What I love about the beginning of a new year is that it’s a time to spend together with the whole family and reflect on the past year. Not only is this a special time of year, but also it is a great time for kids to learn how to reflect on their personal achievements and goals for the coming year. Setting personal expectations and challenges are important for lifelong success.
A journal from NAEYC.org emphasizes on how broader thinking, such as reflection, helps promote vital social and critical thinking skills. The new year holiday can be a great moment to talk about your family values and even help your children instill their very own with some fun games and stories.
Here are some great themed activities to embrace broader thinking in young children
Time Capsule Letter. Do you remember creating your very own time capsule when you were a kid? I sure do! Here’s a fun time capsule activity with a New Year’s twist. Have your children write a letter or even draw a picture about their favorite memories from this past year. Once you pack up your holiday decorations, also pack the letters in a safe place so by next year your children will be welcomed with a fun surprise.
Photo Memory Game. Another great activity to encourage our children to reflect on their year is with a fun photo memory game. Take four of your favorite photos and print them out onto flash cards. Have your children match up the photos. This game is not only fun but will invoke some reminiscent conversation about those pictures.
Create a Wish List. Be the scribe for your child and have them create a wish list the size of their age. What do they want to accomplish in the year ahead? What books to they want to read? What is important? It is a great tradition to review these every new year to cross off the things that have been accomplished, discuss the ones that are still there and set goals for the year to come.
And don’t forget to celebrate!
New Years is about reflection but it is also about ringing in the new year! Here are a couple of fun ways to celebration
Decoration Help. Start a tradition of New Years Eve bash. Get your little ones involved in the fun and decorate. Here’s an activity that the whole family would love: Pull together construction paper and decorating materials to make special party hats with your guests.
Old Fashioned Fun. Nothing beats a good board game. Why not get the family together and have some old fashioned family fun. Go ahead with the classics such as UNO or even try a newer game, such as Quirkle. This will bring the family together and even sharpen your brains! Charades are also a timeless classic.
One of my all time favorite quotes continues to be “ If we take care of the moments, the years take care of themselves. I hope you enjoy every moment with your family this New Year. I look forward to what’s next here in Curiosityville!