A few years ago, my sister-in-law called me. Want to celebrate Noon Year’s Eve with the kids? Sure, I said, not really knowing what she meant. Up until this point, I have been treading upstream with three toddlers. A celebration in the middle of the day had never crossed my mind. Yet, she guided the way, and here we are in year three, doing New Year’s activities for kids. There is no turning back! We are hooked.
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How do you make New Year’s Eve fun for Kids?
Good news, if your Google search served you well, you are here, and these are the best New Year activities for kids. To make this list, we searched for some of our favorite friends on the internet to compile all the ideas into one place.
Make the New Year’s celebration fun, but come up with a handful of movement games for children of all ages. Don’t be surprised when Uncle Matt comes running to join the fun! We say this list is for kids, but it’s actually fun for all ages.
RELATED: Reading this before the holidays? Here are our favorite Christmas activities for kids.
Setting up Noon Year’s Eve
Again, let’s give some love to my super-organized SIL. She has created this system with baskets, and it is flawless.
- Pick eight-twelve New Year’s eve games.
- Grab a bucket for each activity.
- Place only the supplies needed for each activity in each bucket.
When the activity is picked, you have everything ready to go.
RELATED: Here are 101 preschool activities to keep your coffee hot and kids moving!
When does Noon Year’s Eve start?
We like to begin our Noon Year’s celebration at 10:30 and take the party right to just a little past noon. – No more dragging until midnight. The festivities are celebrated and finished before naptime.
The first year celebrating, we made a balloon pop. Inside each balloon was a piece of paper with the activity inside. Did the kids love popping the balloon with a tack? Eh, not really. So the next year, we pivoted to punching tissue paper on the cup, which worked well. Here is the tutorial for the New Year Balloon Clock.
How to make the New Year’s Countdown Clock
We found this clock to be super helpful and a little less intimidating. Here, you will find 12 games to play on New Year’s, keeping the last two for fun drinks and pizza making. Here, you will find a tutorial for a similar punch-out countdown clock.
- Find a large piece of cardboard.
- Cut out 12 circles to fit a solo cup.
- Write the Noon Year’s Eve game on paper.
- Put the paper in the cup.
- Cover the cup with tissue paper.
- Hot glue the cardboard over the tissue paper-covered cups.
- Add clock hands and numbers for the countdown.
Multiple children playing
Have a few kids that like to push to be in charge? We made this easy printout clock and gave each child a color. Each child knew when it was their turn to discover the next game.
My oldest was red, my niece had orange, my youngest son was yellow, and my middle son was green. When their color matched up on the clock, it was their time to go!
Download the New Year’s clock to use for your party.
NYE Activity List One
Remember I say I have played for a few years? Here, we will list the games we played the first time around. Each New Year’s game has a link to learn more. You may find that many of the supplies are already in your home.
- 10:30 Minute to Win It Cup Stack (Kid-Friendly Things to Do) See who can be the fastest to move the cups from top to bottom, stacking one at a time until you circle back to the cup with tape.
- 10:45 Party Blower Races (Fun-Squared) Put a small paper cup on its side and use a party blower to roll it to the other side. If the party blowers don’t work, try blowing air without the party blower to move the cup across the floor.
- 11:00 Fireworks Craft (A Little Pinch of Perfect) Improve cutting skills with this easy art activity.
- 11:15 Pom Pom Toss (Peachy Party Games) We love pom poms, and this activity did not disappoint! Stand behind your partner and toss it over their head into the New Year’s hat.
- 11:30 New Year’s Scavenger Hunt (Toddler Approved) Print out the scavenger sheets and cards.
- 11:45 Snowball Shake (Kid-Friendly Things to Do) Move the cotton ball from one end of the room to another and shake it off into a bowl on the other side.
- 12:00 Mocktails – We used soda water, orange juice, raspberries, blackberries, and limes. For inspiration, look at this list of sweet treats and this collection of mocktails by some fantastic content creators.
- 12:15 Make a Year of Pizza (Toddler Approved) We rolled the dough together and cut out the numbers. I like doing this activity last since things can get a little wild. Invite the kids to add pizza toppings and enjoy them after cooking. PRO TIP: Next year, we will roll the dough and cut the letters ahead of time for just a little less mess.
NYE Activity List Two
Here we are again, but this time, doing things a little differently!
