New Year’s Eve doesn’t have to be just for grownups. If your young ones are old enough to stay awake until midnight, here are some fun ways to help them ring in the new year.
1. Celebrate on New York time
If the kids can’t go the distance until the clock rolls over on the West Coast, turn on the TV and watch the ball fall in Times Square. You can do the countdown, cheer along with the New York throng, and wrap things up at just a little after 9 p.m.; plenty of time to change, turn things over to the babysitter and head out for a little celebration with the grownups.
2. Make party poppers
For those willing to brave the elements, homemade party poppers are a fun way to celebrate midnight, as long as you don’t do it inside, or you’ll spend the next year cleaning up. Fill toilet paper tubes with a mix of confetti and glitter, wrap them in paper towels, tie the ends off with a little curling ribbon, decorate them, and then on the count of midnight, tear them open and rain glitter on each other!
3. Make a time capsule
New Year’s is all about the passage of time; help kids gain a sense of the value of a year by encouraging them to write down goals for the new year or pictures of themselves. Seal them in a mason jar and stash the box in the garage, or even dig a hole for it in the backyard. Another idea is for every family member to make a list of their favorite music, movies, foods and fun things to do. That way kids can remember what they used to like, and see how their tastes change as they mature.
4. Have a sleepover.
Nothing ensures sleeplessness in the young like a sleepover. Invite your kids to roundup a few friends, and serve snacks, watch movies and play games until the big countdown. In light of the season of resolution, make those snacks healthy ones; apple slices with caramel dip are both sweet and healthy. And for fun, make a holiday punch and break out disposable champagne flutes (see the wedding aisle in any large craft store) for a midnight toast.