New Year celebrations can be so tricky with little kids! Of course, you want to enjoy all the festivities together, but they can be a little more “adult” in nature, plus who wants to stay up until midnight with littles?! That’s why we decided to do a “Countdown to 7pm” party with friends last year. It was a huge hit and we definitely plan to do it again!
Ahead of time, decide which and how many activities you want to do. Put the name of each activity on a piece of paper and place inside a balloon (along with confetti) with the time the activity will be done, whether it’s every hour or every half hour. Let kids pop the balloon that corresponds to the time to see which activity they will do. Here’s what we have done with kids under 5, and it was a huge hit!
- 3pm-make hats/masks: DIY some paper hats with templates found online and decorate with paint, Pom poms, glitter, stickers, etc.
- 3:30pm- balloon tennis: balloons and pool noodles, soft rackets, or whatever is on hand and try not to let the balloon fall on your side.
- 4pm- cup stacking game: see who can make a Solo cup pyramid the fastest, and knock it down.
- 4:30pm-make pizza (or any food that the kids enjoy and can participate in making with you).
- 5pm- glow in the dark dance party: light sticks, bracelets, necklaces and some good dance music.
- 5:30pm- Dinnertime.
- 6pm- decorate cupcakes: use a cupcake tin and fill it with different yummy toppings. Let kids frost the (premade) cupcakes and decorate to their liking.
- 6:30pm- Glow n’ seek: take turns hiding glow sticks throughout the house and try to find them all.
- 7pm- countdown: find new year countdown on YouTube from another country (Dubai is a good one) get sparkling grape juice and countdown.
One thing I love about doing this is that you can make it fit your family’s schedule. You can countdown to the new year with your kids, which they love to be a part of, and still get them to bed at a normal (or at least decent) time. As I remind myself often, it’s all about those family memories! Have fun and Happy New Year!
Samantha Young is a part time RN and a full time mom to her 6 year old son, Roman. When they’re not playing pickle ball or riding bikes, Samantha enjoys finding creative ways to make special memories with her family. She and her husband Grant were born and raised in Oklahoma, and currently reside in the heart of OKC, where they enjoy seeing their city thrive.