New Year’s is a time to celebrate.

I live in the New Orleans area and fireworks are a big deal around this time of year. It’s our way of celebrating the new year.

I’m talking about shooting your own fireworks right outside your house, not watching a big display of fireworks (although we have that too).

Back when I was a kid, our neighborhood went crazy when it came to shooting fireworks. Just about every single person on our street shot fireworks non-stop. And not just the cheap stuff, but the big gnarly kind.

Our street was lit up non-stop for hours, then went completely crazy at midnight. It was awesome!

New Year’s day is a time to celebrate the past and look ahead to the future.

Why not take this opportunity to teach preteens the importance of celebrating what God has done in their lives over the past year, and to look ahead at amazing things God has in store for them in the next year?

Well, that’s exactly what we’ve done with this free lesson.

Enjoy and I hope you have an amazing 2016!

Nick Diliberto, The Preteen Ministry Guy

Preteen Ministry New Year’s Lesson


Opening Game: New Years Confetti Craziness


  • Different Colored Card Sock: 81/2 x 11
  • Lots of pictures of things that were celebrated within the last year. Make it personal if you can, but use anything you can find. Ex: holidays, vacations, birthdays, sporting events, things from your own ministry that you celebrated, and/or anything else worth celebrating.
  • Large black garage bag or trash can
  • Party Hats and Party Horns (enough for every preteen)
  • Video of a count down from at least ten (something like a News Years count down)
  • Youtube clip –


  • Paste each picture onto a different color card stock, can use the same color card stock just one picture per piece.
  • Cut each picture into 6-8 different pieces any shape or size.
  • Put all the picture confetti pieces into the garbage bag or trash can.
  • Divide your preteens in groups of 4-6.
  • Pass out party hats and horns.

How to Play

All the students should be wearing the hats and have their horn ready.

Tell them they must stay still until they hear the word “GO”.

Start the countdown video, as it gets to ten everyone should start counting down.

When the clock hits zero, everyone blows their horns, and leaders will begin to throw the confetti up into the air in celebration.


Each team, one member at a time, will grab one picture piece at a time.

Then they will begin putting together the pictures.

The team that puts four pictures back together first blows their party horns and is declared the winning team.

Be sure to have a leader check the pictures before declaring them the winner.

Have the other teams continue playing until they get four pictures completed.

Teach – Celebrating God


It’s fun to celebrate stuff isn’t it? Especially around the beginning of the new year!

In the game we had lots of pictures of things we love to celebrate.

There are holidays, birthdays, sporting events, and so much more.

What about how we celebrate?

We have parties, give presents, eat cake for birthdays.

We spend time with family during the holidays.

For sporting events, we wear our team’s favorite colors and cheer them on.

Guess what?!?

We can also celebrate what God is doing in our lives.

We can celebrate all he’s done for us in the past, what he is doing right now, and what he will be doing in the upcoming year.

Read 1 Thessalonians 5:18

“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”


The Bible tells us to be thankful in ALL circumstances. Not just the ones that make us happy or feel good. But we can find good in bad situations too.

Taking time to reflect on what we’re thankful for is the key to being grateful in all circumstances.

Read 1 Peter 1:6-7

“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”

“Hard times allow us the opportunity to rely on God and have faith in Him.”

Read Philippians 4:4 (MSG)

“Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him!”

When we revel in God and celebrate in Him throughout our daily lives, we become filled with God’s joy.

Balloon Activity

Give each preteen a balloon and marker. Have them inflate the balloon and tie it off.

Tell preteens to write some of the things God has done for them in this past year.

Once they are all done, have them all stand up and yell “HAPPY NEW YEAR” and throw the balloon up into the air.

If they still have their party hats and horns have them blow them and celebrate the amazing things God has done for them last year.

When done, have them find their balloon and get into small groups for discussion.

In small groups, have students discuss the following questions:

What did you write on your balloon?

What’s the #1 thing you’re thankful for in the past year? Do you think that God could have had something to do with that? Why or why not?

What’s one thing you would like to see God do in your life in the next year?

End the discussion in prayer.