I'm trying to think of a few games that would suit a Family Picnic that would include young and old alike. We've been in a slump with a generation gap with no kids, and grandparents passing or unable to come. This is the first picnic in a couple of years, and I'd like to put some new ideas into the entertainment part. I want to refresh, surprise and put new life into the continuation of this gathering into the future.
Laura O. Ontario, Canada
By Laura J. Orr
By Patti in PA, USA (Guest Post) 07/23/2008
I have a few ideas for you and hope they help. We have a lot of BBQ's and we started to have scavenger hunts, everyone loves them, We also took our tractor hooked a trailer to it and give hay rides, another thing is get poster boards and get each family member to send you copies of their baby pictures and give a prize or prizes for the most right and the most wrong. I also play with the kids watermelon spitting, toss the clothes pins in the jar (I use a big jar with wide mouth); Also you can do things like a egg on a spoon and the team that gets theirs to the other end without dropping it wins, (Oh , they have to carry the spoon in their mouth and hand behind their back, also sack races are fun.
Hope these ideas help you and you have a wonderful family reunion. If you would like to bounce anymore party ideas, just email me at froggypjs10 AT hotmail.com Patti
By Laura (Guest Post) 07/26/2008
What an incredible imagination and excellent ideas! I am so glad I asked! You sure got the old brain churning now!
Thank you so much!
The picture board sounds interesting especially. The picnics had been going on for a long time until the older generation began disappearing and we seemed to get in this generation gap between sadness and no children. The children will be youngish or teenagers and little in between. The were no picnics for a few years and this one is first one again since.
I think the picture boards would be an excellent way to address, remember and heal this issue and help to chase the apathy away and revive the spirit of it again. I do have lots of old family pics on hand. Would you be able to explain how you go about this one?
All the ideas are fantastic and I'm entertaining them all right now. They are all great ideas! Lots of them have me laughing my head off just imagining them. Thank you again!
It sure helps to eliminate some of my concerns for success. We're not so organized as some of you are. No fee up front....never seem to break even, but that's ok. It will be at my house and I've got lots of land, an outhouse, shade, trampoline and pool. Will be potluck, which is always a success. My biggest concern is keeping it dry should it rain. We're having an incredibly wet year and the thought of 70 people suddenly cramming into my house doesn't attract me, if you know what I mean. I've looked into renting a tent, only to find that it will cost $480 for 3 days...ugh! The picnic is only a day affair. Any ideas on how I could "weather" this one?
I did have a tractor and did the wagon rides once, but the tractor bit the dust, lol! (hobby farm, not a working farm)
I also have horses and could give rides, but it would be something right out of the blue for the horses. They are mostly pets. They are well trained from the ground and I can actually dance with one of them, but I don't ride that often and a saddle and little kids is also going to be "new" for the horses. I know I could ask one of them to be a "good egg" for me, but the thought of all the things that could happen with little fingers, 1200 lb. size and all this newness for the horses scares me to death.
I'm getting pressured for this activity, cause most people who are not horse oriented, think they can just get on a horse and ride it. Not so, and I'm very reluctant and am coming across as a "crumb bum" on this issue, but Murphy's Law is ruling my thoughts on this one. Raising the risk of anyone getting hurt that day is somewhere that I just don't want to go. How do I handle the pressure on this issue? There's no way I can get the training needed in place on time.
By Debbie (Guest Post) 02/12/2009
One of the games we played at our annual family camping weekend (about 30 family members of all ages) was what I called The Collector Game. I didn't tell anyone what the game was so that even the timid didn't back out. Before the game began, my husband & I scattered small piles of "droppings" (peanuts in this case) over a large area. I divided everyone into 5 teams. I then appointed a person, from each team, as the collector & assigned each team an animal that they would represent. On the word go all team members ran around in search of the "droppings".
When they found a pile they had to make the sound of the animal they represented loudly enough for their collector to hear. They had to remain at the pile, making their animal sound until their collector located them and collected the pile of droppings in his pail. Each then moved on to locate more piles/animal calls. When time was up, they raced back to the start point. The team with the most "droppings" won. This was hilarious with grown men crowing like roosters and kids quacking like ducks, barking like dogs, baaaing like sheep, etc, loud enough to wake the dead, all over the campground. Even the timid had a fun time as did all the other non-family campers who witnessed the game.
Most of these are old games from many community picnics and family reunions.
Count out any type of item or mix of items and put them into a jar. Let each person put there name on a slip of paper with their guess of how many items there are. We have used keys, bathroom items such as Q tip, bobby pin, clothes pin, adding stones to throw the counter off (don't count the stones). Even just a jar of candy that can be the prize too.
We also purchased a cheap bingo game and gave dollar store prizes, even a bottle of soda or a roll of paper towels for prizes.
Now you have it Now you don't is a good game for older less active people. 2 sets of numbers on little cardboard squares - one set in a little tin or bag - other set is distributed between the players. Usually about 3 to 5 per player. A "Caller" then picks and calls a number. The holder of the number then picks a prize from the table of prizes. The next person may take another prize from the table or take the prize of another "winner". When each person runs out of numbers they get to keep their prize or prizes. Some people end up with 2 or 3 prizes and others can end up with none. We usually like to make sure there are enough small prizes so everyone gets one. Say 50 numbers and 50 small prizes. It is amazing how there is always 1 item that will travel all around more than any other prize. Children to Grandma get a big kick of it.
