Friday, May 16, 2008

Family Friday, A Family That Plays Together Stays Together!

Happy Friday Everyone!
Today I have a few more great ideas for creating family traditions that I found in Real Simple magazine.
I hope you find a couple that you can incorporate into your family.

Frame Your Photo Ops
Designate activities for the first day of each season: In the fall, rake leaves; spring, plant flowers; summer, catch fireflies; winter, go ice-skating. Take a photo of your kids (or of yourself and your spouse) doing each of these activities and, at the end of the year, fill four-window picture frames with the snapshots and send them to long-distance relatives.

Stage a Repeat Engagement
Return to the site of your engagement each year on your anniversary. Or, if the proposal took place in a destination too far away to revisit annually, set a similar scene in your home. (Cook pasta and put Pavarotti on the stereo for an Italian proposal, say.)

Walk On
Go for a (moderately) challenging hike with your family every January 1. Even if your resolutions don’t make it past February, you’ll have started the year on a healthy note — and the exercise does wonders for a Champagne hangover.

Ruff Love
Show Fido how much you value his enthusiastic tail wagging, cheerful barking, and loyal snuggling with a special treat during National Pet Week, which begins on the first Sunday in May.

Double the Fun
Commemorate half-birthdays (six months after the actual birthday): Serve half a cake, purchase a small gift for the honoree, and give the half-birthday boy or girl the royal treatment for half a day.

Invent a Holiday Mixer
Blend activities from your favorite holidays: Try patriotic “caroling” on the Fourth of July, hunt for chocolate hearts on Valentine’s Day, or dress in theme costumes for Thanksgiving.

Play “Hooky”
Surprise your kids once a year by taking a day off and keeping them out of school. Then hang out together playing games, watching movies, or baking cookies.

Finders Keepers
Set up scavenger hunts around the house on gift-giving occasions (and especially for those gifts that are too large or too oddly shaped for traditional wrapping). Write or draw clues on pieces of paper to lead the hunter from room to room.

Encourage Variety
Elect Sunday “spontaneous family day,” when one person gets to choose an activity you do together, whether it’s a long bike ride or antiquing in a nearby town.

Share a Common Thread
Arrange a clothing swap with a sister or a cousin in the middle of each season, when you’ve each grown tired of your own wardrobe staples. Scan your closet for items you think the other person would enjoy, and exchange them face to face or through the mail. Then trade the items back the next season.

Stage a Camp-In
Spread out sleeping bags in the living room, light a fire in the fireplace, cook up s’mores, and tell ghost stories by flashlight.

Celebrate “Opposite” Day
Set aside one day a year for doing something your family wouldn’t normally do, like going to a performance of the philharmonic if your kids are video-game nuts, or attending a professional sporting event if yours is a family of bookworms.

Shake Up Story Time
Instead of always reading the same storybooks to your children, grandchildren, or nieces or nephews, once a year (or more) let a child dictate his or her own story to you. Write it down on nice paper, illustrate it (or hand them crayons), and bind the edges with staples, twine, or glue.

Name Your Poison
Name various favorite dishes or drinks after each member of the family and serve them on birthdays and special events: Lizzie’s Melt-Away Mexican Corn on Labor Day, Joe’s Zippy Raspberry Spritzer on the first day of summer.

Have a Historic Birthday
Celebrate the birthday of a historical figure your family admires. Example: For Mozart’s birthday (January 27), prepare Austrian cuisine, watch Amadeus, and have the resident family musician treat everyone else to a brief concert on his instrument of choice.

Log Some Miles
When you take a family vacation, bring a blank travel journal and have each member add to it daily. Entries can include notes about the day’s events, illustrations of funny moments, and reviews of meals eaten that day and the restaurants you ate them in.

Hot Topics
Place a jar in the middle of the dinner table and fill it with conversation starters written on strips of paper. Each night a family member can take one out and read it to the group.

Play Genie
Grant three small wishes to each family member on starred calendar days. (Be prepared to have quesadillas for breakfast or go to the movies on a school night.)

Keep on Giving
Give gifts that become a collection over time: For instance, each year purchase a new charm for a charm bracelet for your niece, or another hardcover edition from a favorite book series for your son or daughter.

Have the Early-Bird Special
Change the evening-meal routine by serving breakfast for dinner every Friday night. Wear pajamas to the table for the full effect.

Sponsor a Graduation Trip
Take each child or grandchild on a high school graduation trip of his or her choice, for some one-on-one time with you before the graduate heads off on the next adventure.

Rethink Drivers’ Education
Send off a high school or college graduate by decorating her car the way people do for weddings, with funny signs, trailing ribbons, and cans attached to the bumper.

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MuDiva said...

Great tips, thanks Tammy! By the way, has anyone ever mentioned to you that your site is really slow to load? Only the left side column loads and the rest takes almost a minute. I am using FF so I am not sure if it is slow in IE. Just thought I would let you know. ;)
Have a great day!

Tidbits Of Tammy said...

Boy I am glad you told me about my slow load. I am going to try and see what I do to fix that.

Jane @ Kidzarama said...

Hi Tammy,

I love these ideas!

We quite often take the kids to the park we were married in, for a picnic.

And I've been privately planning to have a couple of 'hooky' days with Wren next year, once Mr Bump starts school. Thank you for the suggestion, it was kind of like getting 'permission' to do something

Tidbits Of Tammy said...

Hi Jane,
That is a neat family tradition. Hopefully Wren and Mr. Bump think that is a cool thing as well be picnicking where it all started!

Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting, I just hopped over to your little piece of the world and noticed it was just your 9 yr anniversary. Congratulations!