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My Favorite New Year’s Eve Activities for Preschoolers

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If you’re searching for fun things to do on New Year’s Eve, you’re in the right place! I’m excited to share my favorite New Year’s Eve activities for preschoolers and family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration ideas too.

This time of year is filled with excitement and anticipation! People all over the world ring in the new year with their own traditions. I can’t wait to share our favorite New Year’s Eve family traditions and some of our favorite ideas from other cultures.

Plus, I’ve got tips for how to celebrate the new year with kids. Keep reading to discover some fantastic resources and printable New Year’s eve activities for preschoolers to make the holiday fun and filled with opportunities for learning too!

new years eve activities for preschoolers

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How To Host a Family-Friendly New Year’s Eve

Sometimes New Year’s Eve feels more like an adult holiday than a family-friendly celebration. However, there are all kinds of ways to host a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration that everyone will enjoy. Check out some of our family’s favorite ideas for celebrating the holiday with kids below.

Noon Year’s Eve

Celebrating New Year’s Eve is for everyone! By hosting a Noon Year’s Eve party instead of waiting for midnight, you’ll be inviting guests of all ages to participate and eliminating the need for a babysitter. 

If you’re celebrating with a Noon Year’s Eve bash, you’ll be counting down to 12 noon instead of midnight. Not only does this midday celebration make it easy to make some sweet family memories on New Year’s Eve, but it’s also a great way to celebrate in your preschool classroom. You can capitalize on the learning fun with your preschool learners and send them home all tuckered out before the adult festivities begin.

Sparkling Cider Toast

Toasting the new year with champagne is a common part of celebrating the holiday and, understandably, kids want to get in on all the bubbly fun. Grab some plastic party cups from the dollar store and a bottle of sparkling cider to help preschoolers join in the fun of toasting the new year with family and friends this year.

Balloon Drop

In America, watching the ball drop in Times Square is a favorite New Year’s Eve tradition. If you’re planning to put your preschooler to bed early or arranging to celebrate the new year in the classroom, you’ll miss the midnight ball drop. Instead, plan a festive New Year’s Eve balloon drop for everyone.

You’ll need balloons, a thin plastic tablecloth, masking tape, and string. Fold the tablecloth into an envelope shape and tape the short sides together. Then, fill the inside with as many balloons as you can.

Next, tape together the long open end of plastic “envelope.” Place the pieces of tape far apart, but close enough together that the balloons can’t slip through. If you use too much tape, you won’t be able to break open your “envelope.”

Then, attach one long string across each tab of tape, leaving a length of the string at the end of the envelope long enough for preschoolers to pull when the time comes. Secure the entire thing to the ceiling. You’ll want to ensure the balloon envelope is facing downward. 

When you’re ready for the balloon drop, have preschoolers pull the strings to snap the tape. The balloons will come tumbling down from above for the perfect festive New Year’s Eve celebration!

Countdown Clock

The next family-friendly New Year’s eve celebration idea I want to tell you about is the countdown clock. It can be hard to wait for midnight (or even noon) when you’re excited or sleepy. Honestly, some years waiting for midnight is hard for me too!

The countdown clock New Year’s Eve activities for preschoolers is the perfect way to extend the celebration all day long and help your preschoolers as they try to be patient. You’ll need activity ideas and paper bags to create your own. In each bag, you’ll add an activity to help preschoolers pass the time until 12:00.

Write the time on the outside of the bag to help preschoolers practice telling time. Inside, you can add activities like bubbles or printable New Year’s Crafts kids can cut and paste for fun.

Printable New Year’s Eve Activities for Preschoolers

Finding fun New Year’s Eve activities for preschoolers to do while they wait for the big countdown can be challenging. Fortunately, I’ve got some printable New Year’s Eve activities for preschoolers that are perfect for kids to do in the classroom or at home this January. Plus, they’re easy for teachers and parents to set up too!

New Year’s Eve Hats

Wearing silly New Year’s Eve glasses and hats while getting loud with noisemakers is part of the fun of the holiday! With this New Year’s Eve Party Hat Freebie, your preschoolers can get in on the fun by creating their own festive party hats. Plus, they’ll be building fine motor skills, concentration, and practicing creative expression.

