Set up a kids campout in a tucked away place. Pillows, sleeping bags, stuffed animals, a few good DVDs and each other’s company will make the night a winner. Older kids and tweens may like video games, Parker Brothers game Guestures, Dance Dance Revolution for Playstation is a popular game, as is Guitar Hero. Guests can be asked to bring their favorite party games or DVDs.
Allow the kids to decorate it with streamers, balloons, and pre-made decorations. The more balloons the better! You can engineer a kind of ball drop by hanging a paper tablecloth from the ceiling with duct or masking tape. Fill it with balloons and pull it down at midnight for a festive celebration. Have a TV tuned in to watch the ball drop. Make sure every has a copy of the New Year’s Eve Auld Lang Syne Words.
Spend the evening creating a time capsule of 2012. So many changes occur over the course of a year. Take a Shoe Box and wrap it in newspaper from New Year’s Eve . Label it “Don’t open until 2014″. It will be fun to open next New Year’s Eve to see everything they put in the box. They will be amazed at how much has changed in just one year and also how much has stayed the same. Kids should write down index cards things that will define them in the year 2012: A self portrait, their favorite vacation from 2012, a hand print, their favorite meal, their favorite subject, their least favorite subject, current accomplishments, height, favorite meal, what they are looking forward to in 2013.
Save that water bottle from the landfill by creating a fun noise maker for New Year’s Eve when the clock strikes 12. Create noisemakers by filling plastic water bottles with rice or lentils and covering the bottles with colored paper, glitter and other decorations. Instructions are on the Kaboose blog.
Transform the Christmas tree into a Resolution Tree. In preparing for 2013, I found this new years eve free printable on the Thirty Handmade Days Blog. Have the kids fill out their answers and talk about setting goals and reflect on memories from this past year. Leave the lights on the tree and tie the sheet on the branches with bits of blue ribbon or colorful clothespins to usher in the New Year.
It wouldn’t be New Year’s Eve without silly hats, so gather supplies for making them. Here’s an idea for a crazy weather hat from the Spoonful blog. Raid the recycling bin for newspaper, leftover wrapping paper, ribbons, cardboard, paper plates and other materials. Award a prize for the silliest, the most creative, the prettiest, etc.
Have the kids craft their own ball to drop at midnight. Buy a large Styrofoam ball at the craft store as well as straight pins or craft glue and multicolor sequins. Push a chenille or pipe cleaner stem into the center of the ball and decorate the ball, using glue to attach the sequins. Tie a long piece of ribbon to the chenille stem and attach the ball to the ceiling; cut the ribbon at the stroke of 12. Instructions found on the Mother Huddle blog.