January is a great time to talk about goal setting with students. Check out these New Year’s resolution ideas for elementary kids that you can use with students or with your own children!
New Year’s resolution ideas for elementary kids
Generating ideas for personal goals is an amazing skill for kids to learn at a young age. New Year’s is the perfect time to discuss the concept of a New Year’s resolution and help kids write a New Year’s resolution of their own! Here are some New Year’s resolution ideas for elementary kids to get you started.
Learning & goal setting resolution ideas
Become a better reader
Students of all ages can work on becoming a better reader by pledging to read 30 minutes or more each night. Another way to achieve this goal is to read to a younger sibling or friend every day to become a more fluent reader. The opportunities are endless with this New Year’s resolution for elementary kids!
Memorize basic math facts
Memorization and education at the elementary level usually do not go together. I’d argue the one exception is basic math facts. It’s so important to be able to quickly access basic facts in order to successfully complete higher level skills.
Students can vow to learn their basic math facts by practicing facts each night. This could be through flashcards or through a computer program like XtraMath. Learning addition and subtraction facts would be great for younger elementary kids, while older elementary kids can focus on multiplication and division facts.
Earn good grades
Earning good grades is a great New Year’s resolution idea for elementary kids. Students can pledge to improve grades by practicing skills, completing homework, and staying focused during class time.
Complete and hand in all homework
This is a good New Year’s resolution idea for elementary kids who have trouble getting homework finished and turned in each day. Kids can achieve this goal by carving out a specific homework time each day, setting reminders to themselves to complete work, and having a sticky note on their desk as a reminder to turn in work each day.
Learn a new vocabulary word each day
This is one of the New Year’s resolution ideas for elementary kids that would actually work great for kids of any age, or even adults! Students can start making learning a word of the day part of their daily routine. They can practice using the word in different ways throughout the day. A more attainable goal for younger elementary kids may be one new word for every week or every other week.
Improve writing skills
Learning and practicing writing skills will always be important for improving overall communication skills. Students can vow to improve their writing skills by practicing writing each day. They could write a paragraph summary of their day or they could practice creative writing by writing stories every week.
Learn words in a different language
Learning words in other languages can help students become more culturally aware. They could focus on one specific language to learn new words in, or they could try learning greetings in a variety of languages. Apps like DuoLingo could help students with this goal!
Learn something new each day
Vowing to learn something new each day can help students become more aware of their learning and take more accountability for what they learn. Whether students learn their new facts in class, through books, or through the educational websites, this goal can really help kids build their understanding of things and find more things they are interested in!
Health New Year’s resolution ideas
Watch less TV
In this day and age, kids may need an extra push to help them learn the importance of having time away from television screens. Creating a New Year’s resolution to watch less TV can help elementary kids be more mindful of how much TV they are watching and what other things they could be doing instead.
Eat more veggies
Most elementary kids are aware that vegetables are part of a healthy diet. If they pledge to eat more veggies each day, they may start to see that it makes them feel healthier, too!
Try new foods
For kids who tend to be picky eaters, a goal to try new foods could be a great New Year’s resolution idea. Perhaps they’ll find a food that they enjoy! Encourage students to be specific about this goal and to try and hold themselves accountable.
Wake up earlier each day
When we wake up earlier, we usually go into the day with a different feeling. Usually you’ll get more done and feel more prepared for the day ahead. This is a great and healthy habit for students to practice as well!
Use the stairs more
Skipping the escalator or elevator and choosing to take the stairs is a great and simple goal that any elementary child can set and achieve!
Stretch every morning and evening
Getting into a routine of stretching each morning and evening can be very stress relieving and meditative. Not to mention it helps with flexibility! Encourage students to take some “me time” each morning and night to relax and stretch their bodies. It could end up becoming a healthy habit they adopt for life!
Drink more water
Drinking more water is not just one of the great New Year’s resolution ideas for elementary kids, it also works for adults and any age kids! Students can focus on a specific water intake goal for this resolution. They will probably notice a difference in how they feel if they keep it up!
Take more steps each day
Taking more steps is yet another healthy habit that is simple, but effective! If students have some sort of step tracker, they can easily see their progress in this goal. However, just choosing to take walks each day or finding more opportunities for movement in the day will work as well!
Get outdoors more
There’s huge health benefits to getting outside and catching some rays! Students can pledge to get more Vitamin D each day by setting times to get outdoors whenever possible.
