New Year with Kids

Try to make this year's New Year celebration truly memorable, not just for you, but for your kids as well. Here are some ideas.

You probably have your plans for the New Year all chalked out. Some may plan to leave town and spend the New Year with their family at some beautiful destination, some plan to put the kids to sleep and spend the night partying with friends while others plan to just stay at home watching television. Whatever you choose, try to make this year's New Year celebration truly memorable, not just for you, but for your kids as well. Here are some ideas.

Don't get caught up into thinking that memorable means 'big'. Huge celebrations tend to be overwhelming for children and they get lost in the grandeur of the event or in the elabourate planning process. Yes, children may have fun, but if your plans don't let families really bond, connect and think about the significance of the occasion you are celebrating with such enthusiasm, consider doing something else. If you decide to take a trip across the country and spend most of your free time making the bookings, arranging accommodation, transportation, and then undergo stress once you reach, trying to ensure everything works out fine, its just not worth it. You may have a better time going to a resort on the outskirts of your town. So if you want to get out of town try and go somewhere close. Leave the long hauls for when you can take a long vacation or when your children have their summer holidays.

You may choose to spend New Year's Eve with friends, which is fine too. Then keep New Year's Day, 1st January, to spend with your children. Try and do something together as a family. Although you may believe that sitting together in the living room watching television qualifies as bonding time, it is not so. Plan fun things that you can do together. Hiking is really enjoyable, and it gives you a chance to really experience the city you live in or the place you are visiting. So spend your New Year's Day hiking with your children - if you are not too hungover from last night's party. If you don't have the inclination or energy to go for a hike, go through an old family album and tell your children stories from your past. Try not to run down any relatives though.

You could also create your own tradition this New Year. If you have a garden, consider spending the day gardening. You could also let your child select a tree, and then help him plant it. Do this every year, on New Year's Day.

Better yet, bond over cooking! Let each child cook his favourite dish for the family. Your children could select their favourite dishes in the morning, and then you could take them shopping for ingredients. They can then prepare the dish for dinner!

Spend the day making a family journal with your children. Collect photographs taken through the previous year, and jot down memories associated with the photographs. Also, write about significant events and changes that happened during the year. Encourage your children to be creative and include any keepsake in the journal. Your daughter can include put a lock of hair of her favourite doll, while your son can put in a photograph of his dream car or dream house.

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