Celebrating New Year’s Eve with Kids

mommyI can’t even remember the last time I stayed up till midnight. For the past twenty or so years, my husband and I have made it a point to stay home on New Year’s Eve. In my opinion, it’s a night that’s highly over-rated. There is so much pressure “to have BIG fun.”  Also as most parents know, it is almost impossible to find a babysitter.  And really, staying home and celebrating with the kids is cheaper, safer and honestly more “BIG” fun.  Whether you stay home with just your family or invite a few other families over (word of advice, don’t invite over a young couple who don’t have kids…) here are some great ideas to celebrate the New Year.

  1. 1. Have a Scavenger Hunt – hand out a list that the kids must find (this will also give the adults a chance to visit or just relax with an adult beverage) – beforehand hide the items around the house. Some good ideas – noise makers, plastic champagne glasses, party hats, streamers, necklace beads, whistles, coasters, chocolate coins, a calendar, and silver bells. A lot of these items the kids can use when you ring in the New Year.  (Check out the local dollar stores to stock up on items.)
  2. 2. Share Resolutions - Resolutions can be boring (and we all know impossible to keep) but these games will spice it up a little.  The first game you can play is “Guess Who’s Resolution” – everybody writes down their resolution on a slip of paper and puts them in a hat.  Pull one slip of paper out at a time and read it out loud – have everyone guess who wrote the resolution.  The other game is “two resolutions and one lie” – everyone tells the group two resolutions and then one fake resolution. Everyone has to guess which one  is the fake resolution.
  3. 3. Make a Time Capsule – this is especially fun if it’s just your family. Have everyone get one or two items that were significant over the past year – report cards, an old team jersey, ticket stubs, pictures – and put them all in a shoe box. Those who are really ambitious can bury it in the back yard, but taping it up real good and placing it in a hiding place is fine too. Open it the next New Year’s Eve.
  4. 4. Count-down to New Year’s – Younger kids (and me) will not make it until midnight. Luckily, you can have a count-down to the New Year at any time.  Bring out the noisemakers, pour a sparkling apple cider toast, and count -down (10, 9, 8, 7)
  5. 5. Watch the Ball drop in Times Square – older kids especially will love to watch this on tv. And lucky for us it’s on Central Time, so even the teens can call it a night at 11pm.  Those who are crafty (not I) can make their own ball to drop – (use a large Styrofoam ball  and push a chenille or pipe cleaner stem into the center of the ball and decorate the ball, using the pins to attach the sequins. Tie a long piece of ribbon to the chenille stem and attach the ball to the ceiling; cut the ribbon at the stroke of midnight (or whenever you are having your “count-down”).
  6. 6. Snuggle up with the movie “Rudolph’s Shiny New Year” — it’s a classic that never gets old!

 Happy New Year!

From one mommy to another,

Jenny Wilson


Jenny Wilson is a mother of three. She teaches a Mommy & Me class at Central Presbyterian Day School, serves on the PCT Board and Children’s Theatre Advisory Committee, the CAC board, the Parent Association Boards of Aikin Elementary and PJH, and is a member of the Paris ISD School Board of Trustees.  Mrs. Wilson is a Sunday school teacher at Holy Cross Episcopal Church.  She is a certified yoga instructor, and teaches yoga classes 3 days a week.


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