New Year Traditions-A Day of Family Fun

New Year’s Eve has changed quite a bit since I became a mother, but so far the girls are so young that the night is still largely an adult night. They are soundly tucked in their beds before most of the New Year’s Eve festivities begin, and it is fun to spend some quality time with adults. However, we do have a lot of kid-centered fun on New Year’s Day. This year I decided to take some of our traditional activities and combine them with a few new ones that I know the girls will enjoy. Many of them could be done on either New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day.

New Year's Day

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1. Year Pancakes: We will make pancakes and use number cookie cutters to make the new year. Our New Year’s Day will include 13 bags, inspired by the Countdown Bags from Sweet Blessings.  The girls will open one each hour from the time they wake up until the time they go to bed.  So far I am planning the following activities…

2. Story Time: We will read New Year’s Day, a simple nonfiction that shares some facts about New Year’s Day.

3. Year Collage: The girls will get cardboard number cutouts and decorate them with paint, gems, and glitter to make a sparkly decoration for our day.

4. Take Down Christmas Decorations: In truth, I will start slowly taking down decorations in the house throughout the week between Christmas and New Year’s, but on New Year’s Day as a family we will take the ornaments off of our Christmas tree and pack everything away for next year. Both girls really enjoy helping put up and take down decorations, and it is a helpful way for us to say goodbye to the holiday season.

5. Rose Parade: We LOVE parades, and the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day is just beautiful. I also plan to buy some real roses for the girls to play with and explore while we watch the parade. I think they will love to smell them and feel the texture of the petals. (Of course, I will trim any thorns)

6. Twelve Grapes: While we won’t be able to do this at midnight, we will enjoy 12 grapes with our lunch at noon and talk a little about this tradition.

7. College Football: Many of the college football bowl games are on New Year’s Day, and we are big college football fans. We will spend some time on New Year’s Day watching football with the girls and will likely play a bit of football outside if the weather is nice enough.


8. Family Letter: Each year we write a brief family letter that recaps some of the major events that happened in our lives in the past year. We also include something that each of us hopes for the year to come. At this early age, I try to get Lovey to think of something she hopes to learn to do in the coming year. As the girls get older we will include a place they would like to go, something they would like to learn, and a way they hope to help others in the coming year. We will also take some time to read the letters from previous years.

9.  Paper Bowl Noisemaker: We will make these easy noisemakers that I found from Red Ted Art’s 30 New Year’s Eve Crafts & Activities for Kids.

10. Ball Drop & Dance Party: We will dress up in our “fancy” dresses and play clothes. Then we will replay the New Year countdown and ball drop. We’ll use our noisemakers and have a bit of a dance party.

11. Dinner with Black-Eyed Peas and New Year’s Toast: Our family dinner with include black-eyed peas and New Year’s toast with grape juice for the girls. 

12. New Year’s Party Bath: Our Grinch Bath is still a topic of discussion around here, so I know the girls will love another special bath. We will grab a few things from the Dollar Tree and put together a simple New Year’s Party Bath inspired by Bath Activities for Kids.

13. Story Time: Before the girls go to bed we will read Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution. It is a sweet story about friendship and the tradition of making resolutions.

If you are looking for more ideas for New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, you might also enjoy the ideas on my New Year Pinterest Board.

Do you have any New Year’s Day traditions?

New Year's Traditions for Families-13 Ideas for Celebrating New Year's Day Together

More New Year Fun

Easy Fireworks Ring Craft for Kids...great for New Year's and Fourth of July

 Fireworks Ring Craft

Firworks Paintings...use easy-to-make DIY paintbrushes to make fireworks paintings for New Year's Eve, Fourth of July and other patriotic holidays

Fireworks Painting

Fireworks Wands...easy holiday craft for kids. Perfect for New Year's Day, 4th of July and other patriotic holidays

Fireworks Wand Craft

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New Year's Family Traditions-13 Fun activities to celebrate New Year's with young kids

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  1. Great ideas!

  2. I love these ideas! I have a three year old little girl, and I want her to be able to celebrate New Year’s Eve/Day as well. We will not make it to midnight, but I still want to have a party for her! I think I am going to have a ball drop and dance party in the living room! She will go nuts!!

  3. Saw you at the coop. Your ideas are all so cute, I will especially have to look for the squirrel book. Around here we will watch a movie and do an early count down with the kids (and honestly, my husband who never stays up till midnight). Then *I* will stay up reading and watching sappy movies on tv. 🙂

    • Thanks! I am glad you liked the ideas. Sadly, I probably won’t really see midnight either…but the idea of a few good movies is tempting. Enjoy! 🙂

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