Let’s face it: New Year’s is often seen as a “grown-up” holiday. You dress up. You drink. You stay up too late. You drink more. You make terrible resolutions or promises to better yourself in the new year. None of that sounds very kid-friendly. Add in the fact that kids typically have absolutely no sense of time, and the idea of celebrating a year passing probably just seems silly to them.
Just because they may not “get it” doesn’t mean you have to let parenthood cramp your partying style, though. There are a ton of fun and easy New Year’s crafts for kids you can do with those rugrats — whether you send ’em to bed at 8 pm or let them stay up until the ball drops. Even better? You can let the kids work on them on New Year’s Day when you’re still tired from staying up past midnight (when did that start feeling so late?).
The key to solid, memorable, frustration-free New Year’s festivities for kids boils down to two words: patience and prep. While all of these crafts are super simple, you can help things go smoother by making sure you’ve done the prep-work ahead of initiating the project. Cut the shapes. Lay the newspaper. Put the wine in your “cocoa” mug. Patience is also key. Just like with any adult party, messes are bound to happen. Sure, your toddler might get glitter everywhere. But your wild cousin Shelby would probably show up in glitter, anyway… and then sit on your velvet sofa.
So, walk into all your New Year’s crafting for kids with an open mind and an expectation of disaster. Going into these projects fully prepared to clean up the mess after midnight — or, let’s be real, the next day — will go a long way in helping you remain calm when little Olivia smears glitter glue all over your dinner table. (Note: It’ll peel off once it’s tacky.)
These New Year’s crafts for kids are fun and festive. Take a deep breath and enjoy the chaos, Mama.
Fun New Year’s Crafts for Kids to Try Now… Or in the New Year!
1. Silver Wands
These wands make us think of the fairy godmother from Cinderella, and since Cinderella had to leave the ball when the clock struck 12, well, that makes these pretty perfect for New Year’s Eve. Besides, some cardboard stars, wooden dowels, and sparkles just make everything more fun!
2. DIY Party Poppers
There are several ways to make your own party poppers, but we like these from Kids Learning Through Play because you make them using a mish-mash of party and crafting supplies you probably already have on hand.
3. NYE Time Capsules
Everyone loves a time capsule! Let your kiddos decorate a cardboard tube or some other container, then just have them answer questions about who they are and what they like. Stash ’em in with your holiday decorations, so you can open them and do it all again the next year.
4. Sensory Bin
So, you’ll mostly have to put this together, Mama. However, when your littles are too small to appreciate or partake in a real craft, this might be a solid backup plan. You could even get your bigger kids to dye the rice or draw the clocks.
5. Paper Sparklers
Real sparklers scare the crap out of some parents and kids. These, however, are perfectly safe — not to mention totally adorable.
Kids love making noise, and we love our kids, so what do we do? We let them create noisemaker crafts. Your (loud) little buddies will get a kick out of these super easy paper plate and bean noisemakers. Bonus: They can decorate them!
7. New Year’s Memory Hat
We love any idea that helps us keep track of exactly who our kids were at that very moment in time. These questions and this simple activity will do exactly that!
8. Evil Eye Streamer
Want to teach your kids about another culture and do a fun New Year’s craft? In Greece, these “evil eye” streamers are known as “gouri” — which essentially means “lucky charms.” It’s thought that they chase away evil and bring good luck, health, prosperity, peace, and love.
9. Sparkly NYE Slime
Sure, this slime might end up in your favorite rug or all over your dining room table. But kids frickin’ love slime, so that’s a sacrifice we all make as parents. This version is perfect for NYE since it’s loaded with gold and silver sparkles. Hey, if you’re going to have to clean slime off of everything, at least you’ll have something really, really pretty to look at while you scrub.
10. Inspirational Message/Photo
This craft requires a bit more early prep work. You’ll want to take a picture of your kids jumping with their hands in the air or simply reaching up. Then you’ll need to print the photos that you’ll use for this inspirational poster. And now that most families have tossed their printers, getting pictures printed can take a little longer (although many places like CVS offer same-day pick-up on digital orders).
11. NYE Headband
You literally have everything you need for this craft already lying around your house. Why spend $5 on the same headband as everyone else when your kids can make their own fun and festive versions?
12. Super Easy Sequin Year Numbers
If you’re looking for a fantastic New Year’s craft for your toddler or preschooler, look no further — these sequin letters are perfect for kids learning numbers or practicing their tracing skills. It’ll work their pincer grasp, help them learn how to use glue, and still be extra sparkly and entertaining.
13. Tinsel Crowns
Kids seriously dig crowns! While a decorated construction paper crown would certainly make your kids happy enough, adding some leftover shiny Christmas tinsel will help kick it up a notch.
14. Tissue Paper Fireworks Suncatcher
Another prep-heavy craft, we know. But… they’re just so pretty. Cut the fireworks shapes out in advance so that your kids can focus on the fun part: spilling glue!
15. TP Roll Fireworks Painting
All you need for this craft is some construction paper, a few empty toilet paper tubes you can slice into a makeshift stamp, and paint. Pro tip: Vary the size of strips you cut into the toilet paper rolls so that each “stamp” gives a slightly different firework pattern.
16. Silver Disco Ball Glasses
Older kids will love the chance to play with some more heavy-duty glue, as well as these mini mirror squares. You can find the shades in most party favor aisles — or just use some old pairs no one wears anymore.
17. NY Resolution Fireworks
Help make resolutions fun by cutting out these fireworks shapes in advance, letting your kiddos decorate them, and then helping them write their resolutions or wishes in the center. You can hang them in a cluster for a few days, then pop them somewhere more personal to help them remember what they want to change.
18. Jingle Bell Noise Sticks
Raise your hand if you bought a giant bag of jingle bells for your Christmas-themed sensory bin and now you don’t know WTF to do with all of them. Well, save some popsicle sticks, glue the jingle bells on them, and let your kiddos have a jingle ball (sorry, couldn’t resist) decorating their new noisemaker.
19. Salt Fireworks
Black paper + glue lines sprinkled with salt + watercolor paint. Add them all up, and you’re left with a seriously cool and beautiful New Year’s Eve craft.
20. Paper Lanterns with Resolutions or Wishes
We really love the idea of family activities, and this might just be one of our favorites. Just spare your kids from hearing your 10-year-strong resolution to get more organized and pick something that they’ll enjoy hearing about your progress toward.
21. NYE Colorful Candle Holders
Don’t throw away that used Christmas tissue! Use it for this project instead. Pop in battery-operated tealight candles, and you’ll have a sweet little art project you’ll want to keep up long after the NYE streamers get tucked away.
22. Hand/Footprint Year Numbers
We think this is another simple, repeatable New Year’s craft with the idea of being able to compare your kiddos’ growth over time. If you aren’t big on paper clutter, take a photo of this craft each year and store it digitally. How cool would it be to create a photobook out of all of these once your little one is all grown up?
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