The thought of having all of my kids up until midnight to ring in the New Year makes me, well, want to go to bed at 8:00 myself. Despite the fact that we don’t yet welcome them to stay up and watch the ball drop (after all who wants to start the New Year with tired, cranky kids?) we do enjoy celebrating both the end of a year and the beginning of a new year as a family.
We have a tradition of serving stir-fry with steak, chicken and shrimp for New Year’s Eve. It wasn’t meant to be a tradition but it was the planned meal once when our youngest was a tot. From then on every time we had stir-fry he would say “We’re having Happy New Year for dinner,” and a new New Year’s tradition was born.
Although our New Year’s Eve dinner may not be fancy, the kids still enjoy decorating for New Year’s and making New Year’s crafts to transform the evening into a magical one.
DIY New Year’s Eve Noise Makers:
For kids, excitement and celebration will always translate into noise. Our DIY noisemakers are still less offensive than the store bought horns.
Cheap Paper plates
Large dry beans or pasta (half a handful for each will do)
These DIY New Year’s Eve noisemakers are made by folding a very cheap paper plate. Put a staple on the center edge and either end. Now holding it upside down, feed the larger dry beans or pasta through the openings. As you’re going to close the gaps in between insert scraps of ribbon so that you’re closing a hole and stapling the ribbons on at the same time. There should be plenty of scrap ribbon around after the holidays.
Finally you will add the numbers of the New Year, such as 2011. We have used metallic numbers, number stickers and even number stamps.
Teaching tip: We repeat the “adding the numbers” process as much as possible in the New Year’s crafts to help the kids remember to change the year in the date on their upcoming return to school. You can have your kids add the numbers of the new year to party hats, paper placemats and so on.
DIY New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball Masks:
Even though the kids aren’t going to a masquerade ball for New Year’s Eve, they’ve read about them and love the idea. Making masquerade masks for New Year’s Eve is fun and easy.
Heavy colored paper
Chop stick (or stick, craft stick, straw or pencil)
Feathers and other embellishments optional
To create a DIY New Year’s Eve masquerade mask, sketch out the outline of what would look like an eye cover for sleeping and cut it out. Hold the mask up to the child’s eyes and mark where the holes should be. Young children may need help cutting out the holes but be sure they watch your technique. Now they can add stickers and other embellishments. Shiny star stickers are festive for New Year’s Eve.
Lastly, turn the mask over and tape the chopstick to one side. That’s it. Now your kids have a masquerade ball mask and noisemaker for celebrating on New Year’s Eve.