How to Make New Year's Eve Kid-Friendlyby Amber Keefer
If New Year's Eve means staying at home with the kids this year, making it a kid-friendly festivity is easier than you might think. Parents can have lots of fun, too, ringing in the New Year from home. New Year's Eve isn't exclusively for grownups anymore, and you really don't have to go out somewhere to make it a great celebration. With family friendly New Year's Eve parties becoming more popular, the ideas for planning a fun event are endless.
Allow the kids to stay up late this one night. They will get a kick out of eating 12 grapes one at a time as the clock strikes midnight. This is a Spanish tradition that people believe will bring them good luck during the next 12 months. If you have young children and midnight is too late for them to stay up, reset the clocks in the house to chime 12 midnight at an earlier hour.
Have the kids craft their own noisemakers for the occasion. Pour a handful of dry rice, colorful glass beads from a craft store or buttons into a clear plastic cocktail glass. Put a second empty plastic glass on top and then tape the two together. The kids will have tons of fun with these shakers they make themselves. You can also have them draw funny faces on two heavyweight paper plates before punching holes around the rim of each plate. Lace yarn in and out of the holes, adding some dry beans or rice inside the plates before tying them completely shut. Tape each shaker to the end of a large wood Popsicle stick and let the kids make merry.
Make the kids New Year's Eve party hats they can eat. Melt a 12-ounce bag of milk or semisweet chocolate baking chips in the microwave according to package instructions. Use a spatula to spread the melted chocolate over sugar cones. Once the chocolate sets, attach a red licorice whip to each side of the cone with a dab of ready-made frosting to make the chinstraps. Have ready-to-use icing tubes in various colors on hand to decorate the hats. Don't forget to write on the year. When the kids are ready to eat this sweet treat, top it off with a scoop of their favorite flavor ice cream.
Pop balloons filled with confetti when the midnight hour strikes. Get the kids to work making confetti earlier in the day. They can use hole punchers to punch circles out of different colors of construction paper or shiny tissue paper. Fill deflated balloons with the confetti using a baking funnel. Blow up the balloons and hang a huge balloon bouquet from the ceiling. Use pins to pop the balloons and welcome in the New Year with a bang.
Toast the New Year together as a family. Mix the kids their own New Year's Eve cocktail. Blend 1 oz. grenadine syrup, (the red syrup used to mix cherry colas), ¾ cup cranberry juice and ½ cup ginger ale per cocktail. Pour the drinks into tall, chilled plastic tumblers. Garnish the tumblers with an orange slice and maraschino cherries slipped onto the stems of colorful paper drink umbrellas.