New Year’s Eve Ideas to Celebrate with Little Ones

Kids love parties, especially grown-up parties, that they’re “not allowed at.” I remember, as a kid, my parents having parties. We could attend for the first hour or two before being shuffled upstairs with snacks and movies. So, if your little one wants to celebrate New Year’s Eve, but you know they need to be in bed well before midnight, we have you covered! We’ve compiled a list of fun New Year’s Eve ideas to celebrate with your tots and maintain their bedtime routine.

1. Drop the Ball Early

Kids have a minimal grasp of the concept of time. They probably don’t really understand why we celebrate New Year’s Eve. But they do understand the concept of parties and celebrations, and they may have heard about the infamous “ball drop” from friends or teachers at school. So, if your child wants to stay up late and ring in the new year, count down until 9 or 10 PM instead. There are lots of fun countdown clocks available online!


2. Party Poppers

Party Poppers or Christmas Crackers in the UK are a fun holiday tradition kids will love participating in. Even though these fun toys aren’t as popular stateside, they can still be found at major retailers like Target and Walmart and online at Amazon. There are confetti-filled ones, which are fun for the kids but a mess for the parents. Or the more traditional version with toys inside.

3. Have a Mini Party

Growing up, my parents made New Year’s Eve special by treating it like a big party, even though there were just five of us. They’d get special party food like cheese, cracker platters, and my favorite cocktail, shrimp! They’d get special drinks like sparkling cider, and we’d watch and movie and then turn on the Dick Clark New Year’s Eve special. Look up some unique mocktails online to add to the party atmosphere! Maybe invite a few close family members or friends or get dressed up! Making the evening feel like a party is sometimes all kids need!

Free Family Preparing Food in the Kitchen Stock Photo


4. Dance, Dance, Dance!

Dance parties are always fun! Create a unique party playlist, add some balloons and fun lights, and you have an instant dance party! You can add special effects with a bubble machine, glow sticks, and a disco ball! Dancing is always a fun family event and perfect when the weather is too cold for outdoor activity!

5. Play Family Games

New Year’s Eve is the perfect night for family game time! Family games are a time to bond, have fun, and put the personal electronics away! In addition to the classics like Candy Land, Trouble, and Uno! Some fun games to try out include What Do You Meme? Family Edition, Color Brain Disney Edition, and HedBanz. We like the Disney version of HedBanz, but there are many varieties to choose from! Alternatively, you could race against the clock with Minute to Win It Challenges or play more active games like Charades! And a lively battle of Mario Kart or your kid’s favorite video game is always fun!

No matter how you ring in the new year, there are plenty of kid-approved ways to celebrate and have fun! From everyone at KneeBouncers, have a Merry and Safe Happy New Year!

December 26th, 2023, by L. Elizabeth Forry

written by

L. Elizabeth Forry 

L. Elizabeth Forry is an Early Childhood Educator with fifteen years of classroom teaching experience. She earned a Master of Science in Early Childhood Education from The University of North Dakota and has a Bachelor of Arts in English and one in Music from Lebanon Valley College. She has taught children in Japan, Washington D.C., Chicago, and suburban Maryland. She is trained as a reading therapist, has a TEFL certification, and has done extensive work with children regarding mental health, social-emotional development, gender development. She has written curriculum for children and educators and has led training sessions for parents and educators on various topics on early childhood development. She is the mother of two boys and resides outside of Annapolis, Maryland.

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