New Year’s Eve is not just for adults but children often want to celebrate but feel left out when their parents leave them with sitters for the evening. Instead of going out this year for New Year’s, plan to stay at home and entertain all of your children’s friends while their parents go out of for the evening. You will not only be a hero to your own children and their friends but you will have so many favors owed to you by the other parents that you will have free babysitting for the entire year.
New-Year’s-Day.com suggests having a sleepover for your children on New Year’s Eve. They have detailed suggestions about food, games, decorations, supplies and party favors to make the evening special. This is a wonderful way to share New Year’s Eve with your child and also allow them to have fun with their friends. If you have several couples who have children, you may want to invite the entire family instead of just the children – – parents can celebrate New Year’s Eve with their children. Each family could even accept a different responsibility for the sleepover making it less stressful on all of the parents. Parents can stay until after midnight and then go home leaving the children to settle down to sleep. Have everyone come back over the next morning for a New Year’s Day breakfast to begin the New Year with good friends.
If you want to spend the evening at home with your family, a party featuring the “Best of 2008” is a fun way to get everyone to reminisce about the best events of 2008. Start by having everyone decorate a part of the house as a hint of their favorite memory of the year – it could have been a picnic at the park, a trip to the zoo, a vacation, etc. Everyone tries to guess exactly what trip or event is being represented by the decorations. Have a vote and award a prize for the best decorations. Dinner should include one dish chosen by each family member from their favorite meal of 2008. This may mean that you have pancakes with spaghetti but remember that this is all about fun! For a great craft and a keepsake, gather materials to make a scrapbook of 2008 – – pictures, journal entries by each family member and souvenirs from during the year. This makes a great keepsake for years to come. End the evening by watching your family’s favorite movie from 2008 before having a countdown and toast at midnight.
Disney’s Family Fun website is a great source for parents looking for ways to spend New Year’s Eve with their children. Everything from food, decorations, games, crafts and ideas is included at this all inclusive party planning website. The site even has videos that you can watch to get ideas and instructions. This is a wonderful tool and I highly recommend it for anyone, like me, who may be short on time (or ideas) because Disney has done most of the planning for you. All you need to do is follow their detailed directions to have a great party for children on New Year’s Eve.
Have a family game night to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Everyone chooses their favorite game to play and designs an award for the winner of the game. You can also purchase or create certificates or awards for Best Player, Best Sport, Best Attitude, Lowest Score, etc. and have an awards ceremony at the end of the evening. End the evening with an ice cream sundae buffet to “toast” the New Year at midnight (instead of champagne). Then camp out together in the living room in tents and sleeping bags and tell your favorite memories from 2008 until you fall asleep.
Most children love to dress up – – even older children love to wear costumes. Have a costume party for New Year’s Eve for your children. You can allow them to come as any character they please and keep everything generic or you can set a theme for the party. If you choose a party theme, make sure that your decorations, food, games and entertainment compliment the theme of the costume party. FamilyFun.com has a section on party themes that will provide you with a variety of themes for your costume party as well as suggestions and tips for food, decorations and games. You may also want to take a look at the ideas for costume parties for kids at iVillage for some creative ideas for costume parties. A New Year’s Eve costume party will definitely be a big success with all of the children.