The countdown is beginning - how will you bring in the New Year with your family?
Kids love a celebration (although most won't stay awake long enough to see the ball drop in Times Square) so we've pulled together a list of ideas to enjoy throughout the day!
13 Hours of Fun for New Year's Eve
(since we're bringing in 2013)
Pick a few ideas or celebrate all day long if you like - however you choose, we're wishing you health, happiness & edventures in the New Year!
8:00 am - Last Breakfast of 2012
This will be the last time for breakfast in 2012 - make is special!
Serve a favorite breakfast, maybe snowman pancakes or 'snow' waffles (use powdered sugar for the snow).
Talk about some of the highlights of the previous year - what was your favorite memory? What new things did you try as a family?
Try making a 'Year in Review' list by month like this one from Frugal Fun 4 Boys!
9:00 am - Create a Countdown
Sneak in a little math practice by creating a countdown to New Year's! Teaching Preschool has an easy countdown activity that helps kids learn to count backwards. Try practicing this during the day so they're ready for the big countdown tonight!
You can also label some envelopes from 1 to 10 and put a note in each about the activity that you will do each hour during the day for your countdown.
10:00 am - Grapes, Pigs, Underwear & More from around the World
Introducing kids to new cultures is a great way to expand their knowledge and appreciation of the world. And since the New Year is celebrated around the world, this is a wonderful opportunity to share how people in other countries bring in the new year!!
Here's some super fun traditions from Mexico shared by Kid World Citizen that kids will enjoy on New Year's Eve! Note: The kids may insist on running to their rooms to change their underwear once you read this!
Another fun tradition shared with us from Red Ted Art hails from German and involves Marzipan Pigs and good luck!
Many cultures believe that eating lentils or beans on New Year's Eve will bring wealth for the new year.
And a New Year's custom from Norway is to make rice pudding with one almond in it on New Year's day -- when you serve the pudding, the person with the almond in their dish is said to have wealth in the coming year.
11:00 am - Hands-on Fun
Older kids will enjoy playing a few games or creating a printable photo booth, both shared by The Educator's Spin on It.
12:00 noon - Time for Lunch & a Story
Turn lunchtime into storytime today!
Share some fun books about the new year, traditions and resolutions.
Here are a few fun picture books for kids:
Older kids will enjoy these chapter books about the new year:
And make sure to read about the Mexican tradition of eating grapes from our 10 am hour - do this at lunch instead of midnight!
1:00 pm - Get Some Fresh Air
Enjoy a walk outside and get some fresh air this New Year's Eve -- and if you'd like, have the kids do a scavenger hunt too! During your walk, ask the kids to find an item that begins with the letters in "New Year". For example, they might see a 'nutcracker' decoration for the letter 'N', or a 'yellow house' for the letter 'Y'.
You can also scout out house numbers and street signs to see if you can find the numbers 2013 too.
2:00 pm - Make Some Noise
Get ready for some fun tonight by making noisemakers! Kids will really enjoy this fun kazoo & easy paper plate noisemaker from East Coast Mommy.
3:00 pm - Create a Time Capsule
Here's a fun idea from Red Ted Art - make a family time capsule that you fill with special objects and items on New Year's Eve! Our family has a time capsule for Leap Day and we always enjoy opening it and reminiscing about what we put in it and why. Include photos so you can see how much the kids have grown during the year.
4:00 pm - Movie Time!
I do enjoy watching the holiday specials with my kids and there's even a few for New Year's Eve. One of our favorite Rankin & Bass show is Rudolph's Shiny New Year (we love the caveman and Happy, the baby new year!)
We also enjoy Happy New Year, Charlie Brown -- but it's hard to find out.
ABC will be showing the special December 28th at 8 pm EST
5:00 pm - Jot Down a Few Resolutions
I know, that's a big word for kids - but we're all into teaching them big words at a young age! Just explain that a resolution is something you would do or do differently next year.
I always like to encourage kids to try new things -- maybe a new food, definately visiting someplace new and exploring! You can also discuss that as they get older, they become more confident and helpful -- so trying new things around the house or at school also make a great resolution.
Here's a great idea from Kitchen Counter Chronicles on Family Style New Year's Resolutions!
Another wonderful idea for making resolutions is using this printable from Creekside Learning that helps kids identify what activities they'd like to do in the New Year.
6:00 pm - Dinnertime
Our family loves to 'pop' holiday crackers at New Year's Eve dinner!
You can buy them at a variety of places or make your own crackers using the directions at Instructables.
7:00 pm - Bath Time Fun
Bathe the kids before the evening fun in this themed New Year's Eve bath from Bath Activities for Kids!
8:00 pm - Snacktime!
To send the old year out with a BANG!, you can have the kids decorate their own Fireworks Cookies from NutureStore.
Or decorate with sprinkles or candy on these cookie-shaped numbers from Mess for Less.
Your choice of serving them with milk or sparkling juice -- but do serve the drinks in a fun glass or cup for a 'Happy New Year's' toast!
9:00 pm - Bring in the New Year
There's so many fun ways to bring in the New Year -- paper hats, a balloon drop, noisemakers and of course, a big kiss for all those you love!
And it's midnight somewhere, so determine what time you'll 'ring in the new year' and locate a country in the time zone that will be celebrating at the same time.
You can print your own New Year's Eve hats from ellinee too.
And make your own confetti to throw by cutting up small pieces of colored paper.
Have a fun countdown right before bed, yell "Happy New Year", jump around in a pile of balloons and give hugs all around.