From PBS Parents:
New Year’s Eve celebrations are often adult-only events, but kids get excited about the big night as well. Because babysitters are scarce and restaurant prices are high on December 31, it makes more sense to celebrate with the kids. Many communities now host family-friendly First Night celebrations with fireworks, music and games (like this one in Windsor, NY), but you can also have lots of fun staying home.
Whether you decide to host a neighborhood party or just cozy up with your family, make it a New Year’s Eve to remember with these tips for a kid-friendly celebration.
Ring in the Noon Year
Many children can’t (or shouldn’t) stay up until midnight, so count down until the noon year. Bring out the noisemakers, pour a sparkling apple cider toast, and count down to the stroke of 12 p.m. on December 31. If you have several young children over to celebrate, they can make poster board numbers (10-9-8-7-6…) to hold up as you count down the seconds.
Travel the Time Zones
It’s always midnight somewhere in the world, so set clocks around the house to ring in the New Year in other time zones. Research New Year’s customs around the globe (in Spain they begin the New Year by eating twelve grapes, in Japan they laugh in the New Year) and celebrate accordingly (while still getting the kids to sleep at a decent hour).
Bring on the Noise
Preparing for the party is half the fun, so get kids involved in making festive decorations. They can create their own noisemakers by filling plastic water bottles with rice or lentils and covering the bottles with colored paper, glitter and other decorations. (Or make these fun rattle drums!)
Don’t have any empty water bottles? Make a joyful noise by banging pots and pans together when the clock strikes 12.
Countdown with ODD SQUAD!
The mayor asks Ms. O to do the official New Year’s Eve countdown.