After having kids, it is inevitable that every New Year’s Eve won’t be the all-night bash it once was. Instead of thinking about how that sassy little party dress is just hanging in the back of your closet, why not have a celebration with your children? Help your kids make a few party accessories and create some memories together. Sure, it isn’t the same as sipping bubbly at the hottest new club downtown, but I guarantee you will ring in the new year with a smile. Roll up your sleeves and dig in!
The Countdown Ball
Your kids may not be able to stay awake long enough to see the infamous Times Square ball drop at the stroke of midnight, so what better than having them make their own? You can find everything you need at your local craft supply store. Take a single, metallic chenille stem (known in my day as a “pipe cleaner”) and push it into a simple 2-3” Styrofoam ball. You will want about 1-1/2” of the chenille stem stuck into the foam. Then, have your child cover the entire surface of the foam ball with sequins, using either craft glue or stick pins to attach them. If you use glue, allow the glue time to dry.
A plain, foam crown can typically be purchased from any local craft store. But, you can also fashion one from a piece of poster board if you feel comfortable drawing the shape and cutting it out. If you go the poster board route, you will just need to use a stapler or glue to attach the two ends together. Using sticky foam letters or perhaps some glitter paint, help your child write “Happy New Year” or “2011” on the front of the crown. Your child can decorate it however he or she wants to make it their own.
Have some empty water bottles in your recycling bin? Take them out, wash and rinse them, then remove the label. Use construction, wrapping or scrapbook paper to cover the exterior. Let your child get creative with stickers, paint, markers, crayons, sequins, ribbon and any other supplies you may have to personalize their shaker. Once the shaker is decorated, fill it with simple dried beans, then screw the lid on very tight.
No New Year’s Eve is complete without noisemakers. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Are you kidding me? My kids are loud by themselves and they already have a zillion toys with lights, buzzers and whatever else that give me a headache.” As a mother, I can attest with every ounce of my being that my children are indeed noisemakers on their own, without the assistance of a novelty toy. Trust me. However, on this one special night, I think making noisemakers is mandatory. Take a piece of poster board and shape it into a cone. Glue or staple it into place. Then, take shiny wrapping paper and cover the outside of the cone, attaching it with glue or double-sided tape. If you have curling ribbon on-hand, cut a few pieces and curl them with scissors (parents, please do that part!). Then take some glue or double-sided tape and attach the ends of the curled ribbon to the inside of the wider end of the cone. Voila! A simple “horn” the kids can yell or blow through, but nowhere near as noisy as the store-bought kind. Perfect.
You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to make some fabulous New Year’s Eve crafts with your children. Simple ideas, familiar supplies and a little creativity will go a long way to make precious memories. And, if you are lucky, your kids will have so much fun during their little party that they will wear themselves out and fall asleep early, leaving you and your significant other with some peace and quiet to sip champagne and toast to the New Year!
Bio: Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education, where recently she's been researching online mechanical engineering degrees and blogging about student life. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.
Thanks to Maria for some fun ideas to do with the kiddos! I love the idea of making your own countdown ball. Many times we let the kids watch the ball drop in NY (10 o'clock our time) and then get them off to bed. :)
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