Creative Child

Family Traditions that Stand the Test of Time

by Rebecca Eanes

A family tradition can simply be defined as any activity you do as a family ritualistically. Traditions are very beneficial to family life because within our traditions, many beautiful memories are made. Traditions help shape our shared identity, strengthen our bonds, and create structure and security. There is even evidence that our family traditions provide an emotional buffer and help children develop resilience.

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In the hectic world we live in, it can be hard to find the time to create these important, memorable rituals, and especially difficult to keep it going year after year. As children grow and the family dynamics change, maintaining family traditions can be a challenge. The traditions outlined below are not only simple, but adjustable. These rituals don’t require a lot of planning, time, or a large budget, and the best part is that they grow with your family so that you can enjoy them for all the years that your children are at home.


I began telling stories to my baby in utero as I read Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney over and over as I rubbed my growing stomach. Storytelling boasts many benefits such as enhancing language, growing listening skills, encouraging imagination and creativity, and more. We can begin by looking at board books with our babies while we read or make up stories about the characters we see. This can evolve to reading aloud chapter books such as The Black Stallion or Charlotte’s Web to the Harry Potter series and The Lord of the Rings. From infants to teens and even our adult children, gathering together to read aloud from a great book or to share personal stories is a wonderful way to bring our hearts together and spend quality time with those we love.

Read Aloud Books to Try:

Infants and Toddlers:

  1. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
  2. Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? By Dr. Seuss
  3. Where’s Spot by Eric Hill
  4. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  5. Toes, Ears, and Nose by Marion Dane Bauer
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Preschoolers and Early Readers:

  1. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  2. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
  3. Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel
  4. The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey
  5. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Elementary Chapter Books:

  1. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  3. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  4. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
  5. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Middle School Chapter Books:

  1. The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan
  2. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
  3. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
  4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  5. Wonder by R.J. Palacio 

High School Chapter Books:

  1. The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
  3. King of the Lost and Found by John Lekich
  4. Holes by Louis Sachar and Vladimir Radunsky
  5. Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan

On page 2: In the Kitchen and Around the Table

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