I’m going to be “Fun Mom” this year and let both the boys (ages 10 and 6) stay up until midnight to ring in 2013. I know Rory, who’s 10, is game, but I’m really not certain that Colum, who just turned 6, will be up for the challenge.
But we’ll give it a try!
Regardless of whether the little guy makes it to see the ball drop, I want it to be a memorable night. I was inspired by the idea of New Years Eve Countdown bags, where a bag filled with treats or a fun activity is opened every hour on the hour while we wait for midnight. Here’s my version of New Years Eve Countdown bags – obviously kid-centric, but the concept could easily be adopted to a more adult theme (mini liquor bottles in bags, DUH!).
The basic concept of New Years Eve Countdown Bags: starting at whatever time you’d like (I chose 6:00 pm), everyone opens their own goodie bag every hour on the hour. Inside the bags are treats (candy, cookies), games or toys (something small) or an activity everyone participates in (like playing a board game or making ice cream sundaes). The final bag is handed out a few minutes to midnight.
Our New Years Eve Countdown Bags Schedule
The schedule I made is based largely on what I was able to pick up at the dollar store to stuff in the bags:
6:00 – Make your own pizzas
I’ll have the fixins ready so everyone can make their own custom mini pizzas, we’ll bake them up and have a yummy, easy dinner.
7:00 – Design a mug
I picked these, pictured above, up at the dollar store, they’re just insulated plastic coffee mugs that have a paper insert the kids can each decorate. I’ll bring out the markers and stickers and let them go to town. Any small craft could be substituted here.
8:00 – Set goals and resolutions for 2013
The new year can be a fresh start, and it’s never a bad time to introduce little ones to goal setting. I’m curious to see what they envision for their futures! Inside everyone’s bag is a mini composition book, a few designer pencils and cute robot erasers to get started.
9:00 – Movie & popcorn
We’ll rent a movie from iTunes and relax for a bit.
10:00 – Candy break (then we’ll finish watching the movie)
Sweet tooth time… I admit I mostly bought candy I like for the bags. Oh, the privileges of being the mom.
11:00 – Wacky photobooth dress up
Another dollar store find, I picked up a few mardi gras beads, party hats, masquerade masks and weird sunglasses and we’ll dress up and take Instagram pictures with some party music in the background. I might succumb to coffee at this stage.
12:00 – Midnight!
The boys will get their midnight bags a little ahead of time and inside are noisemakers, poppers and glow sticks. Maybe we’ll also go outside and bang pots and pans, like my Grandma let me do when the clock struck 12.
How To Make New Years Eve Countdown Bags
I created a set of printables for my bags and am sharing them here:
[box_download]Download the New Years Eve Countdown Bags printable package here![/box_download]
There are basic directions included in the PDF file.
Some tips: if you’ve got it, use full-sheet labels (I used Avery 5353 labels) to print the clock faces. That way you can just stick them to your bags, no glue stick required.
If you’ve got one, cut the clock faces and the cards for each hour’s activity with a paper cutter. The lines are so much straighter.
Draw the hours on the clock faces with a paint or gel pen for opacity.
Pack each hour’s bag with an activity card and, if it makes sense, the tools to do the job (i.e. for the “Goals and Resolutions” hour I put in decorative pencils, erasers and tiny composition books). If they wouldn’t fit, like for “Make Your Own Pizza” then an activity card alone will do!
Staple the bag closed, fold over the top and stick it closed with one of the printable “2013″ stickers. I used what I had on hand, Avery 8163 labels. Use whatever you’ve got, or print ‘em, cut ‘em and glue stick ‘em on your bags.