Wow, how is it almost the start of a new decade? Time sure seems to fly, and I’m feeling all the feels for 2019 and how far we’ve come!
And I’m even more excited for what 2020 has in store for us!
But before we get too caught up in planning for the future, we are taking today to be intentionally grateful for all 2019 brought our way. And we’re doing so with a few fun and festive activities we’re doing with the kids!
I don’t know about you, but New Year’s Eve has always been one of my least favorite holidays. It is always a bit of a let-down.
And for this introverted homebody, most of the time you couldn’t pay me to stay out way past midnight just to watch the ball drop.
But then I realized that wasn’t the best mindset to start a new, fresh year with, so I decided to start a few fun traditions to allow myself and our kiddos to give thanks for 2019, reflect on a few of our favorite things from the year, and end with one big goal or something new we want to try in the upcoming year.
So in addition to baking a New Year’s cake (because why not?) and making some fun New Year’s finger foods (because, well, food), we are doing 3 simple but fun activities with our kids this year as we enjoy a nice, quiet New Year’s Eve at home!
3 FUN & FESTIVE NEW YEAR’S EVE TRADITIONS TO HELP YOU & YOUR KIDS START THE NEW YEAR RIGHT
FESTIVE TRADITION #1: NEW YEAR’S EVE RECAP
This is something small I like to do with my kids every year (I like to do something similar in terms of goals I achieved in the previous year and goals I’d like to achieve in the upcoming year).
I have a simple list of questions I ask my kids when they’re old enough about their current favorites.
Questions like: “Who’s your best friend?” and “What’s your favorite color?” just so I can track how they change year over year.
But I also ask questions like: “What was your favorite thing that happened in the last year?” and “What is one new thing you want to try in 2020?” because even the littlest of kids are more thoughtful than we give them credit for sometimes.
My 3-year-old always surprises me with her ambition and goals. And these kinds of questions are typically responded to with some pretty big answers. Answers that I want to make sure I give her the room to try as a parent.
To help you get started with this tradition in your family, I put together a simple questionnaire you can ask your kids tonight (and every year) too. You can download this and print it off.
Make sure you store it in a place you will remember, then pull it back out next year to see how your kids have changed!
DOWNLOAD YOUR 2019 RECAP QUESTIONNAIRE!
FESTIVE TRADITION #2: GRATITUDE JAR
This is a simple one, but it’s always a nice thing to do! Take some time as a family to reflect on the previous year and everything that you’re grateful for.
Think big and small.
Then grab some paper, a pen, and a jar or container of some kind. Label it “2019 Gratitude Jar”. Then add in all the things you’re grateful for.
Make sure to ask your kids and write down anything they say, but also make sure to label who said it!
Store this gratitude jar with your questionnaire and pull it back out next year to look back through how things have changed over the years!
FESTIVE TRADITION #3: BALLOON ACTIVITIES
Now that you’ve reflected on all the good over the past year and set some goals, big or small, it’s time for a fun activity!
Get some small pieces of paper and a pen along with some balloons.
On the paper, write down one activity for the kids to do. You’ll then want to add the paper into the balloon. Blow up the balloon, and tie it off.
Then label the balloon with a specific time (using a permanent marker).
Whenever the clock strikes the specific time on the balloon, have your kids pop the balloon and do whatever activity is inside!
You can start at 5pm and go until midnight, spacing activities out every hour. Or if your kids are smaller and go to bed earlier, do them every half hour.
These activities can be anything, but some fun ones might include:
- Running around the house X-number of times.
- Doing 10 jumping jacks.
- Chugging an entire juice box.
- Saying one wish they have for the upcoming year out loud.
- Dressing up in a silly outfit and singing a song.
- Having a 5-minute dance party.
- Eating a dessert.
- Lighting sparklers.
- Putting on a little play.
The options are limitless! But your kids are sure to have fun all night long and will focus on those shorter increments rather than asking you over and over again, “How much longer until the ball drops?”
What fun traditions do you have as a family? Share them with me in the comments below!