Playful New Year's Resolutions for Families

Playful New Year's Resolutions for Families by Encourage Play

It’s that time of year when people are making New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve been thinking about some of the basics (organize my house, clean up my eating habits, etc) but I’ve also been thinking about what I can do encourage playing and friendships in my own home. Here are some New Year’s Resolutions to make 2015 a great year!!

Complete Random Acts of Kindness as a family

My husband and I want the kids to think about other people and put themselves in other people’s shoes. We thought of some ideas to encourage empathy and thinking about others. We’ve started to create a list of Kind Acts we can do as a family. Stay tuned to hear about how they go throughout the year!

Set up pretend play

We like to set out some toys to encourage pretend play, like when we set up our dress up area around Halloween. I want to be a little more intentional with it.

The kids got a pretend cash register for Christmas, and there are so many fun things you can do with it. It could be part of a mechanic/car repair shop, a coffee shop, a supermarket or a restaurant. I want to set out different items that they can use to help support their pretend play.  

Rotate toys more often

Earlier this year, when the toys in my house were starting to drive me crazy, I set up a toy rotation system. In both of the kids rooms and in our living room, we have storage shelves, with the buckets labeled with the contents. If it doesn’t fit, it goes in the basement toy storage area.

Every few weeks, I try to switch out the toys, games and puzzles so they’re not playing with the same stuff all the time. I love this rotating system, because I do find that they play more with what they have around, especially right after a switch.

It also helps me identify which toys they are no longer so interested in. If I bring it up, and they play with it for a minute and then move on, I know it’s time to donate it. Of course, I don’t do it as frequently as I should, and I rarely rotate the toys out of their rooms.

My goal for 2015 is to rotate every couple of weeks and see how that goes.

Set up More play dates

My son is starting Kindergarten in the Fall. He’s going to preschool 3 days a week now, and also does a weekly gymnastics class. He is slow to warm up to other kids, and I want to help him continue to build his social skills.

In order to prep for the upcoming school year, I’d like to set up small, time limited playdates, some with old friends and some with newer friends to help work on these skills. I’ll have people over to my home first, to ease the anxiety for my son. He’s come a long way since last year, and I look forward to seeing where he is one year from now.

Establish a day for family game night

We love to play games together as a family, but we don’t actually have a set day for it. Sometimes we play a game before or after dinner or on the weekends, but I think it would be fun to set aside one day we know where we’re going to play something together. We’ll be looking at everyone’s schedules to see what day would work best. We can also try and practice new games that the kids can play with others on play dates or at school.

I can think of more, but I’ve learned over the years that if I try to add in too many New Year’s Resolutions, none get done well.

Do you have family New Year’s Resolutions? I’d love to hear them!

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