Discovery Point Blog

December 28, 2021

6 Ideas for Celebrating New Year’s as a Family

Celebrating New Year’s Eve with young children can be a bit tricky. As much as you may want them to experience the apex of the holiday, staying up til midnight simply might not be an option. 

Even if your children are going to bed early, it doesn’t mean you can’t make a ton of memories together as a family on this special night. We’ve got a few ideas for you that can up the family fun on New Year’s Eve even if no one stays up to see the ball drop.

#1: Craft Handmade Party Hats & Noisemakers

Early in the evening, set aside some time to craft party hats and noisemakers together as a family. After all, is it really a holiday without a bit of a racket?

There are plenty of kid-friendly DIY party hat projects out there, and the instructions at Paper Source are a good place to start. While party hats have a fairly standard design, you can get really creative with your noisemakers based on what you have lying around the house. 

Check out Alpha Mom for inspiration to create noise makers out of anything from raisin boxes to rice, pasta, beans, bells, and other bits and bobs.

#2: Go On a Photo Scavenger Hunt & A Trip Down Memory Lane

This one offers a great opportunity to reflect on some of the best moments of the year as a family. First, print photos from special occasions, events, and everyday life from the past year and write the month in which they were taken on the back. Then, hide those photos around the house and send the children on an Easter-egg-style hunt. 

Once the photos have all been collected, have your children go through them and detail their memory of the moment in each photo. Then, lay out the photos in chronological order. Give your kids a chance to pick their favorite memories and explain why. Have a box of Kleenex at the ready – you may get a bit teary eyed seeing how much they’ve grown in such a short time!

#3: Play Two Resolutions and a Lie

Talk to your children about the concept of New Year’s Resolutions, if they’re not already familiar with it. Give some examples for resolutions you may want to set for yourself, they may want to set for themselves, and you all may want to set as a family. 

Then, play Two Resolutions and a Lie – a take on Two Truths and a Lie. Each family member takes a turn talking about two of their real resolutions and one fake one, and everyone else has to guess which resolution is made up. Round off this game by discussing each person’s real resolutions and what steps they can take to achieve them.

#4: Make a Family Vision Board

Since you’ve already discussed possible family resolutions, you can transition into creating a family vision board together. Choose the materials based on what’s on hand and your children’s skill levels. 

For example, they can draw, cut out pictures from old magazines, use a magnetized chalkboard or whiteboard, or even use an app on a tablet. The goal is to create something together that you can post up where you’ll see it every day and that will inspire you to achieve the goals you’ve set as a family.

#5: Build a Family Time Capsule

While your family vision board will look to the future, your family time capsule will look to the past. Collect small items from throughout the year – such as ticket stubs, small toys, drawings, birthday candles, Christmas cards, etc. – and put them in a glass mason jar, perhaps with a note to all of your future selves. Then, hide away the time capsule (somewhere you don’t frequent often but will remember where it is!) and pull it out during next year’s New Year’s Eve.

#6: Story Time for the Whole Family

This one doubles as bedtime storytime for the youngsters! Have each member of the family grab their favorite book from the year and read aloud short passages or, in the case of brief picture books, the whole story. 

At this point, you might see a few heads nodding. Fortunately, you’ve already made plenty of memories tonight, and New Year’s Day still awaits you tomorrow!

The best part of organizing a few activities for New Year’s Eve is that they can become a tradition your family looks forward to every year. Even as children grow, you can always make the practice of printing out photos, walking down memory lane, and creating a family time capsule a habit. Your children are sure to treasure these memories whether they see the ball drop or not, we promise!