18 Crafty Ideas for Celebrating New Year's With Kids
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.
New Year’s Food and Snacks
Lucky New Year’s Food
On New Year’s Day, people in the southern United States fill up on greens and Hoppin’ John—black-eyed peas and rice, often with onions and bacon mixed in. Some say each pea eaten represents a dollar to be gained in the coming year; for others, the peas symbolize pennies and the greens dollars.
Bake Saint Basil’s Cake
In Greece, New Year’s Eve celebrations are not complete without Saint Basil’s cake, or Vassilopitta, into which a gold or silver coin is baked. Another option, available at craft stores, is a small charm in the shape of a baby (representing the New Year). The cake gets cut ceremoniously—one piece for Saint Basil, one for the house, one for the poor, and finally one for each member of the family. The person who finds the coin or charm in their piece carries good luck into the next year.
This great punch is always a hit at a party, because it’s very thirst quenching and colorful, too.
3 cans frozen lemonade (6-ounce cans)
1 package frozen strawberries (10 ounces)
1 quart chilled ginger ale
Make the lemonade according to the directions on the can. Thaw and stir in the strawberries with the lemonade. Add the ginger ale, and float the ice cubes in a punch bowl. (Makes one gallon.) You can also scoop some sherbet (your choice of flavors) into this punch for a frothy party punch. Or pour your punch into party glasses with paper umbrellas or a skewer of maraschino cherries.
Edible New Year’s Hats
Have your child spread cream cheese on the outside of a sugar ice cream cone. Next, provide your child with healthy things to decorate the edible hat, such as carrot shavings, raisins, and dried cranberries. Finally, eat and enjoy.
Choose your family’s favorite fruits and sweets and design a colorful platter to serve with your pot of chocolate fondue. Here is the recipe for the fondue and some classic dippers:
12 ounces sweet German chocolate, semisweet chocolate chips, or Toblerone chocolate
1 cup light cream or half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Break the chocolate into pieces and drop them into a saucepan. Add the cream and melt over low heat, stirring occasionally until the chocolate is smooth. Add the vanilla extract and stir. Transfer the chocolate sauce to a fondue pot. Using the fondue forks, spear the fruit and sweets, then dip in the chocolate sauce. Classic chocolate fondue dippers include banana or pineapple chunks, strawberries, apple or pear slices, kiwi, star fruit, orange sections, pound cake squares, and marshmallows. Serves eight to 10 people.
With all of these fun options of fabulous things to do and delicious treats to eat, you and your children should have no trouble finding great ways to ring in the New Year! My only concern … staying up late enough to do so!
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