Children’s birthday parties are fun! What’s not to love about seeing your child celebrate with his or her cousins, classmates, and friends while dressed in a theme or in character? Preparing the food, the decorations, and the invitations can be quite exciting, too!
Let’s admit it though: not all children enjoy their own birthday party. It may be because they don’t like to be the center of attention or they just prefer a different way of celebrating their special day. So what do we do when our child is not up to the usual birthday party? Well, for starters, we give them options!
Here are some options we can give our child in lieu of a birthday party:
Is your child currently in the season of toys, books, or clothes? The answer is where you’ll promise to take him or her on their birthday! To be surrounded with things they love and being able to take home at least one is surely going to be a wonderland for your child! Document their reactions as they pick something they fancy. Create meaningful conversations too, so it’s not just a “pick up your present and go” kind of day. You can use this time to connect deeper with your child. Pro tip: provide a ceiling price so you won’t go overboard with your budget.
This may be done in conjunction with the activity previously mentioned. Your child’s birthday may be the perfect time to teach him or her the value of giving and sharing. Because a birthday is usually a time for receiving gifts, this may be a good time to do otherwise: to share toys and books which are not part of your child’s current season any longer. Allow your child to choose the things he or she wants to let go of, so the giving is genuine and authentic.
I remember field trips so well when I was younger. Our class adviser would give us a piece of paper with an itinerary, and all the reflection questions the teachers prepared for us. It may sound too scholarly for a birthday party alternative, but isn’t time with you one of the best ways to learn as well? Your child will appreciate learning and going from one place to another with you on their side. You don’t necessarily have to prepare a piece of paper with questions, but your child can have a journal ready just in case he or she wants to document what they saw and how they feel at a particular place. Don’t forget to take photos and videos, too!
I have an online student before who does motocross as a sport. Before you say it’s just for grownup, my student is just 8 years old! If your child is up for an adventure and you’re confident that the experience will be a safe one for him or her, go ahead and do it! Your child just might end up finding his or her hobby or sport because of this. Experience doesn’t have to mean extreme, too! An experience in a trampoline park or in a ball pit can be a memorable one for your child as well.
Has your child been dreaming of a trip to the beach or a theme park here or abroad? This is the perfect time to grant that wish! Many parents opt to bring their child to an out-of-town or out-of-the-country trip for their birthday, because why not? This will probably cost the same, if not less, with a birthday party! Your child may have more stories to tell in the future, too! Trust me, this teacher knows.
Sure, a play date may have food and games too just like in birthday parties, but this one is more intimate. Your child may just want to invite two to three friends or classmates which would not be practical if a regular birthday party set up is planned. Also, your child might be overwhelmed with the number of people in regular birthday parties that they will get to enjoy a gathering where they can form conversations with the other kids they choose to attend.
Each of these options do come with a price tag. While some are more expensive than others, it’s important to take note too of the cost a regular birthday party will have on your children if they are not involved in the decision-making. Giving them options on how to spend their birthday will encourage and empower them to do wise decisions, birthday-related or otherwise.