Bedtime-Friendly Ideas for New Year's Eve

Communities across the globe will soon be ringing in the start of a new year. Not all children are able to stay up until midnight, however, to share in the ball drop of New York City or the bell ring of Big Ben in London.

For families looking to keep children on schedule, we’ve compiled several family(and bedtime-friendly ideas for celebrating the New Year. For more links and ideas, scroll down to MORE at the end of this post.


In her PBS Parents article, “New Years’ Eve, Family Style,” Maggie Debelius suggests parents set up clocks around the house to ring in the New Year, as celebrated throughout the world.

“It’s always midnight somewhere,” she writes. “Research New Year's customs around the globe (in Spain they begin the New Year by eating twelve grapes; in Japan they laugh in the New Year) and celebrate accordingly (while still getting the kids to sleep at a decent hour).”

While you’re at it, you could learn to say “Happy New Year!” in a variety of languages. The blog, Kids Play & Create, offers a comprehensive list of ways to say ‘Happy New Year.’


“Don't make the little ones have to strain to stay up until midnight,” writes SheKnows contributor Kori Ellis in her piece “How to Celebrate New Year's Eve with Toddlers.” “Instead, set your clock forward a couple of hours so that they can still celebrate at mock midnight.” If your kids are pumped up on New Year's Eve excitement, you can also chill them out with this song from PJ artist, The Macaroons:


Parenting Magazine writer Ylonda Gault Caviness reminds parents to “Obey the Sandman.” There's no need for a sleepy child to have to stay up late—but she shouldn't have to miss the fun.

“Celebrate on New Year's Day so your child doesn't feel she's missing out if she falls asleep too early the night before," Gault Caviness writes in her piece, “A Family-Friendly New Year.” “A special brunch or supper can be just as festive as a late-night bash.”


On New Year’s Eve, consider having a conversation with your children about “New Year’s Resolutions." A good way to teach a child about the practice of making resolutions is to make that child part of the family discussions. Looking for child-appropriate resolutions? The American Academy of Pediatrics offers advice. Read their “Healthy New Year's Resolutions for Kids” guidelines.


Help your children understand the Jewish calendar with this video from Shalom Sesame.


Looking for more kid-friendly New Year's Eve ideas? Check out these posts from around the web:

20 New Year's Eve Activities for Kids via
New Year's Eve Activities for Toddlers via My Bored Toddler
10 Things to do With Kids on New Year's Eve via Project Nursery
30 Awesome New Year’s Eve Games via My Life and Kids

Do your kids stay up on New Year's Eve? Do you have a special family tradition? Tell us about it on Facebook!

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