Tag Archives: family

Creating Comforting Family Rituals with Your Kids

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We humans are creatures of habit. We crave routine and we honor traditions because it feels comfortable, and because routine and rituals can bring meaning and structure to our lives.

Your child is a little person who craves much the same comforts. Everyday routines let your child know he is safe, she is loved, all is right with the world…even in the face of uncertain circumstances.

Of course, our busy lives create special challenges in identifying and enforcing routines. How can you incorporate comforting rituals your kids will happily anticipate and remember for a lifetime without complicating your life with more rules?

Go simple! Simple routines might include:

Singing a special bedtime song

Sharing a phrase or line from literature…perhaps a funny poem

Instituting family game night, or monthly movie night

Making smiley-face pancakes on Sundays

While you will want to take your child’s age, your budget, and your lifestyle into account when selecting routines, you are only limited by your imagination. More important than cost is consistency. Remember: your child doesn’t care how much an activity costs; they only want to spend time…with you.

These very simple steps – some of which you might have already incorporated unconsciously – can become special traditions. From traditions, bonds are formed to help your child sail securely through developmental milestones that are often less than predictable.

Warmer weather? It’s time for a PICNIC!

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How to entertain your children on a picnic? These ideas for fun, low-cost games will help:

Kick the Can: Remember this fun street game? All you need are a minimum of 2 children to form 2 teams and an old coffee can or a milk jug. Set up end goals behind each child (adjust the goal length to suit age and abilities) and…well…start kicking! Assign, say, 10 points per goal and play to 100.

Water Balloons: Hot day and no way to cool down? Play a game of water balloons! A bag of balloons can be purchased at any dollar store. Have the kids put on their bathing suits or other appropriate water wear, fill the balloons from an outside hose, and toss ‘em! (But please…not at each other.) Dropping balloons from a height will burst them effectively, but this may not be an option, especially with little ones. How about tossing the filled balloons towards a goal set up on a hard surface? The balloons must hit or exceed the goal, and must break, to win points. It’s like horseshoes, only wetter and wilder!

Frisbee Golf. Set up frisbee right there at the picnic site. You’ll need 2 receptacles of some kind – laundry baskets or trash cans work great (sans dirty clothes or trash, of course.) You’ll also need several frisbees and flags to mark the receptacles (think white napkin on a twig). The goal, like golf, is to toss the frisbee and make it land in the “hole” with as few attempts as possible.

Having fun with your family is easy when Dads find creative ways to keep little minds busy and work off the potato salad. No doubt, you can remember simple activities from your childhood, like making up silly songs, casting shadow puppets, or telling ghost stories…just dig into your memory to have fun.
Tip!  Don’t forget to take pictures of your picnic.  You’ll want to capture the good times.

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