ways to celebrate the New Year with your kids

5 Ways to Celebrate the New Year with Your Kids

New Year celebrations look different once we become parents. We used to meet up with friends to ring in the New Year, but now we may be rocking babies to sleep or coaxing toddlers back into bed. Many of us don’t even wait up for the New Year because we are so tired, and those little ones will be up early no matter what. Some of us find this to be no big deal, and we think it’s far more comfortable to spend a cozy evening at home. And some of us miss the big parties to ring in the New Year. So while New Year’s Eve is different for us parents, let’s think of a few ways to celebrate with our kids, on our own time, and in our own ways. Here are 5 ways to celebrate the New Year with your kids.


An easy way to include your kids in a New’s Year celebration is to put up some decorations. Kids love sparkly displays, fun balloons, streamers, and all the showy decorations that are part of a New Year’s Eve party. 

You could even let your kids be in charge of the decorations, or ask them to make a fun poster with the numbers of the New Year. Your decorations can be as elaborate or as simple as you choose. Any decorations, even a simple poster, will be a big deal to your little ones. And decorating is a pretty easy way to celebrate the New Year with your kids.

Fun food and activities

Fun food is another thing our kids love. For them, a dinner made of fun snacks is an occasion to remember. So is there a fun food tradition you have for New Year’s Eve? Or could you lay out some snacks for them to enjoy (and some that you will enjoy too) for a fun party spread?

As we plan for our food, we can learn some food signs. You could learn the signs for eat, dinner, cracker, cheese, or popcorn. Or head to the mealtime section of the free Signing Time Dictionary for even more mealtime and food signs.

And let’s add some fun activities to enjoy with our kids. We could play a game or watch a movie. Or we could light some sparklers for our own little celebratory display. 

Again, our food and activities can be as complex or as simple as we want them to be. You might feel energetic enough to have a big celebration with lots of food and fun. Or you might be feeling really weary right now, like you can’t do much. And you know what? A movie with a bag of microwave popcorn, and a wish for a Happy New Year will be a special celebration to your kids. So, let’s do what we can, and let’s have fun with that.

Look over the past year

It’s fun to ask our kids about their favorite parts of the past year. Sometimes we already know, but we can be surprised too. So let’s find out what their favorite times were, and what activities they really remember and value.

And let’s tell them about our favorite parts of the past year too. Talking through this question is another easy way to celebrate the New Year with your kids, but it’s also a great relationship-building conversation to have with them.

Talk about what you’ve learned

Here’s another conversation you can have as you celebrate the New Year with your kids. Ask them what they’ve learned this year, and then celebrate with them as they share their accomplishments. This might be a little too much for really young children, but you know your kids, so try it if you think they’ll understand. This might also be a good addition to your conversation about this past year. And be sure to tell them what you’ve learned this year too.

Look forward together

The last part of this conversation can be looking ahead to next year. What are we looking forward to in the New Year? Does anyone have any ideas for the New Year? Think about trips you have planned or summer plans or playdates or birthdays. Let’s look ahead at the good things ahead, and celebrate what’s coming in this New Year with our kids.

Happy New Year from the Signing Time Family and My Signing Time. What will you do to celebrate the New Year with your kids?

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