Over 50 New Year Activities for Students & Families

Every year when growing up our family got together to watch the New Year’s Eve celebration on T.V. Nowadays sadly, it can get pretty raunchy and inappropriate. If you are looking for a fun way to bring in the new year on New Year’s Eve, we’ve got a huge list of fun games, creative ideas, and activities the whole family will enjoy. So, check out more than 50 New Year’s activities. 

New Year's Activities

New Years Activities for Students

These hands-on craft activities will help you bring some fun into your New Year’s events. New Year’s activities like these can be included in co-op parties or just fun family gatherings.

You can incorporate these fun ideas into your winter break as you approach the new year with anticipation.

Confetti Poppers

Decorate empty toilet paper rolls with colorful paper and fill them with confetti. Add a balloon to the end, pull the balloon back, and let go to launch the confetti.

Paper Plate Countdown Clock

Use a paper plate as the base and add numbers from 1 to 12 in a circle. Attach clock hands with a brad or push pin and decorate it with markers or stickers.

Firework Salt Painting

Mix salt with different colors of liquid watercolors or food coloring. Have kids create firework shapes on black construction paper using glue, then sprinkle the colored salt over it.

Wishing Wand

Decorate wooden dowels or popsicle sticks with ribbons, glitter, and small bells. Attach a star-shaped cutout at the top and encourage kids to make their New Year’s wishes.

Sparkling Playdough

Make homemade playdough using your favorite recipe, but add silver or gold glitter to make it sparkle. Let kids shape it into numbers or fireworks.

Resolution Tree

Cut out a large tree shape from green construction paper and attach it to a wall or bulletin board. Have children write down their resolutions on leaf-shaped pieces of paper and hang them on the tree branches.

DIY Party Hats

Provide plain cone-shaped party hats along with various art supplies like markers, stickers, sequins, and feathers for kids to decorate their own unique hats.

Handprint Fireworks

Dip children’s hands into different colored paint and have them press their hands onto black construction paper in a fan shape to create firework patterns.

Balloon Drop Countdown

Hang a large sheet or blanket from the ceiling filled with balloons tied by strings at different heights. At midnight (or your chosen time), pull down the sheet for a balloon drop.

Noise Makers

Decorate empty plastic bottles with colorful tape, ribbons, and bells. Fill them with dried beans or rice to create noise when shaken. Use your noise makers while yelling “happy New Year!”

New Year’s Resolution Bracelets

Provide beads and elastic cords for kids to create bracelets with different colors representing their resolutions or goals for the upcoming year.

Countdown Chain

Cut strips of colored paper and write numbers from 10 to 1 on them. Connect the strips into a chain, starting with number 10 at the top, and remove one link each day until New Year’s Eve.

Firework Ring Craft

Using pipe cleaners, twist them into a circle shape and add colorful beads to resemble fireworks. Attach an adjustable ring base to wear it as a festive accessory.

Glittery Party Glasses

Decorate plain sunglasses or eyeglasses frames with glitter glue, sequins, and rhinestones. Let them dry before wearing them for the New Year’s celebration.

Paper Fortune Cookies

Cut circles out of colored paper and fold them in half like fortune cookies. Write positive messages or predictions for the new year inside each one.

Countdown Cupcake Toppers

Create small flags with numbers counting down from 10 to 1 using toothpicks and colored paper. Insert the toothpick flags into cupcakes for a fun countdown treat.

DIY Confetti Art

Cut out large numbers from cardboard and have kids cover them in glue before sprinkling confetti over them. Shake off excess confetti and let it dry before displaying their artwork.

Time Capsule Activity

Have children bring small items that represent their favorite memories or achievements from the past year. Place these items in a box or container to be opened next New Year’s Eve.

Ribbon Streamers

Attach long ribbons to wooden dowels or sticks to create handheld streamers for kids to wave around during the countdown.

New Year’s Eve Ball Drop

Create a large ball shape using cardboard or foam and cover it with metallic paper or aluminum foil. Hang it from the ceiling and lower it at midnight using a pulley system for an exciting countdown moment.

DIY Sparklers

Help children make safe sparklers using glow sticks attached to long sticks or straws that they can wave around during the countdown.

Paper Plate Clocks

Provide paper plates, markers, and brads. Have children decorate their own clocks to practice telling time as midnight approaches.

Friendship Bracelets

Teach kids how to make friendship bracelets using colorful string or yarn as a symbol of friendship for the new year.

New Year Activities for Students

You can have a great time incorporating festive New Year’s Eve activities into your celebration. A great way to get a reluctant family member involved in New Year’s traditions is to let them choose the activity.

Time Capsule

Have each student bring a small item that represents something important to them from the past year. Place all items in a sealed container to be opened next New Year’s Eve.

