2020 / 2021 New Year's Eve Celebration with Kids

When it comes to celebrating New Year's Eve, I love making the evening feel special and fun... without spending a lot of money. I always make use of dollar store finds, and simple items I can design and print myself. Below, I am sharing my plans for this year, and some FREE NYE printables you can use.



As always, I am putting together activity bags that my kids can open every hour as we count down to the new year. It's one of my favourite conditions, and it's a great way to keep the whole evening fun. 



Here's what we have in our bags this year:


5pm - Year in Review - The first bags contain these questionnaires that my boys fill out each year. They provide a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the past year and look forward to the year ahead. It will be a particularly interesting exercise this year given the uniqueness of 2020.

To download the questionnair I designed: click on the picture below, right-click, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 8x10 photo.


6pm - Candy Rings - Our 6pm bags contain candy rings with punny tags that say, "Ring in the new year!" To download your own tags for free: click on the picture of the tags below, right click, save it to your computer, and print like a regular 4x6 photo.




7pm - Midnight Kisses - Our 7pm bags contain hershey kisses with punny "midnight kisses" tags. To download your own tags for free: click on the picture of the tags below, right click, save it to your computer, and print like a regular 4x6 photo.




8pm - Popcorn and Karaoke - The 8pm bag contains popcorn and in invite to sing some karaoke. Playing a board game or having a dance party would be fun too.



9pm - Cookies and Milk - At 9am, we plan to have a "milk and cookies" toast to the new years. We'll have milk in wine glasses (rimmed with sprinkles) and our favourite chocolate chip cookies. Sparkling lemonade and store bought cookies would be good too!




10pm - Sparklers - At 10pm, We will be "Bringing some sparkle to 2021". I designed some tags, cut some slits with an x-acto knife, and inserted sparklers. To download your own tags for free: click on the picture of the tags below, right click, save it to your computer, and print like a regular 4x6 photo.





11pm - Photo Booth with Horns and Hats - The 11pm bag will be filled with items needed to set up a photo booth. It will also contain lots of horns and hats for welcoming the new year. 



To download the photo props I designed (for free): click on the picture you are interested in printing (below), right click, save it to your computer, and print like a regular 8x10 photo.




12am - Breakfast for Tomorrow Party Favours - Every party needs a favour, so the 12am bag contains "Breakfast for tomorrow" party favours. We have pop tarts, but small boxes of cereal would work well too. To download your own tags for free: click on the picture of the tags below, right click, save it to your computer, and print like a regular 4x6 photo.





Check out how fun it is to fill a table with activity bags and party favours. There are no rules. Fill your bags with whatever you like!



How will you be celebrating New Year's this year? I hope you use some of my ideas and free printable tags and photo props.

Happy New Year!!!


Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)



How cute is this little party favour for 2021? Check it out here.

2020 New Year's Eve Year in Review Questionnaire

New Year's Eve is a time for reflecting on the past year and looking forward to the new one -- not just for adults, but for kids too. With this in mind, each year I put together a Year in Review Questionnaire for my boys to fill out on New Year's Eve. Here is the 2020 version.



It is a pretty simple questionnaire, and you can download the free printable by: 
right-clicking on the picture (above), saving it to your computer, and printing it like a regular 8X10 photo. I usually print mine at my local office supply store where colour copies are $0.39 each.


I love seeing what my boys come up with each year. Maybe someday I will make a book for each of my boys using all the questionnaires they have filled out over the years.

Happy New Year!


Gina Bell 
(aka East Coast Mommy)

REINDEER POOP Cookies... with free printable tags for gifting

I'm the mom of three boys, so of course, bathroom humour has been hilarious in my house for many years. So, for Christmas, I thought I would bake one of my favourite cookies... with a holiday twist. Check out my delicious REINDEER POOP cookies (below).




The secret to these cookies is to have the dry ingredients ready, so when the chocolate mixture boils, the two mixtures can be combined and spooned out before the mixture starts to dry out.


To make these no bake chocolate coconut cookies:

1) Mix together the following dry ingredients, and set aside:

  • 3 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1/4 tsp salt

2) Put the following ingredients in a saucepan, and bring to a boil:
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
3) Remove from heat, and stir in dry ingredients.

4) Before the mixture starts to dry out, drop the mixture from heaping teaspoons onto wax paper, and allow to cool completely.



I love serving these cookies with this little sign I designed.




To download the sign I designed (for free): click on the picture below, right-click, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 5x7 photo.




These cookies are also great for sharing, so I packaged mine up in little boxes from the dollar store, and added a cute tag I designed. 




To download the tags I designed (for free): click on the picture below, right-click, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 4x6 photo.




Don't they look adorable all packaged up for my neighbours?




What do you think of these REINDEER POOP cookies? They are delicious, and kids will love the potty humour. We all need a laugh during the holidays, don't we?


Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)


Find MORE Christmas Cookie Recipes here.

20 of THE BEST Christmas Crafts for Kids

Holidays are the perfect time for crafting with kids, and today I'm sharing some of my favourite Christmas crafts (broken down by category: paper, popsicle stick, and textile crafts). I have crafts that can be used as decor and super-fun ornaments that can be gifted or hung on the tree. There is something for all ages and skills on this list!



PAPER CRAFTS

Paper Crafts are wonderful for all ages... but especially younger kids. The materials are easy to find, and the crafts they make are easy, inexpensive, and fun.