New Years crafts for kids

You can use these cut-and-paste New Year’s Eve hats to celebrate at home or in the classroom with your preschoolers. The best thing about these hats is that with my New Year’s printable templates, there’s almost no prep for you! Just print, color, cut, and staple for a fun and festive New Year’s Eve hat your preschoolers are sure to love!

Cut and Paste New Year’s Crafts & Writing Prompt

Talking about New Year’s resolutions is a fun way to talk about goal-setting with kids. My cut-and-paste New Year’s craft printables come with a writing prompt to begin exploring resolutions with your preschoolers this January. 

new years eve craft

First, preschoolers can have fun and build fine motor skills as they create their own boy or girl with a party hat and noisemaker. Then, encourage them to practice their penmanship and handwriting by answering a prompt about their New Year’s resolution or goal on paper.

New Year’s Color by Code Pages

Color-by-code pages are fun and easy for teachers too! Kids love discovering hidden images and they’re great for building problem-solving skills.

Plus, coloring pages help encourage concentration and fine motor development in early learners.

new years eve coloring pages

You can print and pass out these New Year’s Coloring Pages for kids to complete at home or in the classroom this January. They’re perfect for adding to countdown bags or an activity table at a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration too.

New Year’s Eve Family Traditions We Love

Do you have a New Year’s eve family tradition you absolutely love? Some of our favorite New Year’s Eve family traditions include hot dogs, root beer floats, and dancing to I Like To Move It by Reel2Reel from the movie Madagascar. Share your family’s favorite New Year’s eve traditions in the comments!

Another fun way to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the classroom or at home with family is to embrace different cultural traditions from around the world.  By celebrating New Year’s Eve with fun traditions from other countries, you can teach your preschoolers about geography, other cultures, and acceptance.

Check out some of my favorite New Year’s Eve family traditions from other countries below.


In Spain, it’s a New Year’s tradition to eat 12 grapes. The grapes symbolize each hour on the clock. This healthy snack-based tradition began in the late 19th century as a way to ward off evil and boost your chances of a lucky new year. 

Read The Lucky Grapes by Tracey Kyle to learn more about this fun thing to do on New Year’s Eve. You can even pass out grapes for preschoolers to enjoy while you read.

One thing is certain, it’s a tasty treat that’s perfect for encouraging healthy eating with your preschoolers this New Year’s Eve. What a fun way to start the year with great health! Just remember, the luck runs out if you don’t manage to eat all the grapes before the clock finishes striking midnight!


What does your family usually eat for New Year’s Eve? Hot dogs have somehow become our traditional New Year’s Eve meal. 

In Mexico, people make and eat homemade tamales on New Year’s Eve. You can carry on this tradition with your preschoolers by enjoying some fresh tamales together to celebrate the holiday.

Try reading Tia’s Tamales by Ana Baca together to learn more about this New Year’s tradition.


Ireland certainly has some interesting New Year’s Eve traditions and celebrations! One that’s a lot of fun for preschoolers is banging bread against the walls. 

The Irish bang Christmas bread on the doors and walls of their homes for New Year’s Eve to ward off bad luck before the start of the new year. You have to admit, it’s a creative way to use fruitcake!


Speaking of cake, in the countries of Norway and Denmark, people make a very special New Year’s cake. Kransekake has 18 ringed cookie-like layers, sometimes more. 

This sweet treat is held together with royal icing to form a cone-shaped tower. Kransekake is topped with Danish flags and is normally served with champagne after midnight.

More Fun Things To Do On New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day

There are so many fun ways to enjoy the holiday with New Year’s Eve activities for preschoolers! Do you have favorite things to do on New Year’s Eve with preschoolers that I didn’t mention? 

I’d love to hear about your favorite ways to celebrate in the classroom and family-friendly New Year’s Eve ideas you love in the comments, so don’t forget to share.

Then, check out even more ideas for celebrating this January with more New Year’s Activity Ideas for Kids here at The Primary Parade.

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