Here are some ideas for New Year's. We have a New Year's Party on New Year's Eve, complete with a countdown at noon.
- In Spain, they celebrate the New Year by eating 12 grapes, one each time the clock chimes. In Puerto Rico, they also eat 12 grapes, but they start eating theirs 12 seconds before midnight with the belief that any one who finishes theirs before midnight will have good luck the rest of the year. With pre-schoolers, you could give them 12 grape pieces and explain that in some parts of the world people eat 12 grapes on New Years. You can have them count them to reinforce counting and you are introducing them to the idea of customs and traditions.
- You could also serve Hoppin' John, a food commonly eaten in the south on New Year's Day. It is believed to bring a prosperous new year with lots of luck.
- Discuss what a resolution is. Have each child tell you one thing they would like to learn in the next year. Some suggestions might be: how to spell their first name, how to tie their shoes, finish learning how to use the big potty, etc.
- There is a collection of New Year's themed short stories for children on Apples for the Teacher. You could one a day in the week leading up to and/or after New Years.
- Improve scissor skills by allowing the kids to make confetti out of colorful paper.
- To celebrate the 12 o'clock hour, tape bubble wrap on the floor and let the little ones jump on it. Alternately, you could give them any type of noisemakers.
- Let the children decorate a piece of construction paper. Roll it into a cone to fit the child's head as a pointed hat. Use crepe paper to make streamers come out of the top of the hat.