New Year`s Eve


If you need a way to spend New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day with your children try this Theme Day to ring in the New Year and say goodbye to the old.

Print out the Family Theme Day Planner and decide which activities you’d like to do and in what order.



Celebrating the New Year on January first is a relatively new tradition but certainly not a new idea.  In fact, different cultures still celebrate the New Year on different dates.  Chinese New Year is in January or February; Rosh Hashanah is a Jewish holiday that means “head of the year” in Hebrew;  and the Islamic year begins on the first day of Muharram.



The most famous New Year’s song is probably “Auld Land Syne.”  There are many different versions (We like the Barenaked Ladies version).  Check here for the words to the entire Robbie Burns poem and its history:

Another song for this theme day is “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve.”  Again there are a lot of different versions (we like Harry Connick Jr.)




You can find many free colouring pages online by using your favourite search engine and typing in New Year’s Eve Coloring Pages or print out one of my New Year’s Eve Clock colouring page.



Write out one or more of the following questions in your Family Theme Day Scrapbook or on a piece of paper to glue in your scrapbook:  What are some great memories you have from last year?  What do you hope to do next year? What are you looking forward to next year? Draw a picture of a special event from last year.

 Choose the level of your child:

¨     Toddler – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and have your child draw a picture of the answer

¨     Preschooler/Kindergartener – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and write the answer down for him/her leaving one word for him/her to write out himself/herself with your help. You could also encourage him/her to draw a picture as well.

¨     Early Grade School – have your child either write out the answer himself/herself (encourage phonetic spelling) without your help, or offer to help with spelling each word out loud one word at a time.

¨     Grade School – have your child write a sentence or two on his/her own and then read over and discuss the response.  (You decide whether to correct the spelling or not)

¨     Older Child – have your child write a longer response (paragraph).

¨     As A Challenge – instead of a question ask your older child to write a story or a poem about  New Year’s Eve.



Print out a New Year’s Eve Word Search:


Easy New Year’s Eve Word Search or Difficult New Year’s Eve Word Search.


Check here for the answer keys:


Easy Word Search Key or Difficult Word Search Key.



Raid your child’s bookshelves to find any books about New Year’s Eve.


Go to the library with your child to find some books about New Year’s Eve.


Go to the library on your own to find books about New Year’s Eve to have already on hand for your theme day.  Many libraries allow you to go online and search for titles based on subject (Search for “New Years Eve” under “Children’s Books”).  Reserve them if you can to save time.


I had a difficult time finding books about New Years Eve but I did find these:


· Angelina Ice Skates, by Katharine Holabird and illustrated by Helen Craig, Pleasant Company Publications, 1993 – the popular character Angelina Ballerina the mouse prepares with her friends to put on a skating show for New Year’s Eve.


· Light the Candle! Bang the Drum! A Book of Holidays Around the World, by Ann Morris and pictures by Peter Linenthal, Dutton Children’s Books, 1997 – While not exclusively about New Year’s Day and does start there and then goes throughout the year highlighting 23 different traditions with bright illustrations.


Here are two non-fiction books about New Year’s Day:


· Happy New Year, by Abbie Mercer, PowerKids Press, 2008—An easy to read book that explores when the New Year begins, fun at midnight, New year’s Day activities and even offers a recipe and craft.

· New Year’s Day, by Lynn Peppas, Crabtree Publishing Company, 2010 – Using large text and many photographs this book details the history of New Year’s celebrations and talks about resolutions, parades, foods, and symbols among other things.





NOTE: Noisemaking and fireworks on New Year’s Even most likely originate in ancient times, when noise and fire were thought to scare away evil spirits and bring good luck.


Materials: 2 paper plates, coloured paper or stickers or feathers or maerkers (any craft supplies you have on hand would work to decorate the plates), dried beans or pasta or rice, a stapler.


Step 1: Have your child decorate two paper plates on the back side (the side you do not eat on).  Encourage creativity and have lots of craft supplies on hand.

Step 2: Flip one plate over and fill it with dried beans, pasta or rice.

Step 3: Place the other paper plate over the dried food so that the decorations are facing up.

Step 4: (Parent step) carefully staple the two plates together so that the dried food inside does not fall out.

Step 5: Rattle and make some New Year Noise!




NOTE: I dedicate this craft to my little sister who had the tradition of making her own New Year hat every New Year’s Eve and tried each year to make it bigger and bigger!


Materials: Coloured construction paper (because it is sturdier than regular craft paper), stapler, child-safe scissors, glue stick, tape, scraps of coloured paper, glitter glue, other crafts decorations.


Step 1: Let your child decide whether he/she wants a cone hat or a head band hat

Step 2: For a cone hat: Cut a large piece of construction paper into a large circle.  Cut out one quarter (pie shaped) and roll into a cone to fit your child’s head and then staple the sides.  Trim the edges for an even rim and to be the size your child wants (big cone or small cone). OR For a headband hat: Cut a strip of construction paper into a long rectangle about two inches (10 cm) thick.  Wrap it around your child’s head to fit as a crown and pinch to hold the spot together.  Staple the ends together.

Step 3: Let your child decorate it with scraps of paper, stickers, feathers, glitter glue etc.

Step 4:  Let it dry and then wear the party hats to ring in the New Year.




NOTE: This is a fun family craft that enables you to reminisce about the past year as you sort through photos to include on the place mat.  Afterwards, it becomes a useful and great keepsake. We plan on making one each year for a whole collection.


Materials: Coloured paper, con-tact  paper (or take the finished product in to an office supply store to laminate it as we did since I can never seem to find con-tact paper anywhere), markers, stickers, photos from the past year or digital photos that you have cut and pasted onto paper to print in colour as we used.


