Since our family celebrates Christmas, December always feels chock full of family traditions ideas. We love coming together nightly to read scriptures, read a picture book, sing songs, and more. It feels so specially and connective.
But then once the new year rolls around, most of that falls away. It feels like we don’t have as much time to connect, nor as many opportunities to gather.
I’ve found that having some year round family traditions don’t take long, but makes a big difference for us to feel settled and unified. Otherwise, we start to feel like we’re all friends who happen to live in the same house. Here are 8 of our everyday family traditions ideas – I’d love to hear yours in the comments, too!
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Our Year Round Family Traditions Ideas
This is one of the most obvious year round family traditions ideas, but we sit down at the table to eat dinner together almost every single night (except for on Friday nights; see below). We put away our phones, put away the books, and sit and eat. We usually have a homemade meal, though it’s not usually fancy. Sometimes the kids cook, more often we cook, or sometimes we do takeout.
It’s really just a special and fun time for us to review highlights and lowlights from the day, and to focus on each other.
Friday Pizza & Movie Night
Speaking of family dinner, on Fridays, we almost never eat at the kitchen table. That’s because Fridays are our pizza & movie night! Most often, we make homemade pizza, but sometimes we get takeout, too. Usually, we watch a feature-length movie (and finish it the next day if we don’t get through all of it), but sometimes we watch a couple episodes of a show (British Bake Off was a favorite).
It’s simple and delicious, and every single one of us looks forward to it. It’s for sure one of our favorite simple family traditions examples!
All last spring when we first started remote schooling, we went on hikes every Wednesday morning. That schedule got a bit derailed with RVing around the country, but we still love going on regular hikes, typically once a week. It’s a great opportunity for us all to move our bodies and get some fresh air. I also find that a couple of my kids who don’t open up as much at home come alive and are far more chatty while we’re walking.
Even if we can’t do a full hike, we’ve gotten into more of a habit over the last year of doing family walks around the neighborhood. However grouchy we may be feeling, getting outside always helps! Sometimes the kids scooter or roller skate, but however we do it, it’s special and simple and fun.
Sunday Afternoon Reading + Hot Chocolate
One of the best things about Sundays to me is that there’s time for a bit of stillness. So every Sunday afternoon while the two youngest are napping, we have quiet reading time with hot chocolate. It’s so simple and just delightful, and forces me to stop and make time for a fun and relaxing hobby alongside my kids.
Weekly Family Photo Review
This is a new tradition for us this year! We take SO many photos, but rarely take time to actually look at them. Reviewing helps our kids actually remember those amazing experiences and helps us all feel excitement and connection as a family as we remember special times together.
We keep it quick (about 10-15 minutes) so it doesn’t feel too overwhelming to do once a week (on Sunday nights) and so kids don’t revolt.
Nightly Scripture Reading + Book
We love reading a very short scripture from this manual each evening. It usually take 3-5 minutes, so it’s short enough that it can actually happen regularly. Plus, I don’t have to think about it in advance, which also makes it more likely to happen.
After scriptures, we do a little bit of a family read aloud together. It’s a perfect way to wind down and end the night on a happy note.
Each of our kids gets to stay up late one night a week to have some special individual time with parents. It’s fun and easy and really helps us connect with them. I wrote up a whole post on how we handle special time, including what we do and when we do it!
Food traditions are so easy and fun. One of our favorites is “brinner,” or breakfast for dinner. We’ve been doing brinner on Sunday nights for about 4 years and I love it. It means we have a “real” hot meal, but it’s usually simple (because who wants to actually spend tons of time cooking on Sunday?). It’s easy and delicious and everyone loves it.
Monthly Picture Book Display
One of my favorite, very simple home projects is setting up a picture book display in our playroom each month. I love rotating the ones up on top of the shelf based on seasons, holidays, and current events. And my kids always end up reading those more during the month and after, which is the entire point!
Kids Make Dinner
Possibly my personal favorite year round family tradition idea is that my 10 & 8 year olds make dinner together once per week. They love the feeling of responsibility and accomplishment, and feel so proud of themselves for really helping the family. And I love having dinner made!!
Here are the simple, delicious, and healthy recipes they use!
This is honestly one I’m not as great at as I’d like, and I’m trying to get better! I have one child in particular who comes and gives me a hug every single morning when he first sees me. It’s so sweet and makes me feel excited about our relationship for the day.
I always give my kids hugs and tell them I love them at night, but I want to be better at doing it first thing in the morning with each of them to set the tone for our day.
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