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How to Throw a Kid-Friendly New Year's Eve Party

How to Throw a Kid-Friendly New Year’s Eve Party

By Melissa Summers

For the fourth year in a row, we’re hosting a family-friendly New Year’s Eve party with some friends. I shared some great ideas last year, but thought I’d throw out a few more as I plan this year’s party.

This past year, we moved to a place with quite a bit more room than our last home. Because of this, we added two other families to the guest list for our New Year’s celebration. The attendee count is now at twelve adults and seventeen children ranging in age from two to 10. The party may or may not be fun but it will almost certainly be loud.

In an effort to keep the kids engaged, I have a few very simple activities planned. I’ve learned from experience that seventeen children with nothing to focus on quickly leads to complete anarchy and the result is very unpleasant on the ears, even with expanded square footage.

New Years Crafts for Kids

DIY New Year's Eve NoisemakersI’m setting up a craft area with a couple of different projects to keep kids (and honestly, adults) busy. We’re going to make noisemakers, because it’s New Year’s Eve and also kids love noise. I decided to have a few different options since we have kids of varying ages and craft abilities.

Katie at I Heart Naptime’s jingle bell noisemakers (left) are great for little kids — easy for small hands to put together and use. Just string jingle bells on ribbon and glue them to popsicle sticks. Super simple.

If your kids are more into a traditional shaker type noisemaker, Paula at Project Nursery has a craft for you, made from things she found on holiday clearance. Fill clear plastic ornament balls with beads, seal them with hot glue and decorate with washi tape. But keep in mind that very small kids may try to put the beads in their mouths, so be sure to supervise this craft carefully.

I really like a good horn noisemaker — and fortunately they are easy to make. Jordan at Oh Happy Day has fashioned some that look like megaphones. These would make a great centerpiece for a party, in fact. And Minted’s Julep blog has a great DIY by Brandy of Marabou Design for fringed party horns.

Ringing in the New Year, Family Style

The first year we hosted this party we planned to have a 10:00 pm “Pretend New Year’s” with our kids, assuming that then they would go to sleep and the adults could ring in the New Year at midnight without them. Spoiler alert: At 12:30 am they were all still awake. If your kids like an early bedtime, you can have your New Year’s celebration at whatever time works for you. We don’t even make a fake-out attempt anymore, though we do try to ply them with a steady stream of movies and lots of sleeping bags and pillows, just in case they feel like dozing off. (They don’t. Ever.)

Since our kids are late night partiers, we include them in the midnight festivities. Shortly before the ball drops, we push the furniture out of the way and line the floor with bubble wrap so the kids can stomp in the New Year while waving their cute noisemakers and blowing their adorable paper horns. You can find bubble wrap in bulk at some office supply stores or you can order it online. Learn from my experience, though: Larger bubbles pop far easier and with a much more satisfying sound than the small ones. Go big or go crazy trying to get the kids to keep popping the small bubbles.

Once we stomp in the New Year, it’s time for everyone to leave so that I can go to bed. As a party favor I’ll be sending our friends home with a cute carry out container of black eyed peas. Black eyed peas are an old southern New Year’s tradition — eating them on January 1 brings luck for the upcoming year. It’s also a nice opportunity for kids to try something new to eat. My kids will of course be marking January 1 with chicken nuggets, because that’s what they do.

What are your plans for New Year’s Eve? Do you celebrate with your kids or is it an adults-only affair?

More from AlphaMom

Hosting a Holiday Open House? Follow These 5 Tips
AlphaMom’s DIY New Year’s Noisemakers
My Kind of New Year’s Celebration

Photo source: Depositphoto/pressmaster, I Heart Naptime

Melissa Summers
About the Author

Melissa Summers

Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.


Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.

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Isabel Kallman

I love the idea of having a “bar station” just for kids. Specialty fruit drinks for them and finger foods. A place where they can “hang.”
Obviously, you need to make sure their drinks are a distinctive different color than the adult cocktail. Ha!


Another suggestion for family activities, if you’re home on New Year’s. Help your kids safely navigate the Internet to learn why 2008 is being called “The Year of the Frog.” Like Kermit said, it’s hard being green, especially today. Amphibians face the worst mass extinction since the dinosaurs — but there is a sensible, very achievable way to stop it. Learn about it, with your kids, by visiting, or my blog, Zoos around the world are ringing in this special new year by having kids play the leapfrog game on New Year’s Eve. But still, on the Web… Read more »


We go bowling. Good fun for parents and kids alike…then we head to one of the homes to eat leftover christmas treats and drink (root beer and of course beer/bubbly for the grown ups 😉 Our first NYE doing this ended at 2:30am after the adults pushed the kids out from the DDR and Karoeke on the playstation. I’m sure they need therapy after seeing us all singing and dancing (although one friends son STILL talks about seeing the church secretary beat his mom at DDR)

Young Wife

What fun ideas! The bubble wrap such a great tip! Found you through Tip Junkie.