Experiencing Joy in Life Together

Our family loves to spend time together. We make memories in simple everyday moments, such as molding Play-Doh at the table, baking brownies for a friend who is coming for supper and going for a walk to the park. We also make memories in more extravagant planned outings to the zoo, trips to see extended family members or dear friends and more. In everything we do, my husband and I seek to enjoy the time we have with our children and each other.

Our youngest daughter at the beach (last summer).

Isn’t it delightful that “joy” is a part of the word “enjoy”? We experience joy when we enjoy our time together, just having fun and treasuring one another. We don’t simply do these things to pass the time but to really grow closer to one another and share in life together. No matter who is a part of your family, I encourage you today to look for a moment in which you can experience joy  with your loved ones.

In the book Beach House by Deanna Caswell, the author demonstrates the joy we gain as a family when we participate in activities and create memories as a family. The family in this book is excited to go to their beach house and play on the beach all day. My husband and I don’t ever expect to own a second home, but we do have events and traditions that our family looks forward to, including an annual Family Camp that my dad’s side has had for over 30 years.

In the hammock with Daddy at Family Camp.

Whatever your family enjoys doing to build memories while having fun, Beach House will bring back the warmth and nostalgia of your favorite family times (from growing up as a child or raising your own children). And hopefully,we will all come away from a book like this one will remind us to appreciate the beautiful moments in which we experience joy together in this life.

Best Ages: pre-k to 1st grade

For Parents:

  • Depending on the area where you live, plan a family trip to the beach! Discuss what your family does at the beach compared to the family in the book.
  • Create a mini photo album of your favorite family outings. Print out photos or create something digitally. Talk with your child about each photo and the memory it represents.

For Teachers:

  • Set up a beach station or sensory play area. If you have a sand table, pull it out! Otherwise include items such as pails, shovels, sea creature toys, towels, sunglasses, sunscreen, hats, picnic basket or cooler. Allow students to interact with the items and talk about them in small groups.
  • As a class, brainstorm the various activities we do with our family and friends to have fun. Afterward, allow students to draw a picture of a time they went to the beach or did something else fun with their family or friends.


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