I am a huge fan of creating and maintaining family traditions with kids. Maybe it’s because I am a creature of habit, but I love planning and implementing traditions that I know my children will look back on fondly. Well…that’s the hope anyway!
Daily Family Traditions with Kids
There are a few traditions that we do every day as a family. The first is our hope for the day. When we’re walking to the bus stop or driving my four-year-old to preschool, I ask them what their hope is for the day. They usually give me a crazy one: “I hope you find a bunny today!” I try to give them more concrete ones: “I hope you play with a friend today that you don’t usually play with.” Every once in a while they come bursting home from school to tell me that their hope for the day came true. So fun!
Another daily tradition we have was adopted from a friend of ours. At dinner every night, we take turns passing the question “What was your best thing today?” I love the positive spin it has and some days, it’s nice to dig through your mind looking for the one good thing that did happen that you can appreciate. If my husband or I forget to initiate it, my girls are always on top of it! And finally, as a reading teacher, reading before bed has been a daily tradition since before our kiddos were born.
We have a lot of weekly traditions that we created during the pandemic to help make each day a little different than the day before. Our favorite weekly tradition is Friday Family Night where we make homemade pizza together and cuddle up in front of the woodstove and watch a movie as a family. This compliments our Family Game Night, Taco Tuesday and Sundae Sundays really well!
Each week, we make it a point to do one kid date with one of our girls. If my husband takes my oldest daughter on a date, I make sure to spend some one-on-one time with my youngest. Then the next week, we switched. The pandemic made this a little trickier because we weren’t leaving the house as much. However, I noticed a huge behavior difference when we were doing this versus when we weren’t doing it regularly. Finally, another favorite weekly tradition is our Sunday meeting – nicknamed “Sundae Sunday” because we bribe the girls to meet with us with ice cream. While we eat our sundaes, we chat about our goals for the week and bring up any issues that need to be addressed. We also hand out allowance for the week and check in about any supplies they may need at school.
We get pretty burnt out in the Christmas season with our girls having December birthdays, So our favorite holiday traditions are well outside of the holiday season, even though we have an exhaustive list for that too. One holiday we celebrate is “Sister Day” on the first Sunday of August. On this day, we let the girls decide together what they want to do and spend the day together, really celebrating their relationship.
Our other off-the-beaten-path holiday is Valentine’s Day. We like to celebrate with a countdown that starts on February 1st. Each girl gets a long ribbon on their door and each day, my husband and I leave them a heart on the ribbon. The heart has something on it that we love about them. We try to make this super specific and they love waking up in the morning to see what their heart says. On Valentine’s Day since they were born, my husband gives them each a rose. We take a picture of it and I can’t wait to see how this tradition evolves over the years.
Annual Family Traditions with Kids
The one non-negotiable annual family tradition we have is to update our family portraits. It is so important to me to be able to capture these moments in time. We try to pick a different season every year to give each year a different vibe. But it is definitely one of our favorite family traditions with kids.
Every year, I create a family yearbook that we wrap and open on New Year’s Eve. I love this tradition because it gets pictures off of our phones and they are so fun to look back on.
By far, our favorite family tradition is going to Maine every summer. We talk about it all year long and have a sign in our kitchen that says “I’d rather be in Maine.” So accurate. This is the time that we splurge a bit and do fun things as a family that we don’t normally do at any other time of year.
Those are just a few of our family traditions. Do you have any family traditions? What are they?