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.
You can tru these…. even if you hit the sack at 9 pm (like the rest of us tired mamas.)
Looking back at last year and forward to next year
From my experience, kid’s love looking back and revisiting memories. Likewise, it’s a good skill to be thinking about the future. You can combine both of these activities and make a fun kid’s friendly New Year’s Eve.
- 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 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
- Gather an old branch, put it in a vase, then cut out blank leaves. People can write their best memories from the year or hopes for the next then tie them to the tree.
Kid Friendly New Year’s Eve Cooking and Eating Ideas
Having a kid friendly New Year’s Eve cooking or eating activity is a great way to spend some quality time together. The things that you will do together during this time will be great memories for their future!
- Have special “fizzy drinks” for the small ones, like sparkling grape juice. You can add Sprite to any juice and get a Sparkling Something for the little ones.
- Get fancy cups and make fun drink labels or print them out (like these.)
- Have easy and accessible appetizers at your children’s level. Ones that won’t make a huge mess (like melted chocolate) if they get dragged around the house.
- Set up a chocolate fountain or hot chocolate station, but be sure to supervise and/or put away when you are going to be otherwise occupied.
- Make food that can sit in crock pots so it’s warm all evening long. There are a lot of dips (like Rotel dip, for example) that will last a long time.
- Have lots of chips and dip, veggie slices, and things that are easy for kids to eat.
Countdown Ideas For Kid New Year’s Eve
Try these fun ideas to make some great memories and share this time with the kids!
- 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 throughout the night. For example, on the hour every hour.
- Make some type of food and write the hour on it (with icing or condiments) to be eaten every hour on the hour. It could be cupcakes or sugar cookies.
- Every hour on the hour turn off the lights, turn on a song, and light glow sticks and dance.
Traditions from Around the World To Do With Your Kids On NYE
If you’re like me, you love the idea of raising “cultured kids.” Celebrating New Year’s Eve with your kids can turn into a fun teaching moment. What better way to do this than with a fun experience together?
- Eat black eyed peas on New Year’s Day (a 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).
Miscellaneous Kid Friendly New Year’s Eve Party Ideas
Pick an easy activity of the list below to have a fun kid friendly New Year’s Eve celebration!
- Create a fun photo backdrop and take goofy pictures with the year.
- Make some DIY noise makers 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. See 25+ board games here.
- 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.
Put on your favorite songs, dance, eat, and be present with each other.
Happy New Year, friend!