If your grandchildren live close enough, invite them to your home for a New Year’s Eve party.
Then, their parents can go to their own party! It’s a win-win situation for everybody.
“But,” you may ask, “what will we do on New Year’s Eve?”
I’m so glad you asked. I have 8 easy and inexpensive activities that you could play with your grandchildren. You’ll have a great time ringing in the new year.
Photo scavenger hunt. Divide your grandchildren into groups. You need one digital camera (or cell phone with a camera) for each group.
Give each group a list of things that they have to take pictures of. (If it is cold outside where you live, list items found inside your home. If it’s warm enough to go outside, include things from around your yard, too.) Each team gets a list of different items to take pictures of.
Your list could include things like a picture of someone holding a can of green beans, of someone sitting at the computer or piano, of a picture of grandma’s pet, of the doorknob on the front door, of a picture of the front cover of a magazine that grandpa subscribes to.
Require that the group members take turns taking the pictures. The first group who takes a picture of everything on their list is the winner. Share the photos with the other groups.
Pantyhose polo. Buy some really cheap pantyhose. Cut them in half (from the crotch to the waist) and put an orange in the toe of each leg. Make one ‘leg’ for each grandchild. Have your grandchildren tie the pantyhose leg around their waist or on a belt loop.
Divide grandchildren into two teams. Determine where each team goal lines are. Then, without using their hands, your grandchildren must swing their orange (that’s hanging down from their waist) to knock the orange on the floor. Make rules that your grandkids cannot shove or hit each other or kick the orange.
The first team that knocks the orange over their team’s goal line is the winner.
Rhythm makers. Gather all sorts of containers — empty plastic water bottles, cardboard wrapping paper/paper towel/toilet paper tubes, or small empty juice cans.
Have your grandchildren fill them half full with rice. (Put tape over any open ends to keep the rice in.)
Then, decorate the container with paint, markers, stickers, construction paper, or scrapbook paper. Play a music CD and shake the rhythm makers in time with the songs.
Numbers card game. Use a deck of face cards or Rook cards. Select someone to shuffle and deal out all of the cards to the players. The player to the left of the dealer begins.
Players are supposed to place a card face down. Each card played should be the next card in numerical order. So, the first player selects a card from his hand with the number one on it and places it face down. He says, “One.”
The player to his left, selects a card from his hand, places it face down on top of the first card and says, “Two.”
Play continues with each person playing cards face down saying the number of the card.
Here’s the challenge. Suppose you have to put down the number 5. But you don’t have a 5 in your hand. You can put down any other card that you want and still say “Five” when you play the card.
The object is to do it with a straight face so that no one suspects that you put down the wrong card.
If a player suspects that the player put down a wrong card, he can challenge the person who laid down the card. If a person is challenged and is caught laying down the wrong card, he picks up all of the cards that have been played.
If a player is challenged but has laid down the correct card, the challenger picks up all of the cards that have been played.
The object is to get rid of all of the cards in your hand.
Jigsaw puzzles. Before your party, get a picture of each grandchild that will be in attendance. Print their picture on an 8 x 11 inch white card stock paper. Cut all of the pictures into a jigsaw puzzle.
At your party, put all of the jigsaws pieces from all of the pictures in one pile. Have the grandchildren put together the puzzles.
Song Mix-up. Divide your grandchildren into two teams. Have each team select a folk song or a song for children (e.g. She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star).
Send the groups into different rooms. Have them write different words to the tune of the song that they selected. Give them 10 to 15 minutes.
Bring the groups back together. Have them trade papers with the song’s words. Have the groups sing the new words to the song.
Balloon countdown. Write an activity on a slip of paper. Put it inside a balloon. At the top of every hour before midnight, select a grandchild to pop one of the balloons. Do the activity on the slip of paper. Or, you could just give each grandchild a balloon to pop.
Q-tip painting. Pour several colors of craft paint on the plastic lids of Cool Whip containers. Have your grandchildren paint a picture by dabbing the Q-tip in the paint and then making a dot of paint on the paper. (The picture will be made up of all dots.)
Your grandchildren could paint white snowmen on a page of blue construction paper, a yellow star on black paper, or a yellow smilie face on white paper.
I hope that you have a wonderful time at your New Year’s Eve party with your grandkiddos!