Traditions help create moments and memories that serve as the foundations to strong family identity and familial togetherness. Whether you already have some that you grew up with and want some new ones to add to the mix or you are looking to create some of your own, here is a list of fun and unique ideas that your kids are sure to love.
SEMI-ANNUAL TOY DONATION
Every year, around birthdays and the holidays, ask your child to sift through their old toys and see which ones they would like to keep and which ones they would like to donate to a charity of their choice. It is important to talk to your child first about why you are doing it so he feels he is a part of the decision making process and not you enforcing it on him. Bring your child with you to the donation center so they can see the process. This tradition teaches your child about philanthropy, decision making, and healthy parting (a.k.a. anti-hoarding). Most important, praise your child afterwards for their efforts and generosity.
BACK TO SCHOOL BACKYARD SLUMBER PARTY
Before the start of the school year, gather the family, some twinkle lights, outdoor lanterns, hanging paper lanterns, sheets, outdoor cushions and outdoor pillows to create a backyard family slumber party. Share favorite summer memories and picnic food you’ve prepared as a family. You can also invite some of his school friends or neighborhood kids to join so they can reacquaint before the school year begins.
PASS IT DOWN
Start a tradition of passing an item that holds significance to your child whether it’s a book, a toy or an article of clothing onto their sibling or cousin every holiday season. Along with the gift, ask your child to write a note to the recipient and talk about why it’s important to them or why they are gifting that item. Keep these notes and share it with them when they are older. This is a great tradition to foster bonding and sharing.
It’s always good to remember and be grateful for the good things, but it’s also important to talk about the not so good things that happened during the year. Every year before the new year, get together as a family, each member writes down one thing that happened during the year that made them unhappy, talk about it and then get rid of it by either burning it in a bonfire or putting it in a bottle and tossing it out the ocean. Once it’s burned or tossed, you let go of it and move on to embrace the new year with a fresh outlook.
EXTENDED FAMILY GET-TOGETHER
The inspiration behind this blog post and a tradition I plan on starting is from this blog. The President’s Day extended family get-together sounds like so much fun! Basically, every year the extended family get together for a weekend in a cabin and just play games, cook, eat and talk. My favorite part is “It is during this game-a-thon that family recipes are passed down from generation to generation as teenagers come of age and learn how to make home-made noodles and other key recipes that are religiously prepared every time at this weekend event”...yum!
If you have a fun family tradition, please share it with us!