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Ring in the new year with kids – and these tips to make it fun for all

Have an exciting New Year's Eve with kids using these tips

When you have children, celebrating New Year’s Eve requires a bit more planning. Perhaps more planning than it makes it worth it to leave the house. To help, we’ve thought of some ideas to make your kids feel involved whether you plan on going out, inviting friends over, or just enjoying quality family-only time at home. Crafting New Year’s Eve traditions with your kids is something to look forward to every year.

Even if you do decide to leave the house for your party plans, incorporate some of the following activities for your little ones before you go. 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. So, before the kiddos fall asleep, start one of these traditions on New Year’s Eve with the kids.

A cupcake with a sparkler in the middle

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 toast each other.

Another option is to get the kids involved in cooking a special dinner or baking a specific dessert and turning it into a yearly tradition. Allow your children to have total reign on this one — ask them what they want to make 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 spent together and seeing their creations come to life. Plus, they will love getting the chance to be a bit wacky.

If you don’t have time to let the kids do the whole meal themselves, decide what’s being crafted in the kitchen and give your kiddos the creative reigns. Bake cupcakes and let your little ones decorate them. Get some edible glitter or pearl sprinkles to match the spirit of New Year’s Eve, or fill the insides of your cupcakes for a sprinkle explosion. 

Toddler boy holds a sparkler

Ring in the new year early 

If your little ones need to go to sleep on time, and maybe they haven’t learned how to read a clock yet, 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. While your kids may not be able to blow the balloons up, they’ll love helping put the balloons in place. 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 sparklers. It’ll be like having your own mini fireworks show. Further heighten the experience with sparkler writing. Make sure you have a camera that adjusts to a shutter speed of about 3 seconds to capture the shape you draw with your sparkler. For younger ones, hold their hands to help guide them or hold the sparkler for them. They’ll love seeing the bright lights of the sparklers, even if they’re not the ones holding the end of the stick.

A person making a list of New Year's resolutions for the family

Family resolutions

Plan fun activities for your mini humans for the following year. Your little ones will love getting to be a part of the planning for this one. Ask your kids what they would like to do and let them speak their mind freely. It’s like that movie Yes Day, but with things that you’ve preapproved. 

If you’d like, write all of your ideas down and have your kids decorate the slips of paper. Have them help decorate an 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. Kids know that New Year’s Eve is a big deal for adults, and they only want to be included in the event. Whether you engage in any of the activities from this list, play a family game, or watch a movie together, making time for family is always the best way to end the old year, and start the new one. Have a great New Year’s Eve and cheers to the new year!

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Antonia Maric
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Antonia Maric originally hails from Westchester, New York. Aside from writing, Antonia takes pride in exploring national…
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