New Year’s is a time for all to celebrate new beginnings, but New Year’s Eve celebrations are often geared mostly for adults; after all, parents know the potential repercussions of letting kids stay up past midnight! This year, though, forget the expensive dinners and crowded streets, and ring in the new year as a family! Using these adaptable activities and games, you can throw a celebration for kids of all ages. Just make sure they don’t pass out too soon from all the fun.
- Drop the ball: Instead of staying up to watch the ball drop in Times Square, create your own ball, and when it’s complete it’s time to toss confetti and celebrate! Purchase a large Styrofoam sphere, and have your little ones jazz it up by gluing on sequins or glitter.
- New Year’s sing-along: Teach your kids the classic “Auld Lang Syne” to sing for years to come. Depending on the number of children, make it more festive with kazoos, drums, or shakers for a homemade orchestra!
- Pop till they drop: Blow up balloons, and create a balloon cluster. For each hour that passes, have your kids write the hour on a balloon. Then, at midnight (or whatever time you designate as New Year’s/bedtime), celebrate by popping the balloon cluster to imitate fireworks.
- Open some bubbly: Not champagne, but real bubbles! Use leftover bubbles from the summer as a great alternative to noisemakers. It’s a fun yet quiet way to ring in the New Year and bring out the kid in everyone.
- Make a time capsule: Remember the good times your family enjoyed throughout the year, and save them in a time capsule. Have each family member gather one (or more!) important item to signify the year that just passed. Items may include movie stubs, school photos, art projects, etc. Place them in a sealable container, and put it in a safe place. Wait a few years, and then bring it out to look back fondly on your great year.
- Bubble-wrap jump: Wrap up the old year and pop in the new with a long sheet of bubble wrap. It’s an inexpensive way to celebrate New Year’s as well as tucker out the tikes.
- Two resolutions and a lie: This game is a good way to gauge just how well you know your family. Each person (including kids!) makes up two resolutions or wishes for the New Year as well as one lie, and the others have to guess which one is the lie. It’s a great way to spur conversation and share goals for the upcoming year.
- Wish release: Have your children write down a wish for the upcoming year and put it in a balloon. Fill the balloon up with helium, and on New Year’s Eve just before bedtime, let them release it for their wish to come true.