Vacations with the kids – how do you make these memories last?
Postcards and magnets are all fun, but to create true and lasting memories you want to go deeper. The best way to create positive memories that will last through adulthood is to focus on the quality time spent together as a family.
Speed is not a goal, explore exciting discoveries along the way and get to know each other, too. When you see a sign for the world’s largest ball of twine – pull over and check it out! The excitement of discovery and the unknown is half the adventure. Plan spontaneity if you have to.
A long car ride can also be the perfect opportunity to get to know your children. Get a book of questions or create your own ahead of time. Questions such as “What is your favorite toy and why?” or “If you could be any animal in the world what would you be? Why?” are great conversation starters – and perfect ways to get to know your kids on a deeper level.
Make sure to include the why part of the question – this can lead to some interesting discussions. Make sure everyone answers the question and has time to talk as long as they want to.
One great way to keep the memory alive and special is to create a family vacation scrapbook or journal. Before leaving, arm each family member with a journal, a fun pen, a digital camera, and a large envelope.
Throughout the trip have them jot down favorite moments, thoughts, sketches, what they did, funny things other people said or write a narrative of parts of the trip. They can take pictures and collect brochures, leaves and other small, flat objects.
When you get home combine everybody’s experiences, pictures, maps and artifacts into one scrapbook or even get them bound at your local office supply store. Captions can be added to photos and drawings can decorate the pages.
It is a lot of fun to see how everybody viewed the vacation and remembers different events. It is also a fun way to build a family experience library and look back as the kids grow up to see how they change.
Make sure to focus on the real reason for a vacation – to relax, have fun and spend quality time together. This will make memories that will last a lifetime!
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