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I spent many New Year’s with kids before I was a parent. I was a nanny at a high end beach community and clients booked months in advance, paying up to a hundred dollars an hour for New Year’s Eve. (This was fifteen years ago, so the rates are probably even higher now.) It wasn’t socially acceptable in their social circles to bring kids to the party. I tried to plan a fun evening for the kids while their parents were off celebrating – and I still strive for the same festive atmosphere with my own family now. Here are some ideas for enjoying New Year’s with kids.
Babies and toddlers
Okay, the tiniest of tots aren’t going to know what’s going on. A large gathering of people will be overwhelming to many little ones – too many strangers and loud noises. Hiring a sitter or leaving babies with grandma might be the best option. Make sure to get some cute photos of them on the last day of 2014 before the party and sneak in to give them a “Happy New Year” kiss while they slumber.
Preschoolers don’t quite grasp the concept of New Years, but they love party hats, noise makers and cheering. Have them draw a picture of something they want to do in 2015 and write their words underneath it. Don’t edit it them or stamp on their dreams, even if they want a pink dolphin or to go to the moon on a surfboard. There’s no need to let them stay up until midnight, though. That’s a recipe for cranky kids and less fun for all. Give them an extra half hour and watch somewhere else in the world ring in the New Year while you all cheer. Then tuck all the little ones in one room with a movie and dim lights as you take turns checking in on them.
Video interview older kids about their favorite parts of 2014 and their goals for 2015. Then hand the devices off to them and let them interview other party guests. Arrange it so there will be other kids there age at the party. Make sure there are plenty of board games, video games or other activities and kid-friendly snacks. Allow those who want to stay up do it. They’ll entertain themselves for the most part.
Let them invite their friends for their own party. Set them up with tunes, games and snacks and they’ll be happy.
Even if celebrating New Year’s with kids, don’t forget to kiss your significant other when the clock strikes midnight. It’s important to keep the romance alive, after all.