Whether you couldn't find a sitter for New Year's Eve or you just don't feel like fighting holiday traffic, you can still have a fun, kid-friendly celebration. A “ Noon Year Eve” Party is the prefect solution for letting kids have time to celebrate without staying up past bedtime! The key is to keep the kids occupied as the clock counts down and celebrate a little earlier in the day at 12pm instead of 12am! Whatever you choose to do with your family on the eve of the New Year, you can make sure it's memorable with sure-fire party pleasers.
1. Have a fun countdown
There are so many fun ways to help kids mark time until the new year arrives. Pick the time you want to start (and end!) and count down the hours by opening a bag, package or even popping a balloon. Mark each bag with the time and include a fun activity for each hour. Here are some ideas of what to stuff in the bags:
Party hats and noisemakers
A deck of cards and game instructions
Pens and paper to write New Year's Resolutions
2. Let Your Kids Pick Out Fun Outfits
Get your kids excited about their big day by allowing them to dress up however they want. Encourage sparkly, festive attire and explain to them the whole reason we celebrate the changing of our calendars. They will feel like rock stars with free creative reign over their looks and you won’t have to stress over someone throwing a fit.
3. Set up a Photo Booth
Put all that crafting to use by constructing a photo booth. Just hang a paper backdrop (festive New Year’s Eve wrapping paper will do the trick) and set up a camera on a tripod or have a designated phone photographer in place. Blast some music and have the kids dance around, posing with their new, festive props—they’ll have a blast and so will you. One day your kids will be off celebrating with their own friends. These photos will be a precious keepsake that’ll last a lifetime.
4.Craft a Blessing Jar or a Wishing Well
Grab a canning jar or something similar from the cupboard or get one from a dollar store. Cover it in construction paper and label it either Blessing Jar or Wishing Well.
If it's a Blessing Jar, you and your child write the blessings you notice in your life over the coming year on a piece of paper, fold it and drop in the jar. Next New Year's Eve, you dump it out, read it and get to feel that warm, fuzzy feeling.
The Wishing Well works essentially the same way. Except instead of putting blessings in your jar, you put your wishes. At the end of 2019, you get to see how many wishes came true, how many you get to carry into 2020 or how many you're willing to discard for new wishes.
5. Play the photo timeline game
Print out some photos – try for at least one from each month – from the last year. Create a challenge by hiding them around the house and asking children to find and arrange them in chronological order. It's a win-win: Kids love to look at themselves and you get to marvel at how much they've grown over the past year. You both will enjoy the walk down memory lane and wonder at the adventures the new year will bring.
Counting down to 12 p.m. instead of 12 a.m. allows your family to celebrate the new year together, and the little ones don’t get to miss out on all the fun! You don’t need to go above and beyond throwing a huge party! Little activities will ensure fun for all and a good way to ring in the new year, together!
Winter break is coming! Don’t despair when snow days and holidays leave you with bored and bickering kids. These fun winter break activities will keep your children occupied and happy both indoors and outdoors throughout this chilly season!
Go camping! When the weather is not the best and you don’t feel like going anywhere, everyone might enjoy setting up camp in the house! If you have a tent you can set it up in the basement, living room or even under the Christmas Tree! If you don’t have a tent give the kids some sheets, pillows and blankets and let them build a fort. Once the “camp” is set up everyone can play games or read and eat snacks, spending quality time together!
Host a game night! Maybe not the most original idea, but it’s definitely a fun one. Winter break is the perfect time to break out your favorite board games that you haven’t played in a while or maybe your children can choose their favorite! Make homemade snacks and goodies to enjoy while having marathon game playing sessions!
Have a dance party! Kids have a lot of pent up energy being indoors all day long. Have the kids invite a few friends over and play some tunes! They can play a dance video game or just freestyle! Dancing is a great way to get some exercise in and have fun at the same time. Don’t be afraid to join in- you may want to warn your kids first though!
Look out for local events! This could be as simple as driving around town looking at all the holiday lights. Check and see if there’s a Christmas show at your local theater, or maybe there’s a special day to meet Santa at your town firehouse or a holiday book reading at your library. Having fun doesn’t always mean spending money, with there being a lot of holiday deals, discounts and free events!
Get crafty! Winter break is the perfect opportunity for arts and crafts. Try making a giant gingerbread man for your kids to decorate! You’ll need kraft paper, masking tape, a sharpie and then markers and any other decorating items! Have your little on lay on the floor besides the kraft paper roll and unroll it until it’s the same length as your child. Cut the paper slightly longer then the length and tape it to the floor with masking tape. Using the sharpie outline your child into a gingerbread man shape, now it’s time to decorate! They can draw cute faces and let their imagination go wild!
Don’t let the cold weather keep you from having fun! Creativity is the key to finding fun and engaging activities that will keep your children smile and laughing all winter- without breaking the bank!
Holiday family traditions can be as simple as you make them. We have the tried and true traditions like elf on the shelf, leaving cookies and milk out for santa or opening a special gift on Christmas Eve. But starting new traditions can create fun memories that will last long after the holiday season is over. Here are some fun activities for spending time together as a family during the holidays!
Volunteering in your community- Teach your children real holiday spirit by spending some of your season helping others. There are always lots of opportunities around this time of year. Try visiting your local soup kitchen to lend a helping hand or to donate food for another families holiday dinner. Make room for new toys or clothes by doing a clean out, and making a "giving box" to donate to Goodwill or a homeless shelter. Try the Adopt A Soldier Program, where you sign up for a one-time commitment and assemble a holiday care package to send!
Create memories to look back on- Write an annual letter to your child. Fill them with observations
you made over the year and hopes for their future. Write special little messages that will be cherished for a lifetime and store them in a keepsake box until they're old enough to read and enjoy them. Or for a more digital approach, record a year-in review. Shoot a fun video that reminisces about the year you all had, what you and your kids have been up too including vacations, a new pet or achievements your children have made!
Make the holiday's magical!- Try making " reindeer food" with uncooked oats rainbow sprinkles and glitter, to sprinkle in the yard on Christmas Eve. Keep them believing by leaving Santa's footprints behind by taking some boots and flour and stomping out a path of footprints! Going from the chimney to the Christmas tree or maybe to the milk and cookies. The path can be different every year! Wow the kids and grow a candy cane. Get a small planter and fill it 1/3 of the way with potting soil, Add the magic "candy cane seed" or small peppermint candy, fill the pot with more soil and have them water their candy cane! With a little help and magic from Mom or Dad they next day or two a candy cane will have grown!
Make it sweet!- Everyone loves sweets and treats around the holidays! This year host a cookie bake-off, gather loved ones for a good old-fashioned cookie bake off! Invite friends, or family to be the judges for a festive taste test. To make it more official, each year, require competitors to use a specific ingredient- the best use of eggnog, candy canes or fresh ginger! Considering hand delivering some of the winning cookies to a neighbor and make someone's day!
The best things about the holiday season is having the chance to spend valuable time with our loved ones, show our appreciation for one another and overall, give thanks. What your kids will remember long after another toy had been broken, lost, or left in the back of the closet are the traditions we live and breathe each holiday season.
Posts written by the Team ELM family!