New Year’s resolutions are full of rules and regulations that no one wants to do. It might be nice to lose 15 pounds, but who really wants to run with the jogging stroller every morning? These sorts of resolutions don’t even last until February. What if our resolutions skewed towards what we (and our children) really want to do? Here are 10 easy-to-stick-to resolutions for January that your kids will love you for.
Resolution 1: Let your kids smash something
Worktable by Brussels-based artist Kate McIntosh is a live interactive installation at Invisible Dog Art Center. Visitors are given tools and safety goggles and are instructed to select something to destruct and put back together. Finally a place where your kids can see what happens if they smash a ceramic sculpture or cut apart a shoe! Although there is no age limit specified, it is probably better for older children or with strict adult supervision. Visitors can stay as long as they want rebuilding their items, which will then be on display at the gallery. January 5-12th, The Invisible Dog Art Center, 51 Bergen St., Cobble Hill. $20.
Resolution 2: Work towards social justice
There are many ways that families can work towards social justice in Brooklyn. Joining the Brooklyn Families for Social Justice and Equality is a way to keep on top of events around the borough, updated on information and opportunities to attend meetings. The next meeting is Saturday, January 7th at 10:30am at Pacific Library, Boerum Hill. Additionally, PS 321 is joining with Brooklyn Free Space for a three-part community series: Raising Race-Conscious Children, led by Sachi Ferris and Lori Taliaferro Roddick. The first session will take place on Thursday, January 12th, 6:30pm-8:30pm at Brooklyn Free Space, 298 6th Avenue, Park Slope. Suggested Donation: $20. According to the press release, “This workshop will give parents and caregivers language, tools, and resources to address race and racial messaging with children.” The goal is a worthy one: “Tto help children—and parents—better see their role in working towards a more equitable society.”
Resolution 3: Declutter all electronics
January is a good time to prune the overflow of toys, clothing, and electronics dominating your apartment. If your family got updated doodads this year, get rid of the old stuff. It’s hard to know what to do with all this stuff, besides placing on the curb with a note that says “IT WORKS.” The Prospect Alliance has you covered. On Sunday, January 15th, from 10am-4pm bring all your broken, unwanted, out of date gadgets to the LES Ecology Center’s annual “After the Holidays” E-waste event at Prospect Park. Need more incentive? Throwing away this kind of garbage is toxic to the environment, and could result in serious health hazards. Prospect Park, 3rd Street entrance, Park Slope. Can’t make the event? Drop off at the Gowanus E-Waste Warehouse at 469 President St., Gowanus.
Resolution 4: Only exercise if it’s fun (and without the kids)
It’s really hard to lose the baby weight in a Mommy & Me yoga class where you spend most of the time soothing your little one. Join Wanderlust at the Samsung 837 event space in the Meatpacking District for complimentary yoga, fitness and meditation classes. Each class offers up a different stellar teacher, high tech sound and video, and your very own mat. I left the meditation class led by Guenevere Rodriguez with a real feeling of zen, a Samsung heating pad, a bottle of Balance water, and a gorgeous gift from the teacher. Check the website for upcoming schedule. RSVP is required and checked at the door. Samsung 837, 837 Washington St., NYC
Resolution 5: Only exercise if it can be considered art (and without the kids)
If you are more likely to be found at a museum than a spin class, join in The Museum Workout at the MET. Starting January 19th, every Thursday through Sunday, the contemporary American dance company Monica Bill Barnes & Company, and writer/illustrator Maira Kalman will lead “a physical and interactive journey” through the Met in the morning hours, before it opens to the public. Through exercise and light stretching, participants will connect with the art (and their bodies) in a new way. The Met Fifth Avenue, 1000 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan. Tickets Start at $35.
Resolution 6: Stop saving for college
Andrew Cuomo suddenly became New York parents’ favorite politician this month when he announced a plan for free tuition at New York State Colleges for families who earn $125,000 or less. This isn’t just for community colleges, but also includes four-year schools. Imagine your kids attending college free of debt? And then start imaging all the things you can do now with that college fund money. Cuomo put the “fun” back in college fund, when you can use the money for an around the world vacation. 2017 is off to a good start.
Resolution 7: Let your kids use the iPad
Instead of fighting over screen time every minute of the day, give in to letting your children watch something interesting and possibly educational. Subscribe to The Kid Should See This, a newsletter that curates five daily short videos that your kids will be fascinated by. Recent videos have included a sunset time lapse, a video about baby penguins, and an exploration of why a frozen lake sounds like a Star Wars blaster. It sure beats Peppa Pig.
Resolution 8: Don’t leave the house
There’s nothing worse in winter, then having to bundle up the baby, and head out to the store when you realized there’s nothing in the fridge for dinner. Foodkick by Fresh Direct is going to be your seasonal game changer. You can get things like a case of La Croix, dinner ingredients like Sfoglini pasta and Odd Fellows Ice Cream, or prepared meals delivered to your house in as little as an hour. But that’s not all! For parents, you can order necessities like a baby thermometer, children’s Tylenol, or (just as importantly) diapers. Equally as imperative for parents: you can buy booze! Wine, bourbon, beer can all be included in the order! Welcome to the future.
Resolution 9: Indulge your little princess
So much has been made of keeping girls away from princess culture and the dark side of pink. Peggy Orenstein’s book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter, is a good starting place for learning about the evils of this commercialization. But, on the other hand, what do you do if your little one just loves fairy tales, princesses and castles? Shannon Hale’s Princess In Black series, about an ass kicking, monster-battling princess, is a great early reader that throws princess culture on its (perfectly coiffed) head. And for youngsters who want to meet a real live princess, there is the Brooklyn-based party company, A Royal Shindig, who will provide a real princess to tell stories, give etiquette lessons and sing carols for birthday parties. Packages start at $145.
Resolution 10: Take the kids to hear some good live music
As far as kid’s music goes, Mil’s Trills ‘ music is more than bearable; it’s actually catchy. With a beautiful singing voice and a music curriculum up her sleeve, Amelia Robinson gives educational concerts that engage and involve the kids. On Sunday, January 29th, groove out at her 7th Annual Winter Bash taking place at ShapeShifter Lab in Gowanus. Audience members will get to learn about instruments while special guests take the stage. Tickets are $10 in advance; $15 at the door. ShapeShifter Lab, 18 Whitwell Place (between 1st & Carroll), Gowanus.