New Year Activities for Students: As the students return to school in January, it’s time to infuse your kindergarten classroom with excitement and joy. Welcoming the New Year with engaging activities not only captivates the attention of your young learners but also fosters a positive and dynamic learning environment. In this blog post, we’ll explore various activities tailored for kindergarten students that incorporate a free YouTube countdown, suggested books, graphing experiences, and entertaining minute-to-win-it activities.
New Year Activities for Students
One simple New Year Activity that your students will love is the opportunity to share what they did over the break, what they did over New Year’s, or allowing them to share anything they desire from the break. One example is how my students usually love to share if they lose any teeth.
Also, don’t forget to have a conversation about how December 31 is New Year’s Eve and January 1st starts the New Year. We discuss the difference between a school year and a calendar year.
Reading Suggestion: Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution
One of the first books we read is the book entitled Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution. This book is precious and does a great job explaining and showing young learners what a resolution in a way they can understand. Check out this book on Amazon here. Additionally, you can check out a link to this video here.
Squirrel’s New Year Resolution Printables and Activities
You can use these printables and activities to incorporate this book into your literacy groups with ease and cover New Year Activities for Students with ease. Reading comprehension, handwriting, CVC word building, story sequences, writing prompts, word wall, and so much more. This can be such fun activities for elementary students.
Additionally, check out this amazing What is a Resolution? mini pack that has great terms and visuals to explain resolutions for young learners. We even come with our own New Years resolutions.
New Year Traditions
Since we are talking about New Year Activities for Students, let’s talk about some New Year’s traditions. You can make a list of things the students in the class did for New Year’s, such as using blowers, watching the countdown, and going to a friend’s house. It is always fun to hear the additions students make to these lists. For example, one year a student told me they always have a “big, huge lunchable” to snack on. She meant a charcuterie board. You can use this list to add a page to journals about New Year’s.
Next, we can talk about the customs and traditions of other countries. Check out this cool video detailing how different countries celebrate New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day in a variety of ways.
Additionally, you can see a huge countdown of fireworks displays from around the world from 2024 here. The best part of this video is to show the fireworks and turn the sound down some for those who are sensitive to the sound of fireworks going off loudly. This is one of my favorite New Year Activities for Students.
Reading Suggestion: The Night Before New Year’s
Next, check out this title for the theme of New Year’s resolutions with this delightful book. It details a boy who wants to stay up until midnight and all the fun activities he does with his family leading up to this moment as well as touches on resolutions as well. You can check it out on Amazon here.
After we read this book, we made a super fun chart to record if we did or did not stay away until New Year’s. Now, I am aware that some families do fake countdowns. Additionally, I do not know not question them in any way. If they say they did stay up, they put their name on YES. If they say they did not, they put their name on NO.
Some years, most of my students stay up until The New Year. In other years, most students do not stay up. This year, there was a 9<10 split. (3 students were sick and one didn’t vote.) One student asked me what the countdown looked like, they just were not sure. What does a teacher do? A New Year’s Countdown Extravaganza!
Kick off the New Year celebration with an interactive and fun countdown for your kindergarten students. The anticipation and excitement of counting down to the stroke of midnight (or an earlier, kid-friendly hour) can be enhanced with a captivating YouTube video. Some teachers do this at noon and call it Noon Year’s Eve. Unfortunately, we have lunch at noon and as every teacher knows, you can’t adjust lunch times.
Here is one we used at school this past year and it is the perfect New Year Activities for Students.
Minute to Win it New Year’s Idea
Some teachers decide to do one game an hour as they countdown the hours to Noon Year Eve. This may or may not work for you and your school schedule, but it is always a good idea to share some Minute to Win it Type Games.
Minute-to-Win-It Activity: Balloon Pop Countdown
Materials: Balloons, markers, and small pieces of paper for countdown numbers; one for every student in your room.
Activity Steps: Write the numbers on individual pieces of paper and place them inside balloons. Inflate the balloons and scatter them around the classroom. (Store them inside a large garbage bag beforehand since you most likely won’t start the day with balloons scattered around your room.)
How to Play: Explain to the students that they have one minute to find one balloon and pop ONE balloon by stomping on it. As each balloon pops, encourage the students to shout out the number revealed inside. To add to this game with time and difficulty, once they have their number, have them hold it up and put themselves in number order.
New Year Activities for Students
As you usher in the New Year with your kindergarten students, remember that the joy of learning can be seamlessly woven into celebratory activities. From an enchanting YouTube countdown to captivating books, graphing experiences, and entertaining minute-to-win-it challenges, these activities are designed to create lasting memories while promoting educational engagement.
Feel free to customize these New Year Activities for Students based on the unique dynamics of your classroom and the preferences of your students. Embrace the spirit of curiosity and excitement as you embark on a New Year filled with learning, laughter, and shared moments in your kindergarten classroom. Happy New Year!
Check out a few more New Year’s Books on Video Suggestions
Happy New Year by Clara Coleman
The Lucky Grapes: A New Year’s Eve Story (New Year’s story from Spain) Here on Amazon
Shante Keys and the New Year’s Peas by Gil Piernas-Davenport- Here on Amazon