Friday, July 27, 2012

Preparing Kids for Family Reunions

We're getting ready for a family reunion and I wanted my 22 month old to have some preparation to meet new extended family members for the first time.  We've been looking at pictures of grandparents and a few family members that I put together in a valentine sensory box (inspired by this post at No Time for Flashcards)  for sometime & talking about who they are.  Now she consistently recognizes them on the phone & skype so I knew that an activity with pictures of family members would make her more comfortable with them when we actually meet.

I got a bunch of pictures printed of family.  Then I traced circles with a small cup on yellow construction paper.  I cut out the circles & glued them to the back of the photos to make it easy to cut out the photos the same size.  I drew smiley faces on the yellow circles.  For older kids you could write names.  You might want to laminate these for repeat use. 

I took an old pringles can and "decorated" it with an old coloring page of Chiquita's because I didn't have much time or creativity.  You could decorate it with more family pictures or something representing the reunion.  I cut a big slit in the top of the can.  Make sure you test that the circles fit in the slit.  I thought they would be because the circles were smaller than the top but I still had to trim them a little.

For Chiquita we will just work on fine motor skills by dropping the photo circles in the slot & taking time to talk about the family members. 

For older children you could make it a more complicated game.  You could put the circle happy face up & have each child pick one and see if they could name the person and how they are related before dropping them in the slot. Parents could add "fun facts" (i.e. Uncle Bob was an extra on the 1st Spiderman movie) and have a 2nd "quiz" round to test them on those facts.

I know that at my first extended family reunion it would have been nice to recognize more faces, so I'm sure it will help Chiquitita.  We will take pictures at the event to add to our game afterward.  What do you do to help your kids feel comfortable at extended family events?


  1. What a lovely way to look at family pictures. I really like how you used it to prepare for the family reunion. Thanks for sharing at the Sunday Showcase. :)

  2. What a great idea!! Thank you for sharing at Happy Family Times!!