Family Games for the New Year
Bubble Wrap Celebration
Tape sheets of bubble wrap (both small bubbles and large ones) to a hardwood floor or driveway. When the New Year's countdown concludes, have the kids stomp on the bubble wrap to make loud popping sounds.
New Year's Eve Freeze Dance
Give each child a noisemaker or a horn. Play some peppy music and while the music is playing, invite the kids to make music with their noisemakers, too. When the music stops, the children freeze and yell "Happy New Year." This is a fun game—but beware—it can get very LOUD!
The Mouse Ran up the Clock
This game is based on the popular children's game "Red Light, Green Light." To play, one child is the "Grandfather Clock" and stands with his back to the players (who take the role of the mice). Grandfather Clock calls out hours at random and the mice race to take that number of steps before "Grandfather" turns around. Those who fail must return to the point in which they started. The first mouse to "run up the clock" wins.
Hide the Clock
This activity begins with an adult hiding a ticking clock. After the clock is tucked away, gather the kids together and set them off to find it. For added fun, set the clock's alarm to go off five to 10 minutes after it is hidden. If the children don't find the clock—the alarm will surely give a loud clue.
Mix a homemade soap solution of three parts water to one part dishwashing liquid. Then set out a pie plate with the homemade soap solution and let the children enjoy blowing bubbles to celebrate the New Year! For lots of miniature bubbles, tape together a bunch of plastic drinking straws. Dip one end of the straw into the bubble solution, and hold the other end about one inch from your mouth (do not put your lips on the straws), then blow. For the big-dipper bubbles, twist one end of a pipe cleaner into a large loop, dip it in the soap solution, and then slowly wave it in the air to create a giant bubble. (Learn how to make fun soap-bubble prints, too!)
Volley Balloon Game
Batting a balloon back and forth may sound easy, but it can be challenging game, too! To add a level of difficulty, have each contestant link an arm with his/her partner, leaving just one hand free for the task. Whichever pair is able to volley their balloon the longest wins.