Get more sleep each night
Sleep is important at all ages, but ESPECIALLY for elementary students. Getting more sleep can help students focus and obviously help them feel better rested. Students can achieve this goal by sticking to a bedtime each night and a wake time each morning. Even teachers and parents will notice a difference if they stick with it!
Decrease screen time
Screen time is a significant issue in society now, so why not have students take accountability for their screen time by pledging to decrease it? Whether it’s time away from computer screens, iPads, or phones, students can replace their screen time with another healthier activity to make the most of their days.
Get 30 minutes of exercise each day
Getting up and moving for at least 30 minutes a day will make a huge difference in students’ health, so it’s a great resolution to set for the new year. Remind students that they can find little ways to achieve this goal throughout the day–a few jumping jacks here and a short walk there will do the trick!
Sports & hobby New Year’s resolution ideas for kids
Grow a garden
Elementary kids are at an age where they can really start taking responsibility for things, and growing a garden can help foster that skill. Students can grow food in their garden or grow flowers and other plants. It’s a great opportunity for science connections as well!
Write to a pen pal
Having a pen pal can be a fun and exciting New Year’s resolution idea for elementary kids. They can also learn more about other cultures if it’s an international pen pal. Students can set a goal to write once or twice a month to their pen pal. It will help them with their writing and handwriting skills, too!
Become a better artist
If students want to become better with their artwork or drawing, they could turn it into a New Year’s resolution. Students can focus on practicing drawing, painting, or other art skills each day or each week to achieve their goal for the new year.
Learn to cook
Learning to cook is such a helpful skill! For elementary kids, they’ll need a parent’s help of course. But cooking and baking are great life skills that can also have math connections!
Keep a journal
Writing in a journal can help students express themselves and reflect on their feelings and life events. Keeping a journal and vowing to write each night or each week is a New Year’s resolution that has the power to help students emotionally and mentally. It’s also a fun little hobby!
Learn a new sport
Taking up a new sport is a great option for New Year’s resolution ideas for elementary kids to help them get moving and try new things. Students might find new friends and new talents that they weren’t aware of before!
Improve in a sport
If students already play a sport, they can use their New Year’s resolution to set a goal for improving in that sport. They can achieve their goal by practicing the sport more, and also by practicing specific skills and cross-training.
Family New Year’s resolution ideas for kids
Eat more meals with family
Family meals are excellent opportunities for building bonds that are crucial for a child’s growth. Kids can initiate more family meals by setting a goal to eat more together as a New Year’s resolution!
Exchange 1 hour of screen time for family time each day
With this resolution, students will learn that family time can be just as fun as screen time!
Start a family game night
Just like family meals, family game nights can really help families bond together and become stronger. The memories made will last a lifetime!
Spend more time with family
There are a ton of ways to spend more time together as a family, so students who want to set this as their New Year’s resolution will have fun coming up with activities to do together. It could be daily walks, reading books together, or just making sure to spend time talking about each other’s days each night.
Money New Year’s resolution ideas
Try to save a certain amount of money each month
Saving money is an excellent skill to learn, and elementary students are at the perfect age to start! Students can vow to save a certain amount of money each week or each month. They can generate ideas on what they might want to spend the saved money on too!
Open a bank account and start depositing money into it
With the help of parents or guardians, students can open their very own bank account and deposit and save money. They’ll see their saved money increasing in their account and start to understand the value of saving!
Make a monthly family budget and help your family stick to it
Setting a budget is another crucial skill to learn, so creating a monthly budget as a family can help students start to see how much money is spent on things and how to balance spending and earning. This New Year’s resolution idea for elementary kids has excellent math skills embedded into it, so students will be applying real world math skills as well!
Do extra chores or jobs for family to make extra money
Another New Year’s resolution that helps kids understand the value of a dollar is doing extra chores or jobs to get some extra money. It has the added benefit of helping people out, too! Students can set a goal to do a certain number of jobs or make a certain amount of money each month.
Kindness resolution ideas
Be more polite
Students can vow to be more polite by using more kind words and by doing polite and respectful actions. They could focus on holding doors for others, saying “please” and “thank you”, and asking people how they are doing.
Be a good friend
Being a better friend can involve listening more attentively when friends speak, helping friends out, trying to cheer friends up…the options are endless! This is a great New Year’s resolution for elementary kids to help them learn empathy and practice getting along with others.
