Elisha has Master's degree in Ancient Celtic History & Mythology, as well as a Bachelor's in Marketing. She has extensive experience creating & teaching curricula in college level education, history, English, business and marketing.
New Year's Resolutions
New Year's resolutions are believed to have begun during Babylonian times when right before the beginning of the new year, people would worship and promise the gods things that they would do for the new year. They did this in hopes of winning favor with the gods. This translates to how we celebrate today with New Year's resolutions or things we want to do better for the new year. This is always fun to do with students during the holidays since they are usually feeling restless at this point.
K-2 New Year's Resolution Activities
Although kids at this age do not necessarily understand the reasoning behind resolutions, there are still ways to arrange activities for this event. Craft-related activities work especially well for this age group.
Have kids bring in an empty jar with a lid from home. This could be anything, a pickle jar or even a baby food jar. Have the kids decorate it on the outside with glitter, glue, scraps of paper, or anything else they find pretty. Once the decorations have dried, make sure they put their name on the jars. Now the fun begins: Have the students take several strips of paper and write resolutions on each one. These may be family resolutions, school resolutions, friend resolutions, personal resolutions, and/or things they would like to accomplish in the coming year. Have the kids put their strips in the jar. Once every couple of weeks, have the kids review their strips, and if they accomplished a resolution, have them pick a prize. Candy usually works well, but stickers are good too.
This is a fairly simple activity where students take a hanger, pieces of shaped construction paper, and string and create a mobile that can be hung up all year long, reminding the students of their resolutions. Have students create as many or as few resolutions as they like, perhaps one resolution per one piece of shaped paper. Connect the string to the paper, then to the mobile. After tying the string, dotting the knot with glue can help with reinforcement.
3-6 New Year's Resolution Activities
At these ages, children are at the point where they can become more creative with making their New Year's resolutions.
Collage or Dream Board
Instead of simply writing ideas for resolutions, it's fun for kids to create a board full of images that symbolize what they want to do and see in the new year. Kids should start with a hard back base like cardboard then decorate it with inspiring words, pictures from magazines, newspapers, or things they have printed from the internet. All of them should focus on New Year's resolutions. This activity is crafty but also requires some thoughtful research.
Letter to Themselves
This activity allows students to write down their resolutions in a new way. In this activity, students write a letter to themselves, assuming the future version of them has accomplished everything in their resolutions. These letters may read like: ''Dear Johnny, now that you have received an A in math...'' and so on. This helps kids envision themselves succeeding and also provides children a fun letter to read and reflect on at the end of the school year.
7-12 New Year's Resolution Activities
It is occasionally harder to get older students engaged, especially in holiday activities. The following activities should get them involved.
This is a more involved activity but one that's well worth the time and effort. Students could create an altered book with each page being a new resolution. This is a great activity to take up time after end of semester exams before students head out for vacation. The students need only an old well bound book, scissors, glue, paint, and decorations. They can disassemble the book and create a whole new book on the things they want to do during the new year. For example: Students can decorate a section with mini ribbons and pennies to resemble medals because they want to win track awards in the spring. This book is a great way for students to create a physical representation of their resolutions in hopes that it will push them to see them realized.
A time capsule always seems to be a winning activity. Instead of simply putting in present-day representations to be opened in the future, have each student create a list of resolutions they not only want to accomplish during the coming year, but also later in their lives. Each of these resolutions can be sealed in an envelope then placed in the time capsule for later opening.
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