Fun Moments for Children Can Create a Lifetime of Memories
A little creativity makes exciting and fun moments even more special.
Posted Sep 26, 2020
One of my fondest memories from childhood was when my grandfather used to take my brother and me out to “get lost.” What this meant was he would take us for a ride in his huge 1960s convertible and drive us around through the streets of Lake Mohegan in upstate New York. Since we were 5 and 7 years old respectively, we did not have a clue as to where we were once he’d driven about 5 minutes away from their home.
He would then announce to us that he had gotten lost and needed our help to figure out how to get back to the house. We would reassure him that we’d all find our way back and that if he just kept driving around we’d figure out where we were.
Clearly, my grandfather knew exactly where he was and how to get back to his house; however, he took that short drive with us and turned it into an adventure. We looked for street signs; we looked to see if we recognized houses in the neighborhood; in short, we helped him navigate his way back to the house. We didn’t realize this was all a ruse to give our grandmother a short respite from our hyperactive selves, however, for us at the time, it was magical.
Another positive memory involved my father. When our family went on vacation, Dad made a point of telling us that our usual family rules regarding our meals didn't apply. At home, we always had to finish our meal before we were allowed dessert. On vacation, when we asked if we could have a piece of candy or something we wouldn’t have been allowed to eat before lunch or dinner, my Dad would say, “Hey, we’re on vacation! The old rules don’t apply.” For an 8-year-old, the idea that we could have “the good stuff” before the regular meal was an exciting proposition. It made the whole concept of vacation even more special.
Both of these examples are illustrations of how special it can be to find creative and out of the ordinary moments with children. Finding ways to make things special can have long-lasting benefits. I cherish the memories I shared at the beginning of this post and replicated the concept of making family trips special with my own children when we went on vacation. They still remember those times (they're adults now) and I've had the line, "Hey, we're on vacation" repeated back to me with smiles on their faces whenever the subject is brought up.
These are the types of things that parents can do with children that help create a special bond between them. They can add a uniqueness to your relationship and help the child feel special and cared for. As you can see from the examples I gave, it doesn’t have to be something that takes a lot of time or a lot of money. It just requires a fun spirit and a little creativity to make something that is already special, even more so.
We spend so much time trying to help our children develop into responsible people that we may not pay enough attention to the fun of childhood. The next time you’re doing something with your child, think of a way to make it more fun. For example, while a trip to the grocery store may seem boring to a child, a trip to the grocery store where the child gets to pick out a special item for him/herself can be quite exciting. This also can pave the way for children wanting to spend more time with you as they grow.
All in all, it’s not the focus on homework that our kids will take with them as their fondest memories. It’s the unique and fun things that we come up with that they will remember throughout their lives, and possibly even pass along to their own children. In that way, we can all create activities that become a sort of “family heirloom” to help enhance their lives, and ours!