Five – Four – Three – Two – One!
The countdown is on to make plans to ring in the New Year! Dancing? Dining Out? House Party? Family Gathering? There is no shortage of fun events and outings going on around town this year. For me, a cozy New Year’s Eve at home with my family beats all.
Kids love to create, celebrate and stay up late. So I am giving them lots of options this year. We are going to have a party in our own living room and whoop it up until the ball drops to ring in 2014.
Let kids decorate and personalize their own party hats and noisemakers with markers, glitter, and tissue. Use plain paper cones or wide headbands for the hats.
Make a Memory Book or Time Capsule. Give each child a photos of some their favourite 2013 memories. Gather fun keepsakes and use an old jar or scrap book put them together. Encourage kids to comment on photos and tag items with their memories.
Create a special kids table. Set up a fun kids table giving them a fun place to sit. Decorate it with garland and other Christmas stuff you already have around.
Decorate. Add a little sparkle to your table by lighting a couple of sparklers as the countdown starts.
Bake a Wish Cake. This is a fun Greek tradition in which you bake a cake with a lucky coin or other trinket hidden inside. The recipient of the coin is said to have good luck for the upcoming year.
Watch home movies and reminisce. Cuddle up with some popcorn and look over your favourite moments from the past year together.
Dress up and have a dance party. Kids love to dress up, so let them put on their best clothes, push the furniture back and have a dance party. Make it even more fun by wearing boas, tutus, silly hats and glasses.
Make Memory Books. Provide each child with a small notebook and have them write and draw their memories from the year.
Talk about resolutions and what they mean. Have kids write down what theirs are for 2013
Stay up Late
Celebrate Midnight in Another Country. Let’s face it, some of our kids are just too young to make it until midnight. Why not celebrate the New Year earlier in the day alongside another country in another part of the world. If you are in CAnada for example, you could celebrate alongside Paris which would be 6:00 p.m Oh La La.
Ring it In. Set all the clocks, alarms, and cell phones to go off at midnight.
Keep them Busy. Do hourly activities to help kids count down the time. Write them on a slip of paper and put them inside of a balloon or envelope.
Have a balloon drop at midnight. You can make your own balloon drop using a drawstring garbage bag. Till it with balloons and hang it upside down. Then undo the drawstring at midnight and let the balloons shower down.
Events Around Town
If you are the type that can’t live without the fireworks and full scale festivities, Ottawa has a number of family friendly events to choose from.
Head down to Sparks Street for their Capital Countdown. There will be food, favours, entertainment and the midnight Maple Leaf Drop. Dress warm. It is forecast to be a cold one.
Rick Chiarelli’s Alcohol-free Family New Year’s Eve party has a pirate and princess them this year. What fun? The party starts at 6:00 p.m. at Centerpoint – Ben Franklin Place with Fireworks at 10:00 p.m. Kids will love the magicians, dancers, face painters and other live entertainment.
Closer to the downtown area? Celebrate at Ottawa City Hall Scottish style. The 2nd Annual Scottish Hogmanay starts at 6:00 p.m. There will be Scottish dancing and music, the Glengarry Pipe Band, Scotch tasting, skating on the Rink of Dreams and fireworks at midnight.
However you celebrate, my wish is that you and your family enjoy a fun-filled evening and that 2014 be filled with health and happiness.
This is a fun and easy project that the whole family can do together.
Start by asking a few questions to get the kids thinking about what they would like to add to the box:
- Where do you think we will live in the future?
- What will you remember about this year?
- What do you like best about your world right now?
- Are there any major events happening in your life this year?
- What do you think that world will be like in the future?
Now have them collect things that they would like to save in the time capsule.
- A 2014 penny
- A recent photograph
- A Christmas or Valentine card they received recently or a birthday invitation
- A newspaper clipping.
- A ticket stub
- Their hand / foot print.
- Their age and grade
- Their teachers name
- Their best friend
- Their favourite food
- What they got for Christmas
- What they plan to do for their birthday this year.
- Their favourite place to be
- Have them draw a picture of how they think they will look in four years.
Tuck the items and letters into your decorated box and tape it up. Hide it in a safe place