In part one of this series (why traditions are important) and part 2 (traditions around the table)
I’ve gotten some great additions for our list of family traditions- keep ‘em coming and I will list them all in one document at the end of the series.
Today I’d like to highlight some of the simple and fun things our family likes to do on a weekly basis. These really are the things we have looked forward to through the years and still do even as our kids are older.
Well, except for the this one:
Our weekly cleaning night may be my favorite, just for the fact that it helps so much, but I bet anything Brian and the kids don’t look forward to it. Sure glad there’s ice cream involved or I’d have a mutiny on my hands for sure.
The other ones, though, we all look forward to. Here are the tried-and-true activities we do as a family each week (most for more than 10 years, so they gotta be good!).
- Saturday Night at the Movies. This is always done “picnic style” in front of the TV which is so unusual that it’s a real treat. Our son would actually shake with excitement the first times we did this when he was little. About the time our kids graduated from only animated fare, we started a journey to watch as many old musicals as we could and so for a few years Saturday nights were Musical Nights (and thanks to our great library in Portland, we were able to see tons for free!). And let me just say this about old musicals: watching them with your kids gives a whole new flavor to them. Oklahoma’s “I’m just a girl who can’t say no” gave us something new to talk about (and we’re not even going to mention Jud), and “Carousel’s” recurring theme of “a hit is just like a kiss…” gave me an actual pit in my stomach and we definitely had a talk about how wrong that was (funny how no adults I talked to about theses things remembered them- they only knew the music!). As Pooh would say “Be aware, be a very wary bear.”
- Pizza and Burger Nights. These coincide with our movie nights and since we never could agree which to have on a regular basis we alternate between homemade burgers and oven fries and homemade pizza. Years ago I found a crust recipe that takes only 20 minutes so I don’t even have to remember to get dough rising.
- Big Saturday Breakfasts. I confess to not making hot breakfasts for my kids other than oatmeal and toast during the week. Breakfast just always has been about how quick it can get done on different schedules. Granola is more my style. But every Saturday it’s a big, hearty breakfast and the kids enjoy requesting things like waffles or Eggs Benedict or fried eggs and bacon.
- Nightly Reading Aloud. Not a once-a-week thing, but it occurred every school night (and still does occasionally, even with our teen-aged kids!). This started out when the kids were little and we needed to read to them each night so they could learn to read (I’m a preschool teacher- I know first hand what a difference reading to kids can make!). But our kids were both voracious readers by the time they were in first grade, so why did we keep this up? It was simply a way we could share the books we love with them. We always read a book that was just above their level- in some cases way beyond their level, but they loved, loved, loved it. We read all the Little House books and things like that, but we also read classics like Gulliver’s Travels, Treasure Island, All Creatures Great and Small, Tom Sawyer, and To Kill A Mockingbird. A perfect example of how we can underestimate kids ability to enjoy a book occurred when our daughter was about eight years old. Brian wanted to read Robin Hood to the kids and got a book from the library. When he started reading it he realized it was written in an old English- not crazy-old, but old enough that even adults would have a hard time with some of the language. He persevered, though, going slower and explaining things more. Our daughter was enthralled. She loved the story of Robin Hood and she cried at the end when Robin dies. Oh yeah, I think she understood it.
- America’s Funniest Videos. OK, it’s just TV, but it’s free and we always laugh. And if this show hadn’t been around our kids wouldn’t have gotten to watch anything on evening TV- it’s that bad for family viewing out there.
What are some of the things your family likes to do each week?
Be sure to check back Thursday and Friday for the rest of the series:
- Yearly Traditions
- Holiday Traditions
This is linked to Works For Me Wednesday.