How do you celebrate New Year's Eve with young children?
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I love giving my kids the opportunity to celebrate! I usually offer a kid's countdown at 12:00 noon with all the celebratory supplies. Confetti wands, streamers, balloons and a little sparkly ginger ale. Kids love to feel a part of the occasion. I used to do special events at a children's museum and this was always one of the family favorites. Kids should also, if age appropriate, make a resolution for the new year whether it be to read more books, go to be on time or help out with mores with a smile on their face. Children love any excuse to celebrate and New Year's Eve is always an exciting day that leads up to an exciting night.
Last year, I planned a New Year's Eve party during the day. We usually keep things pretty kid-friendly anyways. We had CapriSuns for the kids to drink, out of plastic champagne glasses :) Countdown cupcakes with marshmallows to look like the ball at Time's Square. Donut holes were 'bubbles' etc.
By putting them to bed early and having a party at home:) We have become experts at entertaining at home after 7pm with two toddlers. It is casual, festive and cheaper than paying a baby sitter!
We like to have a 'kid-friendly' New Years Eve because almost all of our friends are in that stage of life. It makes it easier for everyone, plus the kids really enjoy themselves. I like to get everyone involved by picking a theme and giving the kids projects (based on age), like cutting out scrapbook paper numbers to stringing lights and banners. They help with everything, including making the decorations, decorating for the party, making foods and even cleanup afterwards. We have both kid (video games, board games, foosball, etc.) and adult (games & conversation) activities and even some that co-mingle like karaoke. I set up a kiddie bar with different non-alcoholic mixes so that they can have some fun and of course an adult bar for adult beverages! There is always an appetizer and dessert bar for everyone to enjoy and we all share a toast at midnight! We also like to share in the '12 Grapes Tradition' which is fun in itself!!! After the ball drops we have all of the children get into their jammies and curl up in the den with a movie (most usually pass out at this point) and the parents can have some uninterrupted adult time!!!
We love to have our kids get in on the New Year's Eve fun, without staying up much past their bedtime. We usually get dressed up, like we're going to a party, and create a mini dessert and snack table with fun beverages like a sparkling punch and ginger ale. We get out games and listen to dance music, then we do our own count down. When we get down to "midnight" we blow horns and pop balloons!! The kids have so much fun. After we all change into our PJs, we read the kids a new book to start off the new year and off to bed they go!
This year I think we will stay in with our 7 year old - make some snacks rent a cool DVD and spend some time chatting about the new year. Then when it is very late for a 7 year old to be up :) we will send her to bed with a million kisses and tell her all about how it will be a new year when she wakes up.but before she does we''ll fit in some ice cream before bed and some fizzy juice in champagne glasses... maybe some sparkly cupcakes and light some sparklers while listening to some Frank Sinatra :)
Once the little one has drifted off to sleep the husband and I will sit outside under the stairs as we do every year and talk, eat and wrap ourselves in blankets to keep warm... of course there will be yawning and joking and then just after 12 a kiss and off to bed for a snooze
I'm in Australia, so NYE for us means time at the beach, bbq's and hot weather! This year we're heading to a beach resort, along with a couple of other families who also have kids. On NYE the kids will probably swim all day, have a bbq for dinner and crash at around 9pm....leaving us adults to enjoy the last few hours of 2011 with a glass of bubbly or two, before ringing in the New Year. Can't wait!!
This year we are celebrating New Year's at home with family. The theme this year is "game night". We have lots of board games, had held games, Wii, dominoes, and cards. I am preparing kid friendly food like, turkey sliders, ham and pineapple skewers, and honey fruit salad and other bite sized foods. My 12 year old son is in charge making his secret punch, helping prepare the food and assist with decorating.
For the past 3 New Year's, that night has been focused on the children in the family. This year is my turn to host. as a matter of fact, it's starting to become a new tradition with our family. Everybody looks forward to great fun, food and time well spent with the family.
We live in California, so we celebrate New Year's Eve east coast time (at 9:00pm). This way we still get the anticipation of a countdown and our daughter gets to stay up a little extra late, but no one (including my husband) has a meltdown at 11:45pm. :)
We usually celebrate with close family friends. Last year we ordered in food, had a whole dessert table set up, and we all played Dance Central on Kinect for the Xbox. Watching the dads take a turn dancing was an absolute blast!
Now that we have a child, New Year's Eve is all about family fun!