Think the late hours and reputation for excess make New Year's Eve a holiday for adults only? Think again. There are lots of great ways to celebrate the beginning of a new year with your little ones. Here are four great ideas for making New Year's Eve a family friendly event:
Make some noise. Kids usually don't need any help making noise, but this New Year's Eve, help them add some pop to the party with homemade noisemakers. Fill a plastic easter egg, an empty water bottle, or one of those ancient plastic film canisters halfway with corn kernels, rice, or dried beans, tape closed and decorate with shiny stickers.
Zone Out. One of biggest challenges to celebrating New Year's Eve with kids is that the highlight of the party happens after their bedtime. But who says you can't celebrate New Year's Eve as it occurs in other parts of the country or even the world? I live on the East Coast, so in year's past we've celebrated New Years Eve in Ireland (at the respectable time of 7pm EST) complete with scones and beef stew as well as New Year's Eve in Brazil (at 9pm EST) with peanuts, rice pudding, and limeade. This year we might try New Year's Eve in Greenland (at 10pm EST) although I don't know where I'm going to find barbecued caribou. Any suggestions?
Remember your resolutions. It wouldn't be New Year's Eve without the resolutions. But it can be hard for kids (and adults) to remember what resolutions they made from year to year. One idea is to write your family's resolution list on one piece of paper and then pack it away with your Christmas or Hanukkah decorations. Then next year when it's time to pull the decorations out of storage, you'll be able to see how well you stuck to your goals. You can even make a little scrapbook of the lists from year to year to have an instant keepsake for your family.
Toasts for Tots. Kids can't partake of the traditional New Year's Eve champagne, but that doesn't mean they can't toast the night in style. Whip up a batch of "mocktails" for your kids such as sparkling cider, smoothies, or italian sodas (flavored syrup and seltzer water.) And don't forget to say "cheers" (or Kassuta in Greenlandic!)
How do you celebrate New Year's Eve with your family?