Ready the confetti and roll out the resolutions: ring in a fun-filled, family New Year

With Christmas morning a warm memory, get kids fired up about welcoming a 2019 packed with potential. Let the 365-day adventure begin in a big way well before the stroke of midnight.

Start with a bit of New Year’s lore and trivia. According to Reader’s Digest, “Auld Lang Syne” is the title and key phrase of a 1788 Scots poem by Robert Burns, typically sung on New Year’s Eve around the world. The phrase ‘auld lang syne’ literally translates to ‘old long since,’ and basically means, ‘days gone by.’”

Or how about that beautiful “ball” that drop in Times Square at midnight? Duckster’s education website says it “weighs 1000 pounds and is made from Waterford Crystal. It has over 9,000 LED lights to light it up. About 1 billion people watch the ball drop on television.” Last January 1 CBS News reported that an estimated 2 million gathered in person for the countdown.

As a home alternative (or addition?) to the ball, last year the Best Ideas for Kids website published “15 New Year’s Eve Ideas for Kids” that included a New Year’s Eve balloon clock, with everyone taking turns popping a balloon with each beat of the countdown. Sure, it’s loud, but c’mon, it’s New Year’s Eve, after all.

Your Modern Family last year posted “12 Activities to Keep the Kids Busy in the Winter Time.” They include some really fun ideas useful for the entire season, but one that could put a brand-new spin on New Year’s Eve is to go camping in your living room! The site suggests, “Rent movies, make s’mores, have hot dogs and fruit.” To add to their suggestions, you can set up actual small tents, improvise out of sheets, or “camp” until bedtime and then tuck into actual beds.

While “camped out” you can also make good use of walls and ceilings with Bedtime Alphabet, Night-Time Learning, Interactive Flash Cards. At night, use the handy, mini flashlight included in the package to shine light through the clever cutouts. Watch uppercase letters and shapes dance on floors, walls, and ceilings. It’s a new twist on traditional and much-loved shadow play. By day, use the cutouts as stencils to encourage drawing and writing activities. Each card offers three unique stencils.

The Best Ideas for Kids suggests throwing a New Year’s Eve glow-in-the-dark dance party “using glow sticks and New Year’s LED glasses!” Another idea they offer is that that at night’s end on New Year’s Eve, everyone discuss “what New Year’s resolutions everyone can commit to?” The posting says that “I especially like the idea of starting a new hobby or volunteering more.” They also offer a printable resolution sheet, with “This year I will try ____,” “I will do more of ___,” “I will do less___,” and “my priorities: ____.”

They also link to a printable New Year’s Bingo Game from Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke. Making New Year’s Eve one of the most sparkly family game nights ever can include many different kinds of games. This past July The Spruce posted New Year’s Eve Party Ideas for Kids, by Christine Gauvreau, saying, “New Year's Eve is a great time to gather the family around the table to enjoy some board games. Have a tournament that lasts until midnight.” In a separate Spruce post by Gauvreau titled New Year’s Eve Party Games for Kids, Gauvreau also offers creative games such as New Year’s Charades and New Year’s Eve Karaoke, among others.

Most of all, let New Year’s Eve set the tone for the year’s coming attractions. Country singer Brad Paisley once offered some spot-on advice for the arrival of December 31. He said, “Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.” With a little creativity you and your kids and start a story that is part thriller, part classic—and very, very treasured.