Cut out parts of pictures of everyday household items such as laundry soap, hair spray, cooking oil, mayonnaise, cake mix, Stove top stuffing mix, cat or dog food, anything that is well known to most people. Paste the partial pictures on a piece of white cardboard and number each item. Each person gets a piece of paper and must figure out what the product name is They may only see one letter, but it is distinct and know the product immediately. Others will be harder. The person who names the most products correctly wins. The same can be done for men with motor oil, car polish, men's deodorant, anything a man would recognize.
Easy - Guess the weight of a watermelon/cantaloupe or any item. That item is the prize. Ask your grocer to weigh it for you before you leave the store.
Easy - Peanut scramble for elementary aged children. For interest, add some individually wrapped candy like tootsie rolls or hard candies. Give each child a small lunch bag or plastic sandwich bag to gather the peanuts/candy. Just make sure you clean up all the bags that are dropped.
All but the "Now you have it, Now you don't" game can be put on a table for people to work on as they have a moment. The host will determine the winners near the end of the party/picnic.
At one of our reunions we took two plastic table cloths and one water balloon. Split into teams of 4 (one person for each corner of the table cloth). The idea is to launch the balloon and the other team to catch it without breaking it. There is a trick to this that I will not share - a learning curve if you may. It is so much fun to watch and to play this game!
At another, we took old clothing - bras, granny panties, hats, pants, etc. and put them in a laundry bag that you could not see through. We played music and when the music stopped whoever had the bag had to take out a piece of clothing and wear it. We had priceless pictures of my 80-something grandma in a big bra over her clothes. The grandchildren still talk about this game.
We played a game last year for the adults called 'Bullshi*' Put two things on a card that were random and the player had to write one true one. They could then choose to read the real one or a fake one. The players would either agree or say 'Bull' This had a group of adults laughing until they cried. Email me at kalaidescope2001 AT yahoo if you want ideas.
Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the comments that were provided then.
We are having a very large family reunion. I am in charge of this event this year. I am looking for games or some form of entertainment. Any help would be appreciated!
Mylene Holmes from Mankato Minnesota
1. Each adult was given a color flag to cheer on that team color. (That way all the adults were envolved). Teams were broken down by color and each team had a 5 and under, a 10 and under, a 15 and under and 18 and under and more than one in each age if more are available. There was a station for a slip and slide, a station for a water balloon toss, hula hoops to spin, football to throw through a tire, a 3 legged race, carry an egg in a spoon race, roll a watermelon over the line, a dash race to end all games.
2. Another year we had a treasure hunt. We live on a river, my son used a treasure chest (it was an wooden ammunition box he had), and we put in old jewelry, with coins - quarters and 50 cent pieces. Inside a bottle, we wrote out a letter about where the treasure was buried and burned around the edges, rolled it up and put it in the bottle. After the big dinner, all the kids had to go into the river to play, someone was up river and put the bottle in to float to the kids. When the child found the bottle and read the instructions out loud, they started on the hunt. The kids absolutely loved it.
3. A dart board with balloons. Each child was give the same amount of chances to throw - maybe 3, and received a gift off the gift table. If they didn't hit a balloon, they went to the end of the line to try again. Eventually, they all hit a balloon and all was happy.
We had a lot more but these are the ones I remember the most. This should give you some ideas and you can go from there. If you find it too expensive, you can call on different families to provide a particular gift, like candy bars ( which the kids seemed to like the best), 99 cent gift store toys, kites, etc.This year, the family told me they are going to do Deal or No Deal, like on TV. (05/03/2006)
By Eletha Cole
Once each person was dressed they were to run to a certain point, run back, then take off the outfit for the next person on their team. Everyone was laughing hysterically, esp. when some of our more reserved family members joined in and had fun. We also were able to get some great photos for this year's photo poster. (07/13/2007)
I had a roll of TP & asked them to roll off just what they thought they would need all weekend, not to be too greedy but to take enough. I started it off by taking 2-3 sheets of TP. Then passed the roll around to let everyone take some. After everyone got TP, I told them, we now needed to tell a favorite family memory or something about themselves, even the most embarrassing moment - one thing per TP sheet. Some had to tell more than others, but everyone got to say at least one thing.The first year we done this, one member (that was usually quite) had us in tears by stating a very sentimental statement about a loved one that had just passed the year prior. The next year we done this, I had to think of a twist so it wouldn't be the same. After everyone had their TP sheets, I had them pass it to their left. You can go on & on with different twists. Another game we played was Props. Bring random objects, pass them around in a circle & have people use their imagination as to what it is. Both of these games are for all ages to play & be a part of. Good luck! (04/07/2008)
We have a treasurer and vice president and I'm the president, which is a fairly cushy job. I just read the minutes and any new info that happen during the previous year.My husband is in charge of the sports/games. This will be our third annual Flap "Jack" race. We just cook up a whole bunch of pancakes and you have to carry a stack with one hand across to your team member. The kids love it; Sack races, Three legged races, guess who picture boards, guess how much is in the jar, etc. There are tons of ideas for the frugal. (06/02/2008)
By Vandra Jack