Looking for a fun game to play with your family between Thanksgiving dinner and the Pumpkin Pie?
Our family tested our knowledge of Thanksgiving traditions and history at our family dinner last Thanksgiving. I came up with the questions and printed them off on half sheet papers. We followed basic TV Jeopardy rules and adapted as necessary for our situation.An example of answers and questions for the “First Thanksgiving” topic are as follows:
First Thanksgiving Answer Key
100: When was the first thanksgiving? 1621
200: The president who made Thanksgiving a national holiday? Abraham Lincoln
300: How long did Thanksgiving last? 3 Days
400: How many people where at the first thanksgiving? 140
500: What Indian Tribe? Wampanoag
You can download a pdf file of the Jeopardy game we used by clicking on the link below. It’s ready to print with 1/2 sheet question cards and a list of answers. Heading cards are on a half sheet and feature the graphics shown in the photo above. Take a quick look at the questions before printing and make sure they are still applicable. Happy Thanksgiving!
Start a new Thanksgiving tradition this year with a family 5K.
I ran into an awesome young man at our local 5K fun run in July. It was his Turkey Trot shirt that caught my eye and I had a fun time talking to him about this fun family tradition.
Every Thanksgiving, this family hosts a 5K race for all visiting family members and friends. All that want to participate, bring their running or walking shoes and burn off all those weighty Thanksgiving dinner calories before the turkey even comes out of the oven.
What a fun idea to have t-shirts made for the big race- a fun memento of a fun day. I love any activity that gets family members up off their seats and moving and a family turkey trot certainly does that whether you trot or waddle across the finish line.
Ghost Cake With Flaming Eyes
Posted on October 18, 2015
When I was a young mother I attended a workshop that included some fun holiday cooking ideas. The most memorable idea I came away from the workshop with was this ghost cake with flaming eyes.
The best thing about this ghost cake is that you get maximum effect for minimum effort, so, if you are a busy mom or grandma, you can whip this cake up very quickly but the “wow” factor is huge!
To make the eyes flaming you place a lemon extract-doused sugar cube inside of a clean eggshell for each eye and then you light the cubes on fire. When presenting the cake turn out the lights before bringing in the cake.
Ghost Cake Recipe
1 (18.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix, mix according to package directions
1 (7.2-ounce) package fluffy white frosting mix or make your own 7 minute frosting. (No Cook 7 Minute Frosting Recipe)
2 sugar cubes & 1 teaspoon lemon extract
Licorice string, chocolate chips, m & m’s- whatever you want to make a mouth
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan.
Prepare the cake mix as directed on package. (When you break the eggs, crack each in the middle and pour out the egg. Then save the 2 best shell halves. Wash these halves and turn upside down to dry.) After mixing, pour the batter into the pan.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. When cooled, you can remove the cake from the pan and put on a sturdy piece of cardboard or a tray so that you can trim your cake to look more ghost- like. I just left my cake in the baking pan and felt like it looked ghost- like enough without the extra work to decorate it.
Frost the cake. Place the 2 egg shell halves round sides down on cake for eyes. Place 1 sugar cube in each shell half. Make a mouth of licorice string.
Just before serving, pour 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract over each sugar cube. Light the eyes and amaze family and friends!
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-
A printable version of the Tribond game
One of our local radio stations is having a contest. They give you three words and you have to to figure out what the three words have in common. The example I heard on the radio was- Penny, Ford Motor Company, Nebraska. I was pretty excited when I figured it out. (Too bad I was driving and couldn’t call the station to win my prize.)
It did give me an idea of a printable game I could share on familyreunionhelper.com and after doing some research, came up with the printable game that I call “A Question of 3’s” All you need is a copy of the game for each player which you can find below and a pencil. Oh, and the answer to the puzzle I heard on the radio- they are all Lincolns.
1. All are tables
2. All are worms
3. All have rings
4. All are cracked
5. All have whites
6. Types of berries
7. All have holes
8. All have Lincolns
9. All are pitched
10. Types of boards
11. Types of poles
12. Types of tellers
13. All have shells
14. All can be carved
15. Types of winds
16. All have capes
17. Types of mail
18. Can be tuned
19. Make deliveries
20. All have pockets
A pretty sweet printable game- and it’s free!
Whenever I plan a I party or a family reunion I like to have an activity or game that people can play when they first arrive. The goal is to get family members, or friends, laughing and talking with each other. The “How Sweet It Is” free printable fits the bill and coming up with prizes for the winners is a snap- candy bars! I suggest the snack size because you’ll probably have several winners. This ice breaker game is great for large or small group games and for family members of most ages. You can download the free printable by clicking below. Don’t forget to download the answer key.
