Free and Cheap New Years Kids and Family Activities

New Year's Journal kids

New Year’s Day has arrived. What can you do with your kids that won’t bust your new year’s budget on day one? Relax. Here are some free or frugal ideas for New Years kids will love.


Syfy Channel Twilight Zone Marathon

Tune in to the Syfy channel – each New Year’s Day, they feature a marathon of Twilight Zone shows all day long. Thrill along with the kids as you introduce them to Talking Tina and the monster just outside the airplane window.


Appetizer Buffet

Let the kids help create an array of easy appetizers to snack on throughout the day. Try buying a tube of crescent rolls and cutting each piece into thirds, then wrapping each piece around a cocktail sausage and baking. Other fun appetizer ideas include filling a crockpot with a bag of frozen meatballs, a bottle of BBQ sauce, and a jar of apricot (or grape) jelly, or simply bake a frozen pizza and cut it into small pieces. The whole family will enjoy snacking on these finger foods as they visit and watch TV.

food buffet New Years kids


New Year’s Journal

Not to become all school-like on the first day of the year, but this journal requires just a bit of effort, and it will be fun to look back at for years to come. Buy a notebook, and on the first page write three questions:

  • If I had three wishes, they would be:
  • I am lucky because:
  • I am a little afraid of:


Your child writes answers to each (or you can write for him). If you’d like, she can draw a picture at the bottom of the page. Write the year at the top, and then put the journal away in a spot where you’ll remember to dig it out next New Year’s Day. My kids love reading prior years’ entries (see the photo up top).


Time Capsule

Give an empty shoe box to each child and let him fill it with some items (or pictures of items) he has enjoyed during the past year. He can also write predictions about what his favorite TV show, song, food, etc. will be one year from now. When finished, hide the box until next New Years.


Help Someone Else

Instruct the kids to spend thirty minutes cleaning up their rooms. Choose a number of items each child must select to donate. This is an easy and quick way to teach your kids the value of sharing and the importance of cleaning up – and it also makes room for the new toys that have invaded the home from Christmas.



4 thoughts on “Free and Cheap New Years Kids and Family Activities

  1. Those ideas sound great especially the snacking ideas. However, I weighed this morning so my snacking is over for a while! I used to do the same thing about having my girls clean out to make room for the new stuff. It was a struggle since they didn’t want to part with anything. But it got easier as they got older.

  2. I will tell you a New Year’s Day memory: 40 years ago today baby Ellen and I came home from the local hospital. I wonder how old she is by now? Hmmmmmmm

  3. I like the idea of encouraging your children to choose toys to give away in order to have room for the new ones they’ve acquired.

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