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10 Ways to Ring in the New Year with Kids

Before we had kids, my husband and I made a big production of New Year’s Eve. We spent it out on the town and always had a blast with our (also childless) friends.

As soon as our kids came along, though, on New Year’s Eve we found ourselves valuing sleep over staying up to watch the ball drop. And those nights on the town, tossing confetti and sipping champagne? Forget about it.

One year, though, friends of ours invited our family over for a family New Year’s Eve. We all had babies and toddlers, and they played together on the carpet while the adults spent some rare time catching up with each other. Granted, we didn’t exactly make it till midnight— we celebrated at the stroke of 9pm— but it was fun nonetheless.

That shindig got me thinking: why couldn’t we keep our New Year’s traditions alive, even with kids in the picture?

Every few years we host our own family friendly New Year’s party. It might not be the rowdiest party on the block, but we always have fun. There’s good food, great friends, and some pretty terrible karaoke jam sessions. What’s not to love?

I’ve rounded up 10 ways to ring in the new year with kids. I hope they inspire you to celebrate, family style!

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  • Get Festive 1 of 10
    Get Festive
    Set up a craft area with all the supplies for DIY New Year's hats. Both kids and adults will get in on the fun!
    For instructions visit Spoonful
  • Make a Time Capsule 2 of 10
    Make a Time Capsule
    Have each child draw a picture or write a letter about their favorite parts of the past year. Store them in a "New Year's Time Capsule" to be taken out again the following year.
    Photo Credit: istockphoto
  • Count Down…to Noon 3 of 10
    Count Down...to Noon
    Instead of midnight, schedule a late morning party. Have your little guests count down to the stroke of noon!
    Photo Credit: istockphoto
  • Have Fun with Favors 4 of 10
    Have Fun with Favors
    Assemble favor packets of confetti, ribbon, and other items. Kids will love getting into the spirit.
    For instructions visit Martha Stewart
  • Cheers! 5 of 10
    Cheers!
    Toast with milk, juice, or sparkling cider!
    Photo Credit: istockphoto
  • Serve Traditional New Year’s Dishes 6 of 10
    Serve Traditional New Year's Dishes
    Teach young guests about traditional New Year's dishes from around the world, like these delicious-looking dumplings from Martha Stewart.
    Check out Epicurious for more ideas!
  • Have a Scavenger Hunt 7 of 10
    Have a Scavenger Hunt
    A year's end scavenger hunt is a great activity for kids of all ages. Provide clues that refer to the past year and have kids go searching...with prizes for the winner, of course!
    Photo Credit: istockphoto
  • Photobooth Fun 8 of 10
    Photobooth Fun
    Set up a photo booth area and let guests have at it. Create great memories and have fun!
    Get it at Picadilly Party Co for $16
  • Use Safe Alternatives to Fireworks 9 of 10
    Use Safe Alternatives to Fireworks
    Fireworks are fun but they can be dangerous. Why not use a fun alternative, like this assortment of glow sticks, glasses, and bracelets instead?
    Get it at Amazon for $16
  • DIY Noisemakers 10 of 10
    DIY Noisemakers
    Noisemakers are easy even for kids to make. Reuse plastic bottles and fill with coins or bells, then cover the top using fabric and a rubber band. Kids can decorate the outsides with stickers. Another option is to make horns from wrapping paper!
    Photo Credit: istockphoto

More by Mary Lauren:

10 Things You Can Do for Families Who are Hurting

Post-Divorce Parenting: Putting Kids First during the Holiday Season

Typical or Troublesome: Parenting Experts Weigh in on Common Behavioral Issues

 

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