Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ten Tips for a Budget Family Reunion

Cousin's Club
(minus seven)

All twenty grandkids (plus their fourteen parents) are buzzing in and out of town this month, and that means a bunch of reunions. The fun is priceless, but can also get pricey.

I've discovered memories don't need to be expensive. Last Saturday's party-in-the-park (for 22 people) cost me under $20! Each family brought their own picnic, I furnished tablecloths, and the dollar store provided the entertainment:

Lars and Will

1. Funky plastic teeth for skits.

2. Jump rope (even the adults were jumping!)

Eliza and Jill duet

3. Two plastic microphones for an impromptu talent show: sixty seconds to prepare. There were songs, jokes, skills—we called out states and Chloe named the capitals; we called out states and Jacque named the teams. Scott did math problems in his head; Will climbed a tree. No practices or instruments necessary, and nobody was left out.

4. Critter hunt. (Again. $4 worth of plastic bugs has paid off big time.)

5. Squirt guns: Fill 'em up at the drinking fountain. Rule: You can't shoot at anybody who doesn't have a squirt gun.

Chloe and Lucy

6. Straw Relay: The teams passed gummy lifesavers with straws.

7. Paper Relay: Use the same straws. Suck up a piece of paper, run the course without dropping the paper—no hands. Repeat until one team finishes.

Jillian June (I think)

8. Soap on a rope: Carve ivory soap with plastic knives, and hang from a piece of string.

9. Flying High: Put together and fly wooden glider airplanes.

10. Glow-in-the-dark bracelet tag.

Family reunions don't have to be elaborate, painstaking or expensive. The preparation for this party was minimal—a group e-mail, thirty minutes in the dollar store, a bunch of cousins and a lifetime of memories.

Do you have any cheap, fun suggestions?

This post is part of a blog carnival hosted by Susan Adcox, About.com's Guide to Grandparents.


Grandma Shelley said...

Most everything I do for my grands is on the cheap. I am always on the look out for fun finds for our family gatherings.

I always scour clearance tables and the dollar stores for inspiration for new craft ideas, games, party decor, and activities. My blog is full of ideas for having fun on a dime or even for free!

When the number of grands grow so does the cost so getting creative is essential to grandma's dollar!

Christie said...

These ideas are awesome. Will everyone still be up for them in two weeks or did we miss the boat?

Olive's Granddaughter said...

You have the greatest ideas in the whole world! I'd love to go to one of your reunions. But I want to do the kids' stuff. At my reunions, I have to talk genealogy---boring.

Susan Adcox said...

We have to have lodging for our family reunions as we don't have enough homes in one area to put everyone up. Our favorite type of lodging is cabins. It's not as rustic as tents, but it's still a great budget choice. We pay about $50 a night for basic cabins.

As far as cheap entertainment, there's nothing cheaper than a singalong. Doesn't every family have a few guitar players for accompanists?

I have a piece about family reunions that gives some more hints about doing a reunion on the cheap.