Give one compliment each day
This is one of the New Year’s resolution ideas for elementary kids that will be somewhat easy for students to self-assess. Pledging to give one compliment to a person each day is very manageable and it’s a great thing to practice doing. Some ambitious students might want to take their New Year’s resolution a step further by giving two or three compliments per day!
Help others more
There are a ton of ways for elementary kids to help others, so students will have plenty of ways to achieve this New Year’s resolution. They could help out their parents by helping cook dinner, they could help brothers or sisters with homework, they could help teachers hang classroom decorations or bulletin boards–there are so many opportunities to be more helpful in the new year!
Be more thankful/show more appreciation
Setting a New Year’s resolution to be more grateful and to show more appreciation to people can help students be more mindful of what others do for them and what they have in life. Whether it’s pledging to say thank you to mom for cooking, cleaning, or caring for them, or it’s giving a special card to a friend to show appreciation, students will start to see the blessings in their lives.
Make new friends
The New Year’s resolution to make new friends should focus less on “popularity” and more on reaching out to others who may need a friend. One idea is for students to sit with different friends at lunch once a week, or play with different people at recess.
Do random kind acts every day
Students can pay it forward by setting a New Year’s resolution to practice doing random acts of kindness for people each day. Kids who want to do random acts of kindness can leave positive notes around their town, make a thank you card for a custodian at school, or let someone go ahead of them in line. Encourage students to find little ways to make someone else’s day in the new year!
Personal growth resolutions
Be more positive
Encourage elementary kids to be more positive in the new year by setting a goal to try to see the glass half-full and to focus on having a growth mindset. By taking on this New Year’s resolution, students can improve their self-esteem and spread positivity in their lives.
Become a better communicator
Communication skills will benefit students throughout their lives, and they can start focusing on growing these skills at an elementary level. Elementary students can improve their speaking and listening skills by learning and practicing conversational norms. They can focus on listening to others and showing that they are listening by nodding and asking and answering questions. They can also practice taking turns when having conversations.
Become a better leader
Becoming a better leader can be a great New Year’s resolution for children of any age. Students can practice leadership skills by organizing events like community clean ups or toy drives. They could also initiate votes for making decisions on group projects or with family.
With this New Year’s resolution, students will see the value in helping others and helping the community. Volunteering can be a very rewarding experience, especially for children. They can choose an organization they’d like to help with and set a goal to volunteer for the organization a certain amount of hours each month. Homeless shelters, nursing homes, soup kitchens, and animal shelters are great places to start.
Be more organized
There are lots of ways to become more organized. Students can resolve to keep a planner to organize their assignments. They could pledge to clean out their desks once a week at school. Whatever they choose to do to complete this goal, organization is a great life skill for students to practice.
Complete all chores each week
For students who have weekly chores to complete, setting this goal will be helpful for the child to take on more responsibility in their homes.
Planet saving New Year’s resolution ideas
Use less plastic
Plastic is a huge environmental issue. This goal is an important addition to any list of New Year’s resolution ideas for elementary kids. Students can use less plastic by adopting the use of paper straws, using reusable bags at the grocery store, or using a reusable water bottle instead of a plastic one.
Drive less and walk/bike more
This New Year’s resolution will likely require the support of adults at home, but it’s a great goal for both saving the environment and getting more time outdoors!
Recycling isn’t just for Earth Day–it’s something students should learn about and practice all year round! If your school doesn’t have a recycling program, why not inspire students to help make that change?
Conserve more water
The amount of water that people waste each day is truly incredible! The book One Well is a great resource for helping students learn more about why conserving water is so important. It also helps explain the water shortage in some areas of the world, and it gives little tips for how people can easily change everyday habits to conserve more water.
This is an excellent and simple resolution to make, and that’s why it’s a perfect addition to this list. Whether it’s setting a timer to cut down shower time or simply turning off the sink water while you’re brushing your teeth, there are lots of ways to conserve water and achieve this New Year’s resolution permanently!
I hope these New Year’s resolution ideas help you and your students brainstorm goals for the new year! Need resolution writing activities and January lesson plan for your first week back?
Grab these New Year’s resolution writing activities and 4-day lesson plan. Your students will love the PowerPoint lessons on the history of New Year’s celebrations! The unit includes reading comprehension passages, a self-checking quiz, and resolution craft that makes an easy January bulletin board.
For more January ideas and New Year’s activities visit these posts!