New Year’s Eve parties are not exactly great for kids. The late hour, combined with so much excitement, can make for a very grumpy little one.
Just because the celebration goes late, however, does not mean your kids have to miss out on the fun. Here are some incredible New Year’s Eve party ideas your kids will love.
1. Celebrate early
Have a countdown at 8 o’clock or whenever your kids would normally go to bed. You can blow whistles, set off fireworks and throw confetti. Give the kids a chance to wind down before bed.
2. Have a party hat contest
Supply the kids with tissue paper, glue, tinsel, and other craft supplies. Tell them they have half an hour to create the wildest party hat possible and let them go wild.
Once the time is up, have a fashion show so they can all show off their hats and give prizes for the craziest hat. Or, you can choose some other New Year’s crafts for kids.
3. Create a first-day book
Take photos of each child and of the whole family. Print the pictures out on photo paper and put them into a special first-day album.
Have each member of the family write their hopes and dreams for the coming year around their photo. Each year, you can add more pages to the album and look back over last year’s goals.
More: 10 Important Things to Do on New Year’s Eve
4. Create ruckus bags
To celebrate midnight, have goodie bags ready for the kids. Fill the bags with confetti and attach a noisemaker to the outside. Hand these out just before midnight.
5. Make sparkler art
No New Year’s Eve party is complete without sparklers. Have kids swish and swoop their sparklers while you take a photo. If you take photos outdoors without a flash, the camera lens will stay open longer, capturing the movement as a fiery line that is fun for children to see.
6. Hold a balloon drop
Blow up a couple of dozen balloons and suspend them from the ceiling in a net or drawstring garbage bags hung upside down. When midnight hits, unhook the net on one side or pull the drawstring on the bags to let the balloons come floating down on everyone’s heads. Kids will love batting the balloons around.
7. Make a time capsule
Decorate an oatmeal container or another container with a lid. Have kids collect mementos from their daily lives. Each kid could write a letter to their future selves, too.
Put everything in the time capsule and seal it with masking tape. Add a note to open it in ten years and put it in a closet or attic to save for the designated day.
8. Bake a lucky cake
Any cake can be used for this. Wrap a coin in tinfoil and put it inside the cake when you bake it. Warn the kids to be careful when biting into their desserts since there is a coin.
The person who finds the coin will have luck all year round. If you want, you can slip the coin into the cake after it is baked and add one for each kid.
9. Have a noise parade
Let children grab any noise-making instrument they can find, including pots and pans with wooden spoons, and set up a parade around the house or even around the block. For extra fun, decorate the instruments with ribbons and tinsel.
More: 10 Budget-Friendly Ways to Throw a New Year’s Eve Party
10. Pop confetti balloons
Before the big celebration, use a funnel to add a handful of confetti to a balloon. Blow the balloon up and tie it off, then repeat with as many balloons as you want. These can be attached to a wall, hung from the ceiling, or simply left to float around.
When midnight comes around, give kids skewers or pins to pop all the balloons and release confetti everywhere. You may want to have this activity outdoors.
Even if your children are too small to stay up until midnight, they can enjoy a New Year’s Eve celebration. You can easily provide fun activities and enjoyable games for them to play while they wait for their big countdown.