Did you know that this is also a PERFECT time for you to set some New Years Resolutions for your kids as well? Here are a few ideas each and every family out there can ponder over and perhaps achieve when thinking about New Years Resolutions and how they can impact your child's development physically, socially and intellectually--thus making your family healthier, happier and having more adventures in the coming year!
1. LEARN A NEW SKILL: Let's begin our list of New Years Resolutions for your kids with something pretty easy. Remember when you were a kid? Remember how cool learning new stuff was?! Well you as a parent can capitalize on that energy and enthusiasm (even if your tank is a bit dry after all your hard work during these past two major holidays) and begin to see which skills your kids want to learn in the coming year! Swimming, building a birdhouse (see also; woodworking or bird watching) hiking or even just riding a bike.
These are ALL perfect skills to keep your kids energy high, but they can also keep your kids away from video games and spending way too much time in front of the television or computer screen, and THAT is worth trying for that reason alone!
2. EXPRESS GRATITUDE: We cannot tell you how important this is! It may seem so...well?...kind of silly but when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. This is a great New Years Resolution for your kids and will allow your child to develop a grateful heart in the future! By taking the time to sit down with your children and express what gratitude is for the many, many things people often take for, well, 'granted', we teach our children how much they do have and how much they can share with others. And we all know that means your kids will be happier as they realize how much they have to be grateful for.
Here are some AWESOME ideas on how to accomplish that in your home if you need a little help: HOW TO BE GRATEFUL AT HOME
3. GET MORE EXERCISE: Okay, us parents can all agree--can't we?! A great New Years Resolution for your kids is that our kids may need to get outside a bit more in the coming year. By creating a schedule and <em>sticking to it</em> helps our kids form a routine, and kids appreciate routine and structure. (see also: <a href="http://www.ahaparenting.com/parenting-tools/family-life/structure-routines">WHY ROUTINES ARE GOOD FOR KIDS</a>) So pick a time after work or when they return from school to go to the gym. Set a time on the weekend (perhaps after church) to go for a walk when the weather allows--if the weather is foul, go outside and have a snowball fight! Remember that exercise can also be about getting outside and having fun too!
By setting a goal with your kids to be more active in any form, helps build healthier bodies as they grow up and makes them less likely to gain weight in front of the screen this coming year.
4. EAT BETTER: Yes! All kids can eat more healthy and the best part about this New Years Resolution for your kids is that you can reward them with not only delicious food that they made/helped with, but through Play Unplugged Home Version they can earn a Brag Badge each time they do it as well! Plus as us parents know, the best part is this truly teaches kids an important 'life skill' which they will need as they grow up...not to mention make life a bit easier for any busy mom (or dad) when they get home from school before you do and their stomach is growling! ~wink~
One important aspect to 'eating healthier' is that you begin to focus on cooking skills and lessen the use of processed foods that are easier and more convenient. (see also; the 'heat and eat' variety found in the frozen section)
By teaching them kitchen and healthy cooking skills, parents not only engage their kid's minds but they also get to spend valuable time with them talking about their day and perhaps the going-ons at school--again, all the while learning a critical life skill and perhaps even discovering you may have a budding master chef in your own home!
To find out where you can buy Play Unplugged Brag Badges in the 'Around The House' module that will help reward this New Years Resolution for your kids.
5. BEGIN A FAMILY GAME NIGHT: It is fun, it is easy and odds are you will get closer to your kids than ever before! By engaging your child's sense of imagination, problem solving or even their sense of strategy, playing a game together (ANY GAME!) makes for a better foundation for any family. Plus we see more and more studies coming out that board games, instead of video games, help children grow what some clinical professionals are calling a child's 'executive function skills.'
Take this article for instance: <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/07/how-family-game-night-makes-kids-into-better-students/374525/">HOW BOARD GAMES HELP KIDS</a> In it the author shares some interesting findings as well as states; "Dr. Bill Hudenko, child psychologist and assistant professor of psychiatry at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine, uses board games in his practice to diagnose and strengthen these much-touted executive function skills."
...so not only does this New Years Resolution for your kids give you a good excuse to spend more quality family time together, it may just improve your children's success in their later years in school and well beyond!
Those are just FIVE of the ideas Play Unplugged wanted to share with you while you ponder over which New Years Resolutions for your kids you are going to undertake this next year. Later this week on another blog post we will share the <em>remaining five</em> so that you as a busy parent can fully take time out to explore these five awesome ideas before you get too overwhelmed! :) Because all of our staff here at Play Unplugged truly understands the value of 'real play' activities and furthermore we have seen and heard from your letters and phone calls as well, firsthand about the benefits Play Unplugged provides kids in helping them reduce their screen time habits before it's too late...