The new year is a time for hope, celebration, and a chance to turn over a new leaf. Millions of people make resolutions promising to try something new that makes their lives just a little bit better. And New Year’s resolutions aren’t just for us grown-ups. Your children can make resolutions, too. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends it as a way to teach children concepts like goal setting and follow-through.
So, what should your kids resolve to do in the coming year? Here are a few suggestions for New Year’s resolutions for elementary-age students courtesy of the team behind Hello Genius, a revolutionary app for parent-child exploration and bonding.
Read More Books
Reading is a fantastic activity for young kids and a common New Year Resolutions for elementary-age students with good reason. It helps them develop critical cognitive skills, increases their capacity for empathy, improves their vocabulary, and can spark their imagination with fun and exciting stories. Experts agree that children in elementary school should be reading every day, either on their own or with a parent.
Start by talking with your child and writing a reading list of books they might like. Then make sure it’s an actionable resolution: to read a specific number of books or pages, or for a certain length of time. Setting a concrete goal like reading one chapter per night, for example, is best because you can look back on it and see just how well you’ve done and how far you’ve come.
Making a commitment to read more can also be a wonderful New Year’s resolution for parents and elementary students to do together. Sitting down to read a paper book with your kids makes for great quality time.
Make New Friends
2020 was a difficult year for making friends. Between state-wide lockdowns, school closures, and social distancing, many children missed out on opportunities to meet and connect with their peers. Things may get easier looking toward a post-COVID world, and that means your child can start to regrow their social circle. If your child has been missing social interactions, and especially if they’re particularly shy, next year can be the one where they meet friends they’ll have for decades.
The best way to approach this kind of New Year’s resolution for elementary students is to commit to joining a specific number of extracurricular activities through their school or local community. That can mean sports teams, group music lessons, or Boy/Girl scouts. Their teachers or school directory might even have ideas for activities unique to their area, like a checkers club or arts and crafts group.
Teach your child to introduce themselves when they meet new people, as well as to show genuine interest in their peers, and they just might find a friend for life. Looking for a way to connect with parents and children with similar interests in your area? Try Hello Genius.
Eat Healthier Snacks
A healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables is important for everyone, but it’s particularly important for a growing child. If you have a picky eater in your home, this may be the ideal New Year’s resolution for them! Elementary students can learn more about the nutrients that power their bodies, and they can practice making healthy food choices on their own.
This resolution can be a bit tricky, but the best way to start is by finding 5-7 healthy snacks that your child likes, making sure those snacks make it to your grocery lists and getting their commitment to having those foods at a regular time. That could be once a week each as an afterschool snack, or taken to school with them in their lunchbox.
This will help your child to be healthier in the short term, but more importantly, help them develop a healthy relationship toward food that can last a lifetime.
Follow Their Passions
This is as much of a New Year’s resolution for parents as it is for elementary-age children and students. When something sparks a child’s curiosity, it’s our job as a parent to encourage them and provide the resources they need to learn more about it.
One of the best resolutions you and your child can make is to decide on something they’re passionate about and explore it together. That might mean taking a special tour at the zoo, signing up for a class at the local nature center, joining the kids club at a science museum, signing them up for swimming lessons, or thousands of other ideas you and your child brainstorm together.
Need more ideas? That’s why we created Hello Genius, an app for parents and children that allows kids to explore and learn on their own terms, and reports back to parents about their budding interests and passions. The platform will suggest local activities that you can do with them together while supporting their passions. You can even opt into social media features that will connect you and your child to families in your area with similar interests.
What do all of these resolutions have in common? They all start with listening to your child – the books they like to read, the food they like to eat, and the activities they like to do. Set the best New Year’s resolutions for elementary-age students by listening to your children and start the new year right.