The Best New Year Activities for Preschoolers This Break

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Inside: Create an Amazing New Year’s Eve experience for Preschoolers with this list of crafts, games, videos, and projects

It’s the end of the year, which means that it is the perfect time to experience new traditions with your little ones! From new games and tips on how to celebrate, this list has everything you need. So grab your preschooler by the hand and get started with these fun activities I picked with them in mind.

No matter what, we are determined to make the beginning of this year the best one yet!

The end of the year, when kids are out of school, and Christmas has come and gone, is the perfect time to begin new traditions with your children such as a memory jar. We also love creating new crafts like noise makers or hats, or playing bingo.

You don’t have to stay up until midnight with your children to have the best time either, there are so many options available for fun at home (or in your community) so let’s get started.

Some of the links below are affiliate links. That means I may make a commission if you click and buy. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.

Related: Silly toddler interview questions here.

Best Books on Amazon with Kid’s Activities

Here are a few awesome books I found at my local library with activities and fun experiments I could do with my preschooler. Check them out on Amazon by clicking on the image below!

You can click any of the images above to check the price on Amazon.

I picked these books because they’re full to the brim of beautiful images, thought provoking experiments, but also require things you likely won’t have to head to the store and retrieve after a busy holiday.

New Year Activities for Preschoolers

Why create a list? Because life is a fun adventure if you let it be, so let’s make the most of it. It’s easy to get stuck in the boredom of just sitting in front of screens and wasting the whole winter break, but we don’t want to waste this time. If you have the mental bandwidth to spend quality time with your kids, then let’s do it!

Try these awesome activities to get your wintertime fun!

How to Make New Years Eve Magical with Your Preschooler.

Sometimes it just takes a little extra planning to ensure the best experience for everyone involved. These are some helpful hints to get you started with your Preschool New Years Eve:

Celebrate earlier in the day
YouTube Countdown to Ball Dropping (From Last Year!)
It’s OK if you need a few days to fit everything you want in
It’s also OK if you decide not to do everything you planned
Reflect on your year together
Make silly resolutions for your new year
Play Fun Games

Celebrate New Year’s Eve Earlier in the Day with Your Preschooler

This might not be a thing you are used to, but as a military family, we are SO used to celebrating holidays and birthday on different times or days all together.

What is important about New Year’s celebrations?

If it’s the ball dropping, then do a “Noon Year’s Eve” party. A lot of libraries and zoos have something similar they set up for kids. If yours doesn’t, here is a guide from Happy Strong Home: Noon Year’s Eve Party Ideas. I love the idea of using those dollar store plastic champagne flutes to hold milk, and put a cookie on top. So cute, and it feels truly special when we add little details like that.

Not feeling the whole party idea with kids? Look local, start your search with your own town to see if they have any parties for kids, then go to the towns nearby. I also love to Google “Noon Year’s Even Near Me” and this might give you a library or public area near you that has one!

I have found really cool New Year’s Eve ideas by asking my local mom groups, also. Our local theater was having a special showing of last year’s ball drop at noon local time, and I found this from local moms. On Facebook I search my town name, and filter the search to just show groups.

YouTube Last Year’s Ball Drop to Celebrate New Year’s Early This Year

This is one of those pieces of advice I didn’t even realize I needed until I heard it. Along with the last tip. I never though about celebrating early, and just repeating last year’s ball drop event.

We don’t have to play the game of “Who can stay up the latest!”– My husband always wins anyway!

I put together a little picnic for my kids, and we sit on the floor and watch either last year’s new year celebration or something on Netflix. Netflix has several options. My children’s favorite is “All Hail King Julien, the silly little lemur from the Madagascar series of movies.

It’s Okay to Spend a Few Days Celebrating the New Year with Your Preschooler

If you are spending your day being super overwhelmed and frustrated, it’s not good for anyone. I write about being an Angry Mom and how to fix it in this post.

I’ve found if the day is a total loss, and I can’t seem to calm down my anger, it’s okay to just throw the whole day away and start over. Go wash your face, brush your teeth, and “start over”. Get your kids in on it as well. Everyone go back to bed, and pretend to wake up again.

Explain how we all have a case of the grumpies, and sometimes the only way to get rid of them are to put them to bed. Go lay down, then get back up. Make your bed, and start your day again.

