Celebrating New Year’s Eve with Kids — Our Child-Planned NYE Party

New Year’s Eve is typically seen as a big partying holiday for adults, but it’s always fun to include the kids! Truth be told, even before COVID we usually stayed home on NYE and were in bed by 10pm. For the past few years, we’ve had a family New Year’s Eve party just the four of us, usually starting around 4pm and ending at the kids’ usual bedtime. That’s what works for us!

These pictures are from our New Year’s Eve party last year, but we’re planning on doing most of the same activities this year! I’ve listed all of the materials needed so you can be sure to gather them beforehand. Lila (age 6.5) chose all of these activities from Pinterest last year — I’ll include her full Pinterest board at the bottom of this post!

New Year’s Eve Pizza! Our family loves homemade pizza nights, so we were excited to make 4 small pizzas in the numbers of the new year! For this activity you’ll need to get pizza dough, sauce, mozzarella cheese, and your favorite pizza toppings at your local grocery store. The pizza dough will have instructions for baking, but you may need to adjust the time in the oven if your pizzas are smaller than normal.

And you can’t have a NYE party without party hats! We used some construction paper, sharpies, stampers, washi tape, and jewel stickers to decorate hats with the number of the new year on them.

The girls may have been a bit young for this plate stacking game last year — it was a bit of a bust for us! I’ll still include it here just because it provides a second way to use those cups. The idea is to set a minute timer and see who can build the tallest tower out of plastic cups and paper plates without it falling down!

I love keepsake questionnaires, so I knew I wanted the girls to fill out some time capsules about the past year and what they were looking forward to. Some of these answers are hilarious! You can find so many of these on Pinterest.

You can’t celebrate New Year’s Eve without a ball drop! This “ball drop” game involves standing up high with a blindfold on and dropping ping pong balls into a bucket. Whoever gets the most balls in the bucket in one minute wins! [This game makes a big mess, but it’s pretty fun!]

Then we took a dessert break! Our local grocery store has a lot of New Year’s Eve pretzels available in the bakery, so we brought one home and enjoyed it with some sparkling cider.

This party blower game was the all-time favorite game of the night! The aim is to get a plastic cup from one end of the table to the other without touching it — just by using your party blower! The girls played this one over and over again.

Then we prepared some DIY poppers to use when at the end of our NYE countdown. Cut the top off a balloon and put it around one end of a toilet paper roll. We use washi tape to make it more secure, then decorate the toilet paper roll with sharpies. When it’s time to pop, fill the roll with mini pom-poms and pull the bottom of the balloon down, then release! [This one also makes quite a mess!]

And we couldn’t resist some bubbly science! We put some disposable champagne flutes into a pan with high sides (you’ll need it!) and added some baking soda to the bottom of each flute. Then we put vinegar into small pitchers and added a different drop of food coloring to each one. Finally, we took turns pouring the vinegar into the flutes and watching the resulting foam!

When it was almost the girls’ normal bedtime, we gathered our poppers and party blowers and settled on the couch. Netflix has several short videos you can choose from to watch a countdown to “midnight.” Then we turn on Youtube and search for “Fireworks 2021” — that way we can watch the fireworks shows from all of the cities around the world with time zones that are ahead of us.

This is honestly such a blast every year that I’m not even going to be sad about this having to be reality during COVID times — it’s fun every year!