THERE COMES AN INSTANCE IN EACH FAMILY WHEN THE CONCEPT OF QUIET FAMILY REUNIONS IS OUT OF THE QUESTION. WANTING TIME TO TALK AND LAY BY THE POOL, CATCHING UP WITH DISCONNECTED FAMILY MEMBERS IS LOST TO THE FACT THAT THE KIDS OF THE FAMILY WOULD LIKE TO DO AS MUCH AS WATCHING PAINT DRY. AFTER ENABLING CALIFORNIA FAMILIES PLAN THE TRANSPORTATION FOR THEIR REUNIONS, WHAT FOLLOWS ARE A FEW POINTERS THAT WE HAVE FOUND REALLY HELPFUL FOR PLANNING MORE KID-FRIENDLY REUNIONS THAT ARE SURE TO KEEP THE ENTIRE FAMILY ENGAGED AND EXPECTING YOUR NEXT REUNION
Make the kids help arranging. Are your kids tired of sitting around paying attention to family stories, being pinched on the cheek, and being force-fed family favorites? Why not allow them to in on family reunion arrangements? What do you have to get rid of? Their suggestions have to be better than Aunt Becky’s yearly white elephant gift exchange. Allow them to run some games or activities for all ages. If they have part in the planning process, kids are more likely to be enthusiastic. Encourage kids to bring their friends too.
Does your family reunion always take place at the same hometown park? Hold your family reunion at an amusement park, pool, or other fun spots kids may enjoy. If poor Aunt Nellie will be heartbroken, think about running shuttles to and from local attractions back to a central location (like her house) and let kids have the freedom to come and go safely.
Give kids freedom to get involved, or not. Don’t push kids into enjoying with people they hardly know at the family reunion. Render them the freedom to make their own choices about who to play with and which activities to take part in. Alleviate the pressure. They’ll have a lot more fun therefore will you. This is your family. You don’t have to impress anyone and neither should your child.
Why not create a kid zone at your family reunion? A family reunion doesn’t have to be the sole responsibility of one person. Load up the car with carnival games, water balloons, a piñata, and kid crafts, even if you’re not the official organizer.
Create a soccer field, baseball game, or other team sport. The whole family can get into this fun family reunion activity. You have enough people for two sports teams! That only happens once or twice a year, so make the most of it. Separate by ages if you have tiny kids playing. This will keep them from getting tackled by the big guys in football or soccer. There are a thousand ways to keep kids entertained and happy at family reunions. Who knows? They may even want to come back next year.