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Getting Ready to Celebrate the New Year

Crafts the kids can make to get ready

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Most cultures around the world have some traditions for celebrating the New Year. Many traditions involve some kind of "purging" of the old year and looking forward to the new one. In some cases, people seek forgiveness for the mistakes of the past year. In others, people engage in activities that are meant to bring them luck in the new year.

Whether our year was a good one or not, we like to celebrate the start of a new year. If we had a good year, we want to welcome the New Year with the hope that our good fortune continues. If we had a bad year, we want to welcome the New Year with the hope that it will bring better fortune.

Noisemakers

What better way to say goodbye to the old year and welcome in the new one than by making lots of noise? When my brothers and I were little, our mother always had some noisemakers for us. She'd let us stay up till midnight and then when the clock struck twelve, she'd open the front door and we'd make all the noise we could. Then we'd go sleepily off to bed. Even if you don't want your child to stay up till midnight, you can still let them make a little noise. And if you let them create their own noisemakers, you'll also be nurturing their creativity! Here are some great noisemaker crafts:

Spin Drum

This craft is cute, easy, and best of all (for the grownups) doesn't make an ear-splitting noise. The basic plan is simple and uses readily available items, like an oatmeal canister, a dowel rod, string, and a couple of wooden beads. After that, the kids can use paints, glitter, ribbons, and whatever else they'd like to decorate the drum.

Shakers

This is another easy to make noisemaker. And it's a perfect way to use those empty (or nearly empty) spools of ribbon that you have left over from wrapping holiday gifts. In addition to the spools of ribbon, all you need are some dried beans. Once again, after the basics, let the kids decorate the noisemaker any way they like. They can use paint, glitter, or even draw on paper and then glue that to the spools. Don't have empty spools of ribbon? Just substitute a small empty container, such as a film container, that your child can decorate.

Paper Plate Noise Maker

This noisemaker is fun and great for the kids to make and decorate. It's also nice for the little kids since it has a "handle" make from a craft stick (like a Popsicle stick). All you need, in addition to the craft stick, are some paper plates, some dried beans, tape, and then whatever your child would like to use to decorate the plates. You can use either small or large paper plates for this craft.

Celebration Hats

What's more fun than "ringing" in the New Year by making some noise? Ringing it in while wearing a festive hat! My mother used to buy our hats, but you can let your kids make them (with a little help from you if needed).

Flower Hat

This hat is so cute! It's makes your child look like a sweet little flower. It is made from headbands, a paper plate, and some construction paper. That, of course, is just what you need to get started. After that, you can add what your child would like to use to decorate the flower petals. Your child can also use different colored paper for the petals or even paint some original flower petals. Remember, you want to encourage your child's creativity rather than simply copy what's in the picture -- unless that's what she wants to do!

Weather Hat

Here is another hat that starts with a paper plate, but this one doesn't need a headband. It's called a weather hat because it is decorated to represent different aspects of our weather, from sunshine to clouds to rain. However, if your child wants to be more original, he can use the same basic design and color and paint the hat however he wants to.

Cone Hat

This hat is a standard cone-shaped party hat. The directions explain how to make it look like a clown hat, but your child can make it a New Year's hat by decorating it differently, if he wants to. All you need stiff paper, like card stock or poster board, and some elastic for the strap. Other than that, you just need whatever your child would like to use to decorate it. Your child can use paints, markers, or crayons, and can glue on feathers, glitter, or anything else they might feel will create a festive hat. Your child can add a pom-pom to the top or ribbon streamers. She can add pom-poms around the bottom or a ribbon and they can also add streamers on the sides and the back. All your child needs is some creativity!

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  7. Encouraging Creativity with Homemade New Year's Hats and Noisemakers

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