Ring in the new year with your kids – and these tips

When you have children, celebrating New Year’s Eve requires a bit more planning, perhaps more than you’d like. Luckily we’ve thought of a couple of ideas to make your kids feel involved whether you still plan on going out, inviting friends over, or just enjoying quality family time at home. Crafting new year’s eve traditions with your kids is a great idea and they’ll have something to look forward to every year. You don’t have to go out to a huge party to have a fun time! 

Even if you and your partner have your own plans, you can incorporate some of the following activities for your toddlers or kindergarteners before you leave. Your kids will get to share a special moment with you and that will mean more to them than waiting up until midnight, which they might not make it to anyway.

Pop the (non-alcoholic) bubbly

Whether you have toddlers or kindergarteners, help them feel a bit more adult with their own version of champagne! Young kids love acting like the adults around them, so grab them a plastic champagne glass, fill it with apple juice or sparkling juice, and enjoy the excitement on their faces as you cheers. Warning: spillage ahead!

Alright, let’s shift gears from drinks to food. Get all of your kids involved in cooking dinner or baking a dessert and easily turn it into a yearly tradition. Allow your children to have total reign on this one—ask them what they want for dinner or dessert and see where it leads you. If they want spaghetti sandwiches or three cookies mixed in one, let them have it! Make sure they’re involved in the process, from mixing to pouring in the ingredients. They’ll love the quality time and seeing their creations come to life. Plus, they will love getting the chance to be a bit wacky.

cupcake with sparkler
New Africa/ Shutterstock

If that’s too much of a stretch for you, you can still decide what’s being crafted in the kitchen and there are still ways to give your toddlers some creative reign. Bake cupcakes and let your little ones decorate them. Get some edible glitter or some pearl sprinkles to match the spirit of New Year’s Eve, or even fill your cupcakes for a sprinkle explosion. 

Ring in the new year early 

If your little ones need to go to sleep on time, consider doing an early countdown with them. They will still get to be a part of the excitement but without any cranky attitudes. Make it special by crafting your own balloon drop or a pull piñata. While your kids may not be able to blow the balloons up, they’ll love helping put the balloons in place or candy in the piñata; plus, the anticipation will keep them going right until the big moment. Whether they go to sleep at 8 p.m. or 10 p.m., you’ll get to celebrate the new year with your toddlers and they won’t know the difference!

If it’s not too chilly, take your New Year’s Eve outside and ring in the new year with some sparklers. It’ll be like having a mini fireworks show in your own backyard. You can further heighten the experience with sparkler writing. Make sure you have a camera that can be adjusted to a shutter speed of about three seconds to capture the shape you draw with your sparkler. Now, it’s natural to be concerned over the safety of sparklers with your young kids. You can hold their hands to help guide them or hold the sparkler for them. They’ll still love seeing the bright lights of the sparklers even if they’re not the ones holding the end of the stick.

Toddler boy holds sparkler
Romrodphoto/ Shutterstock

Family resolutions

Plan fun activities for your kindergarteners or toddlers for the following year. Ask your kids what they would like to do, but keep in mind that you may have to prompt them a bit. If they love dinosaurs, they’ll love the idea of going to a natural history museum. Depending on what’s around you, your kids will also probably love the idea of heading to the zoo or their favorite ice cream shop. As the parents, you obviously have the ultimate control over future plans, but your little ones will love getting to be a part of the planning. If you’d like, write all of your ideas down and have your kids decorate the slips of paper. They can even help decorate your new activity jar, which will house all of your family plans for the next year. When you have a free day, take a chance, and let your kids choose an idea from the jar!

At the end of the day, your children just want your attention and to hang out with their favorite people. Whether you engage in one of the activities from this list, or just play a family game or watch a movie together, making time for family is always the most important thing. Plus, if you hang out together, you’ll feel a lot better when you put your kids to bed early and pop the real champagne. Cheers! 

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