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Routines, Rituals and Traditions

What Are Your Family Rituals and Traditions?

Family rituals and traditions are the special activities a family looks forward to doing together, over and over again. They are the things we do together as a family routinely such as meals, games, activities and even our chores. They provide many important elements for our children:

  • a sense of belonging and understanding that brings the family closer together
  • memories and love
  • a way to demonstrate our values
  • stability, predictability and order
  • a sense of identity and belonging that provide grounding
Father and son reading a book

I find for many (including myself) the consistency of family routines are lost in our hectic schedules and having unfortunately moved away from our relatives. I have to work hard to try to build and maintain family rituals that I know help strengthen our family unit.

Here are some ideas of possible family rituals and traditions that you can turn into special memories for your children.

"We always..."

Daily Family Routines

Mother and daughter holding hands
  • Bedtime prayers
  • Bedtime reading
  • Bedtime thanks or gratitude
  • A special bedtime goodnight
  • Meal conversations about your day
  • Helping set the table
  • Walking the dog
  • Dinner preparation
  • Cleaning up after meals
  • Daily math rituals
  • Welcome hug and kiss

Weekly or Monthly Family Rituals

Brother and sister in a water fight
  • Calling grandparents
  • Games night
  • Pizza night
  • Left-over night
  • Make your own dinner night
  • Sunday family meal
  • Sunday dessert
  • Tea time
  • TV dinner night
  • Cookie bake
  • Movie night
  • Chore day
  • Visit grandparents
  • Volunteer
  • Bathing the dog

Seasonal or Annual Traditions

Different kinds of flowers
  • Birthday celebrations
  • Seasonal crafts
  • Holiday traditions
  • Going for ice cream after getting a report card
  • Family vacation
  • New Year's Eve Party
  • Collecting leaves each fall
  • Holiday family letter
  • Family reunions
  • First bike ride of the year
  • Spring cleaning
  • Annual recitals
  • First snow
  • Spring cleaning and garage sale
  • Planting a garden
  • Planting bulbs in the fall
  • First bike ride of the season

Anytime Rituals

  • Telling stories about the past
  • Walk after dinner
  • Adding to your Baby Book
  • Creating a Memory Book
  • Adding to your Math Force picture
  • Helping at the food bank
  • Special outings on a regular basis (i.e. Day with Dad, Mommy and Me Movie)
  • Card games
  • Family puzzle
  • Family craft project
  • Family meetings
  • Special songs and poems that bring back memories
  • Baking a celebration cake

Try to make your time special together and help build happy memories that last.

Susan Jarema is the founder of Googol Learning, the Crazy 4 Math Contest,, New Earth Marketing and Kidzinfo. The Googol Learning Website has many free resources to inspire mathematics and family learning in your home through music, games, stories and layered learning.

This article may be reprinted with the above author credit and website link.

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