Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ringing in the New Year with Kids

This week we discussed what to charge on New Year’s Eve, kid-friendly cocktails to serve, and arts n' crafts to do with children on New Year's Eve. Here are more ideas to use with children as midnight approaches.

If possible, rent some holiday movies such as How the Grinch Stole Christmasor The Polar Express [Blu-ray] so kids can watch movies if they start to get tired. Be prepared to supervise games such as Wild Planet Hyper Dash, Pictionary Junior, Twister, or Guessing Resolutions (see below). Print out free coloring pages and age-appropriate word searches from children’s web sites so children can color when they first arrive or at anytime during the party.

Games to Play with a Group of Children

Jack Frost: Have everyone stand in a circle and chose a volunteer to play Jack Frost, who will stand in the middle of the circle. Jack Frost runs around the inside of the circle and picks someone at random to touch. The person that Jack Frost touches must then start shaking that body part, such as the left hand, and cry out ‘Jack Frost nipped my hand.’ That person must keep shaking their hand for the rest of the game.Meanwhile, Jack Frost continues to run around the inside of the circle touching people’s hands, feet, arms, and legs. Each person must cry out which body part Jack Frost nipped and start shaking it. The game is only over when Jack Frost has managed to nip the arms, legs, hands, and feet of someone in the circle, so that his or her entire body is shaking.

Guessing Resolutions:
Make each of your guests write down five resolutions, each on its own slip of paper. Pull one slip of paper out of a basket at a time and read it out loud. Everyone has to write down who they think made each resolution. At the end of the readings, the person who guessed the most correctly wins a prize. Read some of the wrong guesses out loud for fun!

This is a hide-and-seek game in which only one person hides at the beginning. As the others find the hiding person, they squeeze into the hiding spot. The last person to find everyone hides in the next round. If you have a big, nook-filled backyard, and it’s not too cold outside, this is a great game when everyone needs a breath of fresh air.

What to do as Midnight Approaches

Candlelight Resolutions: Set a kitchen timer for 30 minutes. Turn off all the electric lights. By candlelight, talk about your hopes and resolutions for the year to come. Of course if there are young children at the party use flashlights instead of candles. When the bell rings, it’s midnight, and everyone flips the lights back on to toast to the new year.

Bubble Wrap Stomp: FamilyFun's Parties: 100 Party Plans for Birthdays, Holidays & Every Day (FamilyFun Series, No. 3) suggests doing “The Bubble Wrap Stomp.” Pick up several yards of the large-bubbled Bubble Wrap used in shipping packages. Just before midnight, unroll the wrap on a hard surface, such as a wooden floor or driveway. When the New Year’s countdown concludes, your party guests can stomp on the bubble wrap to make a lot of noise.

Gather Alarm Clocks: Gather all the alarm clocks in the house and set them to go off at exactly midnight.

What games or activities do you recommend for nannies and au pairs working on New Year's Eve?


Anonymous said...

It's snowing! I hope they actually change plans and cancel their New Year's Eve party! Now I wish I hadn't agreed to babysit tonight at all. No money is worth going out in this much snow!

But since you asked a few days ago I do charge a flat rate of $200 two kids, New Year's Eve night. I am supposed to arrive at 7PM and they don't have a specific time to arrive home but they never came home later than 2 AM before.

Snowed out in Saddle River NJ

Anonymous said...

Super ideas for non-nannies too! I think anyone celebrating with kids will enjoy these games.

Ann, Mom in Oakland CA

Anonymous said...

Really cute games. I am doing my taxes tonight. Might as well do as much as possible since I've been paid to year end. Thanks for article about what to charge New Year's Eve. Next year I will ask all parents I know if they need an New Year's Eve sitter and make some cash. Really amazing amounts some nannies (and unqualified teens) are making. Happy 2010!