Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Noon Year's Eve

We continued our tradition this year of hosting a Noon Year's Eve party with family. I just love this idea as a way to celebrate the holiday with little ones who are too young to stay up until midnight. We had a large group of family members able to attend this year. Can you identify everyone in the photo shoot pics below?

I attempted to give Baby Girl Schleicher a bit of experience with the photo shoot as well, though it's hard to even tell that I'm pregnant in the pic below! Next year, we'll enjoy having "Sheila" (the name my parents have lovingly given this new baby girl) in the picture line-up for real!

I kept the party format, and many of the activities too, the same from last year. I figured that only Ian would have a chance of remembering any specific details, so I'd be safe to keep most things similar. We started by talking briefly about what the "New Year" meant and then took turns opening the paper clock activity bags on the piano to match with the appropriate time.

Ian opened the first bag and found the direction to complete a New Year's craft.

 I gave out paper plates and strips of paper that the kids could use to make their own ball drop countdown.

Surprisingly, the boys were all excited about starting with their countdown number line. It was great practice for the 4-year-olds! My boys don't quite yet know how to write all their numbers without guidance.

This is when it was handy to have so many extra adults!

Then, the kids decorated their "ball" with markers, dot painters, and stickers.

When the boys were all done decorating, we slid the number line through slots in the center of the paper plate ball so that the ball could truly drop as you counted down the numbers from 10 to 1.

After the craft, we played a series of minute-to-win-it games. Each kid was paired up with an adult for the first game. Their job was to toss cotton balls over their head for their partner to catch. This was a riot to watch!

Most of the time, the kids launched the cotton balls at crazy angles (like Jaden is doing for Uncle Matt below), so catching the cotton balls quite a challenge for the adults!

Next, the kids did races with pom poms by blowing on them with straws. This game elicited a few tears from a few boys, as not all of them were great at blowing hard enough through the straw. Consequently, we didn't play this game for too long!

The last game was an independent one. Each of the 4 older boys was given a mixed-up pile of numbers (2, 0, 1, and 7) that he had to sort into four corners.

Our next activity was a calmer one. Each family group sat together and brainstormed memories or favorites about 2016. Everyone shared a significant memory or blessing about the past year with the larger group. 

Next was my personal favorite activity-- a family dance party! Everyone was involved! We danced to the Hokey Pokey...

and the Limbo.

We have yet to teach these boys the true Limbo posture!

Isaiah and Nathan certainly had the biggest advantage here.

We also did a Conga line (but unfortunately missed the photo op on this one) and then the Chicken Dance. Cody and Jaden were very concerned about getting the motions right on this one. They loved it!

Next, while a few adults were getting last-minute lunch preparations done in the kitchen, the rest of the adults played Round the Clock with the kids. For this game, each child had a paper clock which contained movable hands. The kids' job was to roll first one dice until they rolled the numbers 1 through 6 in order, and then two dice for rolling 7 through 12. The hands of the clock were moved to display the correct hour with each new roll of the dice. The game was done when the player rolled the dice all the way around the clock. This could be a fun timed competition, but the boys weren't in the best moods for being competitive. :) The individual games seemed to work just fine!

After a little break for lunch (chili for the adults and hot dogs for the kiddos), we opened the last clock activity bag. This one contained noisemakers for our special Noon Year's countdown.

Then (even though it was already a few minutes past noon... oops!), we counted down to celebrate the coming of the Noon Year. Jason and I played a one-minute 2017 countdown from youtube on our TV. This built some great momentum for the boys.

At the end of the countdown, Jason lifted Ryan up so that he could reach our balloon drop "rip cord."

It was very festive having all the balloons fall from the ceiling. Nathan and Isaiah seemed to be particularly excited about all the colored balloons!

We loved ringing in the Noon Year with family. We're excited to see all that God has in store for our 2017!

The Schleicher cousins:
Cody, Ryan, Jaden, Ian, Isaiah, Nathan