Happy Noon Years Eve! {a year of creative play dates} | Tuesdays with Jacob

Happy Noon Years Eve! {a year of creative play dates}

January 3, 2016

Every now and then two far away lives collide and you find yourself in just the right place at just the right time. Such was the case when my dear friend Brittany {little mountain momma} and I realized we'd both be home for the holidays over New Years with our three littles. "New Years Eve play date!" I immediately squealed, and because she's known me for a very, very long time, she didn't dismiss my hair brained idea. In fact, she was equally excited!

We set about planning a fun, creative, countdown to 12 noon play date that wouldn't break the bank. "Noon Years Eve" I like to call it. We put together the basic components of a play date - craft, food, activity and gave them all a classic New Years twist. With the exception of a few small purchases at Hobby Lobby and Party City, our shin dig was put together with things we already had and from the Dollar Tree and the Target dollar spot. 

The planning stages of our playdate looked something like this - set the table for crafts, prepare the food, and blow up all the balloons. Our set up didn't go nearly as quickly as we thought it would, but here's the great thing about playdates - little kids can't read time! They had no idea we were behind schedule and that by the time we got to our countdown it would be closer to 1 than to 12. Don't stress! They will still have fun and be none the wiser.

We structured our play date around the popping of four balloons -at 11:00,11:15, 11:30, 11:45. Inside each balloon was a rolled up slip of paper announcing our next activity. If you have a group of non-readers you can read it to them. 

Our first balloon invited the kids to decorate a party hat. And decorate they did. Each place setting was set up with a party hat, a cup of sequins, and a cup of glue with a q-tip. The kids dipped the q-tip in the glue, then dabbed it onto their hat and stuck on their sequins.

Our party attendees consisted of a 6 year old who could complete the activity 100% independently, a 2 1/2 year old who needed a little bit of direction, and a 1 1/2 year old who had fun sticking on the sequins once momma did the glue part. The hats turned out adorable and the kids had a great time putting them together. 

Our second balloon's paper read "eat some appetizers" because what better food to serve for lunch at a New Year's Eve party than appetizers? 

Brittany put together a fantastic, gluten free spread. (Her kids have Celiac's, so this is important, but you can go wild if you don't have dietary restrictions)

The kids munched down on swizzle sticks full of fruit and cocktail sausages, baked macaroni cups, and crackers and cheese. 

No one went hungry (an important step in avoiding meltdowns) and they were all energized for task number 3 - the balloon drop! 

We used painters tape to hold up a piece of a plastic tablecloth to the ceiling fan and then filled it with balloons.

 Then we simply turned on the fan and the balloons whirled out. We only had a few balloons but the kids loved it so much we re-set it and did it a second time. This is definitely a case of the more the merrier. 

Then we were ready for our last balloon - #4: toast to the New Year. 

We toasted using kid friendly milk in plastic champagne glasses. And of course, what good is milk without cookies? 


This made for the perfect sweet ending to our party as we let the kids talk about what they were most excited about for the upcoming year, and make some resolutions. 

My little one had some help picking his New Years wish, but older kids can come up with their own, and might just surprise you! We wrote them down on a chalkboard and snapped some sweet pictures to remember. 

Don't forget to make your own resolutions!

If you have Netflix their countdown episodes would be perfect for ending the party and keeping the kids occupied while you clean up.

Cheers to this lady, who always goes along with my crazy ideas!

I've got quite a few more themed play dates up my sleeves for 2016 so stay tuned!

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