New Year's Eve Countdown for Kids

New Year's Eve can be an exciting time for adults as we reflect on the year that has passed, our accomplishments and failures, lessons learned and new goals to achieve in the coming year.  There's always parties or gatherings of some sort and everyone has their own traditions for the evening.  It's important to remember that children also enjoy the holiday even though they may not yet tie in all of the sentimentality to it.  They too want to be included in the fun!

A couple of years ago my New Year's Eve was spent with a couple of children so I wanted to make the evening fun for them and find ways to get them involved and excited throughout the evening.  After doing some research on Pinterest (where else?) I decided to re-create these fabulous ideas to get them exciting for the evening!

First and foremost I think children are visual so when there's a lot of bright colors and balloons that in itself stimulates excitement.  When they walked through the door they immediately saw this display of balloons and the counter top covered in goodies.

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New Year's Eve Countdown Goodie Bags: I used some free printables from this site that was easy to print and cut out.  There's one for each hour starting at 7pm but you can start it whenever you want, as well as if you have younger children who do not stay up until midnight then you can also end it whenever you want.  The idea is that on each hour the children get to open that specific goodie bag.  You can fill the bags with whatever you want of course, but there's some great New Year's themed things you can use as well like:

  1. New Year's Bingo
  2. Card games or printable games
  3. Mad Libs
  4. Instructions to play a board game
  5. Instructions to watch a movie
  6. Fill out an "about me" for that year so they'll always remember the little things that made them who they were at this particular age.  I've included 3 links with different versions. =)
  7. You can add the "about me" to a family time capsule for that year.  The children can put pictures, meaningful trinkets, or pictures of their favorite things into the time capsule to open one day that YOU decide (like 10 years later or something).  I actually made one with them that evening but didn't take a picture of it.  I purchased a white photo box so that they could decorate the outside of it with permanent markers.
  8. Noise makers and hats
  9. Candy
  10. Photo booth props (even if you don't have a photo booth, just the props make taking pictures fun!)
  11. Coloring pages and crayons or markers
  12. Firecrackers or fireworks if age appropriate and legal within your state and county
  13. Sparklers
  14. Silly string if you're not able to go outside with sparklers
  15. Scavenger hunt


Ring in the New Year: You can use this free printable to attach to a bell to literally ring in the New Year or attach them to Ring Pops like I did!


Cup Cake Ice Cream Cones Surrounded by Gumballs:

OK, so I admittedly went overboard a bit but setting up a party of any kind much less one that gets children excited is sort of my jam.  I enjoy seeing their eyes light up with excitement.

I'm saying I went overboard because I made home made icing for the first time and borrowed a friend's cupcake icing kit to properly pipe the icing out into the best design I could do for the first time to make it look like an ice cream cone.

I baked cake into ice cream cones, let them cool, and then iced them with homemade buttercream frosting.  In hind site I'd just buy some cupcakes, or at least just buy pre-made icing.  But, it was pretty.

I dipped plastic margarita glasses into melted chocolate and dipped them into sprinkles.  Then filled the cups with gumballs surrounding the ice cream cone cup cakes. =)  

I added more color to the tray with rock candy lollipops that also doubled up for this idea to stick the lollipops into "champagne" to add color and a little flair except we used flavored sparkling water instead of champagne (I saved the extra champagne for me).


Fruity Kix Cereal Marshmallow Treats: Think Rice Krispie Treats only you're subbing in Fruity Kix.  They're easy to make and tasty because they're nothing but pure sugar and high fructose corn syrup  (yuck!).  But, kids don't care about that and it was colorful and pretty.  


Nothing much else to do but make sure to add some decorations to other areas of the home.  This was someone else's place that I decorated but the post wouldn't be complete without showing the extra little tidbits of color and decor sprinkled in.

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Celebrating the end of one year is a special time and the turning of the clock to start the next year with the ones you love is even more special.  I believe in making memories special, especially for children because they will cherish those memories forever and carry them forward to their children.  I hope these fun little ideas are helpful for you to make your New Year's festive and include any children in your life.  You can check them out and more on my New Year's Pinterest page.

If you enjoyed this post please share with your friends and I'd love to hear of ideas on what you've done so please comment below!  Make sure to subscribe to my blog below as well so that you do not miss out on any future posts.