Christmas is over. The Christmas clean up is done. My house is clean (sort of) and I don't want to deal with any more mess.
But then there's New Year's Eve.
It's really rude that it follows Christmas so closely because I kind of am done with hoopla like a week before Christmas even happens.
But then I remember how fun New Years is and I (sometimes) kick my rear in gear.
There have been years where we've just turned on random fireworks on the tv, told the kids Happy New Year! and sent them off to bed. Because that's all we could manage. And that's ok too.
If you're up for throwing a killer New Year's Party, Kid Edition this year, here's some things we've done that have been really fun. And they really don't take all that much time either.
My philosophy with decorations is to pick an area to decorate and do a few big things that make a big statement, because Everything. Takes. Time.
I'm a control freak. I really fight it but sometimes I just want to do it myself. If that's the case with you then decorating the night before is the way to go. Everyone's asleep. It's beautiful. But there is something to be said for letting the kids get to be creative too.
There's many things I miss about this rental. That chandelier was not one of those things.
New Year's Deco Ideas:
Seems like gold, silver, and black are pretty traditional New Year's Color schemes, but honestly, I kind of feel like any decorations are better than none, so...
Paper Circle Garland: Last year I used my new 3 inch hole punch and punched a bunch of shiny cardstock I had.and then sewed them together. They were only colored on the one side, which was a bummer, but it still looked cool. The whole deal took like 30 minutes or so. And I am not a sewer. And when we were done, I got to put them in a baggy to use for this year. Here's a quick tutorial I found for that, but I didn't need to manually move the thread in between the circles so it went way faster. If you're wanting to do this, you could also cut the circles out on a cricut or just trace a glass and cut with scissors. You can do different sizes of circles, but the bigger the circle, the faster it will go.
Banner: I bought this Hooray banner a while back at Target and winced paying the $5 at the time but it has been a little workhorse. I pretty much use it all the time because, hello, it says "hooray." I highly recommend snagging one the next time you stop in. But if you (or your kids) are feeling crafty, you could also make a pennant banner out of fabric or paper or a tissue paper tassel garland.
Balloon Drop: Some years when I've had more people coming over we've done a balloon drop, and that's fun. My brilliant hubby and/or father has rigged up some way to hold the balloons with a sheet of some sort and then had a pull cord. It always take some real time to blow up the balloons and then set it up, I won't lie. It's pretty awesome but you've been warned. This way of setting it up looks pretty darn brilliant.
Year Poster: Either cut out the new year or just write it on a poster. The bigger the better. I like to keep stocked on poster board just for projects like this. Not that I don't plan ahead or anything...
Streamers: These can be a fun kid project if you're having the kiddos join in the fun. Just hand them the roll and some tape and let them go at it.
I Don't Think So: Two thing you will NEVER find at a party at my house: glitter or confetti. Urg. The WORST. In the moment it's fun but just know that it will take you days and weeks to get it all cleaned up, because you know that the kids will throw it. The WORST.
FYI: The Dollar Tree has poster board, streamers, balloons and all the makings for the balloon drop.
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2) Count Down to 7pm
First of all, let me just say that there is no scenario I can imagine that would make me WANT to have my kids stay up until midnight. I wouldn't want to deal with them all night. And I certainly wouldn't want to deal with them the next day.
So as a result we count down to 7pm. You could totally do the London countdown but 7 is perfect for us- it gives us enough time to fit in our fun stuff and then when we're done we can shuffle them off to bed. Plus you can show the London New Years any time you want.
Like at 7.
3) Photos from the Year
There is something so unifying about looking at pictures of your family from the past. New Years is a great time to review pics from the past year and reminisce.
I am completely non-tech savvy (that's actually an understatement) so this is Matt's deal. He puts some of our best pics from the year on our phones to Google photos which he chromecasts to the tv. Before we do anything else we laugh at our ridiculous, adorable selves.
If you're inviting other families to join in the fun you could have them throw some up too.
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4) Countdown Timer
You've got to have a timer going, for heaven's sake.
Matt downloaded a countdown timer app on his phone and then chromecasts it to the tv. So fun!
Love him helping the then 7 yr old to pull that popper string. Happy New Years!
Poppers are perfect. You can do them indoors, no one gets burned, and they don't make much of a mess.
We grabbed one of those giant popper packs from Costco last year. Sheesh. We filled a big old jar with them and barely made a dent in the box. I guess we'll be set for like 5 years, which is good because I'm not sure I saw them there this year.
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6) Mystery Bag Activities
I decide on 10 different activities I want us to do and then write the name of the activity on a piece of paper. I then gather the materials I need for each one and put each activity in a brown paper bag.
I loved that there is no order here to open them. That's part of the fun, letting the kids take turns choosing the bag. I've seen lots of darling ideas where the time to open each bag or pop the balloon is on the outside but that just doesn't work for my crew. There's no way I can accurately predict how long any activity would take. And what do you do while you're waiting for the next time to come up?! Plus, drawing a question mark on a brown bag is pretty easy, so there's that too.
So there you go: 6 Ideas to Throw an Awesome New Year's Party. Everyone will think you're so dang cool, including yourself.
Stay tuned for some really fun, easy activities to put in those Mystery Bags.