Family Reunion Activities

Updated on February 14, 2012
A.F. asks from Richmond, TX
11 answers

My LARGE family reunion is coming up in April and someone asked about activities for the "older kids." We often have activities and things the younger kids can enjoy, but the older kids tend to sit inside on their DS's or whatever hand-held video game system they have.

We're talking about no more than 10 "older kids," mainly boys, in age range of about 7-12.

Any suggestions for activities to keep them occupied? We need ideas to get them excited, interested, and DOING something.

I was thinking about a leggo build - bringing cheaper leggo build items that they can all sit down and work on together. We're planning supervised fishing one day as we're at a lake "resort" that stocks their lakes/ponds with bass. Other suggestions?

Thanks, ladies! I know we've got some moms on here who are excellent with these types of things!

To clarify some: The reunion is in Mississippi over Easter weekend - starts Friday afternoon/evening and lasts through Sunday mid-day. There are inside and outside areas. We do have bingo (typically later in the evening, more for adults), guessing jars, silent auction items for both adults and kids, hula-hoops, egg-dying, pinata, photo scavenger hunt, bean bag toss, and possible a few other things I'm forgetting. The problem is that this group of kids is so small compared to the older teenage/adult group and the younger group. Parents tend to focus on the younger group for safety, and then talking to each other, and this middle-group gets left out. Typically the pinata is busted before they have a chance to swing (order by age), they get bored with the bean bag toss, they look at the jars and the silent auction items as soon as they get there, etc. I'm wanting to find some activities specifically for this age group without others that they can interact with each other doing something they enjoy. I like the idea of air-soft, but I'm not sure if every parent would go for it... Many are hunting-friendly, but some don't want their kids playing with anything like guns.

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L.G.

answers from Austin on

Whatever it is, make it a competition with prizes. The prizes don't have to be expensive (e.g. a large candy bar). Boys love competition.

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L.A.

answers from New York on

We have an annual family picnic (lasts about 4-8 hours). Activities include an egg toss, a pie eating contest, softball, soccer, a backgammon competition.

At the 7-12 age range, you can have them build a fort, or bonfire. Risk is an excellent game that takes a good long time to play. have everyone bring their bike, and go for a ride.

have them build a bear proof food cache (string a container high into a tree). Depoit all cell phones, DS's and other game devices in there. Young professionals going out for drinks dinner. Now make a habit of staking their phones, and devices in the center of the table. If anyone reaches for their phone to answer a text, check the internet, respond to a VM, they have to pick up the next round or the tab. Create a penalty or booby prize for the older kids who can't shake the gadget habit.

I am sure you will get a lot of great sugggestions.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful
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G.G.

answers from Austin on

When I picture my family reunion, we are outdoors the entire time. Not sure where yours will be but what if they all worked together to try to build a fire the old fashion way? ...no matches! http://artofmanliness.com/2008/04/29/9-ways-to-start-a-fi.... The younger ones could gather the flint, sticks, etc. Older ones can work to try and get a flame. Then, they can roast hot dogs, etc. I'm afraid to say that most boys are obsessed with fire. At least it will be a good opportunity to teach them about fire safety. Or, you could borrow some bee-bee guns and set up a station of cans....adult men will need to be involved for both of these activities but what cool things for boys to try out. ...teach gun safety too. Boys these days do not have these opportunities very often.

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J.O.

answers from Austin on

We had an impromptu balloon "fight" that included children of ALL ages. If you're not opposed to taking them somewhere, try Austin Parks & Pizza or Main Event for a couple of hours of bonding time.

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A.K.

answers from Minneapolis on

We had a 'Ladder Golf' competition set up for our large family reunion. Everyone was involved, kids and adults. Teams were picked and we had charts that told the 'standings' and a championship tournament the last day. The best part was that the teams were so random, like at the end it was my Aunt and one of her many nephews against my brother-in-law (who is from a different country and didn't know anyone and hardly knew any english) and my cousin. At the end everyone was cheering on the teams and the winner was announced at 3am or something and they got a trophy (a garden gnome 'borrowed' from a neighbors yard). It was a lot of fun.

We also had a corn-husking competition for the kids. Was fun and got the job done too. Anything you can turn into a competition is good for that age.

What about a treasure hunt, you could make it a weekend long thing with a really cool prize (a DS!).

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L.J.

answers from Austin on

Each year at our family reunions we have games built in for everyone. We do potato sack races, the egg toss, a haystack with candy and coins mixed in where it doesn't matter how old, everyone wants to get in, last year we had a plastic cup tower that we had a contest to see who could put up and take down a pyramid the fastest, as well as bingo at the end. Each year someone signs up to bring prizes for the events, and there is also a candy guessing jar. Between that and the Simon says game that has been there throughout my childhood everyone stays busy.The egg toss is my personal favorite.

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M.F.

answers from Austin on

At our reunion last year, the bean bag toss was fun for all ages, then the older kids (and several adults) put together a kickball game. Even though my team got CREAMED, it was still lots of fun. :-)

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.G.

answers from Austin on

Whatever it is, make it a competition with prizes. The prizes don't have to be expensive (e.g. a large candy bar). Boys love competition.

A.H.

answers from Houston on

Have available a ball for dodgeball, or a football for 2 hand touch. Also, boys love having airsoft wars (yes, small plastic pellets they shoot at each other!). Like paintball, they must wear eye protection.

S.H.

answers from St. Louis on

there are many websites offering ideas for this. When I'm planning our reunions, I just "search" for the title on this post & lots of great ideas come up! Whole websites dedicated to reunions + Family Fun's website always has great ideas for every event.....

J.T.

answers from College Station on

Sports, sports and more sports!

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P.B.

answers from Houston on

We have our FR in July in Pennsylvania and it's one day, outside. We have an egg toss, water balloon toss, tablespoon races (bucket to dip out of, each team has a cup about 20 feet away and they dip, run, pour and then tag the next racer in line.)

We play the game where there are 2 set of large clothing in water. 2 teams. They've got to put them on, take them off and we usually photograph them while they're in them. One year instead of clothes we did water rings blown up, flippers, mask and snorkle. All over their own clothes. Seems like there was something else too.......it was hilarious.

I don't remember what the races were called but each team has to "pass" a large, long thing between their legs and then carry it to the finish line. We used a "holey board" - game with 3 holes in it that you pitch washers in. We've also had tournaments for the holey board and bean bag toss.