New Year's Eve Countdown Activity for Kids

New Year’s Eve Countdown Activity for Kids

Two bags in front of a Christmas tree

If your kids are old enough to attempt to stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve then this is a perfect activity for your family. This New Year’s Eve countdown activity for kids will keep them engaged and looking forward to each hour when they get to open a bag and retrieve their hourly gift. I really like this activity because it is very easy to put together yet it results in so much fun and memory making. This entire activity can be put together in less than an hour, depending on how many children you have. If you have a large family or maybe a small budget, you can make one set of bags instead of a set per child.

New Year’s Eve Countdown Activity for Kids

  1. Determine how many hours you want to include.  I do bags for five hours (8:00, 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, and midnight).
  2. Make a bag for each hour.  You can either use clocks like I did, or simply write the time on the bag.
  3. Fill each bag with a goody or two. I like to include a snack in the 8:00 and 10:00 bags, and a noise maker and sparkler in the midnight bag (which we open at five minutes before midnight). Other items I include are easy crafts, activity books, small toys, candy, glow bracelets, and other fun items that can all be found at your local dollar store. You do not need to spend a lot to make this a fun and memorable activity.
  4. Fold over or seal up each bag and place them together on a table or countertop where the kids can see them.
  5. Have your children open their bags at the appropriate hour and let them have fun with it!

Give this activity a try this year and let me know how your children liked it!

Here’s a clock face you can use.

clock face

Feel free to share this idea with your friends!

New Year's Eve Countdown Activity for Kids pinnable image of bags

About Janice

I am so glad you stopped by. Kick your shoes off and hang with me a while. I am an Arizona native, wife to a hard-working hubby, mom of two, and daughter of the King. I love sharing recipes, crafts, and family activities that any mom can do. Life is complicated enough, right? When I am not up to my ears in laundry, dishes, and creating for Celebrating Family, you will also find me at East Valley Mom Guide. Come follow me on Google +, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.


  1. This is a great idea! Thank you!

  2. This seems so fun. I remember getting bored @ get togethers on new years eve as a kid – these would have helped 🙂

  3. This is such an awesome post! I have a 7 year old niece & she is going to love doing these activities!!! Thanks so much for the great ideas! She lost her mommy in October & I am trying to do everything in my power to make sure she is safe & happy, & that we talk about her mommy & make stuff for her also. =) Thank you again!

  4. I love these ideas! My kids with totally think this is fun and creative, and will definitely motivate them to enjoy the full night!

    I also blog about the fun in family life at if you are interested. Thanks for all you do!

    Take care!

  5. This is such a clever idea!

  6. This is such a cute idea!! I’ll have to try it this year!

  7. Now that is a fun idea that my kids would love! We are thinking of getting all the cousins together for a New Year’s Eve kids party and they would have so much fun with this!

  8. nice activities! sounds like a lot of fun! will do it!

  9. This is such a cute idea. I wish I had known about it when my little brother was younger.

  10. This is great. i shall try and make some great activities for my kids so that they don’t get bored during new years.

  11. Stephanie Larison says

    Really cute idea, I bet my daughter would love this!

  12. Great ideal,I know my great niece would love this,especially if there was granola bars involved.

  13. Debra Givens-Wagner says

    you really have some good ideas!!

  14. That is a great idea. Kids love anticipation!

  15. Jennifer Kreisler says

    I remember doing paper link chains when I was little and breaking a link as a count down. I hear in Mexico they chomp a grape every time the clock strikes 12. 12 grapes and then they have completed the countdawn to the New Year!

  16. Thanks this is such a great idea. I’m going to Pin it too for future reference my little one is only 3 so he may not get it just yet.

  17. this is really a good idea, i would love to try it for new year eve. i bet my son would love this

  18. Holly Trudeau says

    What great and fun ideas! We are just staying home with the kiddo for NYE so we definitely need ways to entertain them, thanks for sharing!

  19. This is a fun activity for kids. I remember that I would always fall asleep before 12 when I was little. Now my parents are the ones who fall asleep before 12 haha.

  20. yvonne dewolf says

    this is an awesome idea to not only help them to learn the time, but in patience as well.

  21. steve mccuan says

    great ideas thank you

  22. Lacey Henry says

    Such fun ideas! Thank you!!

  23. This is a great idea. I would have done it with my grandson tonight but he had dental surgery and is sacked out.. I am going to keep visiting your site for these great ideas. They are wonderful!

  24. Debra Wagner says

    These ideas are so fantastic!!!

  25. Michelle Rohlfing says

    Thanks for the ideas. I have done this with my daughter for seven years. I’m always looking for new activities. One year we had 5 children and i had a play in the first bag.they spent an half hour practicing another half hour designing the stage finally the performance. It was a lot of fun.

  26. Awesome ideas! I think I will set the clocks ahead and watch the east coast New Year\’s, then tuck the kiddos in early! 😉

  27. Awesome! Can’t wait until BB doesn’t eat everything and has some what of an idea what’s going on. Wish iw as there!


  1. […] Make simple goody bags to open at set intervals (like this or this) […]

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