How To? New Years Eve with Tots


I don’t think I have ever posted about our New Years Eve Tradition. It started in 2008. Chloe was 23 months. We wanted to do something special but when you have a little one, you don’t want to be out too late. We invited a few friends over and had our own little bash. This year Chloe is now just days away from being 6, John is 4 and Isaac is 19 months. We invited friends over and had 16 children all together. Oh, what fun!

  • The party goes from 4pm to about 8pm or 8:30pm depending on their mood
  • The tots play
  • We have a potluck meal
  • The tots play while we tidy up from dinner
  • We put on a movie/tots play/eat snacks while the adults visit/play board games
  • About 8pm/whenever the tots show signs of fading, we begin a little tidy up in preparation for the night’s finale
  • The tots grab their noisemakers/clappers/instruments and gather at the foot of the stairs
  • We count from 1-10 {not 10-1 since our littles can’t count backwards}
  • Once we reach 10, I hit play on the CD player and “Old Lang Syne” blasts out and the balloons cascade down the stairs onto the tots, who shriek with excitement and dance about. {DH emptied a large sheet of balloons over the top balcony so they would fall on the waiting children.}
  • Then everyone packs up and heads home
  • Sometimes I’ve had treat bags or special gifts. We always have fun hats!

The Goal of the Night? Mom and dad get to have fun playing board games and visiting. That means usually the house doesn’t stay pristine but for this night, it doesn’t matter! Chips in front of the TV, playing with toys all over, blankets out for tents – as long as they tots are keeping busy, not fighting and are safe, pretty much anything goes! Tots get to have a New Years Countdown that we don’t have to pay for with cranky children the next day!

This year, in our new {smaller} home, we didn’t do the balloon drop as we didn’t have the large stairway with the open balcony to throw balloons over like the old house. We missed the balloon drop and will definitely do it next year somehow! Despite a smaller home, we still had a fantastic time with 8 adults and 16 children!!! I just love my new home and the layout which still makes a sit-down meal for everyone possible! {FYI – our folding tables and chairs are from Costco}.

How did you ring in the New Year? Any special traditions?