This Thanksgiving season, I was thinking about all the ways my kids and I used to make memories. We would cut out colored leaves, “iron” wax paper placemats, and make cards with what we were thankful for. I thought about that for awhile…
Now those dusty memories are coming alive again as I watch my kids with my youngest grandbabies!! Now they will face one of the age-old questions all parents wonder about:
What will be the things your children remember when they are grown?
Of course, there will be the “big moments”…the first day of school and making the team. There will be their “favorites”… “casserole surprise” and summer camps. All the “everyday, little” things…the way their sister laughed till she cried and how their brother always wanted to play the Would You Rather Game! They’ll remember the time they spent doing homework and riding bikes, building forts, and creating sidewalk art.
And this time of year, they will remember your family traditions-traditions that share your family history and culture. Traditions teach your children the values you want to promote, and they grow as your family does. They will pass some of those down to their own children, so let’s make them count! Let’s make sure they are active in all the “busy-ness” of the holidays:)
Nothing seems to be quite as busy as the work around the Thanksgiving Family Whatever that may be! Your children can be part of that controlled chaos! They can look through recipes, write grocery lists, help shop for items, decorate menus, or place cards for your family dinner. Maybe they could start their own tradition of asking family members to write down something they are thankful for, reading them aloud, and saving them in a jar to be re-read next year. What incredible memories they will be making by being involved!
We all know that children learn through repetition, but traditions are more than just that. It’s about being a part of something from the past and present.
So this Thanksgiving, along with all the food, family, friends, and fun, take time to create a family scrapbook or read a favorite book with your child. Create a family tradition your child will pass along. You’ll be creating generations of readers and great memories of thankfulness.
Early Literacy Coordinator
Reading Rockets is an incredible resource for themed booklists! If you’d like to expand your Thanksgiving collection or want to add a couple of new authors for your winter titles, just check out
For information about how parent-child interactions influence third-grade reading proficiency, visit https://buildthefoundation.org/2018/01/what-works-for-parent-and-child-interactions/