A family reunion should be more than just reliving memories, eating and talking. A family reunion should also include some fun activities to help everyone bond and create new memories. If it is up to you to plan the fun parts of your family reunion, you may wish to read the rest of this article for tips on how you can make the event enjoyable and memorable for everyone.
* Use an Icebreaker
Some family members may be young and haven't met each other before or don't know each other well. Then there are the family members who are married into the family and may naturally feel a bit out of place. Other family members may have just been gone so long they don't know how to relate to the rest of the family. Eventually most of these barriers will be broken through at the family reunion. But why not break the ice right away so the rest of the family reunion can be spent reuniting?
Take a look at a few examples of good icebreakers.
1. Fetch Me...
Young family members compete to be the first to fetch an object for the game host. The host calls out for an item in a fashion such as, “Fetch me a $20 bill.” The first young family member to bring back the object wins. The one caveat is that the young family member must get the object from another family member, which cannot be his or her parent or sibling. This initiates dialog amongst young family members with their external family members.
2. Experience Bingo
Create bingo cards with squares containing a characteristic of each person in your family. This characteristic may be a trip the person has taken, an unusual activity of which the person has been a part or a physical descriptor. An example might be a trip up the Eiffel Tower, a pie eating championship, or a large shoe size.
When you start the timer family members have to go around finding the person with each trait to sign their bingo cards on the correct trait square. This is a very quick way for each person in the family to get acquainted.
3. Guess My Animal
Have each family member draw a picture of the animal he or she thinks is most like them. Family members try to guess which animal corresponds to each family member. The person with the most correct answers gets an award for family knowledge. After the game, each family member explains what animal they had chosen to draw and why they chose that animal.
* Use a Theme for Your Family Reunion
A popular way of making a family reunion memorable is to use a theme. Hawaiian themes are one of the most popular. Imagine a backyard swimming pool surrounded by long grass props, a rented tiki hut and hanging coconuts. Imagine guests in Hawaiian shirts and perhaps hula skirts. Of course, there are many themes you can choose from besides Hawaiian. A quick search on the Web will bring up many more options.
* Professional Family Reunion Entertainment
Do not forget that you don't have to entertain the family all by yourself. There are many professional entertainers available to entertain for a price. If you're having an open space family reunion or renting a hall or conference room, you can hire a band to provide the entertainment. How would that Hawaiian theme go with some professional luau music?
* Family Reunion Games
Just as ice breakers can be a great way to get people having fun together, group games can continue the social momentum.
1. Adult-Child Sack Race
This is much like the mother-daughter and father-son sack race competitions. The difference is that you pair extended family members together, one adult with one child. This is both fun for all generations and promotes bonding of family members across age groups.
2. Mud Pit Tug Of War
Pair immediate family members together on teams for a championship mud pit tug of war. The winning team is the one that makes it all the way through the championship bracket without getting its members dunked in the mud pit in the center. Make sure you tell family members to bring work clothes.
3. Musical Chairs
The classic among all group games, musical chairs pit quick reactions against strength and determination. There are chairs placed in a circle, one less chair than the number of family members. The family members circle the chairs while the music plays, then quickly jump in a seat whenever the music stops. The strongest and quickest family members find a chair and the person who doesn't sit in a seat grabs one of the chairs and takes it and himself or herself out of the game as the music is started again.
* Entertain the Children
Some ideas on child entertainment might be arts and crafts, story telling, games or a puppet show. Games are usually the most entertaining for the whole family. While the main goal of your family reunion should be to have fun with the whole clan together, remember that children don't understand most adult ideas of fun. Also, most adults enjoy talking amongst themselves while watching the children play games. Making special time for the children will help make your family reunion more energetic from start to finish.