Typically when you throw a New Year's Eve party for children, it's going to be a sleepover party. This just works a lot better all around. Some of the children will fall asleep anyway, and then they get cranky when woken up to go home.
Plus, New Year's after midnight is really not the time when you want a bunch of kids out on the road. It is just too dangerous with all the drunk drivers and people hurrying to get home. So, definitely plan on having the kids sleep over if you're hosting a New Year's Eve party for children this year! You will feel better about it and the parents will appreciate it.
However, a New Year's Eve sleepover party for children brings its own set of issues. You need to be aware of these and plan ahead to ensure that your New Year's Eve party for children is successful on all sides; safe, fun for everyone, and not a huge mess to clean up in the morning!
Here are some concrete tips to help you plan out how you're going to prepare the space in your home for the New Year's Eve party this year.
- Make sure all the parents know to supply sleeping bags and pillows for their kids. Check that everyone has their stuff before the parents leave. It's no fun scrambling to find clean sheets and pillowcases for three or four exhausted kids who all of a sudden remember, "Oh, mommy still has my sleeping bag in her car!"
- Enlist a few parents to help you out with the party. Definitely if there are any kids who have never spent a night away from home, the parents should be sleeping over with them. New Year's Eve is not the time to be calling parents at 2 in the morning saying, "Your kid won't stop crying, please come pick her up!" Huh? The parents thought they had the night free and are now too tipsy to drive...what a mess, don't risk this kind of confusion!
- Plan on having the party in one room and prepare another room for sleeping. Some kids are going to try their best to stay awake till midnight. They may be rowdy and a bit noisy. Other kids are just not going to be able to keep their eyes open! Nobody is going to have fun if there are kids trying to sleep while other kids are playing or talking. So keep the spaces separate and all the kids can ring in the New Year and have fun just the way they like it.
- Put away anything breakable or precious to you. Consider pulling up any expensive rugs for the night. Since the kids are going to be awake longer than usual they may be stumbling towards the end and possibly things might get broken! Plus the fact they are in your house for a longer period than normal means there's just that much more time for accidents to happen. Make sure you don't expect the kids to behave older than their age; that's just not fair. They are children so it's up to you to prepare your home to receive them. Make it kid-friendly and kid-safe for your children's New Year's Eve party!
- Create a fun mood. Play music you know they will like - of course if your kids are old enough they can pick the tunes. There is some really great New Year's music being released this year. Serve festive New Year's food and fancy mocktails. Put up New Year's decorations and give all the kids a handful of confetti to throw in the air at midnight!
- Finally, make sure that you have something planned for the next morning. The kids will wake up hungry. The ones who were up late may be a bit grumpy. Ask parents to come pick their kids up at a certain time - you don't want to be babysitting all day. But do have a buffet breakfast laid out and maybe a movie they can watch.
If you follow these tips, your children's New Year's Eve party should be a huge success! Fun for the kids and hopefully for the grownups too.