One of our goals as parents is to give our kids the best childhood we can. For each family that childhood looks different, but the one constant is that we want to make memories with our kids so they have good memories of growing up.
We want them to have memories that make them laugh years later, that bring tears to their eyes and that remind them how much they are loved.
As a mom watching my kids grow up brings mixed emotions. I’m excited about the new things that they will learn and experience but my mommy heart wants them to stay little for just a little longer.
Even though I don’t want my kids to grow up, time is working against me.
So instead of wasting the time I have while my kids are growing up, I’m trying to make the most of the time we have together by making memories we can all treasure both now and in the future.
How to Make Memories With your Child
Figuring out how to make memories with your child might feel overwhelming. But it shouldn’t there are so many different ways to make memories with your child. Each family is going to have different priorities, focuses, and interests so the memories made will all be different.
While I was thinking about some of the memories I want my kids to have I compiled a list of 100 ways to make memories with your kids.
Will all of these ideas work for every family? Probably not. But this list is a great place to get started with ideas of things to do to make memories.
100 Ideas to Make Memories with Your Kids
You might not want to do all of these activities with your kids, and that’s ok! This list is just a way of giving you ideas of ways to make memories with your kids each and every day.
I hope that reading this list helps you realize that making memories with your kids doesn’t need to be anything big to make it special. Simple everyday moments are some of the best times to make memories together.
#1 Read Together
Creating positive memories of reading together is what can help your kids become lifelong readers. Since my kids are young we try to spend time each day reading picture books. We also love to read aloud chapter books.
When I was growing up my family read the Chronicles of Narnia together. Each night we would read one chapter and I remember all of us kids begging my dad to read just one more chapter! This is a fun memory of my childhood and I want my kids to have similar memories.
Now each night before going to sleep my husband reads a chapter of a book (the titles are constantly changing) and it’s something my kids love. Even the toddler doesn’t want to miss out on cuddling with dad and reading together.
#2 Have Game Nights
Playing games together is a great way to make memories and also teach kids how to deal with winning and losing. It also teaches them to follow rules and some games even teach teamwork.
With my little people right now we love simple games like Spot It!, Candyland, and Monopoly jr. When we visit family we love to get in a round of Cover your Assets and Dominion.
#3 Take a Road Trip
Jared and I have enjoyed taking road trips since we were first married. Now our kids love going on road trips too. If you’re worried about taking young kids on a road trip try some of our favorite road trip activities.
#4 Bake a Favorite Treat
Baking in the kitchen is sure to create laughs and yummy treats as well as a big mess! My kids love helping in the kitchen, so about once a week I take a deep breath and prepare for the mess.
I always dread the clean-up of baking together, but each time we are all in the kitchen I’m so glad that I didn’t let the thought of a mess stop us from creating wonderful memories.
Pro Tip: Have the kids help with the cleaning too! It took me a long time to start doing this (and I don’t always do it). Having the kids help clean up can help them learn life skills and prolongs the memory making moments.
Related Post: Easy Kids Baking Recipes
#5 Go Shopping
Both of my kids love it when they get to go shopping with me and we stop and look at the toys or they get to push little shopping carts. I don’t do this very often (grocery pick-up is my favorite!) since it can make a grocery shopping trip take so much more time.
But when I let them come with me and take time to explore the toys, snacks, or whatever else they want my kids get so excited!
#6 Make Dinner Together
Like I mentioned above the kids love helping in the kitchen. So while they help most days with at least one meal, this fall the kids will each have a night of the week they get to pick the meal and help make it.
We also do pizza night every Friday where everyone gets to make their own pizza and it’s a lot of fun.
#7 Go for a Walk
Going for a walk around the neighborhood or on a nature trail is a great way to make memories with your kids. I love seeing all of the things my toddlers discover when we go on walks. It’s so fun to see the world through the magical eyes of childhood.
#8 Sing in the Car
Both of the kids love to sing songs and I’m loving it! they love to sing things like “the wheels on the bus”, and “Twinkle, twinkle, little star”.
They also love singing songs from movies and learning new songs. I can’t wait to share with them some of the songs I grew up singing.
