I’m in a season of wanting to create memories and remember these days of having kids who are on the verge of really growing up. They’re 16, 13, and 7 right now — and these days won’t last for long. I’m hoping creating and documenting memories helps me appreciate the season we are in and what’s still to come.
These shared experiences not only strengthen the bond between parents and children, but they also contribute to their emotional and even cognitive development. With that in mind, here are some of the best ways to do it.
Traditions are a great way to make some important memories, and they work so well because they are repeated time and time again, enabling everyone to get to know them well and remember them much better.
Your traditions could be a weekly movie night, a yearly weekend trip, a special Christmas celebration, or perhaps you hire a family photographer every year for a special portrait. These traditions offer you and your children an opportunity to really connect. As they get older, their role can change, so they start to take ownership and then continue those traditions with their own families.
We have traditions that involve extended relatives and friends who are like family. Of course, the traditions with the five of us are special – and change with the season!
Game nights are an enjoyable and interactive way to create memories while strengthening family bonds at the same time. Gather a selection of age-appropriate board games or card games and set aside dedicated time to play them together. (Here are some of our favorites!)
When you are having friendly little competitions like this, you can really enjoy being together and having fun, and the memories you all make during this time will definitely last. Laughter is a good catalyst for sweet memories. Game nights can also be the ideal opportunity to teach your child new skills — and give them a break from screens.
Children have unlimited imaginations, and creative play is an amazing way to tap into this incredible resource. Make sure you encourage your children to express themselves through play, art, music, or perhaps storytelling in their own way. Give them a dedicated space to do this in the home, and in this way, they can really explore their passions.
Being free to do the things they want to do in this way will help to cement these good feelings as memories, and if you were to join in with them, they would remember them even more. Whether it’s painting, building forts, putting on a puppet show, or singing some songs together, you’ll create lasting memories and do wonders for your child’s development at the same time.
It’s not as creative, but I’m finding myself loving the times in the passenger seat teaching my oldest to drive. It’s a necessary step, but it’s allowed sole sweet memories to happen between us.
Engaging in acts of kindness and giving back to the community can create some wonderful memories for children and adults alike. If you are doing some volunteering, involve your children as much as you can, as long as what they are doing is age-appropriate and safe. We like to include our kids in service projects we do with our church and school friends.
By experiencing the impact of their actions firsthand, children will develop empathy and a sense of responsibility toward others, but more than this, these experiences can be some of their fondest memories because they got to do something good and spend time with you.
How do you like to spend time with your kids or other youngsters in your life?