Step 1: Look at old photos together and pick out ones that represent highlights of the year past.

Step 2: Have your children pick out what colour or colours they want the place mat to be

Step 3: Have your children write the year on the paper on both sides in the middle of the sheet (or glue pre-cut numbers onto the sheet for smaller children).

Step 4: Let your child decorate both sides of the paper by gluing the photos all around.  You can include the months (with markers) or add stickers and other embellishments if your children wish as well.

Step 5: Cover with con-tact paper or take the finished product in to an office supply store to laminate it to protect it from food and drink which is what we did (I highly recommend this step).

Step 6: Now you have a keepsake of the past year.  If you do this every year your family will have unique place mats that remind you all of every year.



For more Craft ideas and information on how and when people celebrate the New Year in different  try this book: Happy New Year, Everywhere, by Arlene Erlbach and illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, The Millbrook Press, 2000.



NOTE: Did you know? – In some cultures certain foods are to be eaten on New Year’s Eve for good luck.  The Dutch believe that eating donuts will bring good fortune because a ring is a shape of good luck since it is a symbol of “coming full circle.” Black-eyed peas are considered good luck in many cultures as well.  For some eating hog is good luck because it represents prosperity.  A vegetable that is considered good luck by other cultures is the cabbage because it’s leaves look like paper currency and hence they are another sign of prosperity.  There is a Spanish tradition to eat 12 grapes at midnight on New Year’s Eve to ensure 12 happy months in the upcoming year. Try some of these foods for this Theme Day or look below for other party suggestions.


Prepare your favourite appetizers either as a snack or for a New Year’s party.

Cheesy Crackers:

Ingredients: Cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, hot sauce (optional), favourite crackers, cut veggies or olives to garnish.

Step 1: Using a hand mixer on low speed, mix together in a large bowl the cream cheese, shredded cheddar, and hot sauce to taste.

Step 2: Spread onto crackers or stuff the filling in a re-sealable bag with one tip on the bottom cut off or use an icing tube to pipe the cheese mixture and then squirt the cheese mixture onto crackers.

Step 3: Garnish with cut veggies or olives.



Quesadilla Hats: Use two whole wheat tortillas and sandwich a combination of different shredded cheeses, chopped veggies (like red peppers and green onions) and chopped cooked chicken or ham (optional).  Lightly grease a frying pan and heat on boths sides until cheese has melted.  Cut into little triangles to respresent hats!  Very good to dip into homemade guacamole.


Pick a family favourite or a party favourite for dinner, or see if you can encourage your children to try something different, something special for this special last night of the year.


Lucky New Year Cake: Bake a cake with a washed coin wrapped in waxed paper in it.  Ice the cake with the words “Happy New Year “or “Welcome (the year)”.  Whoever gets the slice of cake with the coin in it is said to be awarded an especially good year.

Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Top Hats:

Ingredients: 1 cup semi sweet chocolate (use circles or chocolate chips or squares), 3 tbsp of butter, large marshmallows, chocolate covered round cookies, candy sprnikles .

Step 1: Place a bowl over a pot of water that is on low heat and melt the chocolate along with the butter.

Step 2: Move quickly for the next steps. Put a spoon full of melted chocolate onto a cookie and then roll a marshmallow into the chocolate to coat it.  Place onto the dollop of chocolate.

Step 3: Shakes some candy sprinkles over top and set aside to harden.

Step 4: Repeat steps 2 and 3 to make more hats.

Step 5: Enjoy!




Print out my Year In Review worksheet to brainstorm as a family all your favourite activities from the past year.  This might be a good activity to do before making the Place Mat Craft (from above). 

Another way to review the year is to look at photos from the past 12 months.  Pick your favourite ones and make an online photo album to share with friends and family far away.  These same online sites even offer the option of buying a hard or soft cover photo album for an instant memory book.



It is believed that the Babylonians were the first to make New Year's resolutions.  Instead of resolutions print out my New Year Wish List and fill it in as a family or print out one for each family member. Write down the things you’d like to accomplish as a family in the New Year from new foods or recipes you’d like to try, to books you’d like to read, places you’d like to visit, and things you’d like to learn about.  Have every family member write something on the worksheet(s).    Keep the sheet someplace special like your Family Theme Day Scrapbook and look at it next year to see if your family accomplished your goals/wishes.


Read about New Year ’s Eve around the world here:'s_Eve

For some New Year’s Eve history try this website:



Q:  what do monsters like to sing on New Year’s Eve?

A:  Old Fang Syne.


Q: How did the artist celebrate New Year’s Eve?

A: He painted the town red.



Have a New Year’s Eve party with your kids.  Get them involved in the planning: music, food, games, decorations.  Dress up in special party clothes and have fun together. You could do this on New Year’s Eve or on New Year’s Day.




I couldn’t think of any children’s movies or shows about New Year’s Eve.  If you have any suggestions please contact us at


Change the countdown time. Don’t worry about staying up until midnight to have the countdown.  Make bedtime an hour later than usual (to be special) or keep it at the same time as always, but do the midnight countdown then.  That way your children’ won’t miss out on the fun of ringing in the New Year. Don’t forget to rattle your noise makers!



Many communities offer family festivals or activities on New Year’s Eve and often have fireworks.  See what your home town offers and attend the festivities to welcome the new year.


Photo: C Wright

Fireworks to celebrate the New Year!


Noisemakers for New Year’s Eve!

Party Hats for a New Year’s Eve party!

“Year in Review” Memory Place Mat

Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Top Hats

New Year’s Eve Clock Colouring Page

Have a blast this New Year’s Eve!

Photo: C Wright