1) Reindeer artThis simple reindeer painting is easy to make, and it is a sweet piece of holiday artwork. Draw a reindeer head, antlers, and nose on a piece of white paper. Colour the reindeer parts, cut them out, and glue them onto a piece of heavy coloured paper. Add a googly eye (with white glue), and cover the paper with snowflakes made from dipping a Q-tip in white paint.



2) Cheerios TreeThis Cheerios tree is another simple way to craft and work on fine motor skills with kids. Draw a tree, have the kids colour the tree, and decorate the tree with glue and Cheerios. If you didn't want to use Cheerios, stickers would work well too.



3) Photo ornamentPersonalized ornaments are always special, and this simple reindeer photo ornament is absolutely adorable! Cut a circle from a piece of card stock, glue on a photo of a child, draw reindeer antlers, and add a red sticker nose. Attach a string, and give it as a gift or hang it on the tree. Cute, right?



4) Paper Santa Start with a red triangular piece of construction paper. Cut the top from a white cupcake liner, and glue it to the triangle with white glue. Cut a circle from card-stock for the face, and use glue to attach it. Cut a belt and gloves from black paper, and attach with glue. Finish by adding googly eyes, a paper moustache, buttons, and cotton.



5) Paper Strip Tree Start with a sturdy piece of paper. (I used yellow cardstock.) Cut strips of paper in various colors and lengths. Glue the strips to the card-stock. Add a glittery star sticker to the top of the tree.



6)  Toilet roll tree - This little tree is totally adorable, and the toilet roll allows it to stand on its own.  Draw a simple tree shape onto cardstock, cut it out, color it, and add sparkly stickers.  Then, cut a piece of toilet roll for the tree trunk, cut a couple of slits halfway down the sides, and insert the decorated tree into the trunk.



7) Santa beard - This Santa beard is just as fun to play with as it is to make.  Download the template here.  Then, cut out the beard, add a popsicle stick, and have the child cover the beard with cotton balls.



8) Gingerbread Man - This little ornament is adorable and easy to make.  Download the template here.  Then, have your little crafter decorate it with crayons, googly eyes, yarn scrapes, and buttons.



9) Tissue paper wreath
I love this simple tissue paper wreath, and it's a wonderful craft for the kids to do on their own (while you wrap some presents).  Cut a circle out of the centre of a paper plate, and then have the kids crumple tissue paper squares, dip the tissue paper in glue, and attach them to the wreath.



10) Santa going down the chimney - This craft is nothing short of adorable. I started by drawing a chimney on a piece of card stock. Then, I drew a pair of Santa pants on cardstock, cut them out, and taped them to a craft stick.

The secret is a slit (made with an X-acto knife) across the top of the chimney. The kids will delight in watching Santa disappear inside the chimney.



11) DIY gift bags - I love a practical craft, and these DIY gift bags are fantastic.  The kids can add a tree or reindeer to a plain brown bag (from the dollar store), and then use it to wrap a special Christmas gift.  





POPSICLE STICK CRAFTS

Popsicle sticks are inexpensive, and they are the perfect material for crafting adorable ornaments.



12) Elf popsicle stick ornament - Paint a stick green (except for the face). Decorate with markers, paper ears, googly eyes a sticker buckle, a felt color and hat, and a green pom pom. Finish by hot gluing a twine hanger to the back.



13) Santa popsicle stick ornament - Paint a stick red (except for the face). Decorate with markers, yarn, googly eyes, a button buckle, and a pom pom. Finish by hot gluing a yarn hanger to the back.



14) Santa hat popsicle stick ornament - Paint three sticks red. Glue the sticks into the shape of a hat. Glue cotton balls to the bottom and top of the sticks. Finish by hot gluing a yarn hanger to the back.



15) Tree popsicle stick ornament - Paint two long sticks and one short stick green. Glue into a tree shape. Add a paper truck. Decorate with gem stickers. Finish by tying a piece of yarn through the top of the tree.



16) Snowman popsicle stick ornament - Paint a stick white. Add a paper hat and paper nose, glue on buttons, tie on a felt scarf, and add details with a Sharpie. Finish by hot gluing a twine hanger to the back.




YARN & TEXTILE CRAFTS

Yarn and textiles are great materials for all ages... but especially for older kids. Even tweens and teens will enjoy these simple (more mature) Christmas crafts.



17) Yarn hats - This is one of my favourite holiday crafts. I've made these little ornaments with all my boys' classmates, and everyone loved them. All you need is some yarn and old paper towel rolls. Find the full step by step tutorial here.



18) Yarn wrapped reindeerStart with a piece of heavy cardboard, cover it with white glue, and wrap the cardboard with yarn. Add googly eyes, a red pom pom nose, clothespin antlers, and a yarn hanger.



19) Felt ornamentsFelt is a wonderful, easy, and inexpensive material to use for making Christmas ornaments. It lays flat, it is easy to cut, and you don't need to worry about fraying edges. Kids that are "beginners" when it comes to sewing, will love these simple felt Christmas ornaments. Find some of my favourite felt ornament ideas here.



20) Spare sock snowman - This is one of the most popular posts on this blog. People LOVE making these adorable sock snowpeople. To make your own, you'll need: a single white sock, some peas or rice, felt, a pom pom, googly eyes, elastics, cotton, buttons, and the step-by-step tutorial that you can find here.


Aren't these Christmas crafts fun? Do you have a favourite? I've made all these crafts with my boys, and I really don't think I could pick just one!

♥ 
Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

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