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Wishes for the New Year

New Years gives us a wonderful chance to look forward and start anew. Try some of these super simple and sweet ways to make new years wishes, all while teaching kids to hope, set intentions and enjoy the cycles of the year!

This activity is part of our December Calendar. Click to get your free copy and sign up to get a fresh, new calendar each month!

The Guide

Talk About the Change—Talk with kids about the fact that a whole new year is starting. Wonder together about what makes a year and introduce the idea that the earth travels around the sun in 365 days to make a whole year. You can even play earth and sun and use your bodies to demonstrate and play "annual orbit."

List Your Hopes—Make a list of the things you hope to do or experience together in 2022. If that feels too broad, focus on January. What are your favorite things to do in winter? in each season of the year? any time of year?

How old will each child turn this next year? Making a list or even just talking about what is coming in the next year gives kids a sense of all that lies ahead and helps them develop a sense of present and future. Plus, we all love having things to look forward to! 

Little kids may have trouble remembering and contributing to this, and their emerging sense of time may raise more questions about when all of these hopes will come true, but it's still good for them to listen in and get exposed to hopeful thoughts about the year to come. 

Make a Family Adventure Jar—Brainstorm a list of all kinds of autumnal adventures you would like to take in the coming year. This can include places you'd like to explore, hikes you'd like to try or some of the hopes listed above. It can also include micro-adventures like making mud pies or having a winter tea party.

Write each idea down on a different slip of paper, then place all of the papers in a large glass jar, box or other container. You can decorate the container with bright or favorite colors or nature treasures to make it special, too. Throughout the coming year, pick a slip out of the jar every time you have a chunk of time open for adventuring! 

Make Wishes or Intentions—New years bring the opportunity for a fresh start. That makes the start of a new season a great time to make wishes or set intentions for something you'd like to do differently. 

Is there a project or a goal you'd like to take on this year? Maybe you'd like to hike each weekend or spend more time outside? Is there something you'd like to change or do differently as a family? Maybe you'd like to move dinner a little earlier so you can enjoy a walk afterwards. Is there something you hope happens for someone you care about, your community or the world? Maybe you can help make sure that people in your community have warm layers as the weather gets colder.

Set a goal! Consider a bold goal like spending 1,000 Hours outside. You could also work hard to make sure you spend at least 2 hours outdoors each week—the amount research shows we need to get the benefits of time in nature. Or, anywhere in between. Share your goal with supportive friends like the families in our Tinkergarten Outdoors All 4 community!

Why is this activity great for kids?

The start of a new season is the perfect occasion to teach kids about the cycles of life and to set family wishes and goals — something that sparks hope and helps kids develop a sense of time and a strong foundation in persistence and grit (one of the 8 Tinkergarten skills kids need to thrive)!
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