For children, the turn of the year is a special time – the whole family is in a festive and carefree mood, everything is brightly coloured and glittering and even the littlest ones are allowed to stay up late. The highlight for many children is the colourful fireworks. To make the New Year’s Eve party great fun for the whole family, we have collected some New Year’s Eve games and things to do New Year’s Eve with kids that will make the hours fly by. We also give tips for the first New Year’s Eve with a baby to help you have a more relaxed New Year’s Eve.
Every family celebrates New Year’s Eve in their own way: whether you have a New Year’s Eve dinner with grandparents, uncles, aunts, or just celebrate with your children is entirely up to you. The important thing is that everyone has a good time past midnight. We have collected some New Year’s Eve tips for kids of different ages to help you plan a fun and relaxed New Year’s celebration.
The turn of the year is just around the corner – this is of course a reason to rejoice, but having a baby brings some challenges too. With the help of these tips, the first family New Year’s Eve with a baby can be a much less stressful experience:
Put your baby to bed at the usual time. Many babies will sleep through the fireworks without any problems – but stay close by in case your child wakes up.
Plan quiet activities. For example, have a cosy evening and enjoy some ‘couple time’.
You don’t have to miss out on socialising: You can also invite guests and spend the evening with quieter activities such as board games and a delicious New Year’s Eve meal. All guests must be aware in advance that you do not want to celebrate too loudly.
Ideally, you should celebrate together with other parents who will understand your wish for a quiet New Year’s Eve celebration.
A New Year’s Eve party with a toddler (2 to 4 years) requires some clever planning: at this age, your child may want to take part in the New Year’s Eve party. However, children at this age are still too young to stay up all night. To avoid frustration and overtiredness, keep the following in mind when celebrating New Year’s Eve with a toddler:
Send your child to bed at the same time as usual. For very young kids, New Year’s Eve is initially a night like any other, because it is the adults who teach them the meaning of New Year’s Eve. If your child wakes up at midnight, he or she can of course watch the fireworks.
Bring forward the New Year’s Eve celebration with your kid. This option works well if you have many children of a similar age in your circle of friends. Get together with other families and celebrate an early New Year’s Eve, for example, from 5 or 6 p.m. onwards – with delicious food, glittering decorations, and sparklers.
Some small children get scared by loud firecrackers – so they need the comforting closeness of their parents and, if necessary, keep an extra distance from the event. To be on the safe side, you can watch the fireworks from inside and keep the windows closed.
Bear in mind that...
Fireworks should only be lit outdoors and only by adults. Children should always stay at a safe distance from the fireworks and be supervised by adults. Children under the age of 12 should never use sparklers unsupervised.
Even though the younger ones might be excited to get dressed up, stay up late, and celebrate with the adults, the hours until midnight can be quite long. To make the time until the New Year fly by, we have collected a few activity ideas and New Year’s Eve games for kids that are guaranteed to keep them entertained.
This little New Year’s Eve game is ideal for little adventurers who like to go in search of a very special treasure. All you need for the New Year’s Eve treasure hunt is:
A small box or bag
The ‘treasure’ (e.g. snacks, small toys such as card games or cuddly toys)
Torches if necessary
Shortly after the Christmas holidays, you will probably still have some gift bags or boxes in the house – these can easily be filled with small presents and turned into treasure chests. Hide the New Year’s treasure somewhere in your home and send the little party guests off to look for it. Older children can also search in the dark with torches – but make sure to avoid any hazards while they search in the dark.
For this game for toddlers at home, all you need is a piece of paper and a pencil. Write the numbers from 1 to 20 randomly on the paper, circling each number. These are your ‘heaps of dung’.
The aim of the game is to take turns connecting the dung heaps in order, just like connect-the-dots – however, the lines must not touch or overlap. Each player should connect the dung heaps in a way that makes it as difficult as possible for the next player. You’ll need a lot of creativity and a steady hand. And don’t forget to enjoy teasing each other.
Did you know that...
A good idea to keep the kids busy over the holidays is to involve children in the preparation for the New Year’s Eve celebration. For example, if your child enjoys arts and crafts, you can make custom pennant garlands together out of scraps of fabric or paper. Afterwards, you can let your child get creative with some decorating.
Take a look back over the year with fashion in mind. There are two ways to do this, one of which requires a little more preparation and the other can be done spontaneously:
Let your children become fashion designers and let their creativity run free. Start by collecting newspapers leading up to the New Year. You will also need some scissors and tape. The task is to create a beautiful evening dress out of the newspaper that can be worn. Everyone then competes in a ‘fashion contest’ wearing their homemade dresses.
With this fashion show, your child collects all his or her favourite outfits from the wardrobe to show off in a fashion show. Send your child on a search for the right outfit with small challenges. Possible themes are:
‘My favourite outfit of the year’
‘A crazy combination’
‘The cosiest jumper in my wardrobe’
‘A T-shirt with a crazy print’
‘I don’t like this outfit anymore’
You can end the fashion show with ‘The most stylish New Year’s Eve outfit’ – this outfit can be worn for the rest of the evening.
Are you looking for a simple activity that is also delicious? Then try pouring dough on New Year’s Eve! You only need a few utensils for this edible game-in-a-pan:
Small ladle/pastry syringe
Pancake batter (basic recipe: 2 eggs, 200 ml milk, 200 g flour, 60 ml mineral water, 1 pinch of salt)
Everyone is given a small portion of dough, which they then carefully pour into the pan. The idea is that they try to draw a fun shape (e.g. star, cloverleaf, half-moon, heart, etc.). Then, the other players have to guess what the shape is. The shape drawing is made much easier with a pastry syringe. Whoever manages to guess the shape correctly gets to eat the mini pancake!
Important: Always make sure that the children do not get too close to the hot pan.
What could be better than starting the New Year full of hope and wishes? With this little activity, the children can record their wishes for next year. For this you will need:
Small flowerpots (preferably in different colours)
Some potting soil
Four-leaf clover seeds
Craft supplies (coloured paper, pens, scissors, glue)
First, everyone writes their wishes on a small piece of paper. Then, the notes are folded placed at the bottom of the flowerpot. Next, fill the flowerpots with soil and plant the lucky clover seeds as per the instructions; you may have to help your child with this step.
Place the pots on a shelve with sunlight and leave them to sprout into lucky clovers. Your child can watch their ‘grow’ as the clover grows. Once the plant is fully grown, it can be pressed and kept as a lucky charm.
Did you know that...
There are many timeless classics among party games for kids that are always fun. ‘Who am I?’, ‘Categories’, or ‘Freeze Dance’ are, after all, fun on any occasion. With board and card games, too, time passes in a flash: You can fall back on favourite games from your collection or try out something completely new together (e.g. the ‘Game of the Year’).