A Rockin’ New Year’s Eve for Kids

Easy and inexpensive ways to celebrate the New Year with kids.

Is it really possible to rock New Year’s Eve once you have children?  As long as you are willing to adapt your definition of rock, keep an open mind, and most of all, a spirit of creativity, it’s definitely doable!

Here are some fun ideas to try with your little ones:



  • Break out last year’s decorations (I know you’re a frugal mama like me and saved them in your attic, too).
  • Don’t have last year’s, no sweat! Just pull together any solid paper goods, streamers, funky necklaces, etc. It doesn’t have to match; New Year’s is all about being festive, especially with kids.
  • Win-Win Activity: Have the kids help take down the Christmas ornaments off the tree and then decorate the tree with the New Years stuff.  You get the Christmas stuff put away and they get to decorate a small corner of the house!


  • Everything is more fun with music. If you have a New Year’s themed CD great…if not, any party music will do. Be sure to add a little New Year’s Freeze Dance or Family Dance Party in there. (It’ll help you start that New Year’s Resolution of exercising more a day early!)



Edible New Year’s Eve Hats (adapted from babyzone.com)

  • Items Needed: Sugar Ice Cream Cones; Frosting or Cream Cheese; Dried Fruits or Candy to decorate
  • Lie out the supplies on the table and let the kids go to town!
  • For added fun-you could even have a contest for the most creative hat, the silliest hat, etc. and give little stickers or certificates celebrating the kids’ accomplishment.  This is a time that I would be sure everyone won for some category.

New Year’s Day Breakfast

  • Celebrate 2012 by making 2012 pancakes.  They are way easier than they sound and the novelty is well worth it. 
  • Directions: make instant pancake mix; pour into a large plastic storage bag; when the pan is heated and greased, cut a small corner off of the bag; “write” out the numbers (the batter will come out quickly so it is best to prepare it on the thicker side); line the numbers horizontally across the kids’ individual plates and enjoy their surprised faces. 
  • If you are really daring, provide various candy sprinkles, jimmies or confectionery sugar for the kids to make their New Year festive.  For a healthier option use applesauce instead of syrup and provide dried fruit or nuts as the confetti.

New Year’s Dinner

  • The Iacobucci family has a long-standing tradition of eating lentils and sausages on New Year’s Day. The legend is that, the more lentils you eat the more prosperous you will be for the upcoming year.



Happy Noon Year (12:00 p.m. New Year’s Eve)

  • Jakarta, Indonesia is exactly 12 hours ahead of us so why not share some time zone knowledge with the kids and countdown to 2012. 
  • Youtube has several video displays of previous years fireworks displays that would be a great finale to your countdown!

Paper Plate Noise Makers

  • Directions: Have your kids decorate a paper plate; fold in half; fill with dried rice, beans, buttons, etc.; staple the half circle closed (be sure to staple close enough together that the “noise makers” will not fall out all over the house)
  • You can add to it with streamers or ribbons hanging from it as well.

Dress for the New Year

  • Another Iacobucci family tradition is that everyone must wear something new to the lentil dinner.  Strategically, everyone receives a new piece of clothing for Christmas and then saves it to wear on New Year’s Day. Then we all go around the table saying the new garment we are wearing.  It is a fun conversation starter!

Enjoy “First Day”

  • Instead of going into the city amidst the controlled chaos of First Night, enjoy a train ride in on New Year’s Day to view the ice sculptures at your leisure.  Be prepared that your kiddos may like the train ride best of all!
  • (Note: Stoughton trains do not run on Sunday so you must go from another location, like Canton Junction)

Win-Win Activity Out With The Old, In With The New

  • Another Italian custom that a lot of us should get into and that is to toss out your old things to be ready for the new in the coming year. So why not use the day off to de-clutter and donate.

Other Easy Activities…


Added Bonus to Celebrating New Year’s With Your Family:

Not only will you and your family have fun, but think of all the “Home and School Bridges” you have included in your holiday!

  • Time Recognition
  • Counting
  • Months of the Year
  • Multi-Culture Knowledge
  • Cooking = Science
  • Coloring = Fine motor skill building
  • Reading Practice and Comprehension


Do you have any family ideas for New Year’s Eve?  I’d LOVE to hear them; please share in the comment section below.



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