The countdown to fun has begun….
While we are past the nights of having a baby, our children are still too young to go out on New Year’s Eve. We have debated attending a First Night event and we will eventually visit Battleship New Jersey for their sleepover on New Year’s; however, the kids are still too young. Spending New Year’s at home can be a little bland when it’s just the family, there are some simple activities to liven up the night that don’t require too much work. If you are taking young children to a New Year’s Eve party with friends or family, some of these activities can also be employed.
Mommy University Presents
New Year’s Eve Ideas for Kids at Home
Pop the Clock
The first step is to write out 12 different activities for the kids to do each hour. Our list included each family member picking out their favorite board game to play, making hot chocolate and having a dance competition. As we blew up a balloon, the rolled up activity was inserted in it. After the twelve balloons were inflated, we wrote the hour using a sharpie. The balloons were attached to the wall to look like a clock. At the top of the hour, the kids would pop a balloon.
We also included play on tablets and purposefully put this for the time we were setting up food for dinner.
It is customary in Colombia to eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight for each month in the year. The custom brings good luck to the individual. We found this was a fun way to eat something healthy on New Years! If you don’t want to eat grapes, have the kids investigate customs in other countries and try them out. For instance, Russians eat at midnight and Haitians have a nice stew on New Year’s Day, so see what the kids might find! You can also make up your own family tradition.
Dip the rim of your cups in melted chocolate and then in sprinkles of your color choice. Put some milk in the cup with a side of a chocolate chip cookie. As you are sipping champagne or wine, children can indulge in a simple sprinkled treat.
Interview on New Year’s Eve
This is a fun and interesting way to see how your kids grow each year. Their tastes, styles and interests will transform over time and this is a wonderful method to catalog that journey. If you scrapbook, you can include this in the photo album. A quick search on Pinterest will lead you to a lot of options that you can easily print.
Launch a Countdown (or ten)
Netflix has ten brief videos that are perfect for those who cannot tell time and will be going to bed before midnight. Several years we have used the videos so that our kids can participate in a midnight “Happy New Year” that takes place during their bedtime. The videos are so good that my children insist on watching all of them.
Set Family Goals
I find New Year’s is the best time to talk about our accomplishments as well as what our goals are for the year. We try to maintain a positive spin on this conversation which focuses on each individual member in our family as well as the entire family.
Have a Dance Competition
One of our favorite activities selected on New Year’s was the dance competition. Our first dance competition encouraged individual dance moves. However, if you have a toddler or preschooler, I highly encourage the toddler instructor style. Our kids did dance moves which the adults had to mimic. We couldn’t stop laughing.
Erupt a Sparkly Volcano
The key to activities is diversity. While I tried to keep structured activities to a minimum, throwing in a simple volcano was fun. We used an extra New Year’s cup, filled it with baking soda mixed with leftover confetti. Add some vinegar and listen to everyone squeal!
Make Colorful Noisemakers
Taking small paper plates, Fashion Angels Tapefitti (affiliate link), beans and glue, we had a great activity completed early on New Year’s Eve. After covering the paper plate with the Tapefitti, we took a second paper plate and cut out different patterns. The kids had fun coloring the second plate which was then placed over the one covered in tape and glued. Once dry, the kids flipped the plate over and filled it with beans. You will then glue the third paper plate to the second one sealing the beans in. Later in the night when you finally ring in New Year’s, the kids will have their own handmade noisemakers.
Play a Game
Playing board games on New Year’s Eve made our night fun! The kids loved that they could select their favorite game to play. From Spot It to Eye Found It to Happy Salmon, we were laughing throughout the hours.
We only have so many New Year’s Eve at home before we venture to some of the fun New Year’s Eve Celebrations in New Jersey. In the mean time, my kids are thrilled to customize activities to enjoy at home!