up with various paper, markers and scissors and encourage family members to make cards for family members that weren’t able to attend the reunion.

Have each family group draw a family portrait of their family, give an award for the best family portrait and then hang all the portraits up for the remainder of the reunion. You will need colored pencils and paper that is at least 11×17.

Square Dance

BINGO or BUNKO

Have someone tell a story.

Fold origami birds or frogs (be sure paper is cut into perfect squares)

Put on an impromptu play or melodrama. Pass out copies of the script and the actors improvise as they go along.

Just because it’s raining doesn’t mean you have to stay inside. Pclip_image006ut on some waterproof gear and play volleyball, football or whiffle ball in the rain. Relay races or tag games can be extra fun in the rain.

So back to my fun outdoor summer party- we rescheduled a few of our plans; we ate dinner first and rode horses last. We postponed playing Human Foosball until day 2 but we did manage to work in everything we had planned (right down to cooking S’mores over a fire the first night) even added a few unplanned things like playing with the neighbor’s 6 puppies and giving rides on the tractor.

clip_image008

Every person in charge of planning a family reunion is hoping that rain, rain will just go away, but with a little extra thought and a good “plan B” your family reunion will keep on going, even in stormy weather.

Aunt MO

Into each life some rain must fall.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow