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.
- Construction Site. Find a construction site and watch the trucks and tractors.
- Find the Noise. Hide a kitchen timer and have your child search for it by listening for its ticking sound.
- Indoor Fishing. Make a fishing pole with a stick and string. Tie a magnet on the end and fish for paper clips.
- Urban Planning. Use sidewalk chalk to draw a city complete with roads. Use toy cars and trucks on the roads.
- Play hopscotch. Use the sidewalk chalk again to draw the board.
- 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.
- Homemade Popsicle. Make frozen fruit juice cubes in an ice tray.
- 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.
- Bird Feeder Building. Make a bird feeder by rolling a pinecone in peanut butter, then in bird seed. Hang from a tree with string.
- 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.
- Live Action Storybooks. Read and act out one of your child’s favorite stories.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- Leaf Maze. Instead of raking up the leaves make them into a maze on your yard for your kids to work through.
- 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.”
- Shadow puppets. Lay down with your kids at bedtime, shine a flashlight at the ceiling, and make shadow puppets.
- Star Gazing. Lie on a blanket in the backyard at night and look at the stars.
- Formal Dining. Dress nicely and serve dinner by candlelight every once in a while.
- Sock Fight. Roll socks into balls and throw at each other.
- Smile Contest. See who has the biggest smile; measure them with a ruler.
- Family Car Wash. Wear bathing suits and be ready for sponge fights and water squirt wars.
- Family Bike Ride. Go on a long bike ride. Map your route before you leave, choosing new and interesting destinations each week.
- Bake It. Plan a special bake day and discuss what you will bake.
- 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?
- 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.
- Toddler Snow Shoveling. Let your toddler use a dustpan for a snow shovel – right size, right height.
- Snow Painting. Fill a spray bottle with water and food coloring and “paint” the snow.
- T-Shirt Design. Have everyone design their own t-shirt or a family t-shirt. You could also make tie-dyed shirts.
- Play the “Message Game”. At bedtime draw letters on your child’s back and have him or her try to decipher them.
- 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?”
- 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.
- 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.
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is your favorite memory of our family so far?”