How to celebrate New Year’s Eve with kids

Lizzy Mathis is an In The Know by Yahoo parenting contributor. Check out her site, The Cool Mom Co., and follow her on TikTok and Instagram for more.

New Year’s Eve is almost here! We couldn’t be more excited to welcome in 2022! 

Honestly, these last couple of years have weighed on us all, especially our children. This year, if you don’t already have New Year’s Eve plans, consider some of these fun ideas to help ring in the year with a much-needed bang. These are family-friendly tips that your kids will be excited about and will have you cheering into 2022!

1. Bake sweet treats

What is a celebration without something sweet?! Sweet treats like these New Year’s Eve-inspired ball drop cake pops are a must! With Foodstirs, they are easy and fun for the kids to make. Find the adorable recipe here. My kids love getting involved when making holiday treats!

2. Make a hot chocolate bar

This has always been a wintertime crowd favorite in my house! It’s a yummy way for everyone to enjoy something special. Clear off a table or credenza to make a hot chocolate bar with a ton of toppings. Go wild with white chocolate chips, coconut, chocolate sticks and marshmallows for a treat the whole family is bound to love.

Tip: Put hot water or warm milk in thermals at the bar to make it easy for everyone to simply pour and enjoy.

3. Design a photo booth

Watch out, Instagram – photo booths are wildly fun! Find easy and fun props on Etsy, Amazon or at your local craft store. If you can’t wait for shipping, find fun pieces around the house. Old hats, colorful scarves and sunglasses make for great photo accessories, too. 

Tip: Use a fun wall in the house, or decorate a wall with signs and artwork for a fun backdrop.

4. Create a time capsule

Make memories last a lifetime! Here’s a simple idea, but one that’s so rewarding in the long run. Take a few minutes to write out any major events or milestones from 2021 (we’re sure you can come up with a few) and any new resolutions for 2022 (positive vibes only). Place them in the box, and hide it away until next year. This is such a fun way to reflect (alone and with kids) and see how far you’ve come! Kids always get a kick out of this!

Tip: Include the kids on this activity. Add their artwork or handprints, and see how it changes in a year.

5. Play New Year’s Eve bingo

This is great for all ages! Print out bingo sheets online or design your own for a festive way to get kids involved with the ball drop celebrations. Watch TV and mark off what you see on your bingo card (fireworks, balloons, 2022, etc.). The first person to fill a row wins! 

Tip: Raise the stakes and give the winner a special prize or first dibs on the treats.

6. Swing at a piñata

Ring in the New Year with a piñata! I haven’t met a kid (or adult) yet who doesn’t at least love to try a swing at one. Fill it with candy, blowers, balloons and fun things for kids and adults to enjoy when the clock strikes midnight. It will give the kids a fun activity to look forward to as the ball drops!

Tip: Save most of the candy for the next day since kiddos will be exhausted from staying up past their bedtime.

New Year’s Eve with younger kids:

New Year’s Eve for the younger kids can be pretty tough! They want to stay up late, but they can get very tired or cranky. For a tricky parental solve, give them a separate countdown before midnight. Netflix has great New Year’s Eve countdowns for kids with the Word Party or Beat Bugs characters. It’s a cool way for the younger ones to get in on the fun without sacrificing their precious sleep.

New Year’s Eve with kids can still be super fun and entertaining! I hope you find a little inspiration for your kid-friendly year-end celebration. Whether you try one or five of these ideas, it truly is about having fun and spending quality time with each other. If the last couple of years have taught me anything, it’s how important it is to be present and cherish every moment. Happy New Year to you and yours!

For more parenting tips, healthy recipes and lifestyle must-haves, definitely check out The Cool Mom Co.

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