It’s that time of year again…the end of the year, that is. And New Year’s Eve doesn’t just hold promise of a good time for mamas and daddies.
No, our kiddos want to participate in all the fun that comes with ending a year and starting a new one. Or, ending a decade and starting a new one as the case may be.
But if your children are like most, staying up to watch the ball drop is awfully hard. They’re cranky and tired, you’re cranky and tired, and frankly, no one has a good time.
Noon Year’s Eve: For All The Party People With Bedtimes
So a new trend has become one of our favorites—Noon Year’s Eve. Celebrating Noon Year’s Eve is a great way to let your kids be part of the New Year fun and festivities without having to stay up to midnight to do so. Many communities host Noon Year’s functions and you can even have a great time ringing in the new year with your own Noon Year’s Eve celebration! Doing so lets your kids ‘win’ at staying awake long enough to celebrate without actually staying up long enough to make you lose your mind. Because really, let’s face it. Sleep is important to children (and their parents) and a Noon Year’s Eve celebration lets everyone keep on schedule while still reveling in the fun.
Noon Year’s Eve Parties: First Things First
The best way to get the party going is to start it well before New Year’s Eve. Lots of families like to have countdown calendars or banners to set the anticipation level for kids. You could start it as early as the day after Christmas (or Hanukkah or other winter holidays, depending on when it is and what your family celebrates) and each day let your kids count down just as they would if they were going to stay up until midnight. Let your kids join in the fun of creating the countdown, whether it’s paper chains or boards and banners that they can mark a day off from as it passes. Just make sure that there’s a special countdown for New Year’s Eve that will let your children count back hourly until NOON, typically starting from the time they wake up. If that’s not super consistent, you could always start it at 8am, with the last minute of the 11 o’clock hour being counted when there are only 10 seconds left to NOON.
Deck The Heads With Homemade Hats
What’s a party without party hats? Not much fun, if you ask us! Even better are homemade hats that your kids will be able to customize and make their own. We found this adorable little project at ArtyCraftyKids and odds are you can make these fun hats at home with lots of your own materials. That’s a great way to teach your kiddos how to recycle and upcraft, while making something for purpose and fun. Of course, you may want to pick up a few craft materials to jazz them up since it is the start of a new decade and all, or you may need some basic supplies, and if that’s the case, we’ve got some suggestions for you to make them eco-friendly.
Don’t forget that you can also make or buy fun glasses and photo props to celebrate too. Anything you’d consider using at 11:59 pm on December 31 is fun for 11:59 am too!
New Year’s Traditions Around The World Can Become Noon Year’s Eve Fun!
Newsflash! (Maybe not…)
There are tons of different New Year’s Eve traditions around the world, and incorporating some of them into your Noon Year’s Eve celebrations can make Noon Year’s Eve parties with your kiddos even more magical AND culturally relevant!
In Spain, it’s tradition to eat grapes at midnight--one on each stroke of the clock. The grapes symbolize good luck for each month of the upcoming year. It may not bring you fabulous luck, but if it doesn’t, that’s okay. You’re popping fresh fruit into your kiddos in a unique and fun way, and showing them a little bit of the world at the same time. In Spanish, New Year’s Eve is called Nochevieja, meaning Old Night. Your kids will love learning new things about global celebrations.
Get the kiddos moving with a Danish New Year’s Eve tradition. In Denmark, it’s tradition to stand on your chair at midnight and jump into the new year. It’s thought to bring good luck to you for the upcoming year and to banish all the bad vibes and spirits that may come your way. Plus, it’s a great way for your kids to ‘practice’ and get some of the wigglies out at noon (and get good and tired for bedtime).
And a super fun tradition that we think your kids will love (because it’s all about the underwear!) is popular in Mexico and other Latin American countries, the color of underwear you wear matters. In fact, you’ll see tons and tons of undies on sale in stores right before New Year’s Eve because the colors you choose to wear symbolize things you’ll be seeing in the new year. Wear red and you’re going to usher in love. White rings in peace and if you’re looking for some wealth? Check out the green or yellow unders. Okay, okay, so it may not necessarily be research-based, but if your house is anything like mine, traditions that will get your kids wearing underwear are ALWAYS a win!
Make Some Noise And Bring Out Some Brain Toys
Another fun way to show your kids how to reuse and upcycle things you have in the house is to let them make noisemakers for the big countdown. The trick is to make sure they’re using things from around the house (my son loves to raid the recycle bin a few days before because he knows he’s going to want to have a plethora of supplies to make fun noisemakers). This is where tons of toilet paper tubes or butter containers can come in handy, particularly if they’re paired with some rice or dried beans to make some noise. Odds are you still probably have much of your Christmas decoration still up (or easily accessible) and there’s nothing that says fun noisemakers like jingle bells! Take some pipe cleaners or butcher twine or yarn or whatever your kiddos have in their craft buckets or holiday craft kits they may have received and make necklaces and bracelets.
New Year’s Means Noon Year’s Resolutions…Or Intentions
We love the tradition of setting new resolutions for growth in the upcoming year. We don’t even think of them so much as resolutions as we do intentions for what we envision. Sitting with your children and looking back through the previous year as you help them decide and visualize what they’d like the upcoming year to be like can be powerful. You’re showing your kids that there’s always room to celebrate achievement and growth, and particularly showing them how to be grateful.
It can be as easy as a notebook and some jotting down and conversation. But there are also several types of journals you can use if you’d like to start the new year with something already structured. The 3-Minute Gratitude Journal For Kids helps teach mindfulness and gratitude in just a few minutes a day and is a perfect start for littles. It lets them focus on what they enjoyed in the day, as well as thins they were thankful for, and they can draw or write as they are able. It’s a great way to start conversations that lead to character building and life lessons for sure.
