Today’s families are living in a more global society than ever before. Though many families still remain in the same town where they grew up, more and more we see children leaving the nest for far off places. After a few generations have grown, it becomes harder to keep the family connected.
Therefore, when the family reunion rolls around, people within the same family may find themselves feeling awkward and out of place. And yet, with some careful planning, you can bring family members together again.
You’ll need to do some work ahead of time, so that you have ice breakers in place the day of the reunion.
- When using name tags, give family members an extra “hint” by using more detail. For instance, instead of just labeling the tag Dean Chapman, write out “Frank’s son, Dean Chapman.” This will give everyone a bit more information to work with when trying to place a face that may have aged by several years. Simple sticker name tags can be purchased at any St. Louis Office Max.
- Spend some time calling, emailing or Facebooking heads of families and compile some trivia type information. Then, on the day of the reunion, have someone read clues for the rest of the family to guess. Examples of clues might be “our son just made the little league team,” “our daughter just graduated with a teaching degree,” “we just bought a new house in Springfield, Missouri” or “our two dogs, Trixie and Marshmallow are our babies.” It may also be helpful to create a cheat sheet of names of all family members.
- If you’d rather not try to engage a large group all at once, you can also write the clues on the outside of a card, and reveal the answer on the inside. Post these cards in one main location, or around the location of the reunion, so that people may browse and play along throughout the day.
- A simple game of hot potato can liven up a group as well. When someone catches the “potato” they yell out their name or something about themselves.
- You may also try a t-shirt icebreaker. Before the reunion, assign each family a color and instruct them to wear a t-shirt that they’ve decorated. They can simply write on it with a fabric marker or paint and include facts about themselves, or they may iron on photos and embellish it. On the day of the reunion, post a “color wheel” that labels each color with the associated family name, so people have a quick reference to narrow down which branch of the family someone stems from. St. Louis area Walmart or Michael’s Crafts stores have inexpensive t-shirts, along with craft supplies with which to decorate.
- Another way to provide fun facts about family members is to create a timeline. Hang a piece of yarn or rope for each branch of the family. Vertically at the top or horizontally on the left, use a clothespin to attach an index card bearing the names of and facts about the mom and dad. The next index card would represent the firstborn child and their children and so on. If one family is too large, use a hole punch and pipe cleaners to string together several index cards from one “branch.”
With a little imagination, there are many ways to help family members catch up on each other’s lives during the reunion. Just be sure to set up a Facebook page or email list so that everyone can keep their ties to St. Louis alive after the reunion is over!
If you would like tips for making all your special occasions memorable, please subscribe for free to the St. Louis Special Occasions Examiner.
If you enjoyed this article, you may also like:
St. Louis Children’s Recreation Examiner
Or, for more ideas on how to make your special occasions memorable:
Country music star Carrie Underwood gets married to NHL hockey player Mike Fisher
Taking the kids on vcation: Travel activities and games to make the family road trip special
Your summer wedding in St. Louis: Tips for working around the heat to get great outdoor photos
Get your own social networking buttons
Advertise your business or promote your event with
the St. Louis Special Occasions Examiner.
30 full days of exposure for a low, flat fee, and no competitor ads!
(photo source: Photoxpress.com)