New Year Party
Judy in Brownfield TX USA
We did not have this party as a birthday party, but it would be very easily adapted. The ideas came from Family Fun magazine, though I adapted some ideas. We asked the guests to bring an alarm clock with them, and we set each one to ring at midnight. I had prepared a paper bag with supplies or information for each activity, sometimes a small lunch-sized bag and sometimes a large grocery bag, and set them together in a large basket. The front of each bag had a clock on it and the time on the clock indicated when that bag was to be opened. I set an alarm to go off at the time the next bag was to be opened, and the girls were excited to see what each bag introduced. When the guests arrived at 7:00, I explained how the party would work and the purpose of the basket full of paper bags. I allowed them to open the 7:00 bag where they found kid-sized aprons. Using permanent markers, they signed each others' aprons, then they began making their own dinners. The ingredients for lasagna were set out buffet-style, and the girls were able to put as much or as little of each ingredient that they preferred in their pans. Once the mini pans of lasagna were in the oven, the girls were free to do whatever until the next alarm went off. By the time they finished making the lasagna, it was 8:00 already. When the 8:00 alarm went off, the girls found an envelope for each of them. Inside the envelope was a preprinted form that helped them come up with some resolutions for the new year. It asked questions such as their favorite memory from the year, places they wanted to visit this year, a promise to do something they should do but didn't like doing (like taking out the trash without complaining, being nice to little brother, etc.), and what kind of good deed they could do for someone else. Once finished, they addressed the envelopes to themselves and gave me everything. I made copies to keep and set the original letters aside for them to take home the next day. Next year I will mail the copies to the girls so they can see how well they kept their resolutions. I also took individual pictures of each of them before letting them have free time until the next alarm. I printed out 10 copies of each picture to use with the 9:00 activity. Inside that bag, the girls found a gallon-sized baggie with all the supplies needed to make a mini paper bag scrapbook. The book was already assembled, but I included glue sticks, assorted colors of paper and pre-cut geometric shapes, a page of stickers (I knew the girls well, so the stickers were chosen with each particular girl in mind.), and the photos I had just taken. This activity kept them busy right up until the 10:00 alarm went off. Inside that bag, the girls found plastic spoons. I had set out fancy sundae bowls, and the girls made their own ice cream sundaes with tons of assorted toppings. If this were a birthday party, you could do the cake at this time. Inside the 11:00 bag the girls found tiny bottles of nail polish, lotion, emery boards and lip balm. I included several different colors of polish, and most of them chose to wear all colors at once. The last bag was to be opened at 11:45, and in it the girls found all sorts of noisemakers and party horns. We turned on the TV and found a channel showing the ball dropping in NYC's Times Square. I gave the girls each a pretty glass filled with punch (kool-aid and ginger ale mixed together), and we toasted each other and played with the noisemakers as all the alarm clocks went off.