#9 Watch a Series of Movies
If you want to take watching a series of movies to the next level pick a series based on books and read each book before watching the movie. It would be really fun to do this with the Harry Potter Series when our kids are older.
#10 Go on a Picnic
Indoors or outdoors kids love sitting on the ground and eating food. I’m not sure what it is but picnics are one of my kid’s favorite activities.
This summer we have done a couple of mini hikes with a picnic and it’s a family favorite. The kids ask to go on picnics all the time.
#11 Play in the Snow
While I don’t love being out in the cold for long, playing together outside is always a lot of fun. From having snowball fights to building snow forts.
Spending time outside playing in the snow is a great way to make winter memories with your kids.
#12 Spend a Day at the Beach
Playing at the beach is one of our family’s favorite summer activities. We love making memories with our kids playing in the warm sand and saltwater of the ocean.
If you don’t live close to the ocean playing at the beach of a lake is always a fun summer activity.
#13 Go on an Individual Date
Set aside time to spend some one-on-one time with each of your kids. Plan the date to include something that child will love.
Doing individual dates regularly with each child is a great way to make memories with your kids.
Spend time outside looking at the night sky, can you find the big dipper?
Looking at all of the stars shining in the sky and enjoying the outdoors at night is something I enjoyed growing up and I can’t wait to share that same experience with my kids.
#15 Have a Dance Party
At our house, a dance party consists of turning on some tunes, usually Disney soundtracks, and dancing around the house like crazies!
The kids think it’s extra fun if we turn on the bubble machine and have a bubble dance party!
#16 Do a Photo Shoot
Have you seen any of the mommy and me photo shoots ideas on Pinterest? I think it’s so fun to get photos of mom (and dad) individually with each child.
What a fun keepsake as your kids get older. Each year when we have our family pictures taken we make sure to get a few of these pictures.
#17 Make Ice Cream in a Bag
We have done this once before and my kids thought it was so fun to throw the bag back and forth and then eat ice cream. I can’t wait to make Ice Cream In a Bag again this summer! I think it might become a family tradition.
#18 Make a Craft
The kids love it when I get out the tub of kids’ craft supplies. They always have so much fun creating both structured crafts and free for all crafting.
Check out some of the fun kid’s crafts we have done here.
#19 Decorate their Room
Decorating your child’s bedroom together might not appeal to each child but you might be surprised.
Our 3 year old loves Disney’s Car’s movies, so one day we were at the store and found some Cars 3 vinyl decals. I purchased them and we had so much fun putting them on his bedroom walls.
#20 Play Tag
With so many variations of tag, this is an activity you can do over and over again as your kids grow up.
Just think what fun memories you will have of chasing each other around. Right now tag usually ends with daddy catching the kids and tickling them!
#21 Have a Movie Night
Movie night doesn’t have to be anything big. But you can make movie night extra special by changing it up and watching it outside or with everyone piled on mom and dad’s bed or some other fun idea.
Be sure to check out the Disney Animated Movies Bucket List and see how many of these movies you have seen!
#22 Go Ice Skating
Ice Skating is something I remember doing from a young age with my family. Ice Skating can be a harder activity to do with young kids but as they get older it’s a great way to make memories and experience something new.
#23 Learn a New Skill Together
Learning something new together is a great way to grow together. When I was in college my mom and I decided to take a monthly quilting class together.
Each month we would work on our quilt squares together while we talked about life and everything else. Now that I live across the country from my mom I have so many fond memories of the time we spent learning a new skill together.
#24 Have a No Electronics Day
We have No Electronics or Screen-Free days several times a month and it’s so nice for us all to unplug together and have fun without the distractions.
#25 Watch a Meteor Shower
Watching a Meteor Shower is an amazing and unique experience. What better reason to let the kids stay up late or get up in the middle of the night than to make memories of seeing a truly amazing wonder of space.
#26 Build Something
This can be as simple as building something with blocks or as complicated as taking on a big building project and letting your little ones help.
We have gone to several Home Depot for Kids workshops. They are free and a great way to start building easy projects together.
#27 Visit an Amusement Park
One of our favorite family vacations and day trips is visiting Amusement Parks. With amusement parks across the country, find one you want to visit and plan a trip.
