1. Watch a Movie TogetherKids enjoy sitting together with the rest of the family to watch a movie. They enjoy cuddling on the couch with mom and dad and even enjoy sitting on the floor with their siblings, even if they don't show it. Fix some popcorn or other special snacks and you're ready to spend a couple hours of togetherness. If your kids are old enough, start the movie a little later than you might ordingaily start a movie for the family so that the kids can ring in the New Year with some noise makers and other activities.
2. Read New Year's Stories or PoemsIf your children aren't reading yet, you can read stories to them. If your children are reading, they can read the stories to the rest of the family. Any stories will work just fine, but stories about New Year's are perfect. You can also pick up some children's books about New Year's at the library or the book store.
3. Make Some New Year's TreatsSpend the day on New Year's Eve preparing to celebrate the New Year. Make some simple and easy snacks with the kids, including "champaign" punch (white grape juice and lemon/lime soda). Let the kids be creative, too. Popcorn balls, for example, are usually made of popcorn and shaped like balls. How about adding marshmallows? Gumdrops? And why balls? Gifted kids love to "think outside the box," so let them come up with their own shapes!
Here are some recipes to get you started:
4. Play Games and Have Fun
If you got your kids some games as holiday gifts, it's a good time for the whole family to play them. Some games that gifted kids love are fun for the whole family as well. Another fun game to play is charades, but with a New Year's twist. Each member of the family must get the rest of the family to guess his or her New Year's resolution! Other things the kids can do while you're busy during the day include coloring New Year's pictures or playing online games.
5. Make New Year's Decorations and Other CraftsOne way to welcome in the new year is to spend the day getting ready for it. The whole family can create simple decorations for the house and can also create home-made noise makers to celebrate the new year's arrival. Another great family activity is to create a family resolution scrapbook. The advantage of the scrapbook is that it will make a wonderful keepsake that can be saved and cherished.
6. Learn About New Year's Celebrations Around the WorldEvery culture has its own way of welcoming the new year. It can be fun for the whole family to learn about the traditions of other countries. In Denmark, for example, people throw old dishes for luck at the doors of friends on New Year's Eve!
7. Learn the History of New Year's Celebrations
How did New Year's celebrations get started? When did they get started? Why did people start making New Year's resolutions? These and other questions about New Year's celebrations can be fun for the whole family to discover.
8. Welcome in the New YearThe clock strikes midnight and signals the arrival of a brand new year. Here are some things to do to celebrate. If you don't make your own noise makers, you can buy some. You can also use bubble wrap, the kind with the large bubbles.
- Countdown to New Year You can put this counter up on your computer and the whole family can count down to midnight. If your kids are very young, you can switch the time zone so that midnight arrives early at your house.
- Sing Auld Lang Syne (Words are displayed and music is played)
- Bubble Wrap Stomp (Active kids can stomp on the wrap to make New Year's noise)