All most parents want for their kids is for them to be happy. So how exactly do we do this?
In this list of 20 easy ways to make your kids happy, you will NOT find anything about buying them treats or toys. The ideas below are some ways to add to what you are probably already doing for your children. You see, the scientific research shows that by creating happy childhood memories through experience, it helps build resilience later in life for your child.
It helps them to look back on their lives when they become adults and reflect on ‘good times’ which is super important.
Research published in The Journal of Positive Psychology has found that the thrill of receiving or purchasing gifts fades quickly but the joy and memories of experiences, from big adventures to intimate moments, can last a lifetime.
I think at times we put our adult expectations on what our children want and in reality, kids don’t need too much to create happy family moments. What they want are special moments to connect with their parents and form solid bonds of trust and love.
Here are just 20 easy ways to create happiness for your children:
#1 Hang up their art in your home Even frame the special ones!
#2 Have a weekly tradition In our home, we have a movie night, where we all cuddle up on the couch with popcorn and watch a family movie together.
#3 Let them build a fort out of all the furniture and blankets Then climb in with them and maybe even enjoy a picnic in there.
#4 Have some one on one time If you have more than one child, try and spend time just with one child from time to time.
#5 Celebrate their wins! When they have successes, whether they seem small to us, celebrate them, especially if they have worked hard for it.
#6 Have a food fight at dinner time I remember my Mum doing this on the odd occasion and it was so much fun. It made a lasting memory of fun in our house.
#7 Put the music on and have a dance party! Bust out some moves with your kids.
#8 Put a tent up inside and go camping in the lounge My boys did this recently and had so much fun!
#9 Create photo books of all the great family times, like birthdays My boys LOVE looking at all the birthday cakes they have had so far. They don’t seem to care about what presents they got, just the cake and who was there to celebrate with them.
#10 Let them have time with their grandparents My boys are lucky enough to have wonderful grandparents and it is lovely to see the special bond that they make over the years and this has come out of spending time with them.
#11 Let them get dirty and/or wet! If there is a big puddle, let them jump in it! They love it! Clothes can be cleaned, shoes can be dried. Kids love to live in the moment, don’t stop them, join them.
#12 Create a family play or dance routine My middle son is currently working on a play where we all have characters. We are going to record it so we can watch it all together later.
#13 Be spontaneous and go for a drive somewhere exciting for the day! We recently decided to drive up to the mountain where it was snowing. We had a magical time!
#14 Write lovely messages around the house for your children We have a blackboard which I often write things like, “Mummy loves you to the moon and back.”
#15 Bake with your children! Let them lick the bowl and make a mess!
#16 Kiss your husband/wife/partner in front of your kids Show them a little bit of the love you share together. I fondly remember my parents kissing or Dad giving Mum a cuddle. At the time I would say, “Gross!” but actually deep down, I thought it was so sweet and as an adult, I knew my parents loved each other.
#17 Play video games with your kids Even if you aren’t good, they will love you spending time in their world.
#18 Show real gratitude for your child Thank them for helping or doing something kind.
#19 Have a ‘Coming of Age’ ritual We have decided that at age 12 our kids will be able to do something pretty terrifying and/or awesome like a tandem skydive or some laps at our local race car track. This will be to celebrate the change that starts to take place as they leave childhood and start the journey to adulthood.
#20 Get out in nature together Go for bush walks, swims in the lake/ocean/pools, walk on the beach. Anything you can that takes you outside.