Even if it’s as simple as an after-school snack (Hershey’s chocolate milk) or a camping trip that occurs the same weekend every year (July, Lake George), traditions are in place for a reason: They give us something to rely on. Looking to start a new one of your own? Below, eight of our personal favorites from the PureWow team.

bedtime reading

Teach Them to Prioritize Reading

“I grew up in a house where it was a given that you couldn’t fall asleep without first snuggling in a chair and reading a book. Now my husband and I do this every night with our kids, who consider stories as important to bedtime as brushing teeth and putting on pajamas. (OK, probably more important than brushing teeth, if we’re being honest.)” — Jillian, professional storyteller, mom of two

Sponsored hersheys simply five
Photo: Gieves Anderson/Styling: Lauren Epstein

Indulge in Little Treats

Whether we begged our parents to pour in just a little more syrup or drank some right from the bottle, Hershey’s chocolate milk was a staple of ’80s childhoods everywhere. Now we’re making this same snack for our kids with HERSHEY'S SIMPLY 5 Syrup. With only five non-GMO ingredients, it’s a sweet treat we don’t have to feel guilty about.

catching snowflakes

Celebrate All the Small Stuff

“On the first snowfall of the year, we go out for a walk and catch snowflakes on our tongues and eyelashes until our cheeks are nice and rosy. We always come home to enjoy a nice cup of hot cocoa, which we drink out of each of our favorite mugs.” — Sally, Midwest chionophile, mom of two

traveling by train

Don’t Be Afraid to Adapt

“When I was a kid, we went camping every year. I tried that with my son, but it didn’t really take, so we adjusted the camping tradition into regular train trips. We plan a trip somewhere that requires an overnight stay and then travel via a sleeper train. We spend the day and then hop on another train home that night.” — Chris, wanderlust enthusiast, dad of two

birthday sweets

Foster Their Independence

“Growing up, we got to pick any cereal we wanted for breakfast on our birthday. We didn’t normally keep junk food in the house, so the thrill of being able to enjoy a sugary cereal was almost too much. Carrying on that tradition, on her birthday, we’ll let our daughter plan an entire day that’s all about her. From her favorite breakfast foods to the activities we do to the type of cake, everything will be her choice. No matter how much junk food there is.” — Rachel, occasional spoiler, first-time mom

bedtime songs

Sing Each Other Goodnight

“My mother used to sing me a song called ‘Ugga Mugga’ every night as a child. We would touch noses back and forth while singing this song that ends with ‘I love you’ and a goodnight kiss. Now I do this with my daughter every night before she goes to bed.” — Dabee, secret performer, first-time mom

quality time

Savor Quality Time

“Every year my dad takes me up to Saratoga to go to the track and enjoy the charm of the town for two or three days. My grandfather took my dad every year as well. We all went together for about seven years, until I was 14, before my grandfather passed. My father and I have gone up every summer since—we’re going on 25 years. To keep the tradition alive, we’re taking my daughter on her first birthday this summer and we’d like to continue this for years to come. It’s something special we’ve been doing as a family for 40-plus years.” — Mark, sentimental type, first-time dad

family games2

Play Family Games

“After holiday dinners, we all gather around the table and play a multigenerational game of poker, using pennies, nickels and dimes. I continue my grandmother’s tradition of surreptitiously using my elbows to knock the coins of the players on either side of me to the floor, while loudly announcing, ‘Whatever falls off the table is mine!’” — Dana, “cool mom” of one