Children love the idea of celebrating on New Year’s Eve, but most are just too young to stay awake until midnight. Why not let them celebrate earlier in the day with a smaller version of the traditional party? Here’s our guide to a fun and easy New Year’s Eve celebration just for kids!
Planning & Invitations
What Do I Need For the Party?
In addition to basic party supplies, like plates, cups, napkins and decorations, you may want to consider purchasing, borrowing or renting the following items for your New Year’s Eve party:
- Party hats
- Noise makers
- Wine glasses and sparkling apple juice
- Party music
- A disco ball
- A pinata
Creative invitations build excitement and can increase attendance at your child’s New Year’s Eve party. If you have time to make your own, be sure to involve your child in choosing the design and filling in the details. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Fold a square of black construction paper in half, and write “Let’s ring in [year] together!” on the front using a silver marker or gel pen. Write the party details inside and decorate open areas with squiggles of glitter glue to look like streamers and confetti.
- Cut out a circle from card stock and cover it with metallic craft paper or foil. Cut out black numbers (or purchase pre-cut numbers from the craft store) to spell out the upcoming year and paste them on the front. Cut a circle of black construction paper the same size as your invitation and glue it to the back. Write your party details on the back.
- Cut a circle out of card stock and draw a clock on the front with its hands marking 12:00. Write your party details on the back.
- Punch a hole in the corner of a card-style invitation and use ribbon to tie on a party popper. Mail these in padded envelopes and sprinkle glitter inside before sealing.
If you would rather not make your own invitations, let us print personalized invitations for you, which include all the party details on a themed background of your choice.
Countdown to the New Year!
Plan to start your party at 10:30 a.m. and have the children countdown to noon instead of midnight! Here are some ideas for making the countdown just as memorable as the real thing:
- About ten minutes before noon, have all the kids choose a hat and noisemaker, and start a countdown timer.
- Lower a ball-shaped pinata painted silver to resemble the ball in New York City. Once you hit 12:00, break open the pinata, and divide the candy among your guests.
- Drop air-filled silver and gold balloons over the children as they shout “Happy New Year!”
- Play the song “Auld Lang Syne” as the children celebrate.
- Gather all your clocks, and set them around the party area.
- If you still have a Christmas tree set up, hang party hats and noisemakers from the branches. If you don’t have a tree, scatter them around a small table.
- Make or purchase a banner that says “Happy New Year!” and hang it prominently. Take a look at our personalized banners for inspiration.
- Hang streamers from the middle of the ceiling and drape them out to the corners of the room. Attach three balloons in the center of your “canopy”.
- Create a dance floor on hardwood floors and hang a disco ball above the center of the area.
- Place disposable cameras on the party table and let the guests take pictures during the party.
- Hang a chalkboard, or large poster board to a wall where people can write their New Year’s resolutions.
- Pass out confetti to your guests to throw when the New Year (or pretend New Year) begins.
- Offer a buffet of kid-friendly foods, such as chicken tenders, pizza slices or pizza bagels, veggies and dip, and sliced fruit.
- Serve juice or ginger ale in plastic champagne glasses.
- Make s’mores. If you don’t have a fireplace or outdoor fire pit to roast marshmallows in the traditional fashion, use the microwave. Place a graham cracker topped with a piece of chocolate and a marshmallow in the microwave. Heat for 8-15 seconds or until the marshmallow begins to puff up. Take it out, top it with another graham cracker and serve!
- Set out a plate of crackers and cheese squares cut into star shapes.
- Make a popcorn bar where your guests can add toppings to their popcorn. Popular toppings include chocolate sauce, cinnamon & sugar, sprinkles, cheddar cheese powder, and butter. Serve the popcorn in traditional popcorn bags.
- Serve a star cake pan and write “Happy New Year!” on top in icing.
Party Favor Ideas
Thank your guests for attending your child’s New Year’s Eve party by combining fun favors such as:
- Sticker books
- Star-shaped cookie cutters
- Fun-shaped lollipops
- A complete favor set
- Personalized party favors.
Party Planning Toolbox
Use the links below to quickly find related theme party supplies, planning tips, printable checklists, and advice from our party planning experts.
- Themed Party Supplies: Includes paperware, invitations, personalized items, favors, and decorations for your party theme.
- Personalized Items: Check out our exclusive personalized items including invitations, bookmarks, stickers, and more!
- Birthday Party Decorating Ideas: This guide will tell you how to decorate for your party theme, what to do with balloons and streamers, how to decorate with food, how to set the table, and how to make your own party decorations.
- Parties Under $100: Use this guide to celebrate in style without breaking the bank!
- Party Budget Estimator: Download this guide to help budget your expenses.
- More Birthday Theme Ideas: Browse our list of over 130 themed party guides to find tips for your child’s next birthday! Each guide includes ideas for invitations, decorations, food, favors, games and more.
Games and Activities
Let your guests play “air guitar” on their own hand-made guitars!
Start a slap-clap-snap rhythm with guests as they name items in a category.
It’s easy to make your own noisemakers with these directions.
Everyone begins dancing when the music starts, but who can “freeze” when it stops?
Just how low can you go? Find out with a game of Limbo!
Everyone will get a good laugh during this goofy game of changing phrases.