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Do you have any treasured traditions from your childhood? I do – many, in fact, and I have noticed that almost all of them involved my family. Now I am the grandma (you are, too!), and it is my turn to help facilitate these traditions and memories, especially for my grandkids! If you, too, are on a mission to create more meaningful traditions with your grandchildren, check out these 11 easy things that you can do to make a lifetime of special memories:
Rock collecting. Knitting. Cooking. Painting. Birdwatching. The sky (ooh, stargazing?!) is the limit with this one, so why not try a few different things to find the perfect hobby for both of you?
2. Make the same special treat whenever you’re together
Whether baking cookies, whipping up a batch of puppy chow, or making homemade ice cream, have a special treat you and your grandchild(ren) make whenever you’re together. Aside from that special one-on-one time, that treat will remind them of you (and vice versa) any time they eat it. (Here are a few of my favorite go-to treats!)
3. If you haven’t already, begin a holiday tradition…
This is easy to customize based on your beliefs, budget, and family, but it leaves a lasting impression! For my family, it is Christmas eve service, followed by a charcuterie dinner, matching pajamas, and opening stockings, followed by the big gifts on Christmas morning. Other potential holiday traditions include serving meals at a soup kitchen, attending the Nutcracker, or baking/decorating cookies.
4. …And a birthday tradition
Like the holiday tradition, you do something special with your grands every year on their birthday. Not sure what to do? How about lunch at a special restaurant, cake served on a special plate, or a special day out with just you and the birthday boy/girl?
5. Take an annual vacation as a family
Whether visiting a nearby town or taking an exotic cruise, seeing and experiencing new things with your grandchildren gives you something to look forward to and special memories you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Do you remember when you and your high school sweetheart thought long and hard about what your song would be? This is like that, only 10,000 times better! Whether it’s a lullaby you used to (or still do!) sing or just a song on the radio that reminds you of each other, make it your theme.
7. Become pen pals
Who doesn’t love receiving mail? Become your grandchild’s pen pal and take turns sending letters/postcards/packages back and forth. This tradition is easy and fun and will take your bond to the next level.
8. Read together
Whether your grandchild is 1 or 31, read aloud to them, as there is nothing quite as comforting as cuddling up and sharing a story with someone you love!
9. Sunday supper
This one will only work if you live nearby, but Sunday suppers are a great reason to get together once a week to sit down, catch up, and enjoy a meal with your family. What are you waiting for? Find a day (or night) that works best for your family and make it a standing date.
10. Make (and add to) a memory jar
Whenever you’re together and do something fun, write it down on paper and add it to a memory jar (or jot it down in a journal). Not only is this something special that you can do when you’re together, but it is an heirloom that your grand will treasure for the rest of their life.
11. Spend as much time outside as you can
I am a big believer in the best memories being made outside, so whenever you’re together, make it a tradition to build snowmen, draw with chalk, collect leaves, or search for bird nests (depending on the season).
What traditions do you have with your grandchildren? If you don’t have any, I hope this list gives you a little inspiration, as traditions with your grandkids are some of the most important you will ever have. Now, please excuse me, as I have some groceries to buy for my grands’ and my next big baking day!