Inside: Check out these 10 family reunion activities! Minimal supplies make them easy to pack and assemble. Plus, they will add hours of entertaining fun for everyone!
10 Family Reunion Activities
It’s that time of year again—when our hearts and minds turn to creating fun family reunion activities!
Here are 10 family reunion activities. Ideas that can be celebrated at reunions, holidays, and other family traditions.
And, click here for my other post on 10 more family reunion ideas. Combined you’ll have 20 family reunion activities to add to your festivities.
The first three ideas are all about making something to wear at your family reunion to spark a sense of family togetherness and belonging…
#1 Tie-Dye Tote Bags & Scrunchies (or tennis shoes)
This family reunion activity is fun, creative, and easy. We didn’t do tennis shoes at our reunion, but we did do tote bags and scrunchies
- White canvas tote bags and scrunchies (Hobby Lobby, Walmart, Dollar Store)
- 10″ embroidery hoops
- Fabric pens, permanent markers
- Isopropyl Alcohol (70%)
- Attach a 10″ embroidery hoop to the front of your tote bag
- Using permanent markers, paint your tote bags and scrunchies. They can be random designs or marks on your tote bags and scrunchies
- Next, use an eyedropper, and squirt isopropyl alcohol over the designs–they will bleed together and create a tie-dye effect.
- Take off the embroidery hoop from your bag
- Let everything dry before using
#2 Painted T-Shirts
Instead of purchasing matching t-shirts for your family reunion—do something more distinct and unique! These next two t-shirt ideas will inspire creativity as you paint on a t-shirt. Imagination is key!
- White T-shirts. White allows your other colors to “pop.” (Michael’s or Hobby Lobby)
- Fabric pens or permanent markers
- Template design of something you want on your T-shirt or just free-hand a design
- Put a cookie sheet between the two layers of your t-shirt so the colors do not bleed through.
- Download your template and using a pencil, copy the design onto your t-shirt
- Using fabric or permanent markers—color your t-shirt
A great way to visually show “family pride!”
#3 Tie-dyed T-shirts
These are super fun to make and they turn out amazing! And they’re very easy for young kids, too. We made these for family get-togethers—and for family reunion activities.
- White T-shirts for everyone (Hobby Lobby, Walmart)
- Permanent markers
- 70% Isopropyl Alcohol
- Embroidery hoops 10” (Walmart)
- Kid Eyedroppers
- Cookie sheets
- Retayne (this is used to set the colors on your t-shirts)
- Attach an embroidery hoop to just the front of the T-shirt
- Using permanent markers, make colorful doodle marks on the t-shirt—filling the whole section with bright colors
- Put a cookie sheet under the T-shirt. I put the whole t-shirt over the cookie sheet with the part you just colored showing in the front.
- Using a large kid-eyedropper squirt rubbing alcohol on the design. Watch the colors bleed and blend. They will look just like tie-dye.
- Use Retayne to set the colors
#4 Nature Hike
We’re a hiking family so whenever we celebrate a family reunion we’re out in nature! Are you a hiking family? There is something therapeutic and relaxing about nature as well as the exhilarating experience of being surrounded by sun, sand, mountains, turf, and sky!
All our family reunions include several nature activities. Here are 2 ways to enjoy nature at your family reunion and learn about your ancestors at the same time.
#1 Create a Poem About Nature
Grab your cameras and cellphones; head out to nature to take photos and create a poem inspired by what you see.
Do you have a famous ancestor who is a poet? If so, talk about he/she to your family before embarking on your nature walk.
One of my paternal ancestors is poetess, Emily Dickinson. I love her poetry and in high school and college, I memorized several of her poems. She loved nature and was semi-obsessed with death. Here is one of her lesser-known poems that I memorized in high school:
“A Death blow is a Life blow to Some
Who till they died, did not alive become —
Who had they lived, had died but when
They died, Vitality begun.” –Emily Dickinson
For something “lighter,” read the book, “Daniel Finds a Poem” by Micha Archer. It’s a family favorite when creating poems about nature.
Here are a few “mini-poems” written by our teenage grandkids at a family reunion after a walk in the woods:
“White fuzzy plants cover the ground like snow. Thriving in July heat.”
