The practice of reflecting on life and setting resolutions is top of mind for many adults during the New Year. Children don’t really grasp the concept of time or the significance of midnight on December 31st. However, using simple language, adults can explain that a new year has started and that this may be a good time to think about making changes that add more joy and health to our lives.
For early childhood educators, it may be fun to work with the children to create resolutions for the entire class to share. The group can have more than one resolution, which can be designed to build classroom community or address some of the common challenges that the group faces.
To help children understand resolutions, teachers can ask: “Who thinks it is a good idea to… ?”
- Dance every day.
- Be a good helper.
- Work together.
- Take care of our toys.
- Get rid of germs that make us sick.
- Eat lots of yummy foods.
- Be kind to friends.
- Keep our friends safe.
- Ask for help.
- Read more books.
- Do our very best.
Teachers can record the number of children who agree with each idea as a way to narrow down the list a bit. Once the list is settled, teachers can ask children to illustrate their favorite resolutions and post these images on a bulletin board that shares the class’s resolutions with other children and families. When it is time to take down the display, the illustrations can be compiled into a class book for the library.
Older children may be able to reflect on their lives and come up with their own resolutions that you can help them stick to throughout the year.
As with adults, resolutions are ideas to strive toward. No one is perfect and mistakes are made. Resolutions should be reminders of what is important to us and how we would like to act in the future. Help children see how they could make different decisions in the future that will align their actions with that vision.