Have kids assemble their most memorable food moments for a time capsule, whether it is a picture with grandma making a birthday cake, apple seeds from apple-picking that fall, or thoughts on the discovery that Brussels sprouts grow on stems. Collect recipes they tried or even made in 2013, and what they are looking forward to tasting in the upcoming year. Put together any photos taken from food adventures and maybe a few words on their favorite or least favorite dish of the year. Have them put it away to crack open next New Year’s or even in a few years to see how their tastes have changed.
Parents love a game that can be educational as well as entertaining, and word games are the best of both worlds. Why not put a New Year’s Eve spin on this word game? The point of the game is to find the most words out of the letters that spell out "Happy New Year!" Hosts or parents can create fun colorful placemats with the phrase on it, and the kids can write down all the words they can think of there. Try using a paper tablecloth on the kids’ table allowing them to write down the words found on the table. Popular New Year’s sayings, traditional New Year’s dishes, or the party’s menu can also be used for this game.
Scavenger hunts are classic, competitive time-passing games that are adaptable depending on the venue. Give the kiddies a list of items that they must find within a certain time limit. To make the kids more excited about the holiday, hide treats and objects that relate New Year’s. Some items could be a recipe made during the year, measuring cups, one of the treats being served at the gathering, an egg timer, an alarm clock, party crackers, or even materials for the New Year’s crafts.
What kid doesn’t love guessing, especially when it comes to how many treats are in a jar! Have a different sized jar or container with different goodies for each hour of your party count down (however, this does require counting each piece of candy, cookies, little prizes, or whatever you decide). Leave each jar out for its hour, and once the clock strikes the next hour, replace it with the next jar. Just after midnight, announce the winners, so each kid can get their jar and enjoy their prizes. This would be great for big parties with lots of children.
Crafts are always a great outlet for occupying kids. Create wish cans made from empty coffee cans, where the kids can deposit money and wishes for the new year, after they decorate them with style of course. Or make noisemakers from recycled mini plastic bottles filled with dried beans, pasta, dyed dry rice, or even candies (to be munched on after the ball drops). Or confetti eggs to help ring in the new year! All it takes is a little glitter, glue, and imagination for kids to pass the time until it is a new year.
This fun Egg Timer Game can be played over and over, which is perfect for whiling away the hours. Hide an egg timer somewhere in the room or the party space. Kids can even hide the timer. Once hidden, set it to ring and challenge the kids to find the timer before it does ring. If that gets old, try hiding several egg timers and set them all to ring at same time (this might take a few people). Once the timers go off, someone begins counting down from 10 to one. The kids must find them all and turn them off before the person yells "Happy New Year!"