New Year’s Eve Countdown Chain

This New Year’s Countdown Chain is a fun way to count down the hours leading up to the New Year. Use this as a New Year countdown activity for kids leading up to the hours right before midnight. This countdown chain activity would be great for a noon years eve activity, too! Use the New Year’s Eve activities we shared right on the paper chain activity links for themed fun that builds skills.

New Year’s Eve Countdown Chain

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with kids by making a customizable activity countdown chain! 

New Year’s Eve sure has changed since having kids.  Gone are the days of glamorous parties with friends and family, heels and dresses to ring in the new year.  Now, we celebrate another year with dance parties with the kids and movie marathons.  

Celebrating New Year’s Eve with kids is a different life and one that I wouldn’t trade for all of the little black dresses and strappy heels in the world.  With four young kids, we are in the thick of diapers, learning to tie shoes, and band-aides.  

Being up all night has taken on a new definition with this stage of life!  

New Years with kids is about snacks, music, games, and family time. We made this New Year’s Eve Countdown Activity Chain to celebrate each hour leading up to the ball dropping with a child and family friendly activity.  This is a fun for the whole family! 

This is a quick and easy New Year’s Eve craft and activity that we threw together this week.  We made an activity chain to help the kids understand the passage of time to reach midnight (or a little earlier in the evening).  Kids can tear off a chain link as the hours pass to reach the new year. 

We’ve made a paper chain countdown as a visual reminder of time before, and it was such a hit with my kids, that I knew they would love to celebrate New Year’s Eve this way, too!

New Years countdown chain

New Year’s Eve Activity for Kids to Countdown

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Paper chain links with activities for New Years eve
Write activities on each paper chain link, based on the child’s age or the family!

 New Year’s Eve ideas for Young Kids

We started with some fun shades of cardstock. This is a great cutting activity for older preschoolers to cut straight lines through the paper from one end to the other end of the paper.

You’ll want to make marks on the paper so the child (or you) can cut the paper into one inch strips.  

Next, add age-appropriate activities onto each paper strip.

I grabbed a marker and wrote out activities on each chain link.  Add a number for each link.  If the kids are older and will be staying up until midnight, you may want more numbers with activities for each hour.  

A great idea for younger kids is to celebrate “midnight” at 7 or 8:00 pm.  You can still do this activity chain, you just won’t need as many chain links and activities.

Our New Year’s Eve Countdown Activities included:

  • Make a New Year’s resolution.
  • Play charades.
  • Dance party!
  • Say something you are thankful for.
  • What is something you are looking forward to in the new year?
  • And for the midnight chain link…Band pots and pans!  Celebrate the new year with family and friends!
Paper chain for a New Years countdown for kids

Use a piece of clear tape to connect the rings.  You’ll want to make sure they are in number order.

Older children can help with this activity. You can use glue for sensory touch and to support development of bilateral coordination skills, too.

Paper chain with countdown activities for New Years Eve

This is a fun way to get the kids involved in the new year celebrations.  Have the kids give input on the ring activities.

Let us know if you make a New Year’s Eve activity chain and use it ina New Years party for preschoolers or your family!

New Year's quote

This New Year goals quote can be fun to talk about with kids, too!

New Year's Eve activity countdown for ids paper chain craft

Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to

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New Years eve countdown chain

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