Inside: If you have kiddos and want some age-appropriate ways to ring in the New Year, here are some kid friendly New Years Eve ideas.
Last year was the first year my older kids stayed up until midnight.
So we’re giving it a go again this year!
Even if they tire out early, I’d still like us all to ring in the New Year together and celebrate as a family. Or at least not let the holiday go by completely uncelebrated just because the kids seemed too young.
Life before kids looks different than life after kids, and I often find myself passing by holidays or activities of yesteryear because they don’t seem kid friendly.
Instead, this year I’d like to start incorporating the kids into the things I used to do.
Awesomely Simple (Kid-Friendly) New Year’s Eve Ideas
So without further ado, separated into general categories, here are some ways you can celebrate both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s with the kiddos in tow. Even if you hit the sack at 9 pm like I probably will!
Looking back and forward
- Look through old photo albums or pictures of special events throughout the year
- Remember favorite games and toys
- Fill out a printable with prompts from the past year (like this or this)
- Fill out a printable with goals and hopes for next year (like this or this)
- Watch family videos and DVDs from months past
- Make a yearly video and ask the same questions to each child every year to document changes
- Put up a white board in the party room so people can write down memories or next year’s goals
Cooking and Eating
- Have special “fizzy drinks” for the small ones, like sparkling grape juice
- Get fancy cups and make fun drink labels
- Have easy and accessible appetizers
- Set up a chocolate fountain or hot chocolate station
- Make food that can sit in crock pots so it’s warm all evening long
- Have lots of chips and dip which are easy and not as full of sugar (big list here)
- Write the time on balloons and pop one every 30 minutes or hour to build anticipation
- For small kids, choose another time zone a few hours ahead of your own to countdown
- Make simple goody bags to open at set intervals
- Make some type of food and write the hour on it (with icing or condiments) to be eaten every hour on the hour
- Every hour on the hour turn off the lights, turn on a song, and light glow sticks and dance
Traditions from Around the World
- Eat black eyed peas on New Year’s Day (Southern tradition)
- Eat 12 grapes at midnight – one at each bell strike – for the year’s prosperity (Spanish tradition)
- Make little piggies out of Marzipan to give away (German tradition, see here)
- At exactly midnight, step forward with your right foot to start the year off… right (Argentina)
- Stand on a chair and jump down from it as the clock strikes midnight (Denmark tradition)
- Create a fun photo backdrop and take goofy pictures with the year (like this and this)
- DIY noise makers (unless you’ve got a baby you want to stay sleeping) to amp up the excitement (like this or this)
- Have some fun with sparklers (here’s how to take cool sparkler photos)
- Play family friendly board games
- Put streamers, crepe paper, and shiny things all around the party area (building anticipation really works)
- Create a family time capsule or memorable objects to be opened on next New Year’s Eve
- Play charades
- Have a dress up dance party
- Do a puzzle
- For easy noise making, bang pots and pans at midnight
- Redecorate the Christmas tree for New Years with streamers and shiny banners
- Have a balloon drop at midnight
This year we have our in-laws in town from Australia and Colorado and we are hoping to make it super memorable.
Happy New Year, friend!
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