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Make New Year Traditions a Family Affair

Do you celebrate the New Year as a family? Do you include your child in the acknowledgement of moving from one year to the next? The fare welling of what went before? The excitement and possibility of what is to come?


New Year traditions are wonderful family bonding time. It doesn’t mean you have to stay up till midnight! Even better, traditions can provide wonderful memories to look back on when your children are off doing their own New Year’s celebrations. But hopefully these traditions can continue forever, because they can be done on New Year’s Eve or the day after (or whenever you can squeeze it in around the New Year time).


Here are some suggestions for various ways acknowledge and celebrate the New Year with your children. 



This is a fun way to think about what happened during the year and put a pin in to where everyone is at in this exact moment. Think of some questions that would work well for your family.


Start a Reflection Question notebook that is saved just for this purpose. Write down everyone's answers (or print and glue in) It is fascinating to see how young children change and grow. Even more fascinating, when their answers stay the same! Imagine what a treasure this notebook will be after 10 years! 


Five questions is plenty. Make your own or choose from below. 


  • What was/is your favourite toy?

  • What was/is your favourite thing to do as a family?

  • Do you have a favourite memory from this year?

  • What was/is your favourite movie?

  • What was/is your favourite song?

  • Who is your best friend?

  • Did you learn anything new that you are proud of?

  • If you could go back and relive any day this year, which would you choose?

  • If you could change one thing, what would it be?


This tradition is a bit more work, but having physical objects is sometimes easier for children to connect with.



Make a time capsule every New Year to open the following year. Here are a few ideas of what to add into your time capsule:


  • Yearly interview sheet to see how you've grown or changed (Pinterest has a ton of great ideas!)

  • Photos from the year

  • Written down memories (The reflection question game is good for this)

  • A book you read

  • Art projects

  • Letter to your future self

  • List of gifts you received for Christmas

  • A favorite movie or CD

  • Souvenir from a trip


Each New Year you can create another time capsule. As the children get older they can present the items their items and explain to the family why they have chosen them. When everyone has had their turn, box up the time capsule. Then it is time to open last years capsule. This is another chance for your children to reflect on what has changed since last year. You can ask them lots of open ended questions about what they remember from the items they chose and how things are different or the same. 



Yes, this is the obvious one, but it's still a great option! Take this opportunity to talk with your kids about the importance of goals, then help them to set a few of their own. Don't forget to set a for yourself as well.


The important thing is not to make goals a rod for our backs - especially for young children. The idea of setting goals for young children is to grow their confidence and independence, allow them to have meaningful choice, and prove that they can do hard things. 


It is really nice to bring out the goals that they chose a few times throughout the year and track where they’re at with them. Maybe they have already achieved it? Maybe they have changed their mind? Allowing your child the chance to set, work towards, achieve, and even change a goal, contributes to them growing confident and brave. It is also a wonderful opportunity to talk to your child on a slightly deeper level about what they are hoping for. 



Sit down as a family and make a list of any activities you want to do or things you want to try in the upcoming year. Then make a plan to carry them out. This is a great way to promote family connection in the New Year! 


Here are some ideas to get you started - please share with us any of your own!


  • Places to visit in your own town (parks, beaches, waterfalls, theme parks etc)

  • Places to visit outside your town

  • Sports to try

  • Foods to try

  • Animals to encounter

  • Movies to watch 





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