While planning a festive New Year’s Eve bash for adults may be easy, putting together a safe and fun event for kids can take more creativity. Whether you decide to have your countdown early in the day or let the kids stay up until midnight, these ideas for a kid-friendly New Year’s Eve party will provide fun for everyone.
Many kids will have trouble staying up until midnight. Rather than keeping everyone up past bedtime, hold a countdown a few hours earlier. This way, the kids can celebrate and go to bed at a reasonable time, then adults can stay up to celebrate if they wish. If your kids are early risers, keep the celebration going into New Year’s Day and start a festive breakfast tradition like pancakes with sparklers or sprinkles.
Pick up some paper lunch bags from your local craft store, along with paint, glitter, ribbon, and other decorative items. Have each child decorate their goodie bag and fill them up with noisemakers, candy, stickers, and small toys. Kids will have a blast decorating their bags and can enjoy their treats once midnight strikes.
Let your kids indulge with a bubbly, non-alcoholic drink. Beverages like ginger ale, sparkling cider, or even a kid-friendly punch will feel special in a “fancy” plastic flute or glass. If you live somewhere chilly, consider providing mugs of hot chocolate with special toppings for a cozy twist. Once each child has their festive drink, go around and have each person give a compliment to someone in the group or share their favorite memory from the past year.
Set a theme for your party, whether it be pajamas or more formal attire. Provide a box of photo props for the kids to use and wear all night. Items like fake mustaches, party hats, wigs, and dress-up clothes will make everyone feel festive. Set up a photo booth or have a photo shoot to let everyone show off their celebratory looks. Once the party is over, share photos with everyone who attended as a fun party gift.
Resolutions for the new year aren’t just for adults. Have kids brainstorm what they’d like to do or accomplish in the next year. Milestones like learning to ride a bike, scoring a goal in soccer, or trying a new vegetable every month are great ways to teach kids about setting goals. Have them write their goals down on slips of paper and place them in jars that they can decorate. Keep the jars somewhere visible and schedule time to check in with them about their goals throughout the year.
Watching the ball drop at midnight is always a favorite New Year’s Eve activity. Get kids in on the fun by creating a homemade balloon drop. Blow up balloons and suspend them in a net attached to the ceiling. If you’re feeling extra festive, fill the balloons with confetti before placing them in the net. Set a timer, give the kids noisemakers, and let the countdown begin. Once they get to midnight, drop the balloons and confetti for everyone to enjoy. Not into balloons? Pick up a piñata at your local party store and give each kid a chance to break it open after your countdown to midnight.
With these tips for a kid-friendly New Year’s Eve party, you can skip the large crowds and late bedtimes while the whole family enjoys the holiday together. Looking for more money saving tips? Check out our WalletWorks page.