When I ask my children what some of their favorite childhood memories are, they always include Surprise Rides. While many things we have done together over the years were fun, this stands out as a favorite. It was a tradition we began when our youngest child was one.
I regularly combed books for creative ways to entertain, reward, and surprise my kids. As a parent and educator, I read many, many books on child rearing, incentives, discipline, and fun ideas; I also listened occasionally to family radio programs. I cannot recall where we got the idea for our Surprise Rides, but wherever it came from, it was a fabulous suggestion! Because these rides were so popular with my children, I thought maybe your family would enjoy it, too.
Let’s talk about Surprise Rides. Here are some questions you may have:
What in the world are Surprise Rides? Well, the basic premise is that my husband and I would sporadically yell, “Surprise Ride” and our kids had one minute to stop what they were doing, put on shoes, and meet us at the front door (obviously when our youngest was one, she needed a little help here). We would then get in the car and drive to a surprise destination.
Where did you go on Surprise Rides? We did a myriad of things and tried new ideas, with a few repeats thrown in for fun. Our kids didn’t care that much where we went but were just excited to go 🙂
Below are a few of places we went/things we did:
–We drove to the Dollar Store and gave them each $5 to spend on whatever they wanted
–We went out for a scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt
–We went out to dinner (this was a treat because we didn’t often go)
–We went for a scenic drive and had a picnic
–We drove to a park that was an hour away that was one of our kid’s favorites
–We drove to a nearby Children’s Museum
How often did you go on Surprise Rides? We went on Surprise Rides every four to six months, or when we felt we needed to throw a little extra fun into their lives. Typically my husband and I would plan them a few days in advance, but sometimes they were completely spontaneous.
Surprise Rides were always so fun. The kids would squeal after hearing “Surprise Ride” and were so excited! These served to be great memory-makers and something I hope they will continue when they have families of their own.
Do you have any fun traditions you do/did with your children? I would love to hear about them!
Happy memory making,