Meet Sarika Parikh. Read his Meet-A-Parent (MAP) interview here.

traditions: tips / resources

1. Monthly or seasonally, set aside time to engage in an organized tradition with your children. It could be as simple as a nature walk or as complex as a family reunion, but be sure to make the time and mark your calendar.

2. Create opportunities to share stories/experiences from previous generations.

  • Share your favorite childhood tradition with your children.
  •  “Interview” an older relative with your child to hear his or her version of favorite traditions and celebrations.
  • Go to a local senior center and “befriend” a grandparent or develop a relationship with a local neighbor and hear about their traditions.
  • Create a family recipe book and encourage others from different generations to contribute. Have them share stories about why they want this recipe included in the book. Include a  picture. Then distribute as gifts from your family to the relatives.
  •  Create a family calendar and mark traditions. Include pictures from the previous year and give to your children or to grandparents  to remember what fun you had and will have as you continue these traditions the next year.

3. Read the local newspapers and Kidoinfo to see what is happening in your town or city in relation to cultural events.  Learning about other traditions and cultures may broaden what you do with your own family.

4. Organize a family night.

  • Plan a game night, play music, and have a dance party.  (E.g. organize a monthly music night and everyone from the neighborhood is invited to play an instrument, sing or dance.  Children learn songs and dances that go along with the particular celebration or holiday).

5. Track your children’s growth by creating annual hand/ foot prints and by measuring the height of your children. They will love seeing how much they have grown in a given year.

6. Celebrate milestone birthdays for your children.  1st b-day, 5th b-day, double digits — 10th b-day, etc.  Plan something special such as doing a project together, go for a special bike ride, cook a favorite meal, etc.

7. Donate time annually or monthly to a local social service agency as a family.

8. Create a collection of favorite stories from your childhood or folktales reflecting your culture.  Incorporate them into your children’s reading routine.  Discuss how things have changed or stayed the same.

9. Create a flickr site ( with photos from past and present. Ask your parents to post photos and see if your children can guess who they are.  Flickr is a great way to preserve old photos and a wonderful vehicle to build relationships with extended family members.

10. Set up a time to skype ( with distant family relatives.  Another fantastic way to facilitate relationships across generations!

11. Create a collection of artifacts/special items for family members.

  • Make a family Memoir Book and update this piece annually.
  • Create a quilt with special memories.  Ask each family member to create a square or do it all together.
  • Create a “child bin” that preserves all the important things (e.g. photos, letters, postcards) as your children grow. When you have more time, create a scrap book that you can present at a graduation, bat mitzvah, wedding, etc.

12. Set aside time for leisure activities as a family.  Snuggle, read a book, make pancakes on Saturday morning, go apple picking, take a walk, see a movie, play a board game, teach your child a game/activity you loved – jacks, four square, hopscotch, shooting hoops, yo-yoing, whittling, knitting, yarn games, etc.  Everyday routines can turn into traditions.  Share your time!


– The Patchwork Quilt by Valerie Flourney
- Lighting a Lamp- A Diwali Story by Johnny Tucker
- The Book of New Family Tradition: How to Create Rituals for Holiday & Everyday by Meg Cox