When raising a family, the days are long, but the years are short. You have about eighteen summers to spend with your children, and likely less time to enjoy those summers together as a family. In other words, it’s integral that you make the most of every moment.
Creating cherished family memories will shine a light on the dark times, and give you something to look back on and smile as the years go on. These memories shape how your children will raise their children and become your legacy.
Here are three ways you can make happy family memories that will stand the test of time.
Make Time to Play Every Day
Finding time to do things is one of the biggest challenges parents face in the modern world. Long hours spent at the office, extracurricular activities, chores and responsibilities around the house, and endless expectations are exhausting. At the end of the day, it can be tempting to detach and find some time to relax.
Realistically, there are short bouts of time that you can shut out the rest of the world and find time to play. Start by allocating ten minutes per child to close everything else down and give them your full attention, focusing on what’s important to them. Remember, quality matters more than quantity. The dishes can wait so you can play with dolls for a few minutes. The laundry can wait while you shoot some hoops in the yard.
Some of the greatest memories children have are not the big, extravagant events, but the small act of their parent finding time to share with them. By participating in the activities that matter to your children, you’re improving their sense of value and self-worth.
Unplug and Be Present
Whether you’re heading to the local park for some fresh air or on a grand adventure across the country, remember to be present in the moment. With smartphones being a staple in the modern world, it can be hard to disconnect and focus on what’s happening. If you’re always viewing the world from behind a lens, you’re missing the little, perfect moments that create incredible memories.
Turn your phone on airplane mode and avoid social media, using it only to snap a few photos before putting it away. Instead, give your full attention to the event that’s taking place. You’ll have more fun with your children, and they’ll remember you as an active part of their experience for years to come.
Balance Traditions and New Adventures
Both lifelong traditions and new, exciting adventures are catalysts for great family memories: find time for both. Create fun traditions throughout the year, such as an annual camping trip each summer or a movie marathon over the holidays.
Instead of going to the same places all the time, try new things. Become tourists in your own town and make an effort to attend community events. Pick up a travel brochure from the local tourism office and spend time getting to know the hidden gems in your area. Those unexpected adventures may create new traditions for your family or unlock new hobbies, passions, and knowledge.
Create Family Memories On A Road Trip To The Golden Isles
As Travis from DaddysHangout.com shares, last year approximately 87.7 million U.S. citizens traveled out of the United States showing that the majority of US residents are choosing to vacation within the US. With fifty states to choose from, the options for family holidays are endless. So if you don’t fancy leaving the country then take the family to Georgia’s Golden Isles for an array of healthy family activities including beach living, nature trails, boat trips and so much more.
Themed Weekends Promote Family Togetherness
Heidi has shared a nice tip about spending time together when vacationing in her post about their visit to the Yogi Bears Jellystone at Kozy Rest. “Yes, the kids go off to play basketball and do other things on their own, but it was nice that the campground had activities planned that encouraged us to spend time together as a family – such as the donut decorating and root beer floats.”
Make Sure You Are Keeping The Memories, Too
Memory is lost when a family member passes away before the memory has been shared and saved. Don’t wait another day, as advised in this article here.
Consider family memories you don’t want to lose:
- Think about important memories from your life events, videos, stories, or photos that are not already recorded.
- Prayerfully consider who in your family has a family heirloom, a photo, or a story that could be lost.
Using Wall Decals to Create a Family Photo Wall you will love!
Kristin gave me this wonderful idea of using wall decals – as she explains that at some point this summer she realized that all the photo’s in their home were outdated. They have changed so much and gone on so many fun adventures that she really felt like it was time to add some new memories to the walls. She can’t really remember the last time she ordered a photo print (me too!)! It is nice to have an actual physical copy – and a family photo wall or a family portrait is a wonderful way to decorate your home!
Use Your Backyard!
Children like to play outside and spend their free time doing some fun outdoor activities. Having a backyard that’s suitable for them is what every grandparent would want, and you need to think about how your outdoor area suits your family. Not only is this space great for your grandchildren, but it can also be an oasis for their parents and space to relax in the sun all summer long. That’s what makes these long afternoons more enjoyable and serves as a great area for creating new family memories, as shared by Eileen from feistysideoffifty.com.
Organize Old Family Photos
Whenever you see a news broadcast of the after effects of a natural disaster, you hear the same thing. “I lost everything. I lost all my family photos.” Photos represent memories. All the other stuff can be replaced, but the memories cannot. Having photos saved digitally can help with that loss. More on that a little later. I would argue that there is another loss that competes with being left with nothing. That is the loss of keeping everything. What I mean is, if you have every photo hidden away, then none of it feels accessible. Keeping everything makes it not only inaccessible, but less shareable. This can be solved by, again, scanning and digitizing your photo prints, as advised by Matt Baier.
Sorting Photos To Tell Stories
Instead of trying to sort photos chronologically sort them by topics. Photos tell stories. By sorting using topics you will get stories on vacations, cars you’ve owned, children’s lives, pets, flowers, scenery etc. Pick any topics that suit your life and start making piles. As you’re sorting, get rid of ones that are out of focus, duplicates, one you don’t recognize the people or setting, as advised Julie Stobbe from MindOverClutter.ca.
Make Your Own Memories
The best part of making happy family memories is that you don’t have to break the bank to do so. You just have to be willing to set aside the time and get creative with your ideas. The memories you make together will hold more value than a price tag could ever equate.
If you have ideas or advice for creating happy family memories, or experiences of your own to share, let us know. We’d love to hear from you!