list of considerations when planning for fun at a family reunion

Summer is the ideal time for  a family reunion. The weather is perfect for gathering by the lake, in the park, at a campground, or even in the backyard. But when family members from near and far gather, especially those that you don’t see too often, you need something to keep the younger crowd busy while others want to catch up on life events or remember old times.

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list of considerations when planning a family reunion |

There are lots of things to do besides eat at your family reunion.  Here are a few of them.

  • Create a list of potential games and activities.  Consider ages and skill levels for each game.  A variety of activities will ensure that no matter the weather, your gathering will be memorable. Games for indoor play, such as cards, dominoes, board games, or charades are important for those times that the weather includes conditions such as rain or extreme heat. Older family members or those with health conditions that prohibit extreme temperatures will appreciate the opportunity to join in activities that don’t tax them physically, and even the die-hard outdoor fans will enjoy being inside occasionally. For those who love the outdoors, there are loads of possibilities for games and activities, such as baseball/kickball, volleyball, horseshoes, or even tag.
  • Gather the necessities.  Games for outdoor gatherings run the gamut from simple to complicated. The best and most fun activities are the most simple and make play a joy rather than a chore. Games like volleyball require only a net and ball, as do table tennis or soccer. Other activities such as capture the flag, scavenger hunt, or family trivia can be played in or out of doors but require more planning and instruction.
  • Prepare for potential conflict and/or injury. Some games common to family gatherings are touch football, sack races, tug of war, and the three-legged race. These are fan favorites and nearly always a hit, however touch football can quickly turn into tackle.  The sack and three-legged races are bound to produce at least a couple of skinned knees or elbows.  And tug of war often ends in a dog pile. Usually, these minor skirmishes are harmless and become fodder for storytelling at future reunions.  Be sure to have plenty of ointment and bandages on hand just in case of injuries.
  • Encourage family-building and memory-sharing.  Many of us have photos from decades past that feature folks we can’t remember. Encourage family to bring in their photos and have a “name that family member” game. This game encourages sharing stories and memories and newer family members benefit from hearing about their heritage. Another great activity that encourages family interaction is the “family map”. A large map of the U.S. is tacked to the wall or mounted to a table and each family member signs their name at or close to their location.  Gold stars or other symbols can represent places family members live with all of the family members signing the margins and adding their city and state. Each year the map can be revisited and updated.

Relax and enjoy each other’s company.  Fun comes from being with family and getting to know each other better.  What fun games/activities have you participated in at a family reunion?

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