Sometimes I think it would be nice to get dolled up and dance the night away at an adults-only event with Andrew on New Year’s Eve, but really, there’s no place I’d rather be then home with my babes squeezing out the last moments of the year together, even if it gets a little (okay a whole lotta) crazy. I know these special times as a collective crew won’t last forever, and in a few short years our oldest babes will find it completely uncool to hang out with us as much. Time with the kids is fleeting and I want to savour these special occasions together as long as they’ll willingly participate.
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Here are 8 ways to ring in the New Year with kids at home:
1. Salute the New Year with a family “Mocktail”
Here’s some super easy to make beverages we’ve enjoyed over the years:
*Serve in plastic champagne flutes you can find in every party or dollar store to make the kids feel fancy and grown up! Add gummy bears or rock candy stix for added enjoyment, or keep it on the healthier side with sliced strawberries and blueberries*
2. Have a Themed Dinner
Our favourite way to dine on NYE is making a seafood sampler platter with coconut + garlic & butter shrimp, calamari rings, baked fish fillets, lobster tails and sautéed scallops, paired with garlic bread and loads of veggies on the side. In many cultures across the globe, it’s believed eating seafood on the first day of the year will bring a year of luck, prosperity and good health!
3. Dress Up Party + Photo Booth
Every NYE I dress us all up in a combo of gold, silver and black + white outfits. Something about welcoming the New Year well-dressed appeals to me and it makes for a great coordinated family photo opp. Always been a family photo nut, and I still annoy my kids to bits to get one every holiday. They’ll thank me one day 😉
Another idea I may try this year – have everyone pick their favourite outfit or costume. We may not match, but it’ll be less fuss and more time for fun.
Whatever you wear, set up a super simple DIY photo booth and take some celebratory snaps by placing gold or silver wrapping paper on a bare wall (4×4 feet). Add in some photo props and gather accessories (hats, glasses, novelty jewelry) from around the house. Play around with your selfie stick, put your DSLR on a timer or go freestyle with an instant photo camera or portable social media photo printer to grab some fun family shots. Share with loved ones or place on magnets for the fridge.
4. Have a Dance Contest
Create a Top Songs of …. playlist and take turns breaking out into your best moves! Everyone’s a winner! Hand out goodie bags of everyone’s favourite candy as prizes.
5. Have a Magic Show
Pick up a Magic Kit or Google some tricks to do with things already around the house. Have the kids put on a magic show. We had a lot of fun with this one the last few years!
6. Create a Family Life List or Vision Board
Take turns and write down everyone’s wish list for the year ahead, or cut out words & pictures from old magazines and create your Family Vision Board. Not a material things list, but a family-do list. It’s a form of family intention-setting and holding yourselves accountable for making the year ahead what you visualize together. Maybe it’s trying a new activity? Taking a trip? Learning a new skill? Conquering a fear? Anything goes and everyone’s ideas are documented. Save it for next year’s Dec. 31st celebration to see how many things you ticked off the list and what everyone found most memorable.
7. Make a Family Slideshow of the Year’s Highlights
Grab your memory cards from your camera and cell phone, and upload your best memories from the year into a slideshow. Grab some popcorn and upload it to your TV for a family screening. It’s such a great way to relive some of the family highlights of the year that passed.
My favourite software for photo slideshows is Smilebox – they have tons of great slideshow formats, and enable songs to be added, and photos uploaded, easily. Smilebox is also great for invitations, digital photo design + more, and makes sharing your creation so quick and simple.
8. Have an early Kids’ Countdown
Grab some NYE horns, hats, streamers, and tiaras and have a kiddie countdown – early enough for the parents to snag some adults-only time before Mid-Night. We usually start at 8-9 p.m. Check out the New Year’s Eve Countdown for Kids videos offered by Netflix – your NYE parenting hack 😉 Top off the celebration with sparklers outdoors!
Whatever you and your family do, we wish you a safe and memorable night. May the year ahead be a blessed and fulfilling year for all!