Helping Kids Create Resolutions for the New Year

Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the Jewish year is almost here! With a new year comes new resolutions and goals—but do kids, especially little ones, really understand what this means? Young children may not really grasp the concept of starting a new year, let alone a Jewish year versus a secular year, but they can understand being kind to siblings, sharing with friends, solving problems and trying harder.

The stories, videos, and activities below can help your children think about things that have happened over the past year. What are the happy and sad moments that stand out? What are the big moments? While focusing on the many wonderful things that have taken place, encourage your children to think of how they can make next year even better than the last.

Use the buttons below to find lots of great ways to use getting ready for Rosh Hashanah to make resolutions as a family that you'll definitely want to stick to. 

Looking for a some fast Rosh Hashanah ideas?
Visit the PJ Library Quick Guide to Celebrating Rosh Hashanah with Kids
for activities, recipes, and more broken down by age range.


Today is the Birthday of the World

Today is the Birthday of the World Linda Heller

Recommended for ages 2 to 3

Rosh Hashanah is the birthday of the world, a day when God and all Earth's creatures celebrate, applauding the contribution that each and every one of us -- from the mightiest elephant to the smallest child -- can make.

New Year at the Pier

New Year at the Pier: A Rosh Hashanah Story by April Halprin Wayland

Recommended for ages 6 to 7

In this contemporary story, Izzy finds it difficult to apologize for a certain mistake, until the Rosh Hashanah tashlich service gives him new understanding.

Tashlich at Turtle Rock

Tashlich at Turtle Rock by Susan Schnur

Recommended for ages 7 to 8

On Rosh Hashanah, many families participate in tashlich, a tradition of throwing bread crumbs into water to wash away the mistakes of the past year. But this family has their own spin on tashlich -- and it takes place at Turtle Rock.


Check out these videos for tips and activities for creating resolutions and talking about Rosh Hashanah with kids.

Shalom Sesame: Kids Talk About Rosh Hashanah via Shalom Sesame

Kids love learning from and listening to other kids – watch this short video to get the scoop on Rosh Hashanah from some buddies.

Come Together and Rock Hashanah! via Schusterman Family Foundation

Sing along to this animated short all about resolutions. 

Kid President AWESOME YEAR Challenge! via SoulPancake

How will you make the coming year one of the best ever? Kid President has a few ideas.



Kids drawing with pencils

The simple act of writing a letter to yourself that you seal and open the following year is a great way to recognize changes over the year and see if you’ve stuck to your goals. Parents and kids can all get some value out of this exercise. Parents might be a little more practical in their goals and resolutions, while kids might just enjoy hearing something they said a year ago, since children change so much in the early years. And if children are too young to write the letter themselves, of course they can always dictate to you.


Resolution Sticks

image via

For a more tangible way to help keep resolutions in mind throughout the year, try making a visible collection of resolutions. You could write them on popsicle sticks or on little flags using scraps of paper attached to recycled plastic straws. Parents and kids can even pull a certain stick out of the jar every once in a while as necessary to help hold each other to the resolutions. 


Coming up with resolutions is a great activity for the whole family, so be a resolution role model and have your children help suggest resolutions for you. Together you can narrow down the list to the two or three most reasonable ones. Just as you would do for the kids’ resolutions, keep things positive. Talk about the good things from the previous year as a way to open up a discussion about what could be even better in the coming year.

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Healthy New Years Resolutions for Children & Teens via American Academy of Pediatrics
8 Smart (and Fun!) New Year's Resolutions Kids Can Make via
2018 Quick Guide to Celebrating Rosh Hashanah With Kids