Ringing in the New Year

  • The New Year is fast approaching and before you know it, 2017 will be here! Taking a few minutes to reflect on this past year and to think about the year ahead is vital for all adults, and even children! The New Year is also a great time to start new things, whether it be family traditions, healthy habits, or planning out time to just relax. Ms. Tracy discussed this topic on The Rhode Show. Watch it here!

New Year’s Eve activities for the whole family can be a lot of fun, not just for the kids! Some crafts and activities you can do on New Year’s Eve with your children:

•    Make Countdown Clocks – a built in educational lesion on time and counting down! All you will need are paper plates for the clock, card stock paper for the hands, a single hole punch, scissors, number stickers or a marker, and any other supplies your children would like to decorate their clocks with.
•    Make Party Hats
•    Bake & Cook – Baking and cooking food ahead of time can take a lot of stress out of a Holiday event! Whether you just bake appetizers or lay out snacks on the table, get your children involved! Ask them what they would prefer to eat and let them help make it. They can measure the ingredients or even simply put the food on the table or in bowls!
Resolutions are important because they encourage goal setting, especially for children. Reinforcing the idea of attainable goals and healthy lifestyles are important, even at a young age. The key word is attainable; it is not beneficial to set resolutions that are unrealistic. Ask your child what they would like to do in the upcoming year – the resolutions can be as big or as small as they wish! Some ideas are:

•    Reading more at night
•    Starting a new sport
•    Volunteering in the community
•    Putting toys away when done playing 
•    And many more!

Resolutions for yourself, as a parent, are incredibly important. As stated before, planning out time for you to relax can be the biggest and hardest resolution to stick with. A resolution that you and your child can work on together can be achieving a healthy lifestyle. This can mean many things:

•    Getting active – gyms are always running specials right after the New Year begins. Take advantage of this if you do not already belong to a gym! Some gyms even have areas for childcare, so you can bring your little ones!
•    Walking, jump roping, running, sports: these are all activities/exercises that can be done with your child. Take turns on the jump rope to get your heart rate moving, or go for a daily walk after school with them! It may be colder in the winter months, but bundle up and enjoy the beauty of winter!
•    Eating Healthy – Remind your child (and yourself, for that matter) that you should be having a certain number of servings of fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and dairy per day! These numbers can range depending on age and gender, so sit down with your child and see what is appropriate for everyone in your family.
•    You can do this by visiting choosemyplate.gov and exploring all of the food groups individually!
•    Sleep – If bedtime is a hassle for your little one, talk with them about making that a resolution for you both. You can start a new bedtime routine with them and keep it consistent each night: brush your teeth, read a book, goodnight hugs and kisses, lights out. This will help your nightly routine as well!
Ringing in the New Year as a family can be one of the best traditions you start. The celebration of a new year, of your family, and of everything yet to come! 

This article was written by Melanie Cline, Assistant Director of Family Engagement at The Children’s Workshop in Cumberland, RI.