Ready to pop that champagne and toast the new year? Oh, right … kids. But don’t let your little ones stop you from having a festive New Year’s Eve. Here are 7 ways to make celebrating New Year’s Eve with kids easier and fun (no sitter required!).

1. Create DIY food stations

Party food is more fun when each guest makes it themselves. Pick a theme, like pizza bar or pasta bar, and set out bowls of creative toppings so kids and adults alike can make exactly what they want. You can even extend the concept to dessert with an ice cream sundae bar or a hot chocolate bar.

2. Remember the best parts of the year

Create a time capsule with a simple box or mason jar and have each family member collect items that were special to them, whether it was a ticket stub from a favorite movie or sporting event, shells collected during a beach vacation, photographs of an extended family get together, the playbill from the school production, or even a small toy that represents an important interest. Family members can take turns telling what they chose for their time capsule and why.

3. Play the “Who remembers what?” game

Pass out index cards and have the kids write or draw special memories. If they want to write them down anonymously, you can take turns reading them and guessing who wrote each. Then date and save them for future years as a wonderful snapshot of a “moment in time.”

4. Make your photo booth the bomb

Everyone loves a photo booth and they’re easy to make: just set up a blank sheet against a wall, add balloons or glittery 2018 numbers for fun, and you’re ready to go. Collect a bunch of funny props from hats to zany sunglasses to mustaches to party blowers for Insta-worthy photos.

5. Bring out the party hats

What’s a New Year’s Eve party without festive hats? Turn the hat-making activity into craft time by putting out a table full of supplies the kids can use. Show them how to roll paper into a simple cone shape or cut out a crown pattern. Include all kinds of fun embellishments, like glitter, ribbons, party stickers, googly eyes, and whatever catches your fancy.

6. Design noisemakers

We get it kids are noisemakers in and of themselves, but you want real noisemakers to bring this party to life. Here’s a fun and easy noisemaker idea: first, decorate 2 paper plates. Then glue the edges together all the way around, leaving about one inch open. Fill it with rice or beans, insert a popsicle stick, and seal the rest up. Voilà! Your kids are ready to shake, shake, shake.

7. Remember that time is on your side

It’s midnight somewhere. If your little ones are running out of steam, why push it? Set your clocks ahead (or tell them you’re celebrating New Year’s Eve in France, or whatever the right time zone is!), put on some festive music, and do your own countdown. Then hustle them off to bed and sit down with a glass of bubbly for your own countdown.

DIY hacks | Home and garden

about Cathie

Cathie Ericson writes about personal finance, real estate, health, lifestyle, and business topics. When she's not writing she loves to read, hike, and run. Find her @CathieEricson.