If you’re looking for something that’s maybe appealing to your tweens/teens but with the same purpose of helping them see the gifts in their life, we love this gorgeous Family Gratitude Journal from Write To Me. It’s a great way for you to connect with your pre-/adolescent and really have some meaningful and mindful conversations. Plus, it’s an opportunity for you to give them habits they can use as they grew and our out on their own. (It’ll be here before you know it, you know…)
We also love Wishbeads bracelets! You can tuck your intentions on the paper and tuck it inside the Wishbeads bracelet. Wearing it daily will remind you of the intentions you or your family members have set and the Tiger Eye will help instill confidence and good fortune.
Whatever you do, remind your kids that when you’re starting a new year with new intentions, you want to build traits and habits that will help you all grow—individually and as a family. It’s not about setting goals you may drop off three weeks later; it’s about mindfully thinking about what you want to appreciate and recognize in your life, and how you want to use that recognition and gratitude to grow.
Noon Year’s Eve Eats
If you’d like to do something super fun, consider making your own homemade organic chocolate fortune cookies. Have each family member write a few ‘fortunes’ (intentions) on slips of paper that you’ll be able to insert in your cookies, and then watch the kids giggle and read their ‘fortunes.’ This is one of our favorite recipes from OrganicTimes.
- 2 Tbsp Organic MiniChips
- 2 Tbsp Organic Salted Butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup Organic Rapadura Sugar
- 1/2 cup Organic all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp Navitas Cocoa Powder
- Pre-heat oven to 375ºF. Line a baking tray with a non-stick silicone mat or a sheet of baking paper. Place a mug on your workbench ready to form fortune cookies.
- In a double boiler over low-medium heat, melt dark chocolate drops and butter together until smooth. Once melted, remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Using a stand mixer or a mixing bowl with a hand beater, add eggs and salt to the bowl. Beat for approx. 30 seconds until thick and pale.
- Add sugar to the eggs and beat for a further 30 seconds until the sugar has dissolved.
- Pour in melted chocolate mixture and beat until well combined.
- Add flour and cocoa powder, beat until just combined, ensuring not to over-beat.
- Pick up 1 tablespoon worth of the batter and dollop onto a lined tray. Using a teaspoon, spread out into a larger circle, about the size of a regular cookie.
- Repeat the above method one more time, creating only two circles on a lined tray. Working two at a time will allow you to form each fortune cookie before they break.
- Place tray in oven and bake for 6-7 minutes or until the edges begin to brown slightly and the surface of the cookies have just firmed up.
- Remove from oven and working quickly whilst cookies are still hot, slip a fortune paper on to the middle of one cookie and fold over one side, creating a half-circle and the fortune enclosed in the middle.
- Place formed cookies into a cupcake/muffin tin this will allow them to hold their shape whilst they cool.Repeat until all batter is used up.
But, if making your own snacks is not your gig, no worries. You can always find fun and healthier options from companies like Lesser Evil. Their new grain-free honey-roasted paleo puffs are delish. They’re made with organic cassava, coconut and sweet potato flour, as well as Himalayan pink mineral salt and organic coconut oil. They’re crunchy and sweet, but we love that there’s only 3g of sugar and they’re nutritionally dense yummies to snack the morning away. If sweet and salty isn’t your fave, they also have No Cheese Cheesiness (vegan), Himalayan Pink Salt and Himalayan Pink Salt ‘N Apple Cider Vinegar.
Noon Year’s Eve: Picture This Forever!
Who doesn’t love pictures? Okay…so maybe your kids don’t necessarily love pictures, but with a fun backdrop and fun photo props? Say hello to fun family memories your kids will look forward to taking year after year! Odds are you don’t have a studio light set up, but no worries! With this really reasonably-priced photo backdrop, you just need a wall and some command strips for a homemade party photo booth! And you won’t want to forget the fun photo props!
Most importantly, mamas…get in the pictures with your kids. Yes, we know you may not love the way you look but you need to remember that your kids love you as you are. Read that again…they love you as you are, and when they’re looking at these pictures, they won’t remember the bags under the eyes or the wrinkles or extra pounds around your middle (that’s from them anyway!). What they’ll remember is that you took the time and effort to make memories with them; to be present and have fun with them.
And one day, believe it or not, you’ll look back on those pictures too. You won’t think about what you looked like; you’ll remember fondly how little they were. You’ll remember how precious this time you had with them was, and you’ll be glad you have the memories. Trust us on this.
Countdown Fun For Everyone
One of the best parts of ringing in a new year is counting down until it does. But what are you to do if it’s noon and there isn’t a countdown just yet?
Well, conjure one up from Netflix, of course. Or just about anywhere on the Internet really. A quick search will pull up lots of different options, and your kiddos will have tons of fun ringing in Noon Year’s Eve on their terms with characters they know and love!
And because they won’t be able to stay up for the real deal, you’ll want to read this fun book about other kids also having a hard time staying awake until midnight (because kids need their sleep!). Author Natasha Wing writes various versions of “The Night Before” special events, and this one is a fun way for the whole family to have some reading time.
The best part of celebrating Noon Year’s Eve with your family is that you still have several hours of fun after you’ve ‘rung’ in the new year, and you still make bedtime too! Plus, your kids have the fun of a New Year’s celebration without all the not-so-much-fun that comes with staying up waaaaay past their bedtime.
So set it up and ring in a new year with a new family tradition they’ll all love!
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