Planning and Goal Setting for 2016 with your Children

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The New Year brings new beginnings! It’s an exciting blank page in the next enthralling chapter of your child’s life.  A book in which you have the wonderful opportunity of enhancing with so many fresh and different lessons and experiences.  So what will you do in 2016 to help make it a fulfilling and potential reaching one for child? How will you help them become the best version of themselves that they can become at this time in their lives?  These are questions you can ask yourself and focus on as you move into and throughout 2016. A great place to begin is with teaching your child about goal setting and planning, so here are a few ideas on how you could do this.

Buy your child a planner or calendar

Any child from about the age of four can be taught the basics of planning. The best way to do this is with a calendar/planner or a one page to a month diary.  There are so many lessons they can learn from this and these are just a few:

Firstly, they are learning about organisation. They can mark important events such as sports day, library day, piano lessons, etc into their diary/calendar so that the night before each event they can prepare everything they will need the next day.  This not only gives them some independence but helps to develop their confidence and autonomy. It also teaches them the lifelong skill of planning and being organised, which they will need in all aspects of their lives.

Secondly, they are learning the names and order of the days and months of the year.  This is a huge lesson in itself and makes the experience so visual and real that it is far easier to understand than being taught verbally in an intangible lesson. 

Thirdly, they are learning about the order of events.  The calendar/diary gives them a visual cue in which they can look and see what is coming up and when.  This not only helps them with putting events in order but also develops their understanding of timing and time.  It is the prequel to learning about time in accordance to hours and minutes.

Fourthly, but no less importantly is the development of security and peace of mind that the knowledge of timing and order of events brings.  If children know what is coming up and when, they feel far more secure and confident than if they have no idea what is going to happen on the day or days ahead.

It is for all these reasons and many more incidental or consequential teachings that it is a great idea to introduce and encourage your child to use a diary/calendar in 2015.

Help them set goals

Goal setting is really important for all of us but we tend not to realise how essential it is for children too.  Goal setting gives us purpose, direction and something to aim for –  and tantamount to that it gives us hope. 

Ask the children in your life what it is they would like to do in the coming year. Is there something they would like to learn or develop their skills at? Is there a place they would like to visit or something they would they like to save for? Well help them do it! Start from the goal and turn it upside down so that you are taking baby steps backwards. Get them to use their planner to map out how and when each step will take place.  Again this gives them visual cues with the added bonus of seeing when each step will take place, as well as the time frame for reaching their destination/goal.

For example, if your child wants to learn how to ride his/her bike without trainer wheels. Help them workout which days they are free to practice and then get them to write or draw a picture representing the event e.g. a bike on each of the days. On the first day you could write practice peddling forwards, then the next few could be practice steering, learning to use the brakes, and so on until these skills are mastered. When the trainer wheels are ready to come off there will be lots more skills to learn in order to balance and these can be broken down into steps accordingly.

Remember, half the fun of being a child is living spontaneously so I definitely do not suggest planning every minute of their lives, just a few essential moments of their week – make it light hearted and fun! Keep working on planning and goal setting with the special children in your life throughout the year to help them develop skills that will last them a lifetime and will benefit them more than you could possibly imagine!

Happy guiding and a magical heart filled 2016,

from

Darling Precious Children

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Sparkly Christmas Baubles 2015

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What you will need:  foam ball, coloured paint, paint palette/container, plastic cup, plastic wrap, paint brush, glitter paint/glue, plastic tablecloth or newspaper to cover surfaces and a variety of the sparkliest sparkles you can find e.g stars, sequins, etc. 

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Step 1 – Cover your surface area with newspaper or a plastic tablecloth and get out everything you will need to make your Sparkly Christmas Bauble. Then place plastic wrap fairly loosely over the rim of your plastic cup and let your foam ball sit securely on the plastic wrap.

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Step 2 – Hold onto the plastic cup and use it as a stand for your foam ball as you paint one side of the foam ball in your favourite Christmas colour paint.  Then turn the ball over and paint the other side.  Leave it to dry for a few hours or overnight and then repaint one side – letting it dry –  and then turn it over to paint the other side again. Leave it for a few hours or overnight once again to make sure it is completely dry.

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Step 3 –  Use the plastic cup and plastic wrap once again to help hold the foam ball. Then put some glitter glue paint into a paint palette/container and generously paint one side of the ball with glitter glue paint.

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Step 4 – Using your fingers, carefully sprinkle or gently place some of your sparkliest sparkles all over one side of your glitter glue covered foam ball and let them sink in and stick.

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Step 5 – After one side has completely dried turn the foam ball over and repeat step 4 on the other side. Then let the bauble completely dry again.

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Step 6 – When the bauble is completely dry, press a piece of tinsel pipecleaner into the top at two points, making a hanging loop.

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Your Sparkly Christmas Bauble is complete and ready to sprinkle its Christmas magic, so place it where everyone can see it and feel the magic sparkle of Christmas!  Not only will your darling precious children love making these but they are also developing their fine motor skills, creativity, and an appreciation for all things sparkly : )

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Happy guiding and a magical sparkly Christmas

from,

Darling Precious Children