New Year’s Eve for the Kids

For the past two years I’ve had my nieces over for a New Year’s Eve sleepover. We make our own pizzas for dinner, play games, and drink sparkling cider. It’s a blast and is always fun to see who stays up the latest! In this post you’ll find some ideas to get you started on having a fun-filled kid’s party of your own!


Children’s sense of time is not very developed and telling them that there’s only three hours until midnight sounds to them like an eternity. Having a visual countdown will help them to know how much time is left until the new year. One way to countdown to midnight is with balloons. Each balloon gets labeled with a different time in increments of 15, 30, or 60 minutes. You can hang them up somewhere or attach them to a board or mirror. Each kid takes a turn popping a balloon at the proper time and the fewer balloons there are, the closer it is until midnight. Another idea is to put together activity bags that can be opened every hour. Activities can include making dinner, watching a movie, playing a game, doing a craft or having a dance party. And of course don’t forget the noise makers and a toast at midnight!

Balloon Countdown                    Activity Bags


Kids get antsy quickly and it can be a challenge to keep them entertained all night. Even though I always feel like I have plenty of things planned to span 5 hours or so, it never seems like enough. So I ask my nieces to bring their favorites board games with them and we usually play a couple of those but have also been known to engage in epic Wii dance parties. Even their uncle gets into it! Some other ideas are arts & crafts, coloring, or baking and decorating cookies. Since having multiple kids help you make dough in the kitchen would require sainthood (or a bottle of wine), it’s best to have the dough prepared and ready to roll out.


Most kids I know are bottomless pits and my nieces are no exception. Since it’s a special occasion, I put out appetizers for them to munch on before and after dinner. These usually include a veggie platter, cheese and crackers and mozzarella sticks or another hot item. For dinner I purchase individual pizza crusts from Hannaford and allow each kid to put their own sauce and toppings on it. They seem to really enjoy doing this and we usually end up with a pepperoni smiley face or two. For dessert you can do make-your-own sundaes or eat the cookies you decorated earlier.


Besides taking pictures, another way to document your parties from year to year is by having the kids answer some simple questions about their current lives. The great printable form pictured below, as well as a tutorial for the activity countdown bags, can be found at:

Hopefully I’ve stimulated your imagination and you’re ready to create your own fantastic New Year’s Eve party for kids. And if you need any help with desserts, Polka Dot Bakery is here to help!