1. Happy Half-Birthday
Celebrate a half-birthday with hamburgers and hot dogs sliced in half, half-filled glasses of soda, and a half-chocolate/half-vanilla cake. In the middle of the party, belt out “Happy Birthday,” but stop singing halfway through the song.
2. Valentine’s Day Kissletoe
Hang crepe-paper hearts around the house. Anyone caught underneath one has to kiss.
3. Backward Exam Day
On the eve of the last day of school, let kids test parents on what they learned this year. Can Mom conjugate Spanish verbs? How many state capitals can Dad name correctly?
4. Topsy-Turvy Day
Kids wake up to discover their toothbrushes in the freezer. And come downstairs to find cake for breakfast. Everything is backward during this surprise-filled day.
5. First Snow Festival
The first snowfall of the year merits a warm bowl of “melting snowman soup” (potato soup with mini carrot noses and olives or peas for eyes).
6. Thanksgiving Turkey Parade
After hours of waiting (hungrily), announce your bird’s grand entrance with a parade. March the turkey through the house, with your eager young guests trailing behind. Musical pots and pans optional but encouraged.
7. Yes Day
Every time you say no to your kids, have them write their request down and put it in a “yes jar.” Once a month, let the kids pick an activity from the jar that you must go along with.
8. Santa’s Toy Swap
Along with cookies and milk, leave old toys under the tree on Christmas Eve for Santa to take back to the North Pole, where his elves can repair them for other children.
Get more ideas for family activities that are sure to become long-standing traditions.