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How to celebrate New Year’s Eve with kids

There's less cocktails, and more crafts.
/ Source: TODAY

3...2...1! The countdown to the new year is on and parents around the world might be wondering — what is the best way to ring in 2023 with kids?

Celebrating the dawn of a brand new year can be fun for the whole family with a kids' New Year's Eve party.

"Going into the New Year as a family starts families on the path of making family connection a priority," Laura Linn Knight, author of “Break Free from Reactive Parenting" tells

Knight shares that as time on devices increases and mental health concerns for children continue to grow, New Year's is a time for setting goals as a family.

"One of the most important changes that we can make in the home in 2023 is spending more quality time together," she says.

Knight tells that children benefit “every time we make space for them to be involved in traditions and celebrations.”

“Although New Year’s Eve may seem unimportant to some or a time to celebrate without the kids, I encourage families to take some time on New Year’s Eve — even if parents go out later — to come together and share appreciations of 2022 and reflect on goals, or wishes for 2023," she says.

To set the mood to ring in the New Year, Knight suggests making a gratitude flower with everyone in the home.

In the center of the flowers, each person will write their name. Then, take turns writing or drawing something that you appreciated about each person in 2022 in one of the petals. At the end of the activity, each person will have their own 2022 flower to show their family's love for them this past year. 

"If you like this activity, make it a family tradition and save your flowers from each year moving forward," Knight says.

No matter what activity your family chooses to ring in the new year, Knight encourages doing it together.

“Children who have special time with their family, create meaningful traditions and feel valued within the home are more likely to thrive emotionally and socially," she says.

And just remember — if your kids can’t tell time yet, you can make the new year happen whenever you want with on-demand countdown programming.

30 Ways To Celebrate New Year’s Eve With Kids

Ready to celebrate New Year's Eve? Enjoy these 30 family-friendly activities to ring in 2023:

  • Create a gratitude flower.
  • Participate in a Rose, Bud and Thorn activity for what went well in 2022 (rose), what you are looking forward to in 2023 (bud), and what you didn’t like that happened in 2022 but learned from or were able to feel better about later (thorn). 
  • Try out a new recipe for dinner.
  • Watch the last sunset of the year.
  • Plan a family hike.
  • Bake countdown cookies in the shape of numbers.
  • Make homemade holiday play dough.
  • Have everyone share their favorite memory of the year.
  • Create a time capsule.
  • Have a jokes competition.
  • Make a list of goals for the new year.
  • Have a DIY ice cream sundae bar with unlimited toppings.
  • Pop a balloon every hour until midnight — or bedtime.
  • Bake a clock cake.
  • Deliver treat bags to neighbors with New Year's wishes tucked inside.
  • Set personal and family resolutions.
  • Plan a trip for the new year.
  • Make DIY pizzas for dinner. Bonus points if you make it into a clock using toppings!
  • Create a playlist and host a dance-off.
  • Toast to the new year with sparkling cider.
  • Make a blanket fort in the living room.
  • Go for a family walk.
  • Prepare good luck food for New Year's Day.
  • Host a game night with friends and neighbors.
  • Make a scavenger hunt around the house.
  • Have everyone write new year wishes on a piece of paper and store them in a jar. Open them up next year!
  • Read a book together.
  • Write out a 2023 family bucket list.
  • Spend the whole day watching each family member's favorite movie.
  • Quiz each other with trivia for kids.

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