Need some fun ideas to entertain your kids on New Year’s Eve?
I’ve compiled a list of all the things my girls and I did this past New Year’s Eve. I had such a great time making this a special holiday for them and watching them have fun celebrating it.
And my girls may be just shy of 2 and 4-years-old right now, but these activities will be a part of our traditions for many years to come since they are great for all ages.
1. Make a “New Year’s Eve Activity Bag” (or Box)
I filled a gold bag with some of the party supplies we’d be utilizing on New Year’s Eve, which included noisemakers, glitter hats, silver bead necklaces, gold balloons (not yet blown up), and a couple of LED light-up wands I picked up at the dollar store.
Since it was only a few days after Christmas, I felt that getting a “present” of activities would be a neat way to start the day.
2. Champagne Bubble Balloon Toss
Speaking of balloons, I find that they are a sure way to make any day special. So, naturally, they make holidays extra special.
In the spirit of the holiday, I picked up a package of gold balloons at Walmart (for a buck) because they were the color of champagne. I told the girls they were like bubbles and we kicked and bounced and tossed them around throughout the day and night.
3. Make Giant Numbers for Photos and Decoration
I always have construction paper on hand (especially for our alphabet activities) and so that’s what I used to make the numbers. I chose 4 colors and cut each of the numbers from a different sheet. And I did it by hand. I’ve learned that my kids aren’t perfectionists like me, so I don’t have to kill myself over the details.
We used the numbers first to pose for a few photos. Next I asked my oldest daughter what the numbers were and asked if she could trace them each with her fingers. Then we taped them to the TV hutch, just under the television, so that they would be visible while we watched the ball drop. (They actually fell asleep before that, but we left the numbers up for a few days anyway, since they looked so cheerful.)
4. Practice Counting Down
Okay, I don’t know if older kids would get a kick out of this, but my girls certainly found it exciting.
Throughout the day, when discussing New Year’s Eve and how the ball would drop at midnight, I would announce, “Let’s practice counting down!” and we would shout out the numbers from 10 to 1 followed by a shout of “Happy New Years!”
My oldest daughter loved the counting and my littlest one enjoyed all the noise.
5. Celebrate with Fireworks
We let the girls handle a couple of sparklers, and I was surprised at how quickly and excitedly they went through a whole box of snappers. Then we lit a fountain-type firework in the street and did our many ooooohs and aaaaahs.
Many people set off fireworks at midnight, but we did all this just after the sun went down.
6. Dress Up
A great way to ring in the new year is by getting all dolled up – even if you’re just hanging out at home. Whether you’re throwing (or attending) a party or just riding out the ball drop on your couch, adding a little frill to your outfit will make it extra special.
My girls got dressed up in twirl-worthy skirts and party bead necklaces. Let girls paint their nails in fun colors. Let boys try on silly neckties or style their hair in Mohawks. Have fun with it.
7. Eat Party Food
You may actually be throwing a party, but even if you’re not, celebrate the holiday like you are. This goes along with #6. Serve appetizers and tapas instead of a large meal. Set out chips and dip, cheese and crackers, hot wings.
You could make regular food special, like serving hot dogs that have been cut in spirals and turned into “confetti ribbons.”
And eat grapes. You’re young ones might not be able to stuff a dozen grapes in their mouths in a minute like the traditional Twelve Grapes of Luck, but you can still snack on them throughout the day. It helped to sneak some more fruit into our day by announcing that they were good luck.
8. Make a Giant Cookie Clock
Make a cookie cake into a Cookie Clock by adding chocolate numbers. And, sure, I talked about numbers and counting with my daughter with this clock as inspiration, but really, we mostly made it for the sake of the chocolaty, gooey goodness. Read about it here.
9. Make Confetti Poppers
This was a New Years craft for us, because my kids helped. We made confetti and made “poppers” that showered the confetti on us. It was a fun addition to our celebration. Here are our Confetti Poppers:
10. Serve Sparkling Grape Juice
But not just any sparkling grape juice… if you want to make it really festive, add in some cotton candy!
What New Year’s Eve traditions do you have? How do you celebrate it with your kids?