Thursday, January 5, 2017

ringing in the new year!

Ah, New Year’s Eve! My absolute LEAST favorite holiday of the year. The weather is usually freezing, my well-deserved holiday vacation from work is winding down and all that pressure to have fun combines to make me feel a little grumpy. However, after reading tons of blog posts about the fabulous parties other libraries were throwing to ring in the new year, I decided to give a Noon Year's Eve Party a try!

This year, I actually had money to spend so I purchased tons of fun party supplies: photo props, party hats, 2017 glasses, snacks and balloons. But deep down, I was feeling kind of nervous and soon the doubts starting creeping in: what if my disco light music player doesn’t work? why did I think I could possibly figure out how to rig a balloon drop? What if nobody shows up?

Luckily, I am pleased to report that none of those things happened and our party was a hit!

We started the festivities at 11:30 am. As the kids arrived, everyone started working on their Time Capsule Craft. Each of three different pages served a different purpose: an All About Me questionnaire to answer, one page for a self portrait or other artwork and one for tracing the child’s hand as well as the hands of other family members, if desired. I encouraged everyone to make their time capsule whatever they wanted it to be. I also put yarn on each table so the kids could measure their current height. I explained that it would be fun to open their time capsules in year or two and see how much everything had changed.

We rolled up our papers/yarn and tucked them inside an empty paper towel tube which we covered in colorful tissue paper and tied the ends with rubber bands or ribbons. I also had a little label to attach with their names and the date.

At 11:50, I called everyone’s attention to a book called The Night Before New Year's by Natasha Wing which was very similar to  the classic story T'was The Night Before Christmas. Then we sang along to David Carter’s If You’re Happy and You Know It since it is one of my all time favorite books AND the "happy" in the title fit perfectly with our "happy" new year celebration.

Next, we passed out rainbow bells and maracas & it was time to countdown from 10 to 1! We yelled "HAPPY NOON YEAR!!!" and I let the balloons drop from their nest near the ceiling. I purchased this balloon drop set and command hooks that attached to the ceiling. The kids were amazed when the balloons fell gently to the floor (and so was I!)

Image result for cars balloon drop
purchased from amazon

With the tricky part complete,  I could relax a little at this point. I turned on the music and our fancy disco light. We passed out the colorful tiaras and party sunglasses, and I shot off all five rounds of my confetti gun as Happy by Pharrell and Fireworks by Katy Perry played in the background. Other songs on today’s party playlist included Shake It Off, Best Day of My Life, Can't Fight This Feeling)
Some of the kids went back to working on their time capsules at this point, others played with the balloons and danced or took this opportunity to grab a snack and juice or strike a pose for a pic with the photo props.

The parents were so appreciative of this program and everyone was raving about how adorable everything was. One little girl asked me if we could throw another party for Valentine’s Day. My only regret is that I didn’t get to take any photos.

I have to admit that this program was kind of time-consuming to prepare/set up but the results were totally worth it! I can honestly say that I suspect this awesome party might have even converted this former NYE hater from party pooper to party animal! (I am already secretly looking forward to our next noon year’s eve celebration...)

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