By Megan Cooley for thespruce.com
Since midnight is past most kids’ bedtimes, they can’t participate in the Champagne toasts of New Year’s Eve. However, there are still plenty of ways kids can celebrate the new year. Savor the holiday with just your family, or, if you love an extra loud crowd, let a few of of their friends join in on the festivities.
Have a Mock Midnight
If you know your kids won’t be able to stay up until midnight, don’t hesitate to fudge on the time a bit. Rather than waiting for clocks to strike actual midnight, do your countdown a few hours earlier instead. Then the kids can go to bed happy that they got to participate in the tradition, and the adults can stay up to celebrate the real midnight if they wish. You can even create a special January 1 tradition with a New Year’s Day breakfast for those early-to-bed, early-to-rise kids.
Sound the Alarm
Ask your party guests to bring as many alarm clocks as they can, and set them all to go off at midnight (or earlier if you’re celebrating a faux midnight). When the alarms start ringing, bang pots and pans, toot horns, and make a general ruckus as you hug, kiss, and wish everyone a happy year. Then, send the kids to run around and silence the alarms.
Create a Piñata Ball
Is it really New Year’s if you don’t watch a ball drop? For your kid-friendly party, consider making a ball-shaped piñata that resembles the big ball that drops in New York City. You can even have the kids help you decorate it with paint, sparkly beads, and glitter. Then, at midnight, let the kids bang it open to find candy and trinkets inside.
Balloon games are always a treat at children’s parties, and a balloon drop is perfect for New Year’s Eve. Suspend a bunch of balloons in a net above the guests, and then release them at midnight. An alternative is to fill balloons with confetti before you blow them up, and then have the kids pop them at midnight.
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