1. Dining in for Father’s Day? Celebrating From Your Home? Simple Ways to Make it Special.

    For some families, celebrating Father’s Day is all about dinner at a restaurant. Other families like to stay in and show dad a good time from the comfort of their own home. No matter which type of celebration you prefer, we’re here to help you make dad’s special day just that…special.

    Out and About

    It’s safe to say that dining out with children is never as relaxing as it was before you had kids. But there are ways to make your dining experience—especially one as important as Father’s Day—a bit more enjoyable. Here are just a few ideas:

    1.    Go to places that are family friendly. It may seem obvious, but taking young kids to a restaurant known for its romantic ambience isn’t a good idea for you or the other guests. You’ll probably spend the entire meal trying to keep your son or daughter quiet. That’s definitely not a great way to spend Father’s Day. Instead, try to find a place that’s a little noisy and doesn’t mind a mess on the table. You’ll be more relaxed—and happy—knowing your kids can be kids.

    2.    Beat the dinner rush. Since most people go out to eat after 6 p.m.—especially on weekends—make a point of arriving at the restaurant around 5 p.m. If you think the restaurant still might be crowded at that time, be sure to make reservations. You won’t wait as long to be seated and you’ll get your food quicker. And when kids are involved, you usually only have about a half hour before they start to get antsy.

    3.    Bring your own entertainment. Most family friendly restaurants offer crayons and placemats to keep kids occupied, but it’s also a good idea to bring some of your son or daughter’s favorite toys. Or, let your older kids play games on your cell phone. Games like Hangman can actually be fun for the whole family.

    4.    No snacking before going to the restaurant. If your kids ask for a snack before you go out, don’t give in! They may complain about being hungry, but that’s a good thing. After all, you’re going to the restaurant to eat.

    The Inside Scoop

    For the family that likes to stay home on Father’s Day, there are many ways to have fun with dad. These ideas might work for your family:

    • Host your own concert. Set up a pretend stage, get a hairbrush to use as a microphone, put up some folding chairs for your audience, turn down the lights and shine a bright flashlight on the singer. Then take turns singing your favorite songs. Be sure to cheer loudest for dad, since it’s his special day.
    • Host a movie night. Don’t just rent a movie and sit on the couch. Go all out to make it just like a night at the theater. Hand out tickets, set up a concession stand with fresh-popped popcorn and boxed candy, and turn down all the lights. Even though it’s dad’s day, try to pick a movie that the whole family can enjoy.
    • Look at old pictures and videos. Kids love seeing old photos of themselves and watching videos from when they were younger. If you have your photos in a box, bring it to the center of the room so everyone can sit around it. Or, if all your images are in digital form, create a slideshow on your computer. For videos, the best approach is to hook up the camera to your TV. That way, everyone will be able to see the show without having to huddle around a tiny camcorder screen.

    No matter how you choose to spend your Father’s Day—at a restaurant or in your home—don’t forget to tell dad just how much you love and appreciate him. That’s probably what he wants most anyway.

    Comments are off for this post
    Categories: General Interest
  2. Make Mother’s Day a Family Affair

    Mother’s Day is all about family, so get the family together and make it a relaxing and memorable day for everyone.

    Plan a Family Gathering

    Throw a Mother’s Day party to celebrate all the mothers in your family. You may also wish to invite your friends and their mothers. Ask everyone to bring their own dish – their mom’s favorite. When it’s time to eat and everybody is sitting down, have each person say what makes her or his mom so wonderful.

    Play a “Who knows their mom best?” Game

    During your party, divide people into mother/child teams. Have the mothers leave the room while the children remain seated. Ask each child the same four or five questions about her or his mother, and have them write down the answers. Next, switch places – send the children out the room while the mothers answer the same questions about themselves.  Get everyone back together and share the answers, to see how well the teams did.  The team with the most matching answers wins!

     

    Create a Family Tree

    Step 1.  Have your child trace back your family’s roots as far as he or she can.

    Step 2. Then, have your child interview the living mothers, asking them questions about what motherhood is like and what’s great about that person’s family.

    Step 3.  On a sheet of colored construction paper, have your child draw a tree leaf about the size of a hand – one leaf for each mother – and then cut out all the leaves, using children’s scissors. Next, have your child write the name of a mother on a leaf, along with a sentence summarizing that person’s mothering experience. Next, make a hole in each leaf, pull a 6-inch piece of string through each hole, and tie a loop at the top of the leaf.

    Step 4.  Invite your child to make a tree on construction paper or decorate a small tree in your yard or home with all of the handmade leaves.

    Have fun!

    “The real religion of the world comes from women much more than from men – from mothers most of all, who carry the key of our souls in their bosoms.”
    —Oliver Wendell Holmes

    Comments are off for this post
    Categories: General Interest
  3. Starting a Valentine’s Day Family Tradition for A Lifetime of Memories

    Valentine’s Day is steeped in customs and traditions, some dating back to England during Chaucer’s day. In England, for instance, it was believed to be a bad omen for young women if they tracked snow into the house before February 14. This would apparently make it unlikely for them to meet their valentine any time soon.
    Similar to an old Roman tradition, boys used to write girls’ names on papers and put them in a jar. The boy would then draw one of the girl’s names and wear that name on his sleeve. Hence the expression, “Wear your heart on your sleeve.”

    Spread the love…

    Perhaps you and your children are already making Valentine’s cards for each other, but consider this:

    Hospitals and nursing homes. Give your children a variety of paper, foam sheets, glitter, glue, crayons, colored markers and stickers to create handmade Valentine’s Day cards or crafts for people in nursing homes or hospitals. Your family can go together to deliver the cards and crafts, after getting the “okay” to do so from the facility.

    Neighbors. Create a “love bucket” filled with special treats such as candy or cookies to give to a neighbor, and then invite the neighbor to continue the tradition.

    Secret Valentines…

    Before Valentine’s Day, have family members place their name in a hat, and then have each person draw a name from the hat – a “Secret Valentine.”

    In the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, each family member secretly does something nice every day for his or her “Secret Valentine,” without revealing who they are. For example, make your Valentine’s bed while they’re showering, do their chores while they’re away from the house, hide secret notes under their pillow, tuck surprise presents in a pocket or lunchbox or shoe.

    At a special Valentine’s meal, everyone reveals his or her identity.

    Send “love letters”…

    Each year, write a “love letter” to each child, saying how much you love and appreciate him or her. Drop the letter into the mail a few days before Valentine’s Day. Save the letter after your child has read it. When your child is older, return all the “love letters” you have saved. Your child can carry on the tradition by writing (or dictating) their own love letters to their siblings and parents.

    Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to create wonderful new memories for the family. Get together, get creative and get started!

    Source(s):

    http://www.familyfunshop.com/valentinesday.htm

    http://www.suite101.com/content/fun-family-valentines-day-games-and-activities-a93742