All year long our kids complain about having to go to bed, then when New Year’s Eve rolls around, they’re passed out by 10 p.m.! If they’re really committed to making until midnight this year, try playing some family games with a New Year’s theme to get them through till the big countdown.

Balloon Drop
Watching the ball drop can be slow and boring for the little ones, so as soon as the clock strikes midnight, toss a collection of balloons over a balcony or down the stairs for a similar effect. In the hours leading up to the pivotal moment, have the kids help blow up the balloons and then write a resolution on each. To make it even more fun and interesting, have everyone pop the balloon with their resolution to bring in the New Year with a bang!

Clock Hide-and-Seek
Since the night is all about time, make it a game by hiding a clock with a particularly loud ticking sound somewhere in the house and have the kids run around and find it! Try making the game trickier by adding a few more smaller clocks, but mark the special one with a ribbon. The first one to find the special marked clock gets to hide it for the next round!

Guess the Resolution
This works best with a large group, or small groups can write two or three resolutions per person. Throw the resolutions in a hat and take turns guessing whose resolution has been chosen. To make the game last a bit longer, spend time on each resolution and share how that person will change things to reach their goal. Maybe toss in a few funny ones, like “Wear my pants backward for a day,” and play like you’re serious!

New Year’s Trivia
Divide up into teams and write questions about events that happened the year before. They could be questions like “Who won the World Series? or “What did mom gave dad for his birthday?” The first team to answer the question correctly gets a point.

Board Game Mix-Up
Celebrate the new and the old by mixing up items from old familiar board games to make a whole new game! For example, try combining Monopoly money, the Battleship boats, and the Chutes and Ladders board to make a brand new game with funny rules.

Noon Year’s Eve
If you’re positive your kids won’t make it through the night, consider hosting a Noon Year’s Eve party instead where they can celebrate the New Year at noon instead of midnight. This way they can have a fun afternoon activity and still get to bed on time!


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