While the grown-ups plan to break old habits and sign up for new gym memberships, help your kids take a lighter look at the changing of the calendar! Check out these three New Year’s planning activities, designed to help kids get perspective on the year, articulate their own values, and plan for fun throughout the year:
- The New Year’s Interview – Make a list of questions that help your child look back on 2012 and plan ahead for 2013. Focus mainly on lighthearted questions they’ll have fun answering . . . but include a couple of weightier ones, too (especially for older kids). Record the answers on a piece of paper for a great scrapbook or journal insert! Here are some sample questions:
- What was the best joke you heard this year?
- Who are your closest friends?
- What was the most fun you had on a vacation this year?
- What new things did you learn to do in 2012?
- What do you want to learn in 2013?
- Is there anyone you want to get to know better this year?
2. 2013 Play Box – Help your child write a list of play ideas on a piece of paper. (Try to steer the ideas toward realistic, everyday possibilities, such as playing with puzzles, helping plan dinner, or doing a craft.) Then cut up the paper so one idea is on each strip, and drop all of the strips in an empty tissue box (or any box that’s easy to reach into, but not easy to see into.) Bring out the arts and crafts supplies to decorate the box, too. Then use the box throughout the year for playtime inspiration!
3. One-of-a-Kind Journal – Provide art supplies to decorate the outside of a plain notebook. Encourage your child to cut and paste, apply stickers, and color to make the cover unique! Help write “2013” on the front cover or on the first page of the book. Then help your child get into the habit of recording his or her thoughts in the journal each day or each week, using written words, drawings, or even photographs. (To stand up to glue or coloring, be sure you choose a notebook with sturdy paper—our Mini Sketch Pad is a great choice.) This can be a meaningful experience—and a wonderful keepsake—for any age!
How do you celebrate the New Year in your family? Share your ideas and favorite activities in the comments below, or join the conversation on the Melissa & Doug Facebook page!