The New Year is a great time to start some new family traiditons. Whether it’s as simple as Friday pizza night or it requires some planning, doing something as a family creates the kinds of memories everyone really cherishes. This year, put busy lives on pause for a bit and plan to get started on your own family traditions. We have 10 ideas to help you out.
Enjoy a Weekly Movie or Game Night
Take turns letting a different family member choose the movie or game each week. Whether you choose to play a game or watch a movie, it’s all about spending quality time together. And, letting each family member choose the activity will reinforce that every member of the family’s input is important.
Participate in an Annual Service Project
As a family, pick a cause that has a special meaning and do a yearly service project. Whether it’s serving a meal at your local shelter, adopting a family in need or raising money for a local animal shelter, make it a yearly tradition to give back as a family
Create a Few Birthday Traditions
Birthdays become unforgettable when you add in just one or two little touches that set the day apart. And, the best thing is that birthday traditions don’t have to be complicated or expensive to make them really memorable for kids. Blast The Beatles “Birthday Song” to wake everybody up, fix birthday waffles for breakfast, wear a birthday hat, or let your child pick where they’d like to eat out on their birthday.
Have the Same Meal One Time Every Week
Whether it’s Friday night pizza, Saturday morning pancakes or a Sunday night spaghetti supper, make it a point to always have a signature meal together as a family. The regularity and repetition will make it a meal your kids will cherish and miss when they eventually leave the nest.
Life gets busy, and even busier as your kids get older. So, make the time to take family walks, whether just around your neighborhood after dinner or you hit a local trail. It’s a timeout from the rush of every day and a way to connect with your kids without distractions.
Whether it’s a trip to Yellowstone or just setting up a tent in your backyard, camping is a great way to show your kids an enjoyable outdoor experience. Look at the stars, tell great stories and make it a night or nights your children will remember.
Take Annual Photos
Whether you always take a 1st day of school photo, photo with Santa, or a photo on your annual trip to the Iowa State Fair, nothing marks the passing of time quite like a photo that you can look back on and compare each year.
Share about the things that your happy for as a family. Go around the table at dinnertime and let each family member share about the best moment of their day. It will help your whole family to become aware of what you are grateful for and it also allows you to celebrate the joy of others.
Read at Bedtime
There are all kinds of studies that show the many benefits of reading to your kids. And, as kids get older, don’t stop. Reading at night is a great way for kids to wind down before bed and allows you to have honest and open discussions with your kids in regard to the story and plot line.
Let the Kids Make Dinner Once a Week
Of course, this will depend on your child’s age, but letting your kids make dinner once a week is a great way for them to learn what goes into preparing a meal. When asked, most kids are excited to help out and may be more likely to eat what’s on their plate, if they’ve had a hand in preparing it. Plus, eventually as they learn how to cook on their own, you’ll be able to take a night off!
What are some of your family’s traditions? We’d love to hear about them!