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Family reunions are a super fun way to bring immediate and extended family members together on planned occasions. It takes planning, coordination, and communication with relatives to put together memorable family reunions. Not only do you get to see your loved ones, but you also get to catch up and grow closer to beloved family members as well. Coming up with family reunion Ideas is simplified by presenting five ideas to make the joyous occasion a success.
Family reunions can be a seldom occasion of a lifetime or they can be more frequent and the beginning of a family tradition. It differs with each family. With today’s technological communicative advances and social media, getting in touch with family members and relatives is easier than ever. These technological communicative advances, however, don’t replace the special feeling of getting together in person during a family reunion.
Seeing a loved one in person reinforces relationships and builds community within a family, not to mention honoring one’s family tree. It is an investment that reinforces love and connection of family and nothing else compares to the joy of the family coming together. To encourage planning and partaking in a family Union for all families, we have come up with five creative and fun family reunion Ideas that any family will love and remember.
What Is a Family Reunion?
Family reunions are get-togethers that vary in frequency depending on the family. It can be the get-together of a lifetime or as frequent as an annual family tradition. It is a time that one spends getting to know and catching up with one’s own intermediate family members and extended relatives. Intermediate family members include parents, siblings, step-parents, step-siblings, half-siblings, and grandparents.
Extended relatives include aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, third cousins, and so on. With the technological advances in DNA sequencing, companies such as Ancestry or Ancestry DNA give you the opportunity to map your family tree and even find and send a message to third or fourth cousins who share a DNA match. Family reunions are fun, exciting, and memorable, and family reunion ideas abound.
Planning a Family Reunion
Finding the perfect family reunion ideas requires coordination of a family member planner of the event and communication of the family event with other family members and relatives. It doesn’t have to be expensive; It can be as simple, inexpensive, and easy to host as creating photo frames or photo albums of family members and relatives, a family tree or family history timeline, an entertaining slideshow, creating personalized name tags, or even swapping personal mementos for each family member or relative.
Planning a family reunion is easier than ever with free or low-cost websites and/or apps such as:
- Mobile family tree 7
- Stories etc.
With MyEvent.com, one can “choose from a variety of templates to build a free reunion website[,] send invitations, track responses, and accept online payments or donations.” For $14.99 on iOS one can download the Mobile Family Tree 7 and it will “gather everyone’s info in this app, and it will generate a family tree, a historical timeline, and a set of fascinating statistics to share via e-mail or social media.”
Another family reunion app is stories etc. and it is a free app available on iOS that “walks users through a series of questions and saves the answers via audio, video, or text onto a smartphone or tablet for a great family memento.” These are just a few recommendations of family reunion planning websites and app ideas. The family reunion event planner(s) also can organize the event on their own endeavor.
Is There a Need for Family Reunions?
We live in a world where it is easy and convenient at the touch of a button to stay connected. We are also busy with daily obligations and may find it difficult to find the time to meet and greet with family members and relatives in person. However, creating a family tradition of family reunions, whether once in a while or annually, fosters familial camaraderie and closeness and promotes community within a family line.
We learn from each other by conversing and playing, and this can be beneficial for one’s health and well being and for an understanding of one’s identity. Family reunions are so important to get to know one another and be interested and active in learning about one’s family history. It builds and reinforces personal identity and influences the life decisions we make. We have picked out 5 easy and affordable family reunion Ideas to make coming together as a family a reality.
Top Family Reunion Ideas
Hosting a fun and unique family reunion doesn’t have to be costly or hectic. The main goal is to have as many family members and relatives show up to enjoy each other’s company. To make the experience even more entertaining and engaging, we have come up with easy-to-do family reunion ideas for your family to consider trying at your next family reunion event.
Photographs and Stickers
The first idea is creating framed photos or photo albums of family members and relative’s pictures. This is a classic. Family pictures of everybody are guaranteed to be the hot topic of conversation. It can also create a tradition of taking a family photo at each family reunion and framing it for everybody at the next one as a keepsake. Also, having numerous photo albums lying around the event setting is bound to have curious minds peeking through it and laughing and crying at the memories of loved ones.
Placing stickers with happy faces or hearts or writing a family’s name and placing it on photos adds to the positive entertainment of the night. This is the perfect, practical idea to set the tone of entertainment that everyone will remember for years to come. It also has something tangible to take home for memories of the event.
Family Tree/Timeline Tabletop Activity
Creating a family tree/family history timeline simply using butcher paper on a table is an interactive activity that will be loads of fun the entire time. All you have to provide is the butcher paper, the markers or sharpies, and the tape. Drawing a family tree outline and/or family history timeline that is waiting to be completed throughout the night by family guests will be the perfect entertainment for children and adults alike.
Family members can write or sketch family names on the tree or family milestones such as birthdays, graduations, and weddings on the timeline. Prepare the timeline by adding the decades with colorful washi tape and starting with a significant date and ending with the current year.
The following family reunion idea is highly personalized and entertaining. Putting together a Slideshow of photographs of each family member, for example, selfies or family photos, and projecting them on a wall or screen using a projector, is also guaranteed to be the talk and focus of the night. This is a great opportunity for the grandparents to learn how to take a selfie or to take a candid shot of the young ones waiting at the bus stop.
The family pictures are a classic opportunity to showcase the family together and marvel at how everyone has grown up and changed through the years. Having a slideshow as a focal backdrop for the night will have everyone gathered together watching and talking amongst each other – the perfect entertainment to try at a family reunion.
Personalized Name Tags
Also highly interactive and welcoming is offering family reunion guests the opportunity to make their personalized name tag. This idea is a fun icebreaker throughout the night and only requires a minimal amount of supplies and effort. You need card stock, yarn, a hole puncher, scissors, My Name Is labels, and pens and markers, all of which can be purchased at a craft store or the craft section of a superstore. Cut the card stock in half and hole punch two holes at the top. Then, string yarn through the holes and create a yarn necklace.
Repeat for each guest’s name tag. When guests arrive, verbally instruct or write on card stock instructions to write the name of the guest on the My Name Is label, creatively peel and place the label on the card stock badge. Using a pen or marker, instruct the guest to draw their immediate family tree and wear around the neck throughout the night. This is an easy and enjoyable activity and works great for large families or infrequent family reunions (once in a lifetime type deal).
For a unique family reunion experience, consider swapping souvenirs, photographs, or gently used items as hand-me-downs. This idea is sure to entertain children and adults alike. It is similar to White Elephant gift exchange during Christmas where participants swap gag gifts with one another.
In this family reunion swap, however, family members swap souvenirs from home states, towns, or cities, photo CDs with intriguing family photographs, and gently used items as hand-me-downs from relatives such as clothes, books, and toys, just to name a few. This exchange is enjoyable because everyone leaves with a near and dear family member’s item to keep and look at or use.
The super easy and fun family reunion ideas we have presented are great for entertaining. Entertaining and bringing together family guests and creating special memories does not have to be tedious or expensive. Creatively using what you already have or purchasing supplies from the store or online depends on the investment with time and money you want to make with hosting the best and most memorable family reunion.
If hosting the next family reunion for your family members and relatives, give these family reunion Ideas a try, be a savvy shopper, and delegate the hosting responsibilities like asking attendants to bring a dish for a potluck meal or chipping into a fund for catering. These family reunion ideas are guaranteed to be fun, entertaining, and interactive, making guests want to return the next year for more family updates and socializing.