#28 Go on a Bike Ride
Now that our kids are a little older we have started going on more bike rides. The kids love riding in the bike trailer and we love being able to enjoy nature and explore new places. One of our favorite places to bike is along the C & O Canal towpath.
#29 Build a Fort
Building a fort is something my kids love doing. They love taking over the living room building with blankets, pillows, and chairs. Once the fort is built they always need to bring what feels like all of their toys into the fort.
#30 Keep a Journal
There are so many different types of journals you can keep. Our family has a fun Travel Journal that we like to fill with our adventures.
We also each have personal journals and we help the kids write in theirs somewhat regularly. I recently got a parent-child connection journal to do with our oldest and we are loving it.
#31 Draw Pictures
Even if you’re not an artist drawing together can be lots of fun and cause a lot of giggles. We love watching Art for Kids Hub and drawing together.
#32 Dream Together
Dream about the future, things you want to do and more. Remember when you’re dreaming it doesn’t have to be realistic.
#33 Go Camping
Whether you stay in a tent, cabin, or RV getting out and spending time together in nature is a great way to make memories with your kids.
Related Post: 5 Reasons to Rent an RV to go Camping
#34 Take a Hike
Hiking is quickly becoming one of our family’s favorite activities. With 2 very active toddlers, we find easy trails and they love to hike/walk most of the trail.
#35 Give Service
As a family talk about how you can serve, can you help an elderly person in your neighborhood or donate toys to a toy drive.
It could even be something as simple as making a treat for someone, the options are limitless.
#36 Have Traditions
Traditions can be simple daily or weekly events or big annual things. I think it’s a good idea to have a mix of traditions.
#37 Learn about Your Family History
Work together to find out more about your ancestors and the country they are from.
#38 Watch the Clouds
Trying to find different shapes in the cloud is such a fun and relaxing way to make memories with your kids.
#39 Play Hide and Seek
The classic game of hide and seek is a fun game to start playing when your kids are young. We recently taught our kids how to play sardines which is hide and seek in reverse. They love it and now we play both versions frequently.
Even if you can’t travel far see what fun day trips are available in your area. Then get out and explore!
#41 Play at the Park
Spend time going down slides and flying on the swings, the kids love it when mom and dad actually play with them at the playground.
#42 Spend time at the Library
The more your kids see you interact with books the more likely they are to interact with them.
#43 Teach Them
If your child wants to learn how to do something you do, take the time to teach them. Some would say we are taking this to the extreme since we are homeschooling our kids.
#44 Talk on the Phone
When you are away from your kids make time to talk to them on the phone or with facetime.
Cuddling with my little kids is one of my favorite ways to make memories with them. I know they won’t want to cuddle with me forever so I enjoy the moments.
#46 Go out to Eat
We love trying unique places to eat. It’s a fun way to make memories and try new foods. The massive eclair pictured above is from Harold’s New York Deli.
#47 Celebrate Little Holidays
#48 Have a Water Fight
Gather the buckets, sponges, and hose then have fun getting soaked!
#49 Do Something You both Love
#50 Explore a Zoo
We have taken our kids to several different zoos including the National Zoo in DC and the San Diego Zoo and our kids have loved it every time!
#51 Form a Band
You don’t really need to have a musical talent for this one, a pots and pans band will make most kids happy!
#53 Find Sea Shells
We had a lot of fun finding seashells and Sand Dollars on the beach in Oregon a couple of years ago and when we lived in Florida finding shells was something we all loved doing.
#54 Feed the Ducks
#55 Create a Bucket List
I’m a fan of making bucket lists for just about everything. We typically have a bucket list for each season and major holiday. It’s one way we make sure to do all the fun activities everyone wants to try.
#56 Go on a Bus Ride
We took a bus tour in New York City with our toddlers and they thought it was so much fun.
#57 Blow Bubbles
#58 Make Holiday Decorations
Keep it simple or go elaborate, the decorations you make together will become treasures.
#59 See A Drive-in Movie
Drive-in Movies are like taking a step back in time and are such a fun family activity. We went to the Cumberland Drive-in and had a great time.
