Originally published December 31, 2011. Updated December 13, 2020.
There are lots of fun things to do on New Year‘s Eve Day and Night with kids. Here are some festive ideas that you can whip up with hours to spare so nothing too daunting!! Need more ideas? Check out this how to have a Happy Noon Year post!
Make New Years’ Eve Hats
To make a cone-shaped hat, cut a 14-inch diameter semicircle from a large piece of poster board. Roll it into a cone, adjust its size to fit, and seal the seam with double-sided tape ( or glue or staple). To make the chin strap, use a thumbtack to poke a hole through each side of the hat near the bottom, thread one end of an elastic or string through each hole, and knot a few times to secure it. To have the kids decorate the hats, wrap pipe cleaners around pom-poms to make antennae or coil them around a pen to make spirals. Add fun stickers, or decorate with markers and crayons.
Make Noise Makers
Take a clean, dry (and empty) water bottle and take off the logo. Place a handful of beads, dried beans, or coins inside. Run some glue around the mouth of the bottle and replace the cap. Then make a mixture of 1/2 white craft glue and 1/2 water to cover the bottle a few times over. Tear white tissue or colored tissue paper into large chunks. (Kids love this part.) Paint a small section of the outside of the water bottle with the glue mixture. (Kids can help!) Place a torn piece of white tissue paper onto the glue mixture and paint over it with the glue mixture. Repeat this process, covering the entire bottle. You can add layers if you wish. Allow to dry. Then you can add stickers or other fun things to the bottle. Take some ribbon and tie around the cap for a festive flair.
Make a Sign
Have kids make a big banner to hang outside or inside the house. Take a large piece of poster board and have them go at it. If they are not old enough to write, write the words for them, and let them decorate around the words.
Make a Year in Review Time Capsule
This is a project the whole family can get involved with. See what things your kids can think up. Whether they write a note, take a picture of themselves or collect objects found around the house, have fun! Then place in an empty shoebox covered in wrapping paper or construction paper that they can decorate. Or place in an old milk jug, an old can with a lid (like a coffee jar), or another storage container. Another idea is to have them fill out this Year in Review Printable list, and then store it for a simple memento each year.
Make a Countdown Clock
This is great for elementary school kids. Take a paper plate and have them make numbers around the edges to make a clock. Add glitter and glue or just stick with basic markers. Then make the clock hands with pipe cleaners, heavy duty paper, etc., and secure with a fastener. Then as the day goes on, have them countdown the number of hours left until the new year!
Alternatively, you could make a construction paper chain and they can rip off a circle each hour. Or perhaps fill balloons with confetti and they can pop a balloon each hour as well.
Make a Year in Review Ornament
Take a plastic craft ornament ball, like this one on my affiliate link Amazon. Let kids decorate the outside with markers or paint. Then let them fill the ornament with whatever they think made the previous year special. What was their favorite show? What book was their favorite? If you can find trinkets, place them inside the ball. Alternatively, give them little squares of paper that they either draw or write the answers to the above questions. Take a picture too. Fill the ball, attach the lid, and store. Then each year when you decorate your Christmas Tree, you have personalized family memories and snapshot of their lives. It is also fun to open them up and read aloud as a way to reminisce about past years!
Make New Years Cookies
If you didn’t get around to making Christmas or Holiday Cookies, make New Years’ cookies instead! Make little clock faces or New Years’ Eve Balls. Or just make winter-themed cookies and let kids have fun decorating!
Another idea is to just play your family’s favorite games! Or print out this New Year’s Eve Bingo Printable HERE!
After making these items, set a time for your family’s New Year’s eve celebration. Whether it is at 12 noon, 6 pm or 7 pm. Serve fun drinks (like sparkling water mixed with orange juice and cranberry juice) and serve their favorite dinner! They can wear their hats, shake their noisemakers and watch a YouTube clip of the ball dropping on the computer to yell Happy New Year (just try to ignore the fact that it is from last year). And if you miss doing it on December 31st, there is always next year! Celebrate it tomorrow!
Happy New Year Everyone!