New Year’s Eve is a time for both reflecting on the past 365 days while at the same time welcoming in the start of a brand new year. Remember, the festivities do not necessarily have to start at 12 a.m. on January 1st. In fact, as parents of young children we can celebrate any time during the two-day event so that we can include ringing in the New Year with our little ones. Some fun ideas to start off 2016 include:
1. Make homemade noise makers. Make a rice tambourine with two paper plates or fill a paper towel tube with beans. Watch the clock and celebrate every hour on the hour. Think of different ways to make each subsequent hour celebration even more silly. Add crazy paper crowns! Moreover, depending on how old your children are, celebrate the new year in different time zones.
2. Celebrate with a family slumber party New Year’s Eve. What a magical way to put to rest one year and wake up together to start anew!
3. Pick a book to read to start off the new year. To go even further, turn reading this same book into a recurring tradition to read every new year. Click here to find see a list of books that focus on the theme of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
4. Check out your local community calendar to see if there are any family fun runs for New Year’s Day. Don’t forget to check your public library for family friendly events for the kids.
5. Live near our state’s capital city? Salem Riverfront Carousel is giving free rides to children on New Year’s Day from noon to 4 p.m.
Celebrating a “new year” can be a rather complex idea for young children. Toddlers and preschoolers have a difficult time enough grasping the idea of “yesterday,” “tomorrow,” or even the “day after tomorrow,” let alone that 365 days make up a new year. They are still concrete thinkers and need abstract concepts broken down in order to make sense to them. For example, the idea of “tomorrow” is more clearly explained by describing, “after you go to bed tonight and wake up again” instead of “over the the next 24 hours.” It’s nice to be able to mark a new year with a special recognition, however, each day with your child is reason alone to celebrate and cherish. Remember, they will only stay this young for so long and if you blink, you’ll miss it. Instead of asking yourself, “How can I make this new year remarkable for my child,” why not ask yourself “How can I celebrate this moment right now?” Best wishes for health, love, and a million more special moments with your little one for 2016!
The Parenting Hub would love to hear about your fun ideas to celebrate 2016. Please send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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