Just because your littles can’t quite make it until midnight (or if they did you’d definitely be paying for it the next day) don’t let that stop you from celebrating the start of a new year. There are plenty of fun ways to bring some New Year’s Eve celebration to your home and still get to bed at a reasonable hour.
Make it Fancy:
Let the kids dress up in their fanciest attire, think Oscar Party. Whether their chosen outfits match or not, they’ll feel like they’re at a real “grown up” party and might even be on their best behavior. Add some party hats, costume jewelry, and you’ve got a real classy party on your hands.
Family Game Night:
Start the evening with a few of your family’s favorite games. UNO, Twister, Junior Scrabble, Pictionary, or something as simple as Charades are a great way to pass the time with plenty of giggles. Make game night a yearly New Year’s Eve tradition and don’t forget to snap a few pictures to see how much the kiddos grow and change each year.
If you want a night off from cooking but don’t feel like fighting the crowds or holiday traffic, consider having a light lunch and an early dinner; think 4 pm. You’ll beat the crowds and waiting and you can head home with full tummies ready for a few snacks. And of course hot chocolate is a must.
Sugar cookies aren’t just for Christmas. Let the kids do all the work, they can pick out their favorite cookie cutters, dye the frosting their favorite color, and use as many sprinkles as they want (sprinkles are almost as satisfying as confetti, right?) Safe yourself some work and use the store-bought dough. Less work always equals more fun.
Kids love dancing, and best of all they’ll never judge you for your outdated or even awkward dance moves. Let the kids pick the play list and get all of that energy out just in time for …
If your kids can’t decide on which movie to watch, start the movie watching early so you can fit in more than one. A few roasted marshmallows or s’mores are the perfect accessories to a cozy movie night.
The Clock Trick:
Instead of watching your kids get crabby and sleepy as the clock slowly ticks towards midnight, turn the clock forward according to the kids’ ages and bedtimes. It will look like midnight to them and you can easily find a New York City ball drop video on YouTube to make the celebration feel like the real deal. If the kids are old enough to make it to 11, watch the actual ball drop. Thank goodness for time zones, right?
Lastly, don’t forget to let the kids pick a New Year’s Resolution. Make it fun and let them chose a resolution for you also. Get them started with suggestions like “one pancake breakfast a month” or “help me with my least favorite chore.”
Then after the kids are nestled in bed dreaming about their fun party with mom and dad, you can stay up and do your own celebrating … or just revel in your success and enjoy a good night’s sleep.