Fun Family Traditions to Start Now
The key to a close-knit fam: a repertoire of rituals your kids will tell their kids about. Adopt these ideas, or get inspired to make up your own.
From secret handshakes to silly bedtime routines, these special rituals will inspire you to bond your crew together. You may do them for years to come.
WHEN OUR FAMILY shares good news or an accomplishment at the dinner table—like the time my daughter, Rosie, told us she sat with a classmate who was eating lunch alone—we pump our arms and cheer: “Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray for Rosie!” And even though she’s 12, she still appreciates our enthusiasm.
Traditions like ours are the glue that helps hold families together. From a secret handshake to Friday movie night, these rituals boost happiness, strengthen family bonds, and provide kids with a strong sense of identity and security, according to research from Syracuse University. “Parents think they need to do something big to make memories, when the little actions and rituals you do together tend to stick in a child’s mind,” says social psychologist Susan Newman, PH.D., a mom of five and author of Little Things Long Remembered. “It can be as simple as having ice-cream sodas on Sundays.” And if that one doesn’t work for you, here are tons more ideas from other families.