On December 31, 2019, I threw my first ever Noon Year’s Eve party for the kids at the library. What’s Noon Year’s Eve? It’s a celebration that takes place at noon instead of midnight to ring in the new year. It makes the perfect little kid library program because 1) a lot of the little ones aren’t going to make it until midnight anyway and 2) the library is open at noon, and most likely not at midnight. I geared this program towards 3K and Pre-K age children, or for those whom 3K and Pre-K reading materials are appropriate. I also welcomed babies, toddlers, and big kids. We started off with a story time, and I planned to read three books and sing some songs, but we cut that down to two books to get some crafting in in time for the new year.

I will be hosting this program virtually this year, and I suspect many other libraries are holding virtual programs, too. I hope this can inspire you to create a Noon Year’s Eve program, whether it’s virtual this year or in person in the future.

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It wasn’t much, but jazzing up the entryway with dangling stars was fun for the kids. I might do this for my background this year.

I got some party crowns for the kids to color in. The hats said “Happy New Year”. I found these through Oriental Trading, but I’m sure you could find something similar at other retailers. The kids worked on this until noon, when I pulled up a video of Thailand. We live in New York, and it so happens that Thailand celebrates the new year at noon our time! It was cool to see the live video and count down with people on the other side of the globe. It was also a great opportunity to talk about how time is different all around the world.

Then, the party commenced! We had some snacks leftover from Christmas, and I played music while still showing the live footage on the screen. We have a disco ball in our big room, and use a light like this one to add to the festive atmosphere. We also used a bubble machine, which the kids really enjoyed!

This year, I plan to read books and sing songs like before, watching the new year ring in across the globe like before, and even have a little dance party! It will be different, but it will still be fun.

My book recommendations for a New Year’s Eve storytime?

For babies to 3K: Happy New Year, Spot! by Eric Hill

Happy New Year, Spot!Happy New Year, Spot! by Eric Hill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think this is a cute take for little ones who won’t be staying up for New Year’s!

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For 3K to K: The Night Before New Year’s by Natasha Wing, illustrated by Amy Wummer

The Night Before New Year'sThe Night Before New Year’s by Natasha Wing
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a fun take on the Night Before Christmas. It touches on recalling the past year, the American tradition of watching the crowd in Times Square, and the struggle of making it to midnight.

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For Pre-K up: Shante Keys and the New Year’s Peas by Gail Piernas-Davenport

Shante Keys and the New Year's PeasShante Keys and the New Year’s Peas by Gail Piernas-Davenport
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really liked this one. Shanté and her family eat black eyed peas for New Year’s Day. Shanté goes around her neighborhood and finds out other traditions and food people in her neighborhood use to celebrate!

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Songs we sang:

A Brand New Year (to the tune of London Bridge)
Now we have a brand new year,
A brand new year, a brand new year.
Now we have a brand new year,
It’s 2021.

Let’s Celebrate (to the tune of Are You Sleeping?)
Happy New Year, Happy New Year.
Let’s celebrate, let’s celebrate.
Good-bye to the old year;
Hello to the new year.
Hurray, hurray! Hurray, hurray!

More songs you can sing – I recommend breaking out the bells for these!

New Year’s Day (to the tune of Jingle Bells)
New Year’s Day, New Year’s Day,
Comes but once a year.
On New Year’s Eve we celebrate,
And ring it in with cheer!
New Year’s Day, New Year’s Day
Comes but once a year.
On New Year’s Eve we celebrate
And ring it in with cheer!

Ring the Bells (to the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat)
Ring ring ring the bells,
Ring them loud and clear.
Let’s tell everyone around
That the New Year is here!

Finally, I highly recommend creating your own DIY photobooth. I found some old butcher paper in a city skyline design that was perfect for making a “night out on the town” scene. The caregivers really loved taking pictures of their kids against the backdrop, and it only took me five minutes to set up.

For 2020/2021, I’m encouraging attendees to dress up and maybe choose a fun background on our video conference.

For the 2021/2022 celebration, I plan to do things the same, but decorate a ton more! I want to make it more of a party atmosphere, and while I plan to add even MORE storytime to it, I want it to feel like a celebration more than a weekly story session.

I hope your 2020 was good in spite of everything, and that some great changes come in 2021.