New years eve is quickly becoming one of our favorite family traditions. A pattern is forming, and all ages look forward to it!
First: we do not treat New Year’s Eve as an expensive, adults-only event. Not only does this save babysitting costs, it also is tons of fun and pulls the family together. Our multi-age new year party tips:
- Don’t start the party too early. 8:00 works for us. Setup begins at 5:00. Some close family comes early to help set up and enjoy an easy dinner together.
- Offer special treats for all ages… from popcorn to baked brie. Make sure the snacks are self-serve for the children, and at their level. If everyone agrees to bring a snack and a bottle of bubbly, you will be well equipped.
- Set up a beverage station that even children can handle. Stack towels near it and everyone can do their own cleanup when spills occur. Adult beverages should also be self-serve, but up higher. 🙂
- Include a sparkling cider or juice in your midnight toast so that everyone can participate. Set the glasses onto large trays prior to the party so they are ready to fill. Choose a different color or style of glass for the non-alcoholic option.
- Make a ruckus at midnight! Bang pots and pans or have the kids run in circles in the yard with sparklers.
- Have a quiet place ready to lay children down. If they “Crash” early, you can move them to the quiet area complete with a nursery monitor so their parents can hear them if they awake.
- Check out this wonderful blog article for fun new years party activities.
Second:Include an activity table. Yours could be anything from decorating a new-years mask, making a new year hat out of newspapers, or using fabric markers on blank shirts. If the craft table is set up in advance, families can make use of it as it suits them, have something to create together, and create conversation pieces. Try to choose a craft that takes less than an hour to complete, and is ready to take home at midnight.
Third: Create a tradition. A few years ago my hubby decided to attempt creme brulé for new years eve. Since the kitchen is THE natural gathering place for parties, he has lots of helpers, and an audience when he torches the yummy creations. The children deliver the ramekins to interested guests. Our kids now look forward to this every year.
Years before we started a tradition making new years masks out of plaster cast material. Messy but fun. Creativity abounded!
A third tradition is the opening of the dress-up box. Funny dress up hats, boas, etc. keep the mood light and keep the adults and children interacting.
No matter what your tradition is… just keep it going! You will be surprised how much the kids (and adults) remember and anticipate the tradition.