This past week on the Melissa & Doug blog, we shared a few fun activities to get your kids excited about the New Year. Now that 2013 is finally here, it’s time to turn those resolutions into plans! Here are 3 easy ways to get your kids organized for (and excited about!) the year ahead.
1) Create a Calendar
Using our Magnetic Calendar, or any monthly calendar (purchased or home-made), take your child’s list of New Year’s Resolutions and start to plan for when certain goals could be accomplished. For example, if your child has made a resolution to spend more time playing outside, choose one day every week and mark that as “outside play day”. This is also a wonderful time to practice a few “calendar” basics, such as:
– Learning to spell the days of the week and months
– Understanding the order of days in a week, and months in a year, and
– Grasping the concept of a day, week, month, and year as a whole (i.e. “how many ‘play days’ do we have in a month?” or “what play activities are great for the month of August versus January?”)
2) Connect Longer-Term Goals with Weekly Chores
A responsibility chart can be a wonderful way to encourage positive behavior year-round. By creating a chore chart that’s directly tied to a child’s resolutions, you will have a weekly reminder of what you and your child have chosen to focus on for the year. A generic “help keep the house tidy” resolution can easily translate into actionable tasks throughout the week, such as helping with dishes, or cleaning up toys. At the end of the week, or month, you can have a discussion with your child about how the goals are being achieved, and if any alterations to the chore chart need to be made.
3) Switch Things Up!
A great way to stick to resolutions or goals is to keep things interesting! Doing the “same old” week after week may become boring, so here are some suggestions on helping kids stay focused, and engaged, year-round:
– Identify dates with your child to discuss “progress” – choose the middle of a week, month, or even year and ask the child how well he or she is performing against their goals, and what might need to improved on going forward
– Choose some “milestones” and offer a reward or treat for reaching them, and
– Be flexible! If a child is tracking well against their goals, or if a little extra time is needed, discuss potential changes that may need to be made, and why.
What are your favorite ways to help kids plan for the year ahead? Share your suggestions in the comments, or join the conversation on the Melissa & Doug Facebook page!
P.S. To help your child plan the year ahead, we’re offering a special promotion on our Magnetic Responsibility Chart and Magnetic Calendar! For a limited time, receive free personalization on these two items—because every child’s goals are unique! Visit www.MelissaAndDoug.com to learn more.