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A Family-Friendly New Year's Eve

A Family-Friendly New Year

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Updated on Dec 29, 2011

Champagne is out. So is a countdown to midnight. New Year's Eve isn't the most family-friendly holiday, but there are still some seriously fun ways to celebrate with your kids. You can ring in the New Year...

With traditional New Year’s Foods. Southern legend holds that eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s brings good luck. Many Americans serve greens or cabbage in the hopes that it will bring prosperity. Some cultures include round foods in New Year’s celebrations, since the unending circle symbolizes life. Others bake coins in a cake, with the coins symbolizing prosperity.

With family resolutions. Individual resolutions are great, but when an entire family commits to working on something in the coming year, the results can be powerful. Consider making a list of goals: making an effort to get outside every day, incorporating more active play into your family’s lifestyle, eating family dinners together more often, saving money for a trip, etc...

With confetti! Cut lots of colorful paper into small pieces, then throw them all over the room? Perfect preschooler fun. Bonus: all that cutting is good fine-motor skills practice. Have the kids scoop all the confetti into a jar and throw it at the end of the bash.

With music. Like the “bless you” after a sneeze, loud noise is supposed to scare away all those evil spirits who come out of hiding at the stroke of midnight. Make homemade tambourines with two paper plates, a handful of dried beans and a stapler. Make drums out of pots and pans. Make shakers by placing buttons, washers and other items in a cleaned out water bottle. Whatever you do, let your kids make noise for one night out of the year!

With a parade. Who doesn’t love one? Get those Halloween or dress-up costumes out of storage, have the adults wear their finery, grab the confetti and tambourines, and parade through the house.

With a kiss! Give your nearest and dearest a kiss for luck in the new year.

Prefer to go out? First Night organizes alcohol-free, family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebrations across the country. The programs usually feature different art forms like outdoor installations, mime, puppets, and music throughout the day with fireworks at midnight. To find a celebration near you, visit: http://www.firstnightusa.com/.

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