The Family Newsletter
At this time of year lots of people include a family update in their holiday cards, to let their loved ones know how things are going. I've got a little twist on that idea, make it an official newsletter with short articles, graphics & small pictures - and create it as a family.
Most of the time moms or dads write the family update, but this is a great project for everyone to put some thought into. Each family member could have a small section to briefly report some new accomplishment or highlight from the past year. Include snapshots of any awards, performances, sports, or accomplishments that match the content. Mom or Dad can write the main text that ties it all together after all the kids write their parts. Think of a title for your publication and create a tagline or family motto as well.
Most people have some type of software that they can easily create a newsletter with. I've always found Publisher very handy for this sort of thing, but the newer versions of Word will do a good job as well. You can actually get free Word templates for this sort of thing like the one shown here.
Depending on your kid's ages you'll want to explain the project, show them an example, and ask them for their ideas. Give them time to think about it, maybe look through pictures from the past year, and do some brainstorming. Give them pencil and paper to work on their ideas if it helps.
By doing this as a family you're helping them learn communication skills, and giving them the chance to share what means the most to them. It will also give them a sense of pride in your family when they see the finished product. Do some brainstorming about a family motto or tag line as well, this helps create a sense of identity and expresses your values.
By snail mail or email your loved ones will be thrilled to read your family newsletter. Have fun creating it!