Monday, July 21, 2008

MOMMY (Mentor/Caregiver) MONDAYS #19

I'm often thinking of things I can do to make lasting memories for myself and the kids that are done by the kids. After all, they will probably outlast me on this earth, and hopefully, they'll have children of their own. Those memories we make now, whether they're tangible or intangible, will last a long time. We want to be intentional about that. We want to leave good legacies that they can pass to their children. We even try to think of new things, that we've never done or maybe lots of people don't do yet, that they can teach their children.
I just have a few suggestions. Some of you may already be doing some or all of these things, but I thought I'd give you my little list. Please, if you have any suggestions, leave it in comments so that we all can share. I'd love more ideas. I love spending time doing things with and talking to my children.
  1. This is very popular, but buy your kids their own journal or diary. I think the boys would feel better if you called their's a "journal." Get them in the habit of writing in it as often as possible. Maybe buy two-one they can have for their own private thoughts and one they can have that they want the family to be exposed to.
  2. Interview your kids. Get inside their heads. Keep your own journal or notes on the answers to the interview. Do this at each stage or year of their life, after a certain age. You both can watch their growth physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It matters what they're thinking.
  3. Do a family quilt (this is a great project for any family, but as a homeschool home ec. and memory project, this would be a plus.). Cut out squares and let everyone sew on, decorate, or write on them and then, put the quilt together. The problem with this one is, if you've got more than one child, who do you leave the quilt to? Well, I guess you'll have to do more than one:)
  4. Let the kids go into the kitchen and create their own recipe, whether it's something for dinner, a dessert, or an easy kid's lunch. Tell them to write the recipe in pencil on notecards, and as you watch and coach and as they tweak the recipe, they can erase what didn't work and write in what they discover does, until they've come up with something really good. File the recipes in a box they've decorated and use them often to show your appreciation.
  5. Plant a simple garden together and take pictures as everything grows. Herb gardens are very simple and herbs can be dried very easily. They can be used for decoration and in the kitchen in some of those recipes they've created. This is the project that keeps on giving. This can be done annually and you can always take advantage of the fruit of your labor. Taking pictures of the kids taking care of the garden would be great for a scrapbook too.
  6. Encourage them to write a children's story or book. They can use themselves as the main character or they can make it completely up. Tell them to envision an audience of really curious and anxious kids ready to hear a good story. Remind them that they never write for themselves (unless it's a diary entry) but for someone else's benefit. Let them color pictures for it.
  7. Use the above books when you take them to read at a local shelter, library, orphanage, or the like. Let your kids read their homemade books to the other children. This helps them give and share experiences with others. With this, craft things at home that you can take with you to give out to children. This is a project for the whole family.
  8. Have story night where the kids sit around and tell timed stories (use a timer) and everyone has their turn. The story can be serious, funny, or whatever. Call it a story marathon and see how many stories you can tell and how well everyone enjoys this. Kids will not forget this and will probably enjoy doing this with their own kids.

There are just so many more things I could come up with. These are some of my suggestions, but obviously, the internet, your moms group, your family members, your homeschool group, etc. has so much more. The goal is to make memories for yourself with your kids, make memories for them, and give them something to pass to the next generation. Oh yeah, and be intentional about it. Don't leave the ideas in your head. DO IT!! Have fun!

Have a good rest of the week.

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