As the clock strikes midnight and we say goodbye to the past year, there’s an undeniable sense of renewal in the air. For many of us, the beginning of a new year signifies a fresh start… a chance to set goals, embrace new opportunities, and make positive changes in our lives. While this tradition is typically associated with adults, there’s a powerful and transformative aspect to it that can greatly benefit our little learners too. Yes, I’m talking about setting New Year’s resolutions or goals with kids. One of my favorite ways to celebrate the New Year in the classroom is with this simple-to-assemble New Year’s resolution craft!
SETTING NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR KIDS
In this fast-paced, ever-changing world, instilling the habit of goal setting in children is more important than ever before. Teaching kids to dream big, work hard, and stay focused equips them with essential life skills.
Before introducing our New Year’s resolution craft book, we define what New Year’s goals are in the first place. One of my favorite ways to do this is with the help of Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution by Pat Miller.
In this story, Squirrel learns what New Year’s resolutions are and is excited to learn what his forest friends resolve to do in the upcoming year. But one problem, he isn’t sure what resolution he wants for himself. Squirrel eventually realizes that it’s important to pick a resolution that is both meaningful and achievable.
After reading about Squirrel’s goals, we create a whole class anchor chart where we brain dump a huge list of our own New Year’s resolutions. We discuss the importance of attainable goals, just like Squirrel learned, and setting goals for ourselves, rather than what a friend wants to work on.
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION CRAFT PREP
Prep is simple and quick for this New Year’s resolution craft! The student New Year’s goals pages can be printed on regular copy paper. I like to print the pieces for the cover on construction paper or colored card stock.
You can also print the cover on regular copy paper and have your students color the cover with crayons, markers, or colored pencils.
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION CRAFT
With 20 different writing prompts, customizing this New Year’s craft to fit the needs of your students is easy! You can complete as many or as few pages as you would like with your students.
I like to work on one to two pages a day and save each page until we are ready to assemble them into a book.
Each time, we work on a new page, I have several students share what they plan to write for that specific goal. Then, I pair the students with an elbow buddy and have them orally state their New Year’s goal.
This is helpful for giving other students ideas and inspiration when they might feel stuck on what to write, as well as for having them rehearse exactly what they will write on their goal setting page.
After all of our goals are written, it is time to cut out each page and assemble our book.
Once all of the books are complete, I make sure to carve out time in our day to share our New Year’s resolutions. Some years, I buddy up students to share 1:1. While other years, I have students share during morning meeting or as a quick activity after lunch and recess.
It’s always so much fun seeing my students faces light up as they share their excitement about the goals they have set for themselves!
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION BULLETIN BOARD
While this New Year’s resolution craft makes a super cute book, I have also used this craft as a New Year’s bulletin board!
If you are short on time or prefer to only have students work on 1-2 goals, you can easily display their resolutions as a whole class bulletin board. Before swapping out this board for our Valentine’s Day board, I always like to check-in with students to see if anyone has achieved their goal(s) yet.
MORE WINTER ACTIVITIES
Strengthen fine motor skills with these 20 January fine motor activities!
You might also enjoy these fine motor activities for the 100th Day of School!
Predict whether the groundhog will or will not see his shadow with this adorable groundhog craft and graph, which also pairs perfectly with Pat Miller’s Substitute Groundhog!
DON’T FORGET IT… PIN IT!