It sounds silly, but it can really turn your day around!

There is nothing wrong with making big plans for a fun day with your children, and then spreading it out. Celebrate the day before, the day after, heck, EVERY DAY of winter break.

Reflect on the Last Year

The end of the year is the ideal time to look back at the year that was. For us, this means talking about how amazing my kids are.

This year, my children played soccer, and kicked butt!

My five year old learned to read., began kindergarten, and comes home every day excited about learning. He also discovered he wants to become a paleontologist when he grows up.

I have an artist in my house, my seven year old has been working diligently and made amazing progress. He has started drawing things in his own style instead of just copying what he sees.

At 9 years old, my daughter has read over a thousand billion hours this year (exact numbers here!) and joined a math club. Learning multiplication is hard, but she did it, and we are so proud.

For me, I took my hobby of creating for my children, and turned it into a business that will pay for my children to have piano lessons, learn to dance, or whatever it is they’d like to become. Thank you.

My husband is almost finished with his degree this year, and I’m so proud of him.

Whew, enough about me! Create those lists for YOUR family. I’d love to hear them, comment below with how amazing your family is, so I can celebrate with you.

Make Silly Resolutions with Your Preschooler

Count me as one who doesn’t believe in resolutions. It’s a magical time after Christmas. We believe we are somehow going to wake up with this ability we didn’t have yesterday to do things we haven’t been able to do before.

BUT THEY ARE FUN. So we create them every year.

This year we are going to work on skills we’d like to learn.

I love using Creative Live to learn new things, they have a cool class for crafting with kids, my family really enjoyed it! Check it out by clicking here. It’s kid’s crafts with dad! Adorable and fun!

We learned origami this summer. It was a HUGE lesson in patience, and trying over if we make a mistake. Here are some fun books, as well as a massive amount of paper. I’ve bought all three of these and used them to learn origami with my kids. Click each picture to check them out on Amazon.

Another great tool you can use this year is art boxes from subscription places. I usually buy ONE box and then cancel until we go through it, but a few I have loved are:

The Preschool Box
KidArtLit
We Craft Box

You can click any of those images above to be taken to CrateJoy and see it! I stand behind all three of those boxes for your child, but look around, maybe you’ll find something else you love!

There are so many different things available from Cratejoy, I have so many different fun projects we have gotten from a variety of vendors. When I need a new project, that’s where I turn to first. So check them out, and see if there is something you love.

Play Fun Games with Your Preschooler

A great way to pass the time while waiting for the new year is playing games. a few of our favorites are charades and bingo. Here are a few of my favorite printables as well as fun games I’ve written about that are perfect for New Years:

new year activities for preschool

This fireworks craft is from the 4th of July, but use black paper and it’s perfect for New Year’s celebrations!

Gingerbread Playdough Recipe Image
I’m a HUGE fan of playdough, and it’s easy peasy to make. Here is my latest recipe, let me know if you love it!

Last week, I added conditioner to a bunch of different household products trying to find the perfect playdough, and I found a lot of really BAD and ineffective recipes (don’t ever bother using coarse corn meal to make play dough, it won’t, hahah)

BUT! I did find out that mixing conditioner with baking soda will create a more solid fizzie project. Here’s the scoop:

Baking Soda
Conditioner
Food Coloring
Vinegar
Dish Soap

In a bowl, mix two parts baking soda with one part conditioner (I like the green apple scented). Separate into fourths. In a separate bowl, add a quarter of your baking soda mixture, and add one drop of food coloring. Mix.

Once it’s mixed, put it into a deep cooking sheet (I used a cake pan) and mold into the number or design you’d like to use. Repeat these steps until you have the design you’d like. Toss that pan into the freezer until you’re ready to celebrate.

In a small spray bottle or squirt bottle, add a small squirt of dish soap, and then fill the rest of the way with vinegar. Make one for each child. I like to use these from Dollar Tree!

New Year Activities for Preschool Baking Soda and Vinegar Project

New Year Activities for Preschool

At the end of the day, it’s just another day with your kids. If any of this seems too overwhelming, it’s okay. You don’t have to be a Pinterest mom to be an amazing mom.

Check out the activities and printables I have available in the store by clicking below:

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