Creating a family tradition for celebrating a holiday makes it special and memorable for young children. Many families participate in established activities, such as Easter egg hunts, trick-or-treating and attending religious services, on some holidays. Celebrating the New Year with young children requires more planning. Young children need food, naps and physically active periods during the day. Between those necessities, you may prepare entertaining activities that helps the child enjoy the holiday.
Check your local newspaper, religious bulletins and community recreation centers for local events geared toward young children, such as a parade, puppet show or special zoo or museum events. Contact other families with young children and organize a party for the children with noisemakers, food and New Year’s decorations.
Collect materials for crafts that your small child might enjoy. Help your child create a card with firework pictures or a simple calendar, suggests Enchanted Learning. Help your child glue pictures on important calendar days, such as his birthday or holidays, and place where he can mark off each day. Provide coloring materials, such as crayons or markers, and paper for the child to draw pictures of the holiday or print out pictures for coloring.
Teach your child how to say “Happy New Year” in other languages. Talk to your child about how other people celebrate New Year’s Day. Allow the child to help prepare your family’s traditional food. Discuss or prepare food that some people think brings good luck, such as black-eyed peas for people in the southern United States or noodles in some Asian countries, according to Good Housekeeping. View videos on the internet from places around the world, especially fireworks celebrating the New Year. Make sure to set the volume level low to avoid frightening a small child.
Make a scrapbook for New Year’s Day events. Use one scrapbook for each year or obtain a large book with enough space to add pages for several years. Include things such as a photo of your child, her height and weight. Ask her to list her favorite things, including food, friend, story, song and toy. Write a list of at least three to five goals for things she wants to be able to do by the next New Year’s Day, such as count to 100, ride a tricycle or tie her own shoes. Use pictures cut from magazines or photographs to illustrate the goals and favorite things for a child that does not read.
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