New Year’s Activities for Kids!

The approaching new year is very often an exciting thing for most people! We might be very very happy to have the current year ending, and the opportunity for a fresh clean start with the New Year. Likewise, we might be a little sad for the year to come to an end, or we might be feeling anxious at the pressuring thought of needing to begin new habits, or changes that we expect of ourselves at the start of a New Year.

But, no matter how you’re feeling – it can be a very exciting thing to celebrate! We can make it exciting by thinking of it as an opportunity that we have to better ourselves, and our current life situations.

New Year’s eve can be a lot of fun for children as well! We can make it out to be something that they always look forward to, and grow to learn that it is a new fresh chance that we have each year, to work toward our goals, and live the life of our dreams! While we can work on goals, and improve our lives anytime, there is just something about having the actual fresh ‘calendar start’ of a new month, and year…to remind us that we too, can embrace change.

This year will be the second year in a row that I will be doing some New Years Eve countdown activities with my children. I saw this idea years ago, and loved it enough to decide to adopt it into our New Year’s Eve traditions.

The first year, I put strips of papers with activities written on them, into balloons, and hung them on our mantle. Then, each hour, the kids would take turns, pop the balloon for that hour, read the activity, and then they would both get to take part in the activity. They LOVED it! They still talk about it being one of the most favorite things they’ve done for a holiday.

This year will be a little different, since we’ll be staying at a hotel New Years Eve. So, we’re going to simplify, and just have the activities pre-set out to do each hour, versus having to pop a balloon first to figure out which to do.

We will be doing an activity, each hour after we have dinner, up until midnight.

Here’s the rundown of activities we’ll be doing this year:

Dinner – Between 6pm and 8pm

Activity 1: Start between 7pm – 8pm

‘100 Goal Challenge’ Journals

The kids will each be receiving a journal to color the front and back covers. Then, once they have colored them, we’ll be talking about goals they’d like to write inside of it, to work on in the coming days, weeks, months, and years.

Each member in our family will be writing out a list of 100 goals, that we’ll be assessing often, and constantly be working on various goals that each of us have. Their Dad and I have already begun the challenge’. I’ve written close to 90 of them, and John has written about 20 or so, so far. We’ll be adding more, and writing our own goals on New Years Eve, as well. Read about how we learned about the 100 Goal Challenge here. Read about how goals have affected mine, and my family’s lives here. To read about goals in general, read here. To read about setting realistic new year’s goals and resolutions, read here.



Activity 2:  Start 9pm

Dice Game

I picked up a fun looking dice game at one of our local Dollar Stores ($1; Dollar Tree).

I thought this would be a fun, lighthearted activity for our family to do after we stretch our brains real hard, thinking about all of our goals.

Activity 3: Start 10pm

Decorate a Frame

I bought a couple of inexpensive wood frames ($4 for both of them; Dollar General) and a package of Alphabet stickers that I thought would be just the right size for each of them to add their name to the frames.


I’ll provide them with either markers to draw/color on the frame, and/or paint. We’ll add either a family picture, or just a photo of their choice to keep in their frames.




Activity 4: Start 11pm

Game Time

I found two dry erase games that I just knew my kids would love! So, we are going to play both of these games following working on our picture frames.


One of the games is a line connecting game, and the other is a similar concept to Battleship.




Activity 5: Start 11:30pm

  Glow Sticks and Countdown!

I let each of them pick out a package of glow sticks, of their choice. Around 11:30, they’ll each get to open their package, as we simultaneously watch the New Year’s Eve Countdown on TV.


We love watching the Ball Drop, and counting down with them.

Some other tid-bits that might be helpful:

FOOD: We’ll prepare and set out some snacks that we’ll be able to munch on the entire time between 8pm and 12 midnight. Our family likes to have chips and dip, most specifically Fritos with bean dip, and Wavy potato chips with French onion dip.

We’ll also probably have some veggies (like bell peppers, and carrots) to dip in the dips as well.

Photo Credit: Adrian Barr

ACTIVITIES: Each year, the activities change. This tradition is a very flexible one, in that you could use just about any activity you want to. Last year, we had different activities. They will change as the kids get older, and gain different interests. They’ll change because you’ll find and come up with new ideas! This year, we are mainly doing crafts and games. We did glow sticks last year, just as we are this year. Last year, we did confetti pops – this year…we’ll be in a hotel so that’s a great big ‘NO WAY!’. Google, and Pinterest can be your best friend when trying to find specific activities for your kids. Also, what helped me was just walking the craft aisles of a couple of stores (dollar stores).


Also, New Year’s can be a great time for children who are learning to tell time. They can do activities about clocks, reading and telling time, as well as learning about how calendars…years, months, weeks, days… all work. Afterall, all of that is the main reason why New Year’s is a big deal in the first place. We are entering a new Calendar month, and back to ‘square 1’, per se. Perfect time for kids to learn about it!

Here are a couple of activities that I’ve had saved, or have found that I’d like to share with you, in case you’re looking for some fun New Years kids activities:

1) These Countdown Clocks by Buggy and Buddy, look like so much fun, and interactive for the kids!

2) I absolutely adore the idea of the New Year’s Eve Countdown Chain (by the OT Toolbox). If we don’t do this this year, then I’m going to have to keep this in my bag of tricks for next year. It’s just too cute.

3) Playdough to Plato has provided a free New Years Eve activity, for the kids to be able to play New Years Eve Bingo! How fun is that?! We actually did this last year, and they really enjoyed it. For an extra sweet treat, you could use candy as the space holders, and the kids can eat them afterwards!

4) Here is a New Year’s Activity Pack, by Teach Beside Me. It has multiple types of activities, and looks so fun, and educational for the kids.

***Do you typically do any type of celebration with your kids? Do you have them do fun activities? Do you do them hourly?

Is this a tradition that appeals to you? Or not? I’d love to hear your New Year’s Traditions, and if you have certain activities that you love – please share below!***

Above all – I wish you and yours a very HAPPY, HEALTHY, and SAFE New Year’s celebration, and upcoming year.

Photo Credit: Annie Spratt

Our family is a full-time RV family, meaning that we currently live in our RV Camper, and roadschool our children throughout the USA. We are currently staying with family for the holidays, but we will be leaving on a trip soon, and then we’ll be hitting the road again in a month and a half or so.

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