New Year's Eve is all about the parties - parties that last all night. If these parties also include kids, you need lots of creative ideas to keep them happily busy until midnight.
You may want to consider hiring high school students (or older siblings) for the night to help watch the kids. Otherwise, arrange for adults to take turns checking on the kids so everyone can enjoy the party.
Set up a spot for the kids to hang out, play games and work on craft projects. Here are a few fun activities to keep the little party animals awake and ready to meet that midnight countdown.
Decorating for 2013
Start the night off with an activity that will keep the kids busy for hours. Instead of spending money on the "20__" memorabilia, have the kids create and decorate them for the whole party. They will love creating something the adults are actually using, and you will keep them occupied for hours.
How to play: Set up a craft table covered in festive wrapping paper. That way, you will keep your table free of glue and paint stains, and are also adding some holiday cheer to the decorations.
Purchase blank masks or hats at your local craft store. Make sure to buy enough glue and "2013" felt numbers to go around.
Provide various embellishments like feathers and sequins for the kids to have fun designing with. See if you can find stickers and felt signs that say celebratory words like, "party on", "celebrate", or "Happy new year".
New Years Resolutions
As the clock ticks closer to midnight on New Year's Eve, let the kids wind down by picking resolutions. Making this a game will help them keep their promises and get all the kids interacting positively together.
How to play: Have the children sit in a circle while you (or the babysitter or another adult) explains what resolutions are and tell some of the most common types.
Then, set up a draw station with blank paper and crayons for the kids to draw out their resolution or what it means to them. After about 15 minutes, gather them back in the circle and have them share their drawings and resolutions.
By the time the resolutions are through, hopefully the countdown will begin and you will be ready to ring in the New Year!
Time Capsule of the Past Year
Inspire kids to think about the events of the past year with this fun learning activity. They will each create a time capsule of important events from around the world and in their lives. Encourage them to reminisce and revisit the year's happenings to remind them of the good and look to have a better year next. Make this an annual activity and open past years' capsules once you make this year's.
Empty shoe boxes
Magazine and newspaper clippings
Personal memorabilia from the past year
Give each child an empty shoebox to decorate and fill.
Have the kids fill their capsule with article clippings, personal photos and memorabilia from the past year.
Older kids can write down interesting things that happened to them during the year.
Be sure to tell kids to keep the time capsules until next year.