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Enjoying New Year’s with your Toddler

Why wait until midnight to celebrate the New Year, when you can come to Kidspace and celebrate Noon Year’s Eve with the whole family! With early bedtimes and crowded streets, it can be difficult to celebrate New Year’s with your community. Kidspace is offering a perfect solution for you and your little ones. Complete with live DJ’s, party hats, noisemakers, plenty of dancing and a balloon drop, this will be a celebration you do not want to miss.

Did I mention there will be a designated 3 and under celebration space for our smallest of guests to enjoy their very own New Year’s music, parachute play and balloon drop! Come early to beat the last minute crowds. You won’t want to miss our colorful balloon drop right at 12pm. There will be plenty to see and do as you explore our beautiful museum’s indoor and outdoor areas before and after the stroke of noon. Attend our daily Early Childhood programing such as Story Time (11:15-11:30am), Wonder Box (2:15-2:45pm), and Creative Expressions (1:15-1:45pm), as well as enjoy free play (10:00-3:00pm) in our Early Childhood Learning Center. Click here for more information about Noon Year’s Eve event.

If you’re looking to create some fun memories and/or traditions with your family this New Years, here are some fun activity suggestions you can try out!

Start a grow chart with your little ones. Each year on New Year’s Eve celebrate the growth of your children by marking their height on your very own 3157 grow chart. 

  • For added fun, make your own chart out of thick construction paper or canvas material. For an extra personal touch, add a hand print each year to the chart using an ink stamp pad or tempura paint!
  • Talk to your children about how much their bodies have grown, as well as how much they have learned and grown in other ways during the past year. Highlight some of the milestones they have reached, such as new skills and interests they have obtained, as well as challenges they have overcome.
  • Incorporate a little math by talking about measurement. Bring out some measurement tools such as rulers, string, or a tape measure. Encourage your child to measure people and things in your household, such as a family pet, a shoe or a sibling. Compare and contrast the different lengths and measurements. Example: Talk about the growing length of their shoes or their baby brother since last year!

The Big Countdown

  • Leading up to the big day, talk about time with your little one. Let them know you are waiting for the numbers 12:00(PM/AM for younger children) to happen. Make a simple clock together with a paper plate, a pushpin and two arrows. Practice telling time, moving the arrows and counting. o
  • Countdown to 12:00 by placing out objects to represent each hour left until noon or midnight. With each passing hour take away one item.
  • Make it fun by using enough farm animals (or your child’s favorite stuffed animals) for each hour left until 12:00. On each hour sing Old McDonald and take away one animal from the group after singing a verse for each hour/animal left. Pretend the animals are leaving to get ready for the Noon Year’s Party. Once you get to the last animal at noon, 3158 have a fun little animal hunt to see where all the other animals went. Set up a party space with all the animals and celebrate together with a little tea or dance party. (see example below)
  • 8:00am- duck, cow, horse, cat, pig (Start with five verses of Old McDonald. Say Goodbye to Duck as he goes to get ready for the Noon Year’s Party.)

9:00am- cow, horse, cat, pig (Sing four verses of Old McDonald. Say Goodbye to Cow as he goes to get ready for the Noon Year’s Party.)

10:00am- horse, cat, pig (Sing three verses of Old McDonald. Say Goodbye to Horse as he goes to get ready for the Noon Year’s Party.)

11:00am- cat, pig (Sing two verses of Old McDonald. Say Goodbye to Cat as he goes to get ready for the Noon Year’s Party.) \

12:00pm- pig (Sing one verse of Old McDonald. Take Pig to find your other friends for the Noon Year’s Party.) Decorate a small area with shakers, streamers, and balloons. Set up duck, cow, horse, and cat in the party space. Have some of your children’s favorite snacks and music playing. Have a little dance party to celebrate the New Year with scarves or shakers.

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Amber Rhodes, Early Childhood Education Specialist, has been with Kidspace since 2011 teaching on the Museum floor, the school discovery programs, and also the Early Learner classes Little Yogis and Baby & Me. Before joining the Museum, she taught abroad in Japan and Africa, and also worked with children with disabilities and at-risk youth.