Wow, another year is over and a new year is soon approaching! What a fun time to celebrate… or is it? Many of us with kids have tamed from nights on the town to just another night at home. But why not celebrate at home?
Here are some fun kid-friendly ways to Countdown the New Year with kids!
Invite friends over for a family-friendly New Year’s Eve Party. Ask friends to bring their kids’ pajamas and a pack-n-play or sleeping bag for their little ones. Then, as the little ones tucker out, tuck them in bed and finish out the night with the adults. OR… have a New Year’s Sleepover! If you have enough room to host, ask the whole family over for the night!
Fun party ideas…
- Have everyone carry in a dish. To make sure there are both entrees, side dishes, desserts and finger foods, you could send out a sign-up sheet email or ask them to add their food item when RSVPing to an electronic invite.
- Games for everyone! Some of our favorite party games for adults… Cranium, Scattergories, Taboo, Catch Phrase. And for kid game ideas, check out the Top 10 Games for Preschoolers!
- Craft projects for kids! Set up a simple craft station. Make party hats with cut out numbers of 2014, glue, markers, and glitter! It’s a craft with a purpose that everyone can do and can have showing off!
- Make your own movie theater! Turn the lights down low, have lots of pillows and blankets to curl up with, and pick a fun action-packed kid’s movie. Pick up single-serving popcorn tubs from the dollar store and serve movie refreshments.
Want a quiet family only night? Here are some ideas to help you celebrate with the kids…
- Instead of a “regular” dinner, have a snacky party dinner. Treat your kids’ dinner just as if you were at a party. Serve a cheese tray (or cheese ball) with crackers, veggie tray and dip, crockpot cooked miniature meatballs in BBQ sauce, snack mix, and your family’s favorite finger food dessert. Make it special, fun, and easy. Serve dinner on colorful disposable plates.
- Serve special holiday beverages! Shirley Temples, juice with a little Sprite or ginger ale, or sparkling apple or grape juice can make for a “sparkling” night! Or have a hot cocoa buffet with cocoa, peppermint pieces, mini chocolate chips, marshmallows so that everyone can create their own cup of cocoa!
- Have a countdown with the kids. Decorate your own ball and then do your own family ball drop! (Or, search online for a previous year’s ball drop and watch it while yelling out the numbers!) Check out DIY New Year’s Ball and make your own glitzy ball!
- Have a Game-A-Thon! Let each person in the family pick out their favorite game and get playing!
- Make a family New Year’s plan. What types of fun would you like to do together as a family over the next year? Think of trips, play places to try out, outings to take, parks you want to visit. Talk about your family goals. Do you want to save more money? Have a talk about things you can do to save. Kids often have very creative ideas and you can hear from them activities that they love most and can then agree on items to cut out of current spending (playing at play places that charge an admission fee, choosing a burger & fries off the dollar menu instead of ordering a kid’s meal or not eating out at all, etc.)
- Do a year-end interview with your kids. I “interview” out middle child regularly to work with him on his full name, birthday, where he lives, and then I ask fun questions about what his favorite thing at the zoo was, what his favorite color is, what his favorite thing is to do at school. My sister-in-law just did this with her boys and video recorded it asking them about their favorites of 2013. They may surprise you how much they remember and what their most memorable items were! (This is also great to do on the child’s birthday.)
After the kids are asleep…
- Have a date night with your spouse! Order carry-out from your favorite restaurant and have a candlelight dinner or get comfy on the couch together and chow down!
- Have your own Game-A-Thon! Get your poker face on and enjoy a game night together. I really enjoy game night with my hubby. We crash out on the floor, watch the New Year’s show on TV, and just enjoy each other’s company!
- Cuddle up on the sofa and watch the New Year’s shows. Something is to be said about just being close and relaxing together. (Just make sure you don’t sleep through the new year!)
How do you ring in the new year with kids?