Ways you can support children in the transition to New Year

As we leave 2021 behind us, the New Year brings hope, challenges, and new beginnings. Setting resolutions for 2022, the New Year brings new feelings in not only ourselves but our children. How can we support children as they look forward to, or are fazed by, the uncertainty of a new year?

The change is unavoidable, however by managing it carefully we can reassure children as they adjust into 2022. This guide covers some things you can do to support children as we transition to the New Year.

Reintroduce yourself in the New Year and encourage children to do the same

There can be a lot happening in the first weeks of the New Year. Bring yourself and your children back to familiarity by introducing “Who Am I?”

What is your name? What do you do? What do you like and dislike? Reiterate that relationship with the children in your class, and reassure them.

Although the year has changed their learning environment is a safe space. They can share feelings about apprehensions in the transition to a new year.

Show children that you are there to help them

Recognize firstly when a child is feeling nervous, then acknowledge emotions without a sense of judgment. Using the phrase “I wonder” helps make the child feel validated and listened to. They are ensured that there are adults who can support them.

Emotion language helps children understand and become familiar with words about their emotions and feelings. This therefore encourages essential life skills and setting foundations for their future learning.

Use familiar props to support children

Using familiar props and resources will make young children feel secure and help to normalize their big feelings and emotions. Sorting games encourage curiosity as well as fine motor skills, counting, and recognizing volume. Games and common interests allow friendships to spark and stimulate conversation. Finally, props such as superhero figures can encourage role play and talk about emotions.

Change can be difficult, even for the smallest transitions. As a new year begins, we should ensure that children remain excited in their early years.

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