Happy new year from all of us at Red Cat Reading! This past year was a bit rocky for many of us, but with the new year comes new opportunities. We’re here to help share our top 10 best ways to enjoy the start of the new year as we look back on the previous year. With our tips, we hope to inspire you to keep your head up and not let the last year get you down!
1. New Year’s Resolutions
The new year is a symbol of new beginnings! Why not kick things off by making a new year’s resolution? Around this time it’s easy to feel motivated to try new things or make new goals, after all, a new year is a fresh start! Even kids can get into the spirit and some up with their own resolutions. Things like, learning to read or ride a bike can be fun challenges to take on that will build confidence. You can even go for something smaller, like going on a walk with the dog or making your bed everyday. Having a new year’s resolution can make you work harder to meet your goals and feel proud of yourself when you achieve them.
2. Favorite Gift
There’s a chance you might’ve received some gifts over the holidays from family and friends. While all are special, some might stand out more than others. Maybe you got something you’d always wanted, or something really meaningful from someone you care about. A great way to get kids excited about writing after the holiday season is to have them write about their favorite gift! They’ll feel extra motivated to write about something they really love and will happily share everything great about it. It would even be fun to share what they wrote with whomever gave them the gift as a thank you. To go the extra mile, you could try making a “thank you” card with a photo or drawing on the front and your message inside.
3. Best Memory of 2020
Every year we each experience some highs and lows, but the best memories to look back on are definitely the ones that make you feel good! A fun exercise to try as a family is to share some of your favorite moments of the previous year. They could be times when something really funny happened, when someone did something very kind for you, or simply a day when everything went right! You can even write a script to read with the family and take turns reading your own special story. It will be fun to hear how different or similar everyone’s highlights are!
4. New Hobby
The start of the new year is a great opportunity to try something new! It could be almost anything that sparks your interest. Maybe it’s something you’ve always wanted to try, or something you recently heard about that sounds interesting. New hobbies can add a lot of joy to your life and build self confidence. Now might be just the right time to try a new sport, learn to play an instrument, or try your hand at art. There are tons of hobbies that don’t cost a penny and can be done completely at home using things around the house. These days there are even tons of online learning resources you can access for free to learn things like a new language or how to read and write. A new challenge is a great way to add some fun and excitement to every day!
5. An Act of Kindness: Ways to Give Back
Doing something kind or thoughtful can leave a big impact on others and spread hope. This year, many people may need a helping hand or some small acts of kindness more than ever. This might be your mom, grandma, dad, or next door neighbor! It’s easy to make someone happy with something as simple as washing the dishes, walking the dog, cleaning up around the house, bringing someone something tasty to eat, or saying something nice to someone.
6. Get Closer with Your Parents
Many people have been spending a lot more time at home with their families since last year. It can be really comforting to be with family when it’s difficult to go out and meet friends or have a normal routine. Although things might be getting a little monotonous after being cooped up with the same faces for so long, there’s still something you can do to get a little closer to your family! Try a little family bonding exercise that might help kids get to know their parents a bit better. Kids can have fun pretending to be an interviewer and ask their parents all kinds of questions! They can be silly questions or even questions about their parents from back in the day. This exercise will be sure to get everyone talking and having a good time!
7. Favorite Accomplishment
What was the biggest achievement you made last year? Each year we all accomplish something important, big or small, that should be celebrated! Some of us set big goals for ourselves, while others were able to do something along the way that made them proud of themselves. This might’ve been learning to tie your shoes, finishing reading your first book, or learning some new words in another language. These kinds of achievements are all worth celebrating! You can take things a step further and have an “awards ceremony” at home with your family. Try making award ribbons out of construction paper and markers for extra fun. What will you achieve next in 2021?
8. Write a Story, You’re the Main Character!
Last year a lot of major events happened that were unlike anything we’d ever experienced before! The way we live our lives everyday has had to be adjusted to match with the changes we’ve been experiencing. For some, this might have been pretty difficult to get used to, but you found a way to get through it! This is a great opportunity to reflect on the year and do some creative writing. Kids can think about some of the big events that might’ve happened in the past year and how their lives changed. They can write about the things they liked and some of the things were a little more difficult to handle. To make this writing experience even more fun, they can try adding some fiction to their story and give things a different spin!
9. Can We Have a Do-Over?
Was there something you had to miss out on last year? Maybe it was a vacation or a party you’d been looking forward to, but had to cancel. Unfortunately, many of us had to put some of our big plans on hold and spend our time in other ways. If you had the chance, what would you like to do this year that you couldn’t last year? It could be a trip to your grandparents’ house or a big party with all your friends. Take some time to share with your family what you wish you could’ve done last year and would love a do-over for! You can come up with a plan to do everything you couldn’t before, when the time is right. It could also be fun to think of ways to modify some of your plans so you can do them at home! For example, did you miss out on that tropical vacation? Why not try an island themed home-based vacation? Everyone can help out by decorating the house, choosing some great music, and coming up with a tropical menu!
10. New Family Ritual
Staying home most of the time probably means spending more time with your family. This extra time together can mean a lot more time for fun! You can use this opportunity to start a new family ritual to bring everyone even closer together. You can try cooking together and whipping up new recipes you can be proud of! Or you can start a weekly game night where you pull out all of your board games and card decks for some friendly competition. If board games aren’t your style, why not try a multiplayer video game that everyone can enjoy? You can also get some pieces of paper and each family member can write down different ideas of what they might like to try with everyone. Fold the pieces of paper, put them in a bowl or hat, then take turns drawing ideas. There will probably be some ideas in there you wouldn’t have come up with yourself!
So there you have it! We hope you’ve found the perfect way to say farewell to the old year and hello to the new. For even more family fun and activities to enjoy at home, check out Red Cat Reading’s storybook collection! You’ll get FREE access to over 15 fun storybooks and 9 videos to get your kids learning without even realizing it. Start reading today!