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5 Fun and Easy Activities to Ring in the New Year

This year, celebrating the New Year may be a little different. Many of us have planned a low-key, at-home celebration with our immediate family. While your event may be a little more toned-down, it can still be full of family fun!

If you are looking for a few fun and easy activities for your celebration, our teachers at New Horizon Academy shared a few of their very favorite family-friendly New Year’s Eve Celebration ideas.

Here are a few ideas to celebrate at home as a family.

Setting Goals for the New Year and Year in Review

Spend time together reviewing the events of 2020 and setting goals for 2021. It is a wonderful way to engage in fun discussions. Use our Year in Review and Goals for 2021 Sheet to guide your conversation. Save the Year in Review and Goals for the 2021 and review next year.

Countdown Activity Bags

Materials Needed

  • Paper bags (lunch bags, white lunch bags, or small gift bags)
  • Paper clocks (Print our paper New Year’s Eve Countdown Clocks.)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Activities for each hour (See suggested ideas below.)


1) Print the paper New Year’s Eve Countdown Clocks.
2) Cut out the paper clocks and glue onto the paper bags. (You can start with the hour that works best for your family. You could host a Noon Year’s Eve event for younger children.)
3) Add fun family activities such as:

  • The New Horizon Academy Year in Review and Goal Setting Form
  • Cookie Mix
    • Bake cookies together and enjoy at the of your countdown with a cookies and milk toast.
  • Craft Activity
    • Add markers, crayons, glue, paper, and other craft items and use the materials to create beautiful masterpieces.
  • Game
    • Add your favorite game or a new game and play together as a family.
  • Story Book
    • Insert a beloved book and read together as a family.
  • Photo Booth
  • Party Favors
    • Include fun party favors, so you may use them at the end of your countdown.
  • New Year’s Eve Noisemakers
    • Create noisemakers to ring in the new year.

New Year’s Eve Noisemakers

Create noisemakers to ring in the new year.

Materials Needed

  • Plastic cups (If you do not have plastic cups available, use an empty water bottle.)
  • Tape, stickers, markers, ribbon, or other craft materials
  • Uncooked beans, uncooked rice, or other materials to make noise


  1. Decorate your plastic cup or water bottle with stickers, tape, and other craft materials.
  2. Pour uncooked beans rice, or other selected materials into the cup or bottle. (This requires adult supervision as uncooked beans are a chokeable item.)
  3. Tape the cups together or seal the water bottle.
  4. Enjoy your noisemaker.

Dance Party

Host a dance party.

Set the stage by adding streamers, colorful lights, or other fun decorations. Dress up with special dancing clothes, props, costumes, and glow-in-drack bracelets. Use the instructions below to make dancing ribbons. Then turn on your favorite music and dance.

Spice up your party with an organized dance-off. Take turns showing off your favorite dance moves.

Dancing Ribbon

Create dancing ribbons to wave as you ring in the new year.

Materials Needed

  • Paper plates
  • Stapler
  • Tape, stickers, markers, crayons, paint, or other craft materials
  • Ribbon, streamers, or plastic tablecloth (Adult should cut into strips.)


  1. Staple two paper plates together. This will make it a little sturdier. (Please provide adult supervision when working with the stapler.)
  2. Decorate your paper plate with stickers, tape, markers, and other craft materials.
  3. Cut the ribbon, streamers, or plastic tablecloth into strips.
  4. Staple the ribbon, streamers, or plastic tablecloth onto the paper plate.
  5. Enjoy your dancing ribbon.

Happy New Year from all of us at New Horizon Academy!

New Horizon Academy is a nationally recognized early learning provider with over 90 schools in Minnesota, Colorado, Iowa, Idaho, and Kansas. Through play-based curriculum and high-quality daycare, New Horizon Academy schools nurture and prepare children to succeed in school and life.

Schedule a tour to learn more about our highly trained teachers, safe and secure facilities, and commitment to providing the highest quality care. Contact a New Horizon Academy childcare center near you today.

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