Great Traditions to Start with Your Kids
Starting traditions in your growing family takes a great deal of thought and some trial and error as well. Sometimes you adopt traditions from older generations or friends only to find it just doesn't work for your family. As a new mom, I've been investigating on simple, yet touching traditions to start in my family by talking to other moms and child caretakers. Below are fun things to do in your family to create your own traditions for all kinds of special occasions.
The Birthday Donut
Doing more than the obvious birthday cake and candles can make birthdays more memorable for your children. Also instead of having a designated time to celebrate, why not start first thing in the morning?
After speaking with a mom with older children, she exclaimed how her kids loved getting donuts first thing in the morning with a candle staked in it. It was the perfect tradition for acknowledging her kids’ birthdays and setting a happy tone for the rest of their special day.
Similarly, a teacher at the Gymboree Play and Learn Center expressed her love and gratitude for her grandfather and how he celebrated her birthday. Every year, he made a huge batch of pancakes (more than she could ever eat) in the morning with a candle perched on top the pancake mountain.
Delightful and delectable traditions like these make birthdays even more special and allow your kids to enjoy every minute of their birthday from sun up to sun down.
Another great idea is stealing a well-known tradition from Christmas to use on birthdays. Why not open one special birthday present at midnight? Maybe it's a birthday outfit for the festivities to come or something they'll need for the big day ahead. Whatever the gift may be, having a present to open at midnight will create one more birthday adventure to look forward to year after year.
Besides going around the table and reciting what everyone is thankful for, there are ways to turn this day of feast into something more meaningful with traditions that go outside the box.
Find ways to make others feel more thankful. Designating a day around the Turkey Day holiday where your family can help others in need not only allows families to bond, but it also teaches your kids passion for social justice at a young age.
Whether you gather up warm clothing and blankets to hand out to the less fortunate and find a nearby soup kitchen to help feed the hungry, you will have more to feel good about when sitting at a table with a fat turkey as your centerpiece.
Designating a family day where you can do a little fall cleaning and put the household's used goods to better use elsewhere creates lasting family values and bonds.
Each year, you can alternate the activity whether it’s feeding the hungry, donating, or visiting with the elderly. Visit FeedTheHungry.org to find ways to help people locally and globally.
Feed the Hungry
With so many traditions embedded in Christmas already, finding unique things to do with your family can be a challenge.
So why not take a hike? Instead of driving around wasting gas to view all the Christmas lights in your neighborhood, get bundled up and take your family on an evening walk. If there are elevated and safe trails nearby, let your kids see Christmas lights from up high.
EveryTrail.com is a nifty website to help you find trails near and far. So wherever you are for the holidays, this website can link you to the best places to walk or hike and check out all the holiday decorations.
If it will be your baby’s first Christmas this year, consider making ornaments that capture his or her annual growth. Using a , you can press your baby’s foot and/or hand into the mold to create a wonderful keepsake each year. What’s great about the clay molding kit is there is no baking or mixing required. clay molding kit
As your kids get older, this ornament making tradition can be done with paint or colorful construction paper. Let your kids turn these ornaments into their own art projects using glitter, crayons, and small Christmas characters to glue on their ornament.
Sometimes pets get left out of the holidays. Take some time to have the whole family do something for their loyal and fury family member by baking treats for him or her. You can find a host of treat making kits and pet cookbooks online.
Clay Molding Kit
Making Salt Dough Ornaments at Home
Treats for Your Fury Friend
Graduating High School
Receiving a special gift after graduation may not only encourage good grades but show your children that you as a parent appreciate their hard work and are proud of them. Personalized or engraved tokens or medals make great traditions for graduates, especially ones crafted based on their successes over the years. Even though schools give out rewards and certificates, ones that comes from parents, siblings or grandparents have special and lasting effect.
Graduating from high school to embark on a college adventure near or far is a huge step for parents and their now adult kids. A great tradition for saying goodbye can be to take them on a one-on-one trip with each parent or both parents to a place they enjoyed as a kid.
Visiting places where families can camp and fish, go parasailing or horseback riding are all great picks. Whatever your child loved to do while little that he or she might miss before going off to college may end up being the perfect tradition that passes down generation after generation. Even taking your college-bound kid to lunch or dinner at a favorite restaurant is a nice way to say goodbye.
Whatever traditions your family adopts to make special occasions even better, don't feel stressed or worried if after a few years it just does not stick. Life also happens, so as much as we want to avoid falling out of good traditions, don't stress when circumstances simply cannot allow them to happen. Family traditions should feel natural and enjoyable. You will know you have found the right ones for your family when traditions magically become so ingrained each family member as if it were second nature.
© 2013 Mekia Busley