New Year's Eve Activities for Kids

Child celebrating new year

As the holiday season winds down, there’s still one special night to look forward to: New Year’s Eve! The perfect occasion for reflection and celebration, New Year’s Eve is a wonderful holiday to spend with family. This year, plan a sparkly New Year’s Eve complete with games, crafts, and even a countdown that includes the little ones!  

One of the most recognizable symbols of opening the new year with a bang is popping a bottle of champagne. Give your kids a chance to get fancy by making them their own non-alcoholic beverages from these creative recipes! Start the night off with a festive Mock Champagne made from ginger ale and white grape juice, or quickly whip up a classically fizzy Shirley Temple.

For some extra fun getting ready for the big night, enlist your kids’ help juicing oranges and lemons for this delicious Fruit Punch Mocktail

Once everyone has something yummy to drink, start the night’s festivities off by making your own party poppers! Cut toilet paper rolls in half, wrap with tissue paper, and fill with small squares of tissues paper and any sparkles or jewels you’d like. Tie the ends, and when it’s time to celebrate, pull from both sides to unleash your homemade confetti. As fun as they are, the poppers can be pretty messy, so consider making them a rare treat for the special occasion and give them the opportunity to start the new year off right by cleaning up when the celebration is over. 

While everyone waits for the clock to strike midnight, play some games! Skillmatics’ Guess in 10 has various iterations that are great for players of all ages, including Guess in 10 Junior, made specifically for three to six year olds. The game’s topics ranging from Marvel superheroes to animals to community helpers to sports, meaning there’s a version for everyone to get excited about.

For older kids into mysteries and logic, try out Catch the Crook, a board game that asks players to figure out which of its characters has stolen a precious treasure trove and how they did it! With this interactive and thrilling game, your kids can keep their problem-solving and critical thinking skills sharp while having fun and enjoying the holiday!

If you’re celebrating the new year with family, take a ride on Skillmatics’ Train of Thought and play the game of conversation starters.

Family playing conversation game around a table and laughing

Forming bonds and making connections between generations is easy and rewarding with Train of Thought: which asks questions from “What is your favorite memory with someone in this room?” to “If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be and why?” to “If you were a superhero, what would you want your power to be?” Get a little competitive while making memories: answer the questions on three sets of three cards to complete your train of thought and win the game!

Speaking of conversation starters, New Year’s Eve is a great time to have a family check-in and see how everyone feels about the past year and what they hope in the next one. What was their favorite memory from the last year? What was an experience or memory that they didn’t like? What is something they’re looking forward to at school, at home, or in sports or the movies? How do they want to help others or the world in the new year? Having these conversations with your kids encourages them to reflect on their lives and themselves, take stock of what they’re grateful for, and think about ways they can help others. Moreover, making these conversations a regular part of other New Year’s Eve activities like baking, making crafts, or playing games normalizes them and establishes a healthy tradition for your family to take part in every time December 31st rolls around. 

This year, have fun with these ideas and activities as you wait for the clock to strike midnight. Or, with the help of these countdowns, celebrate the stroke of midnight early! Let characters from your kids’ favorite PBS, Netflix, or Sesame Street help you ring in the new year without making the whole family sleep-deprived on New Year’s Day. Happy 2023!