giving back

Ten Ways to Strengthen Your Relationships This Week

giving back

Summer-of-Service_Strengthening-Relationships_Week-11 This week's Summer of Service challenge, sponsored by Crayola, is all about building and strengthening your relationships and helping your children to do the same by doing one or more of the following creative things. If you have more ideas, please share them in the comments!

  1. Write a list of ten questions you'd like to know about a family member or friend and schedule an interview with them to get to know them better. Encourage your children to interview someone they'd like to get to know better as well. If they are younger, help them create the list of questions.
  2. Write a note to a family member or friend, telling them how much you appreciate, love, or admire them. Use your talents in drawing, painting, stamping, hand writing, letter writing, or your favorite form of creativity to put your personal stamp on the card.
  3. Involve your family in putting together a progressive dinner right within the walls of your own home. Assign each person to be in charge of a specific room and portion of the meal. Work together to make the meal and set up the rooms. Award prizes for most creative, yummiest, most colorful, etc.
  4. Welcome your spouse home from work or your children home from school with a picture or note on one of your windows or mirrors using Crayola's window markers.
  5. Encourage your children to welcome their mom or dad (or both!) home from work or other outing by helping them write a love note using Crayola's sidewalk chalk on the driveway.
  6. Have a family art gallery night where each of you prepares a drawing, painting, photograph, Model Magic sculpture, or other artistic project and showcases it for each other. Award participants with certificates or ribbons, indicating most creative, best use of color, best use of black and white, best use of emotions, etc.
  7. Encourage your children to get to know their grandparents better by having them record (through audio and/or video) an interview with them about what life was like when they were growing up. Help your children prepare the questions, get the recording equipment ready, and set up an appointment. Then help them put together the audio/video project and share it with the rest of the family, including their grandparents.
  8. Have a girls' night out that's a blast from the past with activities like finger painting, running through sprinklers, jumping on the trampoline, or other fun things you enjoyed as a child. Make sure to feature your favorite childhood snacks and drinks. Tang anyone?
  9. Have a "walk down memory lane" party with your family, your friends, other couples, or others where you all bring photo albums and share your favorite memories. One fun group date is to all bring your wedding photo albums and each take turns sharing favorite memories from your wedding and your newlywed years.
  10. Schedule a family coloring night, where you each choose a favorite page from a coloring book or your own coloring books and color together while chatting and enjoying your favorite snacks.

How Will You Give to Others This Week?

  • Crayola-Creativitycast_LOGO What other ideas do you have for strengthening your relationships this week using creativity?
  • What are things that get in the way of strengthening your relationships using creativity?
  • What are ways to overcome these challenges?
  • How has strengthening your relationships this week using creativity others made a meaningful difference for you? For others?

How Else Can You Make a Difference This Summer?

Make a meaningful difference this summer by taking the Summer of Service (SOS) Challenge. Here's how you can participate:

  • Commit to do one act of kindness/service based on the week's challenge.
  • Leave a comment with ideas relating to the week's challenge as well as your experience(s) performing it.
  • Grab the SOS button in the sidebar and put it on your blog or social networking site.
  • Enter to win each week's giveaway. Click here to check out this week's prize from Crayola.
  • Join #gno this Tuesday on Twitter to connect with other Mom It Forward moms about the challenge.
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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.

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