TODAY   |  January 01, 2014

Fun ideas for family time in the New Year

Lifestyle expert Evette Rios shares tips to help families make a gratitude jar, create a monthly family plan and spend more time together.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> new year is to spend more quality time with your loved ones. we'll show you how to do that right now.

>> here with fun ideas is our lifestyle expert.

>> happy new year.

>> finding group activities that everybody is going to agree on.

>> yeah.

>> there could be battles in the house. what do you suggest we do to get people to agree on spending time together?

>> the first thing is to get everyone to chime in. i have one of these expandable file folders. give the kids magazines to pull activities out. there's tons of free activities you can do. look in your local community papers. there's always deals at museums and zoos with free family days. take advantage. kids can pick what they want and decide as a family what you're going to do and then i have these downloadable stickers and you can put them on each month and make a plan to actually do that on that particular day and you can do that the first of the year so your kids know you're committed to them once a month we'll do something together.

>> get it on the calendar.

>> tell me about the gratitude jar. this is a cool idea.

>> take a jar that's attractive from home and have you and your kids fill out some things your grateful for and every day you can remind yourself of what you're grateful for.

>> i still have them and love them very much. i have that i'm pregnant here, so surprise.

>> congrats.

>> wow, she just dropped the bomb.

>> that's great.

>> just a great way.

>> you have a lot to look forward to.

>> gratitude and expressing daily gratitude has been shown to make kids less bully and put less importance on material things.

>> which is a great thing.

>> your family knows your pregnant.

>> yeah. they do.

>> over here, i like this idea. you say it's good to get the kids together to do this and create your own family calendar .

>> exactly. you just make one and you switch out the months. i'm just using foam here with fabric but the fun thing is you can get the kids to draw drawings for each month of a year. this is 8 1/2 by 11 paper folded the long way. i have january here with a snow man and pins to put appointments and things like that. kids love things like this.

>> this is a good way to put your resolutions down on paper in a fun way.

>> absolutely. so to kind of put it on paper, remember what your resolutions are, i learned this from a good friend of mine. she gives us postcards. we fill them out with our resolutions and she mails them to us the next year so we can remind ourselves of what we thought we were going to do.

>> throughout the year you get a postcard. where are you on your resolution?

>> exactly. you fill them out and do it together so you hold each other accountab accountable.

>> learning about current events. it's a good time to look back at what we learned from that.

>> exactly. i think for kids it's nice to express what are the things that effected them. you can have your kids look through photos online. you can use your discretion obviously or in magazines. i printed out imagines that i thought were powerful and you can give kids note cards to write what it was about that imagine -- it's your year in review, they can take it to school to do a show and tell or send it to family.

>> that's a great idea.

>> super simple.

>> next one is great because you can plant it january 1st and watch the progress.

>> kids love this too.

>> they do. willie was saying his daughter is into gardening.

>> plant a herb garden . you've got your seeds so we can plant some right here and then in a few months you'll have herbs. make sure you water them. give them plenty of sunlight. it's a great way to show kids about renewal and rebirth. there's always a chance to start again.

>> that's good.

>> dropped them in. all done.

>> okay.

>> it has to grow. i don't have a green thumb .

>> very quickly. clutter, get yourself organized.

>> absolutely. donating is a big thing. getting kids, especially after the holidays to get rid of their old toys. this is a great work sheet available on clutter tips. you write down everything you're donating and put it in a bin. i have an area in my house that's a donation station. i put it in there and we donate it.