One of the greatest ways a dad can bond with his children is by making memories together. That requires us as dads to do things with them. The key word is do something. When we are making those memories, take a minute to take a photo. Photos are a great way to preserve those memorable moments so you can look back hours, days, and years later on special moments together.
Here are 10 things you can do to make great memories with your kids. Your children will remember these escapades for their entire lives.
- Outdoor Adventures
This might include camping, fishing, hunting, sky diving (!), or other adventures outdoors. Take a sweat-drenched selfie as you climb, or a nature shot of a tree-lined path. Every summer while my kids were growing up I would take either my son or my daughter wilderness camping. One year a couple friends and I all took our 15 year old daughters wilderness camping together. We camped for four days alongside a stream just above the tree line in the Cascade Mountains in central Oregon. None of the girls had been wilderness camping before, but they enjoyed themselves immensely despite having to haul their own backpacks up nine thousand feet of mountainside and spending the entire time with no toilet. They appeared to be quite happy and content to spend nights sleeping on the ground under the stars and eating freeze-dried food with their dads. I don’t know who had more fun around the campfire at night—the girls hearing our tired old adventure stories for the first time, or us dads getting to tell them to a fresh audience. What I do know is that not one of those girls has ever forgotten that camping trip—they never fail to mention it every time I see one of them.
- Working together on a project
This could mean making something for mom or for a new baby, or building/fixing something for the house. I still have photos from when I was a Cub Scout as a boy working with my stepfather on a classic Pinewood Derby car. We didn’t win but that car went down in family lore to be shared with future generations.
- Family vacations
Whether you can take a week, a day, or even a Saturday afternoon, take an intentional trip together. Get a group photo taken every time you vacation together, then get a photo printed at a local drug store each year that you can hang together. You’ll notice the kids will spend time looking over the photos even as they get older. We have photos of our family dressed up in goofy costumes on many vacations. It was silly but fun—and memorable.
Hobbies can be anything from chess to pinochle or cribbage tournaments. Flying gas powered model airplanes were big when I was a kid. Working on cars together, stamp collecting, bird watching, scale model miniature train sets, and a wide variety of sporting activities are all hobbies that need to be a part of our lives through memories if nothing else. I was a national level junior bowler when I was 12 years old. We traveled around the country that year entering different tournaments and had a great time. I wish I had some photos to better remember this part of my life. With cameras with us all the time on our phones, take a quick snapshot, even if it’s not the perfect frame.
- Natural milestones
These might include graduations, generational photos, birthdays, father-daughter dances, religious ceremonies, the first day of a new job, a baby’s first steps, or crossing the finish line of your first 5k race. Keep a dedicated photo album of these milestones for each member of the family. Take a look back with your kids to celebrate their past as they may new accomplishments in the present.
To read the next five picture moments, visit http://1.usa.gov/1UbxogT