More Family Birthday Party Ideas

When my Dad turned 70 we wanted to have a special  celebration.  He didn’t want anything elaborate for this milestone birthday so we decided to have an intimate family party.  My Dad loves M&M’s so that became the theme for our family birthday party. 

m & M M & M’s are a fun party theme- the colors are bright and the shape is simple so it’s easy to make party decorations.  Here’s some ideas:

Use all different M&M colors for party ware. Mix the colors for plates, napkins, cups, table covers, etc.  We put containers of mini  M & M’s on each person’s plate.

We made a huge poster imitating a bag of M & M’s.    It was a fun idea and easy to make because- M & M’s are CIRCLES!! Use colored paper plates, write an "M" on them and attach to the wall or glue two plates together;flat sides touching. When dry, punch a hole at the top edge of the plates. Use fishing line to hang them from the ceiling or use coordinating colors of curling ribbon.

Use any M&M decorations you can find. We found fun M & M helium balloons.  M&M makes tons of fun things  to decorate with.  A great idea that was fun for our family party was the little plush M & M guys that you can see sitting on the table in the picture.  We used them as prizes for the games and activities we had.  Other fun prize ideas are small packages of  M & M candy.

m & M2

A simple idea for dessert is a large M & M cake.  (There’s that simple circle thing again!) Bake a cake in a round pan and frost in a bright M & M color.  Using a “star” tip  put a large “m” on the cake.  We served ours with M & M ice cream.  Cupcakes decorated as M & M’s is another fun idea.

m & M3

Fun Activity Ideas:

Have a jar full of M&Ms and the guests must guess the correct number. Whoever is closest, win the jar!

You can find free printable M & M coloring pages for the younger ones in your family at Coloring Pages.

If you play games with teams have “red” vs “green” or “plain” vs “peanuts” etc.

M & M Scattergories: This is a great word-type game idea.  To play give guests a minute or two to name as many things in a certain category as possible (2 minutes to write down animals beginning with the letter M, things with wheels that begin with the letter M or flowers that begin with the letter M etc.  (You get the idea) You can divide your family into teams. The team with the most answers in a category wins a point. The team with the most over-all points wins the game.

M & M Dice Game: You will need a straw and paper plate for everyone that is participating, M&M’s, a large bowl, and a pair of dice. Everyone sits in a circle.

Fill the bowl with M&M’s. Pick a person to start and hand them the bowl. To the person on their left, hand the dice and the box top. On your mark, the person with the dice starts rolling. The person with the M&M’s starts sucking up M&M’s with the straw as quickly as they can and setting them on their plate. As soon as the dice roller hits doubles, the M&M’s get passed to them, and the dice are passed to the next person. Continue around the circle until all the M&M’s are gone or for an allotted time.

When we have played this game at family reunions we split into groups of about 8 players and have several games going on at a time.

For more great birthday party ideas for your family reunion or family get together check out our latest product “When You Were My Age”. at Family Reunion Helper.

Aunt MO

Why did the teenager get fired from the M&M factory?
She threw away all the candy with W’s on them. 🙂

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.

Aunt MO

Clever Ice Breaker Game Idea

This is a fun idea for an ice breaker game for your next  family reunion or family party.  It is even a fun idea for a work, school or church function.

Divide into groups of about 10.  The groups work together to determine the  total amount of points they have  earned.  Each team will need a team captain and recorder. 


You can make up your own list of points but here are a few ideas to get  you started.

1.  Counting January as one point, February as two points and so on, add up the total points of your group.

2. Score one point for each college attended.

3. Score one point for every button on each shirt.

4. Total number of pennies teammates have in their pockets.

5. Total of all sizes added together- one shoe only per person.

6.  Hair color score- Black hair- 2 points, Brown hair- 1 point, Red hair- 3  points, Grey hair- 5 points, Blonde- 1 point

7. Five points for everyone that is  wearing glasses, 2 points for contacts.

8. One point for every child each person has, twins- 5 points, triplets- 10 points.

9. Minus 1 point for every soda or pop consumed.  Plus 1 point for every glass or bottle of water.

10. 1 point for everyone that is wearing a watch.

Add up the total of points each team has and award prizes to the team that has the “most” points, “least” points, “most unorganized” etc.

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.


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 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.


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


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.


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