Celebrating New Year’s Eve with children looks a bit different than it did before kids. But that doesn’t mean you should stop celebrating! That’s where these New Year’s Eve traditions for kids come in!
I have always looked forward to New Year’s Eve since I was little. Once all of the Christmas festivities would calm down, I remember getting so excited when I would realize that New Year’s Eve was just a week away!
I know that I loved this holiday so much as a child because we consistently did fun and memorable things every year. That’s why holiday traditions are so essential.
When we start holiday traditions with our kids, we create these fun memories to always look forward to doing the following year again.
Now, onto the New Year’s Eve traditions for kids!
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Favorite Snacks For Dinner
I know that many people have big fancy dinners on New Year’s Eve, but there is something extra fun about having a snack food dinner with your family.
You can start with platters filled with deli meats, cheese, crackers, and veggies and then expand from there. If there are any special snacks that your kids love, those are always great additions.
Having a snack dinner is also an easy option, especially after putting together a large Christmas feast the week before.
Break Out The Bubbly
Bubbly juice that is. Growing up, I always thought it was so fun to drink sparkling cider on New Year’s Eve, especially when we used fun, glittery cups like these ones and pretended to be super fancy!
Instead of sparkling cider, you can also add Sprite to your kiddo’s favorite juice, and it’s virtually the same thing!
Bump Up The Clock
Bumping up the clock is an excellent solution if you have young kiddos in the house and don’t want to mess with their bedtime routine.
If their bedtime is at 8 o’clock, for example, you can start New Year’s Eve activities around 5 pm. This should give you plenty of time to celebrate until your kids have to get to bed!
Look Through The Current Year’s Photos
I’ll take any chance I can get to look through older photos! Plus, it’s such a fantastic way to reflect on the passing year.
A fun New Year’s Eve tradition to start is to make a yearly photo album with your family. If you can get all of your recent pictures printed in time for New Year’s Eve, you can start there.
Or, you can print out the previous year’s pictures. Starting with the earlier year’s pictures can be more fun because those memories aren’t as fresh in your mind.
Either way, your family will love looking back at past vacations, milestones, and memorable moments!
Write A Family Letter To Read Next Year
For this New Year’s Eve tradition, you will want to gather your family and grab a notepad and pen.
While you can include anything in your family’s letter, some great things to add are things like each person’s most favorite part of the year and their least favorite part of the year.
You can also write down any significant milestones that your family experienced or memories from a vacation you took that year.
Once your family had finished the letter, you will want to put it in a safe place to read the following year. If you choose to make yearly photo albums, that is a terrific place to keep your letter each year!
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Setting goals is an undeniable New Year’s Eve tradition, but I think it’s also an essential one!
When you set goals, it helps to keep you motivated and productive. Setting goals can also keep you accountable and on track to achieving them.
As you sit down with your family to write down your goals for the year, you can include personal goals amongst any group goals. When you add your personal goals where your family can see them, it can help them keep you accountable!
Some great examples for goals for your family could be to volunteer in the community at least one weekend a month or to implement family fun days every month. Any plan that your family will enjoy and value will be an excellent addition!
Make Silly Hats
Making silly, festive hats to wear all night can be a fun activity to get the night started, especially if you have younger kiddos!
Then, you can grab your favorite craft supplies to personalize the hats. You can all choose a theme to decorate the hats with, or everyone can use a favorite memory from the year as inspiration.
New Year’s Eve Celebration Crackers
Celebration crackers are a type of party favor that originates in the UK. These crackers are little tubes wrapped in festive paper, and they contain a little trinket or toy and typically a little bit of confetti.
Two people will open the cracker together; each person holds onto an end of the cracker. When pulled, the cracker will open with a bit of pop!
An excellent idea for using celebration crackers on New Year’s Eve is to use them as a countdown. You can write a time on each cracker, and your kids can only open them at that time!