#60 Go on a Nature Walk
Find a local nature park or trail and make memories with your kids learning about the great outdoors in your area.
#61 Visit a National Park
National parks are a fun place to go exploring as a family. We recently visited Mount Rushmore and Badlands National Park, both were a lot of fun for our family.
#62 Go on a Cruise
#63 Have a Slumber Party
Sleep in the living room, out on the trampoline or pile everyone on mom and dad’s bed and have a fun slumber party as a family.
#64 French Fry Friday
Celebrate Friday – the start of the weekend by making French Fries!
#65 Teach them about Finances
Start teaching your kids good financial habits young. You don’t want them to make the same mistakes you did.
Related Post: Tips for Teaching Young Kids About Money
#66 Have a Backyard Fire
If it’s allowed in your area have a backyard fire and make s’mores or better yet roast starbursts.
#67 Plant a Garden
Let the kids pick out a few seeds and plant them, then have fun watching (waiting) for them to grow.
#68 Wash the Car
#69 Make Popcorn
Popcorn is seriously one of my kid’s favorite treats, and it’s so easy to make!
#70 Do Chores Together
What better way to teach your kids how to work hard than by working together.
#71 Play Mini Golf
#72 Fly a Kite
#73 Watch Family Videos
#74 Do Yearly Interviews
I love the idea of interviewing your kids each year and asking them questions. I think it will be so fun to look back at how they have grown and changed through the years.
#75 Tour a Factory
Factory tours are a fun activity for families to do together. Not only is it a fun way to make memories as a family it’s a great learning experience.
Related Post: Utz Factory Tour
#76 Have a Spa Day/Night
Spend the night papering each other. Let the kids have a bubble bath and even possibly try a fun facemask.
#77 Take a Class Together
Check your local area, you might be surprised at the different types of mommy and me classes they offer.
#78 Go to a Festival
Throughout the year there are numerous festivals you can attend. We have enjoyed going to The Peach Festival in New Jersey a few times.
#79 Have Ice Cream for Breakfast
#80 Make Gifts Together
Homemade gifts from kids are so fun. They get so excited to give them and who doesn’t love a gift made with love by a child.
#81 Learn About Their Interests
Learn about what your child is interested in and then offer ways to help them pursue that interest.
#82 Play in the Rain
#83 Watch the Sunset
#84 Cut Down a Christmas Tree
Last year we visited a Christmas tree farm for the first time and had so much fun picking out and cutting down the perfect tree.
Related Post: Christmas Traditions to Start this Year
#85 Get Muddy – Play in the Dirt
Playing in the dirt was one of my favorite things as a kid and it’s so fun to watch my kids enjoy the same thing.
#86 Make Homemade Pizza
Every Friday we make homemade pizzas in the air fryer and it’s become something we all look forward to each week.
#87 Listen When They Talk
#88 Make Family Goals
#89 Plan a Trip as a Family
Day trips or road trips let the kids in on the planning!
#90 Tell Jokes
#91 Play Games in the Car
The license plate game and the Abc game are a few fun car game ideas.
#92 Have a Thumb War
#93 Go to a Sporting Event
We have really enjoyed taking our kids to a few Baseball games and watching great-grandpa play basketball in the senior games is always fun too.
#94 Go to Church Together
#95 Go Boating
Speedboat, rowboat, or canoe enjoy a day out on the lake.
#96 See a Play
Take your kids to the theater. Most areas have a children’s theater with productions targeted at families.
#97 Send Surprise Notes
Send your kids a note in their lunch or even in the mail.
#98 Visit Extended Family
#99 Cheer them on at Events
#100 Be Present
No matter how many activities you do together if you aren’t present and engaging in the moment the memories won’t be the same. The best gift you can give your kids is being present and enjoying being with them.
The goal of this post is to give us each a few ideas of ways we can make spending time with our kids more of a priority. Remember even though the days may seem long the years are short.
Let’s show our kids that Making memories with them is our favorite thing to do!
Free Printable List of Ways to Make Memories with Your Kids!
Follow this link to get this free printable list of ways to make memories with your kids.
What are some of your favorite ways to make memories with your kids?
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