“Tick, tock” clicks the clock as it winds down to a new year. And if you have a house full of kids, your patience may be winding down, too. Plan some activities for your kids and their friends to entertain during the long hours leading up to that clock when it rings midnight. You can also use these games on New Year’s Day to enjoy the new year together.
In addition to keeping the kids distracted from late night crankiness, New Year’s games help your family create tradition. Part of the joy of New Year’s is the celebration of the year spent together and the anticipation of the one to come. Games can give your family perspective as you spend time together and talk about the memories that have been made.
Instead of just handing out noisemakers that give you a headache as the hours drag on, give them as prizes for games. You can make sure that everyone has some or the same amount by the end of the night or let winners pick out the ones they want at the proper time at the end of the night. You may want to work it so that everyone wins their noisemakers, by handing some out for arbitrary competitions like who ate the most crackers or something you can make up on the spot.
The ages of the children you have with you will help you decide which games to play. For instance, older kids are better prepared to play a trivia game based on what you happened during the previous year. Recreate memories by tossing out questions like “Where did we go on Labor Day?” and awarding points to the team that responds fastest. Younger kids may need questions asked to individual teams, with no time pressure.
New Year’s is a great time to get members of the various generations together. Break them into groups with some of the oldest and the youngest on each team. This will give family members that ordinarily don’t have a lot in common a chance to bond. These groups can participate in races to dress up like the Baby New Year or Father Time. They can put on skits or decorate calendars to be judged by a few neutral family members.
Midnight is just not the best bedtime for every child or every age group. The good news is people around the world are dropping balls and celebrating the new calendar for hours. You can pick another time zone that is closer to your child’s bed time and watch their celebration on one of the local channels. You can make bingo cads with items such as “champagne glasses,” “kissing” and “Auld Lang Syne.” As you watch a celebration, have teams work to make a bingo with these New Year’s sights.
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