Dance Party

Create a playlist of upbeat music and let the kids show off their best dance moves to welcome the new year.

Resolution Wall

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? It’s that time of year when the desire to do some goal setting kicks in. The perfect way to encourage yourself to hit your goals is to write them down. Then, next year you can look back and see if you were able to make them happen. Set up a large poster board where students can write down their resolutions or goals for the upcoming year.

Memory Jar

Give each child a jar and strips of paper. Have them write down their favorite memories from the past year and place them in the jar to be read aloud at midnight.

Bubble Wrap Stomp

Lay out sheets of bubble wrap on the floor or ground outside and let kids jump, stomp, and pop the bubbles to celebrate the new year.

Karaoke Night

Set up a karaoke machine or use a karaoke app on a device and let kids take turns singing their favorite songs.

Movie Marathon

Set up a cozy movie area with pillows and blankets where kids can enjoy watching their favorite movies or a series of New Year’s themed films throughout the night.

New Year’s Photo Booth

Set up an area with decorations and a New Year’s backdrop that can be used to take pictures.

New Years Games for Students

Looking for some games to bring in the new year? These New Years games are great for groups.

Countdown Balloon Pop

  • Inflate balloons and write numbers on them.
  • Kids take turns popping the balloons in countdown order.

New Year’s Resolution Scavenger Hunt

  • Create a list of resolutions and hide them around the house.
  • Kids search for the resolutions and discuss how they can achieve them.

Memory Wall

  • Provide sticky notes to each child.
  • Have them write their favorite memories from the past year on the notes.
  • Stick the notes on a wall and take turns reading them aloud.

Balloon Stomp

  • Tie balloons to each child’s ankle using strings.
  • Kids try to stomp on other participants’ balloons while protecting their own.

Word Search Race

  • Create New Year’s-themed word search puzzles.
  • Give each child a copy and see who can find all the words first.

Firework Art Contest

  • Provide art supplies like markers, crayons, or paint.
  • Have kids create their own firework-themed artwork within a time limit.
  • Select winners based on creativity and effort.

New Year’s Charades

  • Write down different New Year’s-related words or phrases on slips of paper.
  • One player acts out a word without speaking while others guess what it is.

Guess the Resolution

  • Have each child write down a resolution on a piece of paper.
  • Collect all the resolutions and read them aloud one by one.
  • Kids try to guess which resolution belongs to whom.

New Year’s Eve Bingo

  • Create bingo cards with New Year’s-themed pictures or words.
  • Call out items randomly, and kids mark off the corresponding squares on their cards.

Minute to Win It Challenges

  • Set up various challenges such as stacking cups, balancing objects, or tossing balls into buckets.
  • Each child has one minute to complete each challenge, earning points for successful attempts.

Memory Game

  • Place several New Year’s-themed objects on a tray.
  • Show the tray to the kids for a few seconds, then cover it.
  • Kids have to recall and write down as many objects as they can remember.

Balloon Relay Race

  • Divide kids into teams and provide each team with balloons.
  • Kids race while keeping the balloon between their knees and passing it to the next teammate without using hands.

Balloon Volleyball

  • Divide kids into two teams and use a string or ribbon as a net.
  • Players hit balloons over the net using their hands, trying to make the other team miss.

New Year’s Pictionary

  • Write down various New Year’s-themed words or phrases on slips of paper.
  • One player draws a word without speaking while others guess what it is.

Guess the Number of Balloons

  • Fill a clear container with balloons and count them.
  • Kids have to guess how many balloons are in the container. The closest guess wins.

New Year Activities for Students (Solo)

These activities can be done by individual students and sometimes groups of kids.

Reflection Journaling

Take some time to reflect on the past year and set goals for the upcoming one. Write down your thoughts, accomplishments, and plans.

Vision Board Creation

Create a vision board by cutting out pictures and words from magazines that represent your goals and aspirations for the new year.

DIY Time Capsule

Collect meaningful items or memories from the past year and create a time capsule to be opened in the future.

Letter to Your Future Self

Write a letter to yourself, describing your hopes and dreams for the upcoming year. Seal it and open it next New Year’s Day.

Movie Marathon

Choose a theme or genre, gather some snacks, and enjoy a movie marathon of your favorite films or new releases.

Art Project

Get creative with paints, pencils, or clay by creating artwork that represents your hopes and intentions for the new year.

Photography Walk

Take your camera or smartphone and go for a walk in your neighborhood, capturing the beauty of the changing seasons.

Learn a New Language

Use online language learning platforms to start learning a new language that interests you.

Final Thoughts

During holiday break you can plan a fun get-together for New Year’s with your older kids and younger students alike. You can have much fun incorporating meaningful activities into your event. Homeschool moms can use this time to reflect on the school year so far and any academic goals they might want to make.

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