Thursday, November 15, 2018

New Year’s Eve – Family Style

Easy and Fun Ways to Celebrate with the Kids

Champaign, horns, music, dancing – does this sound like the New Year celebrations of the years before kids? While you might not be able to throw the big bash anymore between diapers and the sheer exhaustion of parenting young children, you can still celebrate the New Year family style. I think there have only been one or two New Year celebrations my husband and I experienced without the kids with us in 16 years of parenting, and I know that the nights we have spent ringing in the new have created wonderful memories. If you’re looking to celebrate New Year’s Eve with the kids in tow, here are a few easy and fun ideas (even if you only make it up until 10:00 p.m.).

Easy and Fun Recipe Ideas

Bring a little of the Big Apple theme and the ball dropping into your menu planning.

  • Sliced apples with caramel dip or other fruit dip – Go with the Big Apple theme and serve some fruit – it’s easy and healthy, especially if you use a yogurt based dip.
  • New York style cheesecake – You can get an easy mix and make mini ones in muffin tins, or do as I’m going to do this year and make one from scratch using this favorite recipe of mine.

Take your spring-form pan (it won’t bite!) and spray with non-stick coating.
Smash graham crackers – enough to coat the bottom of your pan. I think I use just slightly less than one plastic pack from a box. Combine these crumbs with about 1 Tbsp. of butter and press into the bottom of the pan.
Take 4 8-ounce boxes of softened cream cheese (I use the kind with 1/3 the fat) and combine with 1 cup of sugar and 1/4-1/2 tsp. of almond extract using the electric beaters/mixer. Gradually add in 2 whole eggs, one at a time and beat on low.
Add 3 egg whites, one at a time, as you continue to beat on low.
Pour the mixture over the crumbs and bake at 325 degrees for light/silver pan, 300 degrees for dark pan. It usually takes about an hour to be soft set – slightly wiggly in the middle. Take it out and cool, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
After pouring it in the pan, add several large dollops of raspberry jam/jelly and cut through the mixture with a knife to swirl. Then bake as usual.
OR Make as the original recipe and as soon as you take it out to set drop chocolate pieces on top, swirl caramel topping on it, or chocolate syrup. Then chill as usual.
OR substitute lemon zest for almond extract and serve with lemon zest on top.

  • New York pizza theme – Let the kids make their own on flour or corn tortillas using pizza sauce and any of their favorite toppings.
  • Soft pretzels – We like to buy the big boxes of these and toast them in our oven. Some of the kids opt for cinnamon, and others want to dip them in cheese. You can also try using flavored popcorn salts instead of the large rock salt that comes with the pretzels.
  • Fortune Cookies – Nothing says New York like a little Asian cuisine, and fortune cookies are a great way to ring in the new year. The kids love to see what special note they have in their cookie, and they don’t mind eating the sugary crunch, either.

If New York isn’t your style, just get the kids in the kitchen and let them whip up some recipes that are sure to please!

New Year’s Games

The kids like to play games that keep them moving – the more they move the less likely they are to accidentally fall asleep while waiting for the ball to drop.

  • Twister
  • Wii games (last year we jammed with friends to LEGO Rock Band – always a fun memory maker and confidence crasher)
  • Dance pad
  • Treasure hunt throughout the house
  • Hide-n-seek with the lights out and the kids wearing glow sticks around their wrists and ankles

Easy Activities for the Kids

Part of the magic for the kids is waiting – the anticipation they feel as they wait for the clock to turn and a new year to begin. Let the kids dress up in their party clothes – and you can probably get out of your comfy PJs long enough to wiggle into a New Year’s dress. Help keep them busy and anticipating the fun with these easy activities.

  • Homemade Noisemakers – Take empty toilet paper or paper towel tubes and cover one end with paper and duct tape, then have the kids add dry beans, rice, popcorn seeds, or even pop can tabs. Then cover the open end with paper and tape and let the shaking begin!
  • Firecracker Craft – Use this easy (and safe) firecracker craft with your kids. They can decorate the outside and leave little trinkets for the family on the inside.
  • Print these New Year Word Search puzzles for a bit of quieter family fun – just when you are getting ready to doze at 9:30 p.m.

Don’t forget to spend a few minutes reflecting on 2012 and planning with your family for 2013. Now is a good time to talk with your kids about your favorite, most memorable, and most forgettable moments, as well as how you can work together to form a brighter future. Use this printable book to create a family memento, or work together and create a time capsule to open next year.

Related posts:

  1. The Terrible Teenage Years
  2. Separation Anxiety- What to do when it surfaces in the Preschool years?
  3. What’s Your Parenting Style

View full post on Parenting Tips For Raising Successful Kids |

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