“Winding paths in the woods. Trees whispering softly as the wind rustles leaves.”
“Wild brambles growing undisturbed in nature. Feeding creatures in the wooded glen.”
If any of your kids/grandkids get stuck, here is a poem prompt by Joseph Fasano and helpful for even the youngest of kids:
- My name is:
- Today I feel like a/an (adjective) (noun) (verb) in the (noun)
- Sometimes I am (noun)
- Sometimes I am (noun)
- But always I am (adjective).
- I ask the world, “(question)
- And the answer is a (repeat your words from line 2)
#2 Explore Nature’s Signs and a FREE Nature Scavenger Hunt
This is a great family reunion activity for kids/grandkids of all ages. Turn your hike into a game of detection. As you explore nature; look for and read the signs that help you discover something amazing like:
- Identifying animal tracks
- Weeds or herbs, wildflowers
- Honeybee hives, hornets’ nests,
- Birds and bird nests
- Ant hills and other insects
- Unidentified berries, mushrooms
- Determine the direction the wind blows by looking at trees
Use your senses—see, touch, feel, listen, and taste when going on a nature walk. Talk about how your ancestors had to learn to read signs found in nature to avoid danger. I love these books! They will give you fabulous ideas of fun things to do and look for in nature:
- The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs by Tristan Gooley
- Nature Anatomy by Julia Rothman
- Exploring Nature: Activity Book for Kids by Kim Andrews
Check out my post below that includes a Nature Scavenger Hunt you can download for FREE to use for your family reunion activities.
#5 The Geometry of Sidewalk Chalk Art
Want to create something unique and spectacular using sidewalk chalk at your family reunion? Supplies are minimal. You just need masking tape and sidewalk chalk to create these geometrical colorful designs.
Give each team a sheet of paper with different geometric shapes. The challenge—each team incorporates all the straight-edge geometric shapes into their designs while creating something artistic.
Here’s how it works:
- Divide everyone into teams (5-6 people on each team)
- Give each team a roll of masking tape and a sheet with geometric shapes to copy
- Using the tape, each team creates a large square with geometric shapes on the sidewalk.
- Create and color the design—allow 30 minutes from start to finish
- Criteria for judging: how many geometric shapes did they use? How creative was the final design? Was the execution clean and neat? Did they finish on time?
#6 Creating a Kazoo Family Band
This is a no-brainer activity! Purchase a box of colorful kazoos for each member of your family reunion. Then gather around and create music—of sorts.
Explain to family members that as you blow through the opening, you hum at the same time to create a scratchy sound. You can turn on some music and have them hum to the music as they blow through their kazoos.
Call it your “Family Reunion Band!”
#7 Reading Suspenseful Books
Reading books at the end of the day is a great way for everyone to unwind. I would suggest both children’s books and chapter books. The following books are suspenseful and big attention pleasers. And, as you are traveling to your reunion destination by car, consider reading these books as you drive. They are some of our family’s favorites!
- Inside My Feet: The Story of a Giant by Richard Kennedy
- The Half a Moon Inn by Paul Fleischman
- Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz (a great book to read in the dark right before bedtime)
#8 Family Board Games
Another “wind-me-down” activity is to play family games together. Plus, it’s a great bonding activity! Here are some of our favorite family reunion games:
#9 Paint with Water
When your teens are having a balloon fight (see below)—here’s a fun activity for younger kids—paint with water!
You just need a bucket, water, and a 2” wide paintbrush for each child. Let them paint anywhere they want to outside—on the cement, cars, garage doors—the possibilities are endless because it’s just harmless water that will disappear off surfaces quickly.
Your little kids will love “painting with water” but let them join in with the “older kids” water activities–water balloons, blasters, and water guns.
#10 Water Balloons, Blasters, and Water Guns!
This is one of the most favorite family reunion activities we do! It’s called “never-ending fun!”
Purchase the Zuru Bunch O Balloons—easy to fill and fun to throw. We use 2 packages of 420 water balloons in each package.
Want 10 more family reunion ideas? Check out this post: 10 Best Family Reunion Ideas to Celebrate Your Family!
What kinds of activities do you do at your family reunions? Please share in the comment section below.