making memories

34 Memory Making Things to Do with Your Kids

Growing up as the youngest in a large family can be difficult. There were times when I was younger that I was left out because of my age. I remember one night annoying the older kids while trying to push myself into what they were doing. When they told my parents I thought I was going to be in trouble. Instead, my dad took me outside and we looked at the stars. He took a difficult moment and made it into a wonderful memory.

Making memories with our kids simply involves setting aside time and spending quality time together. [Tweet This] It doesn’t have to be expensive or involve lots of planning. Here are 34 simple and easy ways to make lasting memories with your kids.

  1. Construction Site. Find a construction site and watch the trucks and tractors.
  2. Find the Noise. Hide a kitchen timer and have your child search for it by listening for its ticking sound.
  3. Indoor Fishing. Make a fishing pole with a stick and string. Tie a magnet on the end and fish for paper clips.
  4. Urban Planning. Use sidewalk chalk to draw a city complete with roads. Use toy cars and trucks on the roads.
  5. Play hopscotch. Use the sidewalk chalk again to draw the board.
  6. Make a sponge garden. Soak a sponge in water and place it in a shallow dish. Sprinkle with alfalfa or rye grass seeds. Keep it moist and watch it grow.
  7. Homemade Popsicle. Make frozen fruit juice cubes in an ice tray.
  8. Driveway Bowling. Spray paint two-liter bottles and use for bowling pins. Put a little water in the bottom of each one to weigh it down. You can also put glow sticks in them and do it at night.
  9. Bird Feeder Building. Make a bird feeder by rolling a pinecone in peanut butter, then in bird seed. Hang from a tree with string.
  10. Child Author. Have your children create books about themselves. They might want to include their birth date, handprints and footprints, drawings of themselves and their families, and a story about themselves. These are wonderful keepsakes.
  11. Live Action Storybooks. Read and act out one of your child’s favorite stories.
  12. Mystery Bag. Make a mystery bag by placing familiar objects in a pillow case. Ask your child to close his or her eyes, feel the objects in the bag, and pick out the item you name.
  13. Hot and Cold. Hide a small toy in a room. While the children look for it, give them clues such as, “You are hot” when they are close and “You are cold” when they move away.
  14. Indoor Tent. Put a sheet or blanket over a table and make a tent, doll house or secret hiding place. It’s also a great place to take a nap or have a picnic lunch.
  15. Celery Science. Soak a stalk of cut celery in a glass of food coloring and a little water. Watch what happens the next day. (You can also use daisies for this experiment.)
  16. Leaf Maze. Instead of raking up the leaves make them into a maze on your yard for your kids to work through.
  17. Make a Volcano. Mound dirt six to ten inches high and then clear a hole down the middle of it. Put 2 teaspoons of baking soda in the hole. Pour in some vinegar and watch your “eruption.”
  18. Shadow puppets. Lay down with your kids at bedtime, shine a flashlight at the ceiling, and make shadow puppets.
  19. Star Gazing. Lie on a blanket in the backyard at night and look at the stars.
  20. Formal Dining. Dress nicely and serve dinner by candlelight every once in a while.
  21. Sock Fight. Roll socks into balls and throw at each other.
  22. Smile Contest. See who has the biggest smile; measure them with a ruler.
  23. Family Car Wash. Wear bathing suits and be ready for sponge fights and water squirt wars.
  24. Family Bike Ride. Go on a long bike ride. Map your route before you leave, choosing new and interesting destinations each week.
  25. Bake It. Plan a special bake day and discuss what you will bake.
  26. Look at me! Have your child observe you for a minute. Leave the room. Return to the room, having changed a small detail in your appearance. Can they guess?
  27. One Tank Tricycle. Fill a tin can with a very small hole in the bottom with colored water and attach the can to a tricycle. The child rides until the “gas” is gone.
  28. Toddler Snow Shoveling. Let your toddler use a dustpan for a snow shovel – right size, right height.
  29. Snow Painting. Fill a spray bottle with water and food coloring and “paint” the snow.
  30. T-Shirt Design. Have everyone design their own t-shirt or a family t-shirt. You could also make tie-dyed shirts.
  31. Play the “Message Game”. At bedtime draw letters on your child’s back and have him or her try to decipher them.
  32. What’s Missing? Place a group of common objects on a paper plate and give your child a few moments to study the collection. Ask the child to turn around and then remove one of the objects. Ask, “What’s missing?”
  33. Family Huddle. Find a quiet moment and call a family huddle to talk about what happened that day. Who has a funny story to tell or something new to share? A huddle is also a good time to give someone a compliment or to tell what’s bugging you on a day when things don’t seem to go right.
  34. Mystery Ride. Take your child(ren) on a “mystery ride”. Don’t tell them where you are going or when it will occur. Go to the beach for a picnic. Visit a children’s museum. Go to the mall or a toy store and give each child $5 to spend any way they choose. Visit a grandparent or cousin. Bring them to a movie they’ve wanted to see. Head to a lake or park. Just make when and where a big surprise.
Sound Off

What have you done lately with your kids that we could add to this list?


Bryan Davis

Bryan Davis was the Director of All Pro Dad and wrote hundreds of articles for this site, “We want to give dads the tools that they need to really make a difference in their kids’ lives,” he said.

  • Adventuresasmax

    Just spent the last 20 minutes as a giant wrestling with my 5 yr and 17 month old.

    A recurring favorite is daddy days, where we do breakfast and then some activity (park, mini golf, bikes,etc.) afterwards.

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Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is your favorite memory of our family so far?”

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