2015 is almost a part of the past! That’s right, another year just flew by, and whether you had your first baby or have a big family there’s always so much to celebrate as each year closes. Being a parent, especially to little ones, usually means that New Year’s Eve is a pretty tame event compared to all the crazy stuff people do, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. Here are 15 fabulous ideas for celebrating New Year’s Eve with kids. Let’s get this party started family style!
#1 – Watch how they celebrate in other countries.
Sydney Australia does a gigantic fireworks display, and they’re 16 hours ahead of U.S Eastern time so you can watch them celebrate early with your kids if you don’t want them to stay up late! Look around on the internet to see how other countries are celebrating, too. It’ll be fun and educational giving your kids a unique view of the world.
#2 – Make your clock the New Year’s clock.
You can keep bedtimes at their normal time, but still watch the clock hit midnight by simply setting the clocks forward. There’s no reason that you need to have a cranky kid tomorrow just because they wanted to ring in the New Year. You can even do your celebration at any time you choose. If you want the New Year to start at 7:30 then you go right ahead and make that the official 2016 start time.
#3 – Do a balloon drop.
Kids love balloons. They always have and they always will. Pin some plastic bags to the ceiling or around a ceiling fan and fill it with balloons. Don’t attach it too well. Tape some string to the plastic so you can make them fall on the kids as a big finale to your party.
#4 – Fill out a time capsule questionnaire.
These printable sheets ask your kids what their favorite things of the year were. It’s not only great for reflecting on the past year and expressing gratitude, it’s also fun for everyone to remember all the best things they did, ate, or saw. Save them year after year as an easy way to track your family’s growth and adventures!
#5 – Make wishes for the coming year.
Make a wishing tree craft or a wishing wand and have your kids think of what they really hope will happen in the New Year. It’s fun, and also sometimes very inspiring as you hear your children make sweet wishes for all their loved ones and the world.
#6 – Have the kids make party hats.
Have a crafting station where the kids can use construction paper, glue, glitter, ribbons, and markers to make their own wild and crazy New Year’s Eve party hats.
#7 – Open surprise bags throughout the party.
Fill bags in advance with instructions for activities, little gifts, or treats so that there’s always something new happening during your celebration. You could put a CD in a bag, so you have a dance party – or cake decorating supplies, so you all decorate your own cupcake!
#8 – Make a New Year’s Eve pizza.
Most kids love pizza, and they’ll like it even more when it’s in the shape of the New Year that you’re celebrating! Find the recipe for this awesome pizza here.
#9 – Make a mess with confetti.
Most of the year your kids are told not to make a mess. Make this party extra memorable by encouraging your kids to throw things. Make toilet paper tube confetti poppers to make the party explosive!
#10 – Play glow in the dark ring toss.
Take glow sticks and make them into rings. Turn off the lights and try to throw the glow rings around a baby stacking toy. Play for prizes or just for fun. Your kids will love it!
#11 – Do face painting.
It’s probably not very often that your kids are encouraged to draw on each other, so this is another activity that will make New Year’s more memorable. If you don’t want the kids drawing on themselves, then have the most artistic adult be in charge of the painting.
#12 – Make a lot of noise.
This is another activity that’s usually discouraged, but a New Year’s Party should definitely be the exception. Bang on pots and pans, make noisemaker shakers, and yell as loud as you can, “Happy New Year!”
#13 – Make a toast with a fancy drink.
Mix cotton candy with Sprite for a crazy colored, fizzy concoction that kids will love. Milk and cookies would be great, too. Sound too sweet? Simple bubbly apple juice is fun for kids, too. If your kids are old enough to handle them responsibly, consider serving the drinks in stemmed wine or champagne glasses. It makes kids feel extra special and grown-up.
After the Kids Are In Bed
#14 – Make some resolutions together.
If you make the same resolutions every year and don’t follow through with them then maybe they aren’t realistic or maybe you need to tackle them together. Think of what’s achievable and what you want to happen the most. Don’t think of these changes as negative (i.e. don’t overspend, don’t eat junk food, etc.), but think of what you CAN do and how next year will be even better than the last!
#15 – Do something to pamper yourself.
Light some candles and take a bubble bath while listening to ocean waves. If that’s not your thing then maybe a mani-pedi sounds fun. Do you have a show that’s your guilty pleasure? Make a snack and watch a couple episodes. Check out our post with 17 stay-at-home date ideas for after the kids go to bed and do whatever sounds relaxing and fun for some “you time.” You deserve it!
Want more ideas? Check out our Pinboard filled with inspiration:
Have your own ideas for celebrating New Year’s Eve with kids? Please share them in the comments!
We hope you and your kids have a fantastic New Year’s Eve!