Read Some New Year’s Story Books
Reading is always a great way to pass the time. Why not read some stories about New Year’s Eve? Here are our top three New Year’s Eve books for kids:
- Happy New Year, Spot
- Squirrels New Year’s Resolution
- Shante Keys and the New Year’s Peas
- The Night Before New Year’s
Create A Family Bucket List
Similar to creating family goals, creating a family bucket list can be a great activity to do on New Year’s Eve.
When you create a family bucket list, you will list things that your family wants to do together. A bucket list can help you spend intentional time together and maybe even learn something new along the way!
As you sit together to brainstorm your bucket list, a great starting point can be things your family wants to do locally. Think like a tourist. Is there anywhere that you have wanted to go right in the town that you live in?
Things like tours, museums, and festivals are great places to start. Then, you can branch out to areas your family would like to visit someday. National parks are always exceptional places to take your family!
To do countdown balloons, all you need is some latex balloons and a Sharpie. Then, you will write down different times counting down to midnight! (If you bump the time up as suggested above, you will need to adjust the times accordingly.)
You can write the times in increments of 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or even every hour. Once it gets to that time, your kiddos can pop the balloon!
A fun twist on this New Year’s Eve tradition is to make a rule that you have to pop each balloon differently. For example, your kids can stomp on the first balloon to pop it, and then they can pop the next one with a pen. It’s fun to see the creativity your kids come up with!
Another fun twist you can do with the balloons is adding a little slip of paper into the balloon that lists an activity. Just roll them up, and put them in the balloon before blowing them up! Then, each time your kids pop a balloon, they will have something new to do before the next balloon pop!
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Another fun way to pass the time on New Year’s Eve is to have a dance party. You can make it extra fun by having everyone dress up as ridiculously as they can!
When it comes to music, you can find great family-friendly music playlists on Spotify or Pandora.
Play Board Games Or Do Puzzles
Board games are a great way to get the family together for some fun. When I was growing up, we always played Monopoly. It was pretty much the only time we played Monopoly because it can be such a long game!
Another fun idea is to start a puzzle together. Puzzles can also take some time, and putting a puzzle together is always fun with more people!
Take Photos With Fun Props
I love taking family photos on any occasion possible. It’s great to look back at old pictures and remember the small details that I had forgotten.
Taking photos with props adds a little bit more fun! You can be a little more silly while you ring in the new year.
Gather Some Donations
Gathering donations doesn’t have to be a New Year’s Eve activity; I usually try to do this tradition the first weekend of the year.
The idea behind gathering up donations is to create a fresh start to the year. When you go through your house and collect things you don’t use anymore, it can help you clear your mind.
Especially when you have children, chances are there are a lot more new toys in the house. Gathering donations helps you keep the toys to a manageable amount, and it teaches your kids to let some things go to people who will use them.
Family Slumber Party
If you let your children stay up until midnight, a family slumber party can be so much fun!
The easiest way to have a family slumber party is to grab a bunch of pillows and blankets and head to the living room. You can create a cozy space where everyone can try to stay awake together!
Watch The Ball Drop
Watching the ball drop in New York City is such a fun New Year’s Eve tradition that has been around since 1907.
Watching the NYC ball drop is exciting for little kids, too, but there is often a conflict in timing. If you want to watch the ball drop with your little ones before their bedtime, you can watch it in a later time zone.
Another option would be to watch a previous year’s ball drop on Youtube. If your kids are young enough not to know the year, they will still be so excited!
And there you have it! New Year’s Eve traditions for kids are often overlooked, but there is no reason to skip celebrating this holiday with your whole family! I hope you have found many new traditions to start with your kids, no matter their age.
Before you go, check out these related articles:
- Birthday Traditions Your Kids Will Love
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- Family-Friendly Halloween Traditions
- Memorable Thanksgiving Traditions
- Christmas Traditions Your Kids Won’t Forget
What are your favorite New Year’s Eve traditions for kids? I would love to know in the comments below!