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Family Reunion Forum

Re: Before the Welcome packages

Well, the idea is to "sell" the children on the reunion before it even starts. Also, to make them know that it isn't just about a bunch of old relatives sitting around talking about the 'good ole days'. AND.....TO MAKE TRAVEL EASY FOR PARENTS!!! ;)

The chidren's travel package should be mailed out 2 or 3 weeks before the reunion to all children ages 3-12 that are scheduled to attend. No more then a month away...outsight - outta mind, so you want this to be fresh in their minds. **They will be excited to have recieved mail** Children over 12 they will probably have a Gameboy to play with, or just want to watch a DVD in the car. (Even though a teenagers package would be cool too....hmmmmmmmm) *Also, bring a few extra for children at the reunion who's parents deceided at the last minute to attend. They can still make usage of it on the ride home.*

Anyway, most of the items can be free or darn near close to it. Paper items can be downloaded, printed out and bound in a booklet (created at any teacher store or Staples etc.) Or individual pages can be placed into a folder.

Your travel package could include items such as:

1."We are so glad your coming to the family reunion" letter ***Addressed to the child*** which should list activities that are planned specifically for the younger people. (Pajama party, trip to local amusement park, picnic, boat ride etc.)

2. A CD or Cassette with books on audio. Maybe include stories like Bugs Life, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., Harry Potter, or more family oriented stories like Aunt Flossie's Hats And Crab Cakes Later, Sounder or Chicka Chicka Boom Boom-with Ray Charles **All of these can be burned onto a CD, so the cost is minimal. If anyone needs a few stories to put onto CD just let me know and I will burn, ere, uh, umm, I mean share them :) **

3. The Happy Highway Kids Travel Kit (I forgot to mention, this kit also contains a travel-trip Journal) But if you dont include this, you can download and print a 12 page Dora the Explorer Travel Journal for www.nickjr.com

4. Hunting for your Heritage Comic book

5. A box of crayons...they are on sale this time of year (.25 at walmart this week)

6. A booklet with Car Travel Games. Games might include:
Object Bingo. This will include things that you might see while traveling, ie. a cow, barn a bridge, a hotel.
http://www.momsminivan.com/bingo/bingo-roadside1.html
http://www.momsminivan.com/bingo/bingo-roadside2.html
http://www.momsminivan.com/bingo/bingo-roadside3.html
http://www.momsminivan.com/bingo/bingo-roadside4.html
http://www.gulf-shores-alabama-condo-rentals.com/pdf/picard-travel-bingo-1.pdf
http://www.gulf-shores-alabama-condo-rentals.com/pdf/picard-travel-bingo-2.pdf
http://www.gulf-shores-alabama-condo-rentals.com/pdf/picard-travel-bingo-3.pdf
http://www.gulf-shores-alabama-condo-rentals.com/pdf/picard-travel-bingo-4.pdf

Similar to the Bingo game would be the Travel Scavenger Hunt:
Children are given a list of items to watch for while driving. For a younger child who can't read, you might draw a little picture of each item next to the word so they will know what to look for. This is a great communication stilulating game.
Here are a few examples of items to hunt for:

CITY LIST:
flashing red light
bus
signs in foreign languages
dog
food store
railroad tracks
billboard with a child on it
police officer
license plate that starts with "Q"
person with tall boots
person talking on a cell phone
SUBURBS LIST:
school
flashing traffic light
food store
someone on a bike
statue
church
playground
flower garden or snowman (depends on the weather)
pickup truck
WalMart
dog in a car
RURAL LIST:
silo
railroad tracks
post office
cows
pond or lake
dirt road
tractor
gas station
horses
oil pump
barn
deer
armadillo (even if it's beside the road!)
A TODDLERS LIST:
tall building
lake or pond
bike
bridge
red car
animal
truck
stop signs
store
someone wearing a hat

License Plate Games:
Color in the state of the license plate. The following is a blank Unites State Map,
http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/united_states/usa_blank2.jpg
Print out a copy of the U.S. map for each child. Leave your own state white. Color the states that border your state Yellow, the states the border those states Orange, the next out Red, the next Purple, and all the rest Blue.
Look for cars with out-of-state license plates. The scoring goes as follows:

1 pt - Yellow
2 pt - Orange
4 pt - Red
6 pt - Purple
8 pt - Blue
Hawaii and Alaska are 10 points, unless you live there. Hawaiians and Alaskans get 10 points for Florida and Maine. Only the first person to spot an out of state license plate gets the points for that sighting. They must find a license from another state before they can get any more points from the state they just found. You can decide when the game ends ahead of time. Set a time limit and whoever has the most by then wins, or set a point limit, and the winner is first to get that many points, or as soon as one person has 10 sightings, scores are added, and highest score is the winner.

Games that can be played without any materials include:

Hug Bug: If you see a Volkswagen "bug" you get to give one other person in the car a hug... or throw them a kiss. (Its a much nicer version of "Punch Car" :)

Name That Tune: One person hums a tune and the others try to guess what it is. Winner gets to hum the next tune.

Who am I: Tell bits and pieces about a person and children guess who you are talking about.

Additionally, there are tons of websites that cater to the theme of Children and Car Traveling Games: http://www.nickjr.com/travel/car_games/index.jhtml http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art33307.asp http://www.liveandlearn.com/cargame.html http://www.momsminivan.com/

All or some of these 'gifts' in addition to mom and dad having conversations and showing excitement about the reunion is bound to make any child look forward to attending.

***As a side note: I didn't do this with my nieces on our last trip, however for my next family reunion trip, September 2-4 in Atlanta, I will do this cute idea:
Surprise packages
Prepare ahead with paper bags of items to be given out every 25, 50 or 75 miles -- marked on a map with the location, it takes a little bit of preparation to do this but it REALLY helps young children. In each bag put a wrapped item -- usually a small toy. Then in some of the surprise packages you can add juice or a snack, stickers and a piece of paper, or something pertaining to the trip that you can talk about. And maybe this one for my little niece:
Travel Tickets
Use some colored construction paper to cut out some "tickets" for your trip. Give your child a pre-counted baggie full of tickets. Every half hour (or every 30 miles) they can turn in one ticket to you. When their tickets are gone, the trip has ended! This really helps young children get an idea of how much time is left on the journey.

ps..... sorry this was such a long post Landra :)


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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