The biggest difference is our clock being on the hour. In year one, we moved through the times. The second time around, we let interest in the activity guide the time it took to move to the next Noon Year’s Eve game. We kept the twelve o’clock hour in mind for the final cheers as we played.
- Ping Pong Ball Drop (#6 Play, Party, Plan) Put chairs on one end and buckets on the other. See who can toss the most ping pong balls in the basket before the timer goes off.
- Keep Up Your Resolutions – Have a resolution or reflection from the year? Put it on the balloon and try and keep the balloon up in the air for a minute.
- New Year’s Scavenger Hunt (Play, Party, Plan)
- Wiping a Clean Slate (Happy Tot Shelf) Use toilet paper to see if you can move objects from one end of the table to the other.
- New Year’s Eve Countdown (#9 Play, Party, Plan) – Can you tell how many jingle bells are in each box? Give it a shake and try to put it in sequential order.
- Sands of Time (#11 Play, Party, Plan)Add foam letters to each sand bucket and see who can spell Happy New Year’s.
- Glitter Glue Fireworks (Fine Art Mom) Use straws to spread the glitter glue to look like fireworks! You can also make fireworks using a Q-Tip.
- Tic Tock Tic Tacs (The Idea Room) Using tweezers, see how many Tic Tacs you can gather before the time is up. What you get is what you can snack on, no questions asked.
- Shake, Rattle, and Roll (Hello, Wonderful) A classic minute-to-win-it game! Can you shake the jingle bells out of your box? This game is a BLAST!
- New Year’s Stack Attack (The Idea Room) Make a pyramid using 40 Solo Cups.
- Make a fun drink or craft the perfect(ish) pizza for the new year.
- Countdown and toasting – Phew! You made it!
NYE Activity List Three
Drumroll please for our beest year yet! This is what we did the third time hosting New Year’s Eve for kids. In this activity list the kids are 5,7 and 9 so we did more Minute to Win It Games.
1. Paper Bag Party Crowns
What’s an NYE party without a party hat? I love starting the activity list with open-ended art that allows kids to take the lead.
2. Skittle Sort
Next up, Skittle Sort! Set the timer and see which group of kids can sort the most Skittles in the one minute.
3. Would You Rather NYE Questions
We asked NYE Would You Rather Questions outside and had the kids run to a side of the backyard to pick their answer. A great way to keep everyone moving.
4. Snowball Grab
Who can suck from a straw and grab the most cotton balls in one minute? Try this game to find out!
5. Building Challenge
Again, the clock is ticking to see who can stack the tallest cup and plate tower without it knocking down.
6. Star Shape Pizza
In the past, we made pizza numbers. We wanted to change things this year by rolling the dough to make a star-shaped pizza to grab a bite.
7. Musical Chairs
Put on Auld Lang Syne and play Musical Chairs just as you remember from your childhood!
8. Sticky Note Race
This was a fun idea we found but I’m note sure it was a great use of sticky notes. I would probably not do this one again. If you have an abundance of sticky notes, go for it!
9. NYE Dice Game
Grab the dice and have fun playing this fun Roll Dice Game. You can play with candy or a fun toy that makes a great group game.
10. Ping Pong Challenge
This one is fun for adults too! Grab the ping pong balls and see who can make the most in an egg carton in one minute.
11. NYE Charades
Another game to get everyone moving is a classic game of Charades. I like these cards because they include pictures.
12. Countdown to NYE
It’s finally time! Enjoy the final countdown to noon – or any time you pick to say it is midnight.
You are ready to celebrate!
Celebrating with kids for Noon Year’s Eve takes a little more prep work than a Breakfast Invitation, but the time is well worth it. Memories and traditions are being made.
With a new year comes new routines and a chance to hit restart. Check out some of our favorite ways to enjoy the days with kids.
Craving a calmer morning?
Breakfast Invitations are simple learning games to begin the day with play.
Throw a Noon Year’s Eve party! Pick 8-10 minute-to-win-it games for your child to play with the family. Pick one or two ideas from the list if you have a toddler. If you have an older child, use this list to create your Noon Year’s Eve party plan.
My favorite way to countdown the new year is by hosting a Noon Year’s Eve party. This is fun to countdown to noon without keeping preschoolers up until midnight. Create a countdown punch clock using solo cups and tissue paper like the one listed in this post.
Host a Noon Year’s Eve party, go to the movies, share a favorite dinner, wear a fun outfit, and have New Year party headbands. Kids find simple ways to celebrate, most important is the time you spend together.