The time we have with our children seems to vanish with the blink of an eye. One moment we are teaching them to walk and talk, the next they are teaching us how to use our smartphones or helping us remember our passwords. Our babies grow into young adults over a really short space of time, so we need to make the very most of these precious years.
Building memories doesn’t always mean we have to head out of the home and find adventures or fill the day with exciting events. We can create some of our most special moments at home when the house is quiet and calm or full of life and laughter.
Cooking and mealtimes are often really great ways of building memories and finding out more about our children and how they feel—making time to cook with your children once a week helps you build a deeper bond and teach them some valuable life skills. Baking is excellent with young children who will love to look back when they are older and remember licking the spoon after you made a cake, or decorating cookies and cupcakes with you. It also helps them learn about measurements and time, so it is a great way to teach your children while having fun.
Arts and crafts are also great ways to make memories, especially as you can keep the end result for years to come. One great way to document your child’s growth and to build lasting memories is to use casting kits to make casts of your hands or feet. You can do this independently or hold hands with your children so you can see over the years how their hand has grown and changed. This will make a great present for other family members too; it’s personal and loving.
One of the most important things to do when you are taking on activities at home is to talk to your children—asking them about their day and how they feel. As our children get older, they talk to us less, and we can miss vital parts of their life. They need our emotional support, and if we don’t instigate these conversations, then they might start to shut down on us. It can be tough to talk calmly and freely when everyone is busy and distracted with work, so taking the time to start a new activity and building a conversation around that will help you strengthen your relationship and stay in tune with your children.
Sometimes the best memories are made without any planning. They can come from merely watching television all together as a family and laughing with each other. So make sure that you create an environment at home that your children want to be around. No matter how tired you are, try not to be irritable with your children or snap at your partner. Take a deep breath, a moment on your own, and then interact with your family and encourage everyone to enjoy time together.
Memories can be created anywhere. So get close to your children and start to build those precious moments now.