Monday, February 1, 2016

Noon Year Party

The Noon Year's Eve party that our family hosted last year was such a hit (in our eyes, at least!) that we decided to repeat the event this year. We invited our family over on New Year's Day instead of New Year's Eve since Jon, Chelsea and Isaiah were just getting back into town. No one minded having a belated countdown! When everyone arrived, we used some photo props to take our first pictures of 2016...




Aunt Kim

Uncle Matt




Aunt Chelsea

Uncle Jon


Jaden-- photo taken 2 days later when he finally was willing!
We officially started the party activities at 10:00 am. I explained to all the boys that we would be opening bags every 15 minutes or so as the morning went on. Each bag contained a special activity for us to do as we counted down to the "noon year."

I think I mixed up the order of the bags last year, too, when I took a similar shot. Rats. Eventually I noticed and switched them around correctly... 

Cody opened the first bag which instructed us to...

...make a new year's craft. Each of the boys made a noisemaker bracelet by threading pony beads and jingle bells onto a pipe cleaner. It was nice that all four of them could do the activity independently.

Cody and Jaden had some serious concentration!

Next, we decorated banners for 2016. The boys could choose from a variety of media-- markers, crayons, dot painters, stickers, paint, stampers, torn paper-- to embellish their numbers.

Cody and Jaden mainly stuck with dot painters.

Ryan's banner was quite a bit more varied.

Ian definitely took the most time on his. He carefully alternated between a beautiful rainbow of colors to decorate his banner.

Ryan's activity from the bag was....

....playing New Year's Bingo.

Uncle Matt called out the new year's themed items (party hat, confetti, noisemaker, etc.), and the Bingo winners received a handful of M&Ms. We played until everyone got a Bingo and earned some candy.

After that, we played a modified version of a minute-to-win it game. Instead of playing individually, all the boys worked together to collect cotton balls that were strewn about the room. We timed ourselves twice to see how quickly we could gather them.

Even Isaiah and Nathan helped out with this game, although both little ones may have slowed down our time as they had a hard time letting go of the cotton balls! :)

For our third round of this game, each participant (now including adults) had to pick up the cotton balls using plastic spoons.

Our next activity was a marshmallow toss outside.

According to the photos, it really looks like the boys knew what they were doing. And I guess they somewhat followed the game directions at the outset. The video below, however, gives you the real picture of how these four played the game. :) Also, you can see how Uncle Jon rigged up some speakers on his car so that we could have some background music. Gotta love it!

With each newly opened bag, Ian was our designated reader for the activity cards that we found within.

One of my favorite aspects of the party was this next activity. Each family brainstormed together some highlights, accomplishments, and favorite memories of the year. Then we all shared these highlights as a large group.

Next up... indoor fireworks! This simple science activity involves putting food coloring into oil, mixing it up slightly, then dumping the concoction into a jar of warm water.

At first, the mixture just sits at the top of the water. But after 10 seconds or so (just enough time to build up some anticipation), the food coloring breaks out of the oil into the water and appears to pop open with color. It's a very brief experiment but, in my opinion, quite interesting to watch!

After that, we headed upstairs for a little family dance party. It's wonderful to have a bunch of aunts and uncles who are willing to be silly right along with the kiddos. :) We danced the Hokey Pokey,

the Limbo,

the Bunny Hop, the Chicken Dance,

and even did a Conga line.

While a few of the adults were assembling lunch, Kim and Chelsea read a couple of New Year's books to the kids.

And then, it was finally time for what we had all been waiting for--- our New Year's countdown!! We gathered our New Year's jingle bracelets,

and our noisemakers....

...and began the countdown. We displayed a video from youtube on our TV that counted down a full minute until midnight... or in our case, noon.

When the clock struck noon, we had the tallest cousin (Ian) release the balloon drop. I love this idea! It's simply a cheap plastic tablecloth cut in two, then threaded back together with string, piled with balloons, and stuck to the ceiling.

Works like a charm. Woo-hoo!! Happy Noon Year! :)

To continue the celebration a bit more, we went outside (because you can do this at the beginning of January in Texas!) and sprayed silly string.

We ended our fun morning with lunch together and then went our separate ways for naptime. What a splendid way to start out the new year! We look forward to seeing all that God has in store for us in 2016!