Let’s face it: gone are the days where you want to stay up until the early hours of the morning welcoming the new year. Now, the excitement we feel as the clock strikes midnight is due to the fact we can now go catch a good night’s sleep. We’re not 22, and nothing good ever happens past 2 am anyway.
For children, new year’s eve is one of the most exciting nights of the year! Bedtimes are abolished where time sends us into an unknown year with endless possibility. Here are some things you can do with your children to make it a night they will never forget.
Host a Pajama Party
The cold winter makes the perfect opportunity to get all cuddled up on a mattress in the living room. Add a bunch of blankets and hot cocoa and put on a family film while you wait for the clocks to turn. The kids will love all the memories you’ll make when you watch your favorite movies. Better yet, the kids will already be ready for bed by the time the new year kicks in. Will Ferrell’s Elf, anyone?
Host The Neighbors
If your neighbors down the street have kids at a similar age, why not invite them along? This way, adults can enjoy themselves in the kitchen while the kids have fun upstairs. Things might get a little crazy with all the added sugar or alcohol, but everyone will have fun! And that’s what counts, isn’t it? It’s a great way to bring the community together and enter the new year with plenty of good energy. Who is bringing eggnog?
Swirl Some Mocktails
If hosting your kids for the night, why not experiment with some fancy mocktails to get their creative juices flowing? Families can bond by putting on some music and mixing different flavors and colors together. Nowadays, the kids will probably love to have something they can post on social media, so why not make them extra crazy? It’s a great way to get creative for the evening. Something like this will create memories and photos to last a lifetime.
Cooking Crazy Cocoa
If you don’t want to pour some cocktails, you can always embark on some Hot Chocolate making with your young kids. Instead of sugars and swirls, kids can build their cup of cocoa that contains marshmallows, chocolates, sprinkles, or buttons. It’s a perfect drink to balance the cold weather outside, and kids will love experimenting with all the different flavors and designs. Just look out for the amount of sugar in the drinks – otherwise, the kids will be up all night!
Celebrate It Across The World!
Depending on what country you’re in, you can countdown all the new year’s occasions over the world! Starting with Australia, you can fill your day with little reminders and celebrations as the day goes on. Check in on social media or television channels to see how different cultures celebrate the special event. Hopefully, your kids will have seen so many celebrations throughout the day that they’ll want to fall asleep early! Good luck with it!
Bake Some Snacks
If you want a healthy option for eating on the big night, you can always cook some creative fruits and veggies in the shape of all your favorite Christmas characters. Better yet, prepare some sugar-free cookies and cupcakes to color the night while enjoying a festive film in front of the television. Kids’ taste buds get extra excited around the holidays, so it’s the perfect opportunity to experiment with some new flavors, like caramel or candyfloss. Sounds delicious!
Host A Dance Party
Your kids will most likely have a lot of energy as they wait impatiently for the clock to strike midnight. One of the best ways to get rid of some of that additional hype is hosting a dance party. Think of how special it will be to move the sofa or table aside and open up a space to play all their favorite songs. It’s also a great opportunity to show them some ‘classics’ from when you were younger.
Play Some Board Games
While you wait for the new year, there are better ways than just putting yourselves in front of the TV. By playing some lighthearted games like Jenga or Cluedo, you will pass the time and offer a chance to get to know your kids a bit better. The conversation will flow, and memories will be made. Just don’t embark on a journey like Monopoly or Risk – it could mark the end of the year and end of the world!
Before you know it, your kids will be getting out of the house and creating memories with friends and loved ones of their own. You’ll be amazed at how quickly time flies, and you’ll only wish you had enjoyed more time together. This is why it’s the perfect time to take photos while you can! Set up a photo booth and make sure to pull funny faces, dress up in a silly costume, or decorate the house. It’s these little moments that will leave the lasting impression for years to come.
Have A Movie Night
Sometimes there’s a film you play every year, and sometimes you’re exploring brand new traditions as a new family. Your kids are always going to remember the films you watch together. A movie night is a great way to laugh together and pass the time as a family while you wait to welcome the new year. They can be comedies, action films, sci-fi, or thrillers – just be sure to hit the lights and make the popcorn!
Make A Scrapbook of the Year
This could be the start of one of the most amazing family traditions. From a young age, show them the importance of memorabilia by spending an hour of the night gluing some of their favorite moments into a book. This could be photos from holidays, report cards, or cinema tickets. It’s a wonderful way to bookend the year and sum up all the best memories from the year for generations to come. What would you put in?
Go To A Fireworks Shows
Fireworks are some of the most exciting parts of the new year – with seemingly hundreds of displays at the strike of midnight. A wonderful idea for new years is taking the whole family on an adventure out of the house to visit your local display. Provided the kids are old enough, they will love meeting up with other kids and enjoying the sights and sounds. It’s a great chance to get out of the house – but be mindful of the cold!
Make New Year’s Goals
If you are making a scrapbook of the previous year, it could be a great idea to also make a book for the upcoming year. It could be a collection of hopes and/or wishes to fulfill in the year ahead. As they’re children, the goals could include starting a new sport or playing a new instrument. Ask your kids what they want to achieve and put it on a board – perhaps in the kitchen – so they can stick to their goals.
Make A Time Capsule
This is a more personal take on the scrapbook idea but could be just as meaningful. Try collecting a shoebox or a leftover box from the Christmas presents and use it to put some toys or memories in it. Once you lock it away, keep it hidden until the following year. 365 days may not feel like a lot of an adult, but for a young child, it can feel like an age. They’ll surely forget what they put in and be amazed when they see it again.
Play Dress Up
Maybe your children have just seen Frozen and want to be Elsa and Anna all evening? Maybe your sons want to dress up like Captain America or Batman? Either way, new year’s eve is a great opportunity to dress up and play around the house. You can even watch the films they appear in, or film yourselves and make your own movies! Either way, make sure to have fun with it all. Kids will love to see their parents being silly – even if only for a night.
Make A Fort
Is there anything more fun than reinventing your fort? On new year’s, anything goes – so why not build a new city in your living room? Children will love playing with their imaginations as they rearrange and build homes out of furniture. Then, if there’s enough room, you can always enter with them and read a book with a torch. Don’t forget a few scary stories if that’s what they like!
Camp Out Together
Going away over the holidays can be expensive. Sometimes, if the weather is good enough, camping in your garden can be just as fun. All you need is a tent and some cocoa to keep you warm. Then, you can enjoy the fireworks or tell scary stories while you wait for the clocks to turn. Kids will think they’re out on an adventure and remember it for years.
Make Balloon Fireworks
These can be made with confetti or glitter, depending on how much mess you want afterward! Simply blow up a bunch of balloons with the colorful material and give your children something to pop once the clocks turn midnight. It will be a fun activity that officially marks the beginning of the new year. You can fill them with reds, blues, or greens – anything to make it an activity they will never forget! What color would you choose?
Trick Your Children Into Going To Bed Early
Each year, Netflix offers parents a sneaky trick for helping put their kids to bed early. During some of the young shows meant for children, they will have a countdown occur at 8pm – a whole four hours before the main event. This way, adults can put their kids to bed early and enjoy the rest of the night alone as a couple. It’s a bit naughty, but might be just what you want! We won’t judge.