As families grow and social environments change, so do celebrations. Let the newness of this year inspire you to try something different when you are celebrating New Year’s with kids. Here are some tips for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Turn back time: Why not change your celebration time? If you have children, there is no need to keep them up until midnight. Pick a more appropriate time for your children or celebrate New Year’s at 12 noon. Once your children are in bed, you can have time for yourself to celebrate the midnight hour.
Start a brunch tradition: Plan a New Year’s Day brunch or breakfast. Let each family pick or prepare food that represents happiness or good luck to them or research the many foods different cultures use to represent good health and prosperity for the upcoming year. Learn why eating Black Eyed-Peas on the first day of the year is a Southern tradition. Good Housekeeping shares a variety of good-luck foods.
Decorate: Spark a spirit of friendly competition by assigning an area of the house or room to different people or teams to decorate for New Year’s. Use items from around the house, make your decorations or visit your local Dollar Store. Make confetti by ripping up leftover tissue paper or gift wrapping paper. Turn it into an art project by adding the confetti onto your vision board.
Vision Board: Put blankets and pillows out on the floor with lots of magazines, scissors, glue, and poster board. This family activity will have everyone focused on positive goals as they advance into the new year.
Reflections: Replace New Year’s resolutions with New Year’s reflections! Have each family member write down or speak about some accomplishments they experienced this past year. For example, a 5 year old may have learned to ride a bike, and your teenager may have learned to drive. Focus on positive accomplishments instead of making promises to stop something in the future.
Photo Shoot: Use props and signs to take selfies and group photos. Share them with family members that can’t be there.
Bubbles: Instead of focusing on breaking out the champagne bubbly, how about celebrating by blowing bubbles with the whole family. Get a bunch of bubbles and head outside to blow any negativity or stress from this past year away. Then switch to blowing bubbles filled with good wishes for the New Year. Keep bubbles on hand throughout the year as a tool for reducing stress. Angry Octopus: Color Me Happy, Color Me Calm coloring book has interactive strategies to self-soothe, manage anger, and improve emotional intelligence.
It is easy to get stuck in the doldrums of this past year. Take a deep breath and decide to focus on something positive to help you and your family step into the New Year with optimism.
Lori Lite is the founder of Stress Free Kids and a pioneer in introducing children to stress management. After helping her own children, Lori understood that her mission was to empower children to reduce stress, lower anxiety, and manage big emotions and anger. Lori’s ability to incorporate relaxation techniques and mindfulness into a storytelling format made her award-winning titles a worldwide resource for parents, educators, mental health professionals, doctors, yoga instructors, and children.
Lori was the first author to appear on ABC’s Emmy-winning television series, Shark Tank, where the sharks listened to her Angry Octopus story and learned breathing and progressive muscle relaxation. Lori’s constant upbeat presence on social media (stressfreekids) has awarded her accolades, including Top 100 Parenting Experts to follow on Twitter, Best Twitter Feed in Children with Special Needs, Top 5% Social Media Influencer, and a publishing deal with Scholastic Books. Her sought-after practical tips have been featured in hundreds of media outlets, including CBS News, CNN Living, Fox News Health, WebMD, Prevention, Thrive Global, and Real Simple magazine. For more information about Lori’s books, audiobooks, lesson plans, and other resources, visit the Stress Free Kids website.