Nature Scavenger Hunt- fun activity for your family reunion
If your family reunion location is at a park or a campground this Nature Scavenger Hunt is a wonderful excuse to get outside, have some fun, and spend time together as a family.
Just print off our fun Scavenger Hunt printable on heavy cardstock and give everyone a copy along with a pencil and let the fun begin. You can work as teams or individually, it can be a race or a contest to see who finds the most items. Allow everyone an opportunity to show off their favorite find.
You can find the link for our Nature Scavenger Hunt below- or right-click on the picture above, save it to your computer, and print.
I recently attended my nieces wedding, luncheon and reception. Everything was beautiful and I loved being part of the festivities but like most weddings and such there is a lot of downtime for those of us who are basically spectators. During one of these downtimes my brother introduced us to a fun game you can play on your phone that involves everyone.
The name of the game is Psych! Choose from a variety of fun categories in which each player makes up fake answers to real trivia questions.
According to the games own description- the idea behind the game is to get together with a bunch of friends and answer ridiculous trivia questions. The catch is, the multiple choices you’re given include the correct answer as well as a bunch of incorrect answers which are provided by the other players. So, say for instance the question popped up of “Who is the Editor in Chief of TouchArcade?” “Eli Hodapp” would be in there somewhere, along with whatever else anyone playing decides to toss into the mix as possible answers.
Anyone who knows me will understand that, after playing a few rounds of Pysch! with my family, my “reunion” brain kicked into gear and I immediately began to think of ways to use the game at a family reunion.
Can you imagine how excited the teenagers in your family would be if you asked them to get their cellphones for a game they would be playing. Psych! is a clever way to get family members that just can’t seem set their cellphones down to join in a game or activity to participate with the group.
Psych! is also a pretty fun way to get to know family members that you see only once a year at the family reunion. Some of the game options give you a real opportunity to see into your cousin’s psyche.
“PSYCH!” is the perfect app for game night, road trips, or even waiting in line. So grab your phones, gather ‘round, and get ready for a gaming experience unlike anything you’ve ever tried!
NOTE:There’s in-game ads as well, which can be removed for $2.99. If you’re just downloading the game to play with a friend (who might have bought a ton of stuff in-game), it’s totally free.
Let us make you an offer you can’t refuse-
When it was first suggested that we use “Mafia” as our theme for the Stewart family reunion I was a little apprehensive but after three days of Mafia activities over Labor Day I’ve decided that “Mafia” is just another word for “Family”. Family can also be friends, and so a Mafia theme for a reunion or party is a great idea. Included in this party pack are invitations and activities for a party or reunion for either your friends or your family.
You will have fun creating Mafia names for your guests using the list of names and name tags included in this party theme package.
Guests can also fill out an application to join the Mafia using the “Complete Mafia Dictionary” to decipher Mafia lingo.
Test your Mafia IQ to see if you should be “The Boss” or “Knuckles”.
If you are having an indoor party consider playing the party game, “Mafia”. The game of Mafia is all about the power of bluffing and knowing when other people are bluffing themselves. You can be a member of the Mafia, a towns person, the FBI or the Moderator in this elimination and guessing game. You will vote out other players and try to avoid being murdered in the middle of the night by the Mafia!
If you planning an outside party play “Steal the Flag” using marshmallow shooters. Instructions for making custom shooters are included.
Printables include invitations, The “Complete Mafia Dictionary”, Mafia Application, Mafia funny money, Mafia IQ test, water bottle labels, Mafia name tags and playing cards for the game, Mafia.
Cosa Nostran (This thing is ours!)
A Getting to know you activity before the reunion even begins
Get the family reunion started early!
If you’re looking for a fun ice breaker activity and a way to generate interest in your upcoming family reunion try “Reunion Buddies” and get the party started before the reunion even begins.
About four weeks before your reunion make a double sided copy of the “Reunion Buddies” printable using the same information on each side of the paper.
Match family members up into buddies making sure everyone, young and old has a reunion buddy.
Write one buddies name on the line that says “My Name Is” and write their buddies’ name below it on the line that says “My Buddy Is”. You will need to do this on both sides of the paper but reversing the information.
Send a copy of the reunion buddies printable to one of the “buddies” with the instructions to fill out their personal information and then mail the completed form to their buddy. Be sure and provide an address and if your reunion has the funds, a stamped envelope.
The buddy they mail the form to will complete the form and return it to back to their buddy.
Encourage buddies to spend some time with each other at your family reunion perhaps even bringing inexpensive gifts (such as their favorite candy bar) to share. You may even ask some family members to share what they learned about their reunion buddy.
The idea behind “Reunion Buddies” is to make long lasting friendships between cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents. Get a new buddy every year!