With the arrival of each new year, I find myself making a few new goals, resolving to change, and hoping to make the new year even better than the last. As a family we like to get together and have a family meeting where we share our dreams for the year and then brainstorm how we are going to accomplish them.
I am excited to partner with Disney to share some of our big dreams and tell you about the simple wishing wands we've made to help us remember them.
As a little girl I had a lot of big dreams. I loved to perform on stage and sing. When my twin sister and I were ten-years-old we created our very own children's birthday party company. We made advertisements that explained how we could come and perform favorite princess stories at birthday parties and help facilitate the party fun. For one of our favorite parties we performed Beauty and the Beast and even sang several of the musical numbers. It was so fun!
My parents never thought our ideas were silly and they always made us think that we could do anything. Their constant encouragement reminds me of one of my favorite quotes that says, "All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them." (source Unknown)
With my own kids I try and encourage them to dream big and try new things. Often we are inspired by the movies that we watch along with some of the stories that we read.
My oldest daughter loves Princess Merida from the movie Brave. Merida is diligent, never gives up, and does hard things. As my daughter has moved into kindergarten this year at a new school with new friends, we've talked about bravery and doing hard things... even when sometimes we don't want to do them.
One big dream I have for my kids this year is that they will learn to do hard things. It is one thing to talk about them... and another to do them.
Life isn't all fun and games and persevering and doing hard things builds character and self esteem. One of the ways that I encourage my kids to do hard things is by exposing them to new activities and new situations. This winter my two oldest kids were invited to sing solos at a winter concert. We practiced each day, got our costumes ready, and carefully prepared for their performance. On the night of their show they both sang beautifully and remembered their parts. They performed on stage for a packed audience and because they prepared so well, they felt confident. They were so proud of themselves and I was impressed with their bravery.
Another big dream I have for my kids this year is that they will make new friends.
It is very easy to get stuck in a mode where you play with the same few friends over and over again. This is especially easy when you live in a small town like we do. One way that we focus on making new friends if by getting involved in sports and extra-curricular school activities. We purposely signed up with a Girl Scout troop where we knew very few of the girls so that we could expand our circle of friends. We also joined a soccer team that no one from our neighborhood was on. Jumping into these situations required my daughter and I to talk to new people and make new friends. We have also been going through the class list at school and inviting new-to-me kids over for playdates. Hopefully by the end of the school year we will have had several new friends over to play! Just like Snow White made friends with the Seven dwarfs, we have had fun making friends with new people we meet!
Do you have any big dreams for your kids this year? Do they have any big dreams for themselves?
One way that we like to keep track of our dreams and goals is by writing them down! Making simple wishing wands and then writing our big dreams on the front or back is a fun way to record what we are up to.
Recently we made Snowflake wishing wands and Sparkly Star wishing wands. Both are really easy. We used a Sharpie or pen to write our big dreams on the wishing wands before we started creating. Check out the brief instructions below to make your own wishing wands.
SNOWFLAKE WISHING WANDS
Materials: wooden snowflakes, hot glue gun, jewels, tacky glue, paint, wooden dowel, ribbon.
Directions: To make these snowflake wishing wands I hot glued the snowflakes to the dowel rods. Then the kids painted the wands and used tacky glue to add jewels and sequins. Once we were done they tied a ribbon around the wands and they wrote their big dreams for the year on the back!
SPARKLY STAR WISHING WANDS
Materials: cardstock stars with centers cut out, clear contact paper, ribbon, markers, tape, sparkles (jewels, jems, etc.)
Directions: We followed the wishing star tutorial from Nurturestore over at Babycenter. I made some of these with my nieces and my own kids. They turned our beautifully!
Do you have any special ways that you record your wishes and dreams for the new year? I would love to hear about them!
As your kids decide on their wishes and dreams, check out the Dream Big Princess site, Facebook page, or Instagram and see which Disney princess values inspires them. We had the hardest time choosing because they are all so awesome. I can't wait to see what your kids pick!
This post is sponsored by Disney. All opinions are my own.