1. Chop ‘til you drop
Balloon drops don’t require ballrooms, Mom, and Dad. A sheet, strips of Velcro and a willingness to get on a ladder will do the job and if you leave the balloon blowing to the kids, everyone gets in on the fun. While your drop is set up, chop ingredients for a DIY taco bar that gives each family member a choice of ingredients. Yes, it’s okay if one kid fills a single shell with M&Ms from the topping treats you’ve put out for a grand ice cream bar finale.
2. Photo bombing blitz
Hold a contest to see which family member pops up most often in photos when holiday snaps are taken. Proof of bombing requires a neutral judge not influenced by bribery or candy kickbacks and the winner receives an appropriate prize: A digital photo album of the offender. No fair promising not to show these gems down the road at wedding and engagement parties.
No contracts or agents to worry about when you invite all members of the family to join a family band. Fill a black garbage bag with toy instruments so there’s no fighting over the drum and invite everyone to draw one out of the grab bag. Set a timer to give the crew rehearsal time before the performance, best staged before those balloons hit the floor.
4. Dress to thrill
Make New Year’s Eve a Project Funway night, setting up a crafting table and distributing long while “night” shirts to each celebrant. Raid your favorite dollar store for paints, feathers, embellishments, glitter, and anything else that can be added to create a limited-edition fashion. No runway required for the final fashion show, but you will need lively music when the catwalk begins.
5. Wicked good cookies
This is your kids’ chance to undertake cookie decorating to the next level by giving them carte blanche to craft the ugliest specimen of all. The winner/loser gets a fun prize given by secret ballot since it’s only fair to make that decision without pointing fingers. Once the kids pass out from a drop triggered by the sugar rush, turn the activity over to adults and award a prize to the best X-rated cookie. Don’t be shocked if grandma wins.
6. Bowling for wishes
No New Year’s Eve bash is official until wishes and resolutions are declared, so make those commitments real by asking partiers to make one New Year’s Wish and one New Year’s resolution by writing each down and tossing them into resolution and wishing bowls. When to open these? At breakfast on the following morning. New Year. New revelations.
7. Test your tastebuds
A blindfold is required to participate in this activity and you’re going to want to film the results of reactions from kids and adults alike when spoons of foods are placed into their mouths. Include fat black eyed peas (a new year’s tradition in the south), grapes (in Spain, they portend prosperity), marzipan candies and other treats served on New Year’s Eve around the globe. Palate-cleansing water required in-between bites, please!
8. Beyond the bomb
Everyone loves commemorative photos and for those too busy eating, drinking, and having fun to indulge in the photo bombing competition, how about a DIY photo studio? Get your hands on the biggest frame you can find at a local thrift store, set it up and provide each model with a choice of silly wigs, sunglasses, and other accessories. Before you snap, shower each subject with confetti.
9. It’s okay to get board!
A family New Year’s Eve celebration would not be complete without at least one board game and who are we to tell you which one your little ones will enjoy most? A quick internet search for trendy, age-appropriate games before the big night offers so many choices, you may just decide to get two.
10. Time in a bottle
Talk about synchronicity! What better time to create a time capsule than New Year’s Eve? Download printable forms (http://uncommondesignsonline.com/new-years-eve-time-capsule-printable/) and solicit contributions from everyone celebrating with you, putting them into a glass bottle so the time capsule can be buried and retrieved next New Year’s Eve. Make it a tradition. You’ll amass memories that are priceless!
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