Thursday, December 30, 2010

Toddlering in the New Year

It’s the day before New Year’s Eve, and if you didn’t book a babysitter about a month and a half ago, the chances are high that you’ll be ringing in the new year with your little ones. For people like Husband and I who were unsuccessful at making New Year’s Eve cool even when we were young and childless, we’re thrilled to be spending a night in with the kids (for those of you who simply misjudged the demand for good babysitters, learn from your mistake and calendar a date in November 2011 to reserve your favorite sitter for next NYE right now).

New Year’s Eve is not a holiday designed for the kids. Kids get Christmas, and Halloween and Easter. But New Year’s Eve is all about adults. It involves getting dressed up in nice clothes, staying up late and drinking a lot of beverages that make you want to lay in a dark, quiet room all day the next day. Since toddlers are generally pre-disposed to wake up at the crack of dawn no matter their bedtime, jump into bed with you and speak as loud as humanly possible at all times, New Year’s Eve celebrations and toddlers generally don’t mix.

But just because toddlers and New Year’s Eve are not an organic match doesn’t mean you can’t ring in the New Year with your family in style. All across the country children’s museums and play places are offering “noon” year’s eve parties or special kids’ only celebrations meant to help your kids welcome in the new year on their own terms. (For ideas, check out And for those of you (like us) whose kids are probably too little for even those events, web sites like are full of great ideas of how to celebrate with your family at home.

For us, I usually take the kids to one of those indoor play places and let them run wild for a while. Since I work, we don’t get to frequent these types of places often and it is truly a special treat. But I think this year we’re going to adopt some new traditions in addition to the play place one. I know my kids are at a great age to enjoy the “Bubble Wrap Stomp.” ( And I love the idea of sharing one good thing about each person around a family meal. ( It’d be a great way to set the tone for 2011, and focus on the promises a new year brings.

What are your plans for this New Year’s Eve? Share us your ideas on the discussion tab of our Facebook page.

Here’s wishing you a healthy and prosperous new year!


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