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July 18, 2011

Family Fun Day - Let the Games Begin!

Family Fun Day was Saturday. It was a record day heat-wise - 32' Celsius and humid with no breeze. Phew. We had lots of water on hand although every family member and friend brought plenty to keep themselves hydrated. We had a turnout of 26 (7 of those were children aged 3 to 9)  as a few who were slated to come had to opt out at the last minute.

I like to let folks mingle for about an hour and then we start the organized games. The events were all genealogy themed and based on an actual event in an ancestor's life. See  Part 1 , Part 2Part 3 and Part 4 of this series of Genealogy Games for a family reunion. Finally I can tell you about the actual events!

Wampum Central
Found the beads!
Wampum Central.  Based on our Dutch ancestor Cornelis Van Slyke in New Netherland (New York) in 1637. Wampum was used as money instead of paper or coin. Teams had to find two red, two black, one green and one white bead buried in a wading pool full of corn. Then they had to string the beads on to a piece of embroidery thread, add a guinea feather and show Cornelis Van Slyke (played by me) to get their egg and next clue. At this event, the children jumped into the wading pool and were covered in white corn powder by the time they found their beads.

Apple Alimony. Based on my ancestor Albert Andriessen de Noorman who was ordered by the courts in 1680s to pay his ex-wife Geertruy 80 bushels of apples yearly as alimony.  Teams had to take a small plastic basket and fill it with apples from our apple trees then find Geertruy (played by my 87 year old auntie!) for their next egg and clue.

Eileen Vollick Flight School. Based on our cousin's achievement of becoming the first woman in Canada to get a pilot's licence in 1917. Teams had to toss frisbees (which I decorated with photos of Eileen in her flight uniform and plane) through a swinging hula hoop.

The Deer

The Shooters
Deer Run. Based on our Mohawk ancestors Ots-Toch and her son It-sy-cho-sa-quach-ka (his non native name was Jacques Van Slyke). We set out nerf guns and a nerf bow and arrow as well as small brightly coloured rubber balls. Teams had to stand behind the coloured ropes and watch for deer (played by my husband who hid behind a shed and scampered out to dart and weave and taunt the shooters). A direct hit by any weapon on the table earned them their next egg and clue. A great favourite with adults and children alike!

  Steve Peer Niagara Falls Tightrope Walk. Based on my great grandfather's cousin who walked Niagara Falls on a tightrope. Teams had to walk across 3 planks raised about 6 inches from the ground.

Carrying the Babies

Obstacle Tires
Mary Vollick's Escape From New York. Based on my Loyalist ancestor's wife flight from New York during the American Revolution. American patriots turned her and her 10 small children out of their home, burned the house to the ground then marched her into the woods several miles and left her there. She managed to get all of her children to safety in Montreal Canada. Teams had to carry 10 stuffed animals to safety through an obstacle course. The catch was that only one team member could carry the stuffed animals but the entire team had to complete the course.

Tee for Two. A golf maze based on Scottish ancestors. I set out croquet wickets and buried small cups in the ground. Teams had to use a tiny children's golf set to get their golf ball from the starting point, through the wickets and into the cup at the end.
Grenade Event

Grenade Event
WW2 Grenade Training. Based on my dad's service in WW2. Teams wore toy helmets and tossed toy grenades into a hula hoop on the ground. The children loved this game!
Ancestor Match. A puzzle game. I printed off 24 head and shoulder shots of ancestors and baby photos of some of those attending Family Fun Day, then printed out 26 names. Teams had to match names to photos.

Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and after we had all cooled down, we had our corn roast with barbeque chicken and hot dogs plus salads and desserts. Then the children went frog hunting at one of our smaller ponds and ended their day with ATV rides with my husband. Lots of fun and I can hardly wait til next year to do it again.


Laura Flanagan said...

Awesome! You always make history come alive! I bet the kids won't forget this for awhile.......=)

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Thanks txlynnage - I really love creating fun things for kids that are genealogy and history related.

My sister in law thinks hubs and I should run a summer camp for children - LOL! I don't think so but I'll keep doing it for my 9 grandchildren (and one more on the way)

Tessa Keough said...

I followed the series - what great good fun (and much work)! Thanks for providing this very inspirational way to entertain and educate at a family reunion.

Tessa Keough said...

I followed the series - what great good fun (and much work)! Thanks for providing this very inspirational way to entertain and educate at a family reunion.

Elizabeth Handler said...

This is so great! I hope that I would be able to be half as creative the next time our family has a big get-together.

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Thanks guys. We are already planning next year's Family Reunion :-)

I have a file I keep in my desk filing cabinet with each year's events and ideas for other years so a bit.

You know how you hash over what went right, what went wrong, could anything have been better organized, etc.

Kathryn Lake Hogan said...

Greetings Lorine,
You have a terrific imagination. I especially liked Wampum Central and Deer Run since those are based on our common ancestors. What fun!