Whether you stay up until midnight (or 9 EST)  to ring in the new year or decide to throw a Noon Year’s Eve party, you can still host a memorable bash for your kids. From keeping it casual in pajamas to making your own confetti poppers, there are dozens of ways to make the last night of the year one they’ll never forget. Scroll down for a few creative ideas for hosting your own New Year’s bash with the kids.

1. Plan Your Menu

Let the kids help with the party planning by whipping up a few appetizers made with just three ingredients (or less). From a creamy dip to the best breadsticks ever, there's something for even the pickiest of eaters. And, if you want something a little more sophisticated, but don't have a lot of time, try our favorite apps that come together in 30 minutes or less

2. Hold a Mock Countdown

If your kids won’t make it to midnight, why not host a mock countdown before bedtime? There are dozens of videos available online where they can watch the ball drop (even if it’s last year!) and if you shout “Happy New Year” before the clock strikes 12, it will still be a stand-out celebration for them!


3. Play the Pajama Game

Host a good, old-fashioned pajama party with friends or just your family! Pile the living room high with sleeping bags, pillows, and blankets (props if you opt for a fort!), wear your coziest PJs and camp out to watch the ball drop and the new year begin!

4. Dress to the Nines

If a PJ party won't do the trick, host a formal affair in honor of the new year and let your littles don old dresses, jackets, gloves, bow ties, boas, and the like. Serve sparkling cider in fancy flutes, petite appetizers, and of course, a new year’s cake!

5. Have a Cookie Encounter

Break out the cookie sheets and let your kids decorate new year's treats! Gather cookie cutters in number shapes to commemorate the year, circles for the sparkly new year's ball, or let them sprinkle and frost as they wish to celebrate 2018! Grab our go-to sugar cookie recipe by clicking here. 


6. Drop the Ball Already

Why watch the big event on TV when you can host your own? Create your own sparkling ball with a balloon or even piñata and lower it at midnight (or at any time of day if your littles can't stay up that late!). Your kids will love counting down in your own home—and bonus if the piñata ball drops prizes or treats!

7. Make It Glow

You wouldn’t believe the amount of glow stick apparel out there! Everything from necklaces to bracelets and glasses make fun ensembles and a serious statement in the dark (turn off the lights!) or in the backyard when you’re ringing in the new year! Check out our other glowingly good ideas here


photo: Gabby Cullen

8. Make Some Noise

Poppers, pots and pans, confetti-filled balloons, you name it! Put together DIY noise-making machines to set off at midnight (or 8 PM, we won't tell!). Try these DIY Easy Confetti Poppers made from toilet paper rolls and construction paper.

9. Wig Out!

If you’re holding a NYE bash, ask your kids’ friends to come wearing a wig or hat of their choice! If it’s just your family at home this year, make a trip to the party store to pick out a wig for the big event! Kids will love taking on a new look for the night.

10. Make a Custom Countdown

Blow up several balloons with the hours left until the new year written on them (IE. Five Hours to Go, Four Hours to Go) and let your kids take turns popping them as each hour passes.

11. Toast with Toast

When the clock strikes 12, we'll be toasting our bubbly flutes, so let the kids join in and put a spin on things! Pour sparkling cider for the petite partiers and get ready to toast—with toast! Let your kids nibble on their favorite toasts, everything from peanut butter and jelly to Nutella or even cheese! They'll have fun putting together these easy snacks and raising a slice to the new year!

12. Ring the Bell

A fun and noisy craft for kids, these New Year’s bells from Paging Supermom are pure genius. Pick up silver bells, golden yarn, and cool wrapping paper, and your party guests will be jingle-jangling in no time.


13. Toot Your Own (Edible) Horn

Your revelers will most definitely be tooting their own horns if they're edible! Only a little messy and way tasty, these tasty treats create a real sound machine when you nibble off the end of the cone. Click over to Cooking with my Kid for the how-to.


14. Make a Wish

Drum up a little luck for the New Year. Kiddos will love the thumping sounds made by this clever craft. What’s it gonna take to make one? Glitter glue, stamp paint, star and letter sticker. Don't forget to make a wish. Find out more from No Time for Flashcards.

photo: Kelly Aiglon

15. Say Cheese!

Capture the moment with a DIY photo booth. This is where all those silly wigs and fancy dresses will have their chance to shine! Need some backdrop ideas? Check out our favorite by clicking here



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—Kaitlyn Kirby

Feature photo: Jerry Kiesewetter on Unsplash