Four Ideas For A “No Gifts” Children’s Party
It may not seem the right thing to do but using a child’s birthday as a lesson about giving back, not receiving is actually a great idea. This is just what Leah did when her daughter turned two. Since she was her second child, Leah decided time was enough for looking for baby birthday party places and toys.
Instead of throwing the traditional children’s party, she opted for a donation party for a local food pantry. The party not only imparted a lesson to all involved, I recall feeling encouraged and uplifted thereafter, not exactly how I thought I would feel at a children’s party.
In today’s culture of more and more, there are still parents and children who have decided that enough is enough and trying the ‘no gifts’ children’s party in Sydney. However, instead of not asking for gifts, families have created new ideas that help promote giving, spirit of servitude and helping others.
There are life lessons parents and kids can learn from a children’s party such as this. It can be used as a medium to foster a culture of compassion and gratitude. Even gift giving takes on a fresh and much sweeter meaning. Presents at parties are a good thing and remain so as long our culture’s pressure to live excessively doesn’t damage us and our children’s ability to recognize, and appreciate what the true gift in their life is and value that gift.
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No gifts parties are a great way to teach morals and inspire people to see birthday celebrations in a different light. Here are some tried and true ideas you can implement in place of no gift parties:
Giving to Others
A simple subtle twist on birthday gifts can help benefit those in need. You can try wording invitation like “Our child is so happy about life that he wants to help others feel this way about life too”. This can come before a request to gather outerwear, food, supplies, diapers for new mothers or anything they can possibly get. However, keeping the wording a little bit spirited can be a lot fun, such as “I’m exhausted from vacuuming up Lego pieces all the time- Shh, don’t let the kids know! In Lieu of gifts…” Make sure the wording and tone are personal to your family and children.
Since there seems to be an innate love for animals in children, organizing a children’s party to benefit a favorite animal charity for your little one may be a good idea.
Detroit mum Anna Scofield was proud when her seven-year old daughter Scout decided to hold a fundraiser for the Center for Great Apes rather the traditional kids birthday party.
Anna believes the best present Scout had gotten that year was the lesson that when you do good, you’ll feel good, and when her daughter saw how happy people were, and had had such a great party –she felt very proud. Proud to have a thought differently and thrown such a party that taught people some life’s lesson, even while enjoying the fun of such an occasion. In fact Scout was glad she did it that year and was happier to have chosen raising money for animals over getting gifts.
Children’s Party: Fundraising for Disease Research
A birthday could be used as a way to teach how to help others in need of medical help by contributing to disease research. Melody Holding of Roanoke Virginia was proud when her four-year old daughter Stacy, decided against the usual children’s party, instead opting to host a themed party to honor a family member who had died earlier after a protracted battle with cancer.
The themed party was an honor to the departed as well as to make people aware of cancer and help children battling with cancer by contributing to research for a cure. Stacy had learned that while there were more fun and crazy things that could be done at birthday parties, it was a better idea to give money to kids with cancer. She loved doing this, seeing that it brought the kids back to reality and encourage parents of these kids that their children are always in the thought of others.
Reaching Out to Others
Birthday parties can be used to show a young child a broader perspective and life and make him/her understand how fortunate he/she is living like most in the country are, especially when compared with children in third world nations.
For a child that is already spoilt with the latest and best toys, a birthday that broadens not only the perspective of the child but of other children and helps them contribute towards helping these underprivileged children is a great idea.
Some organization like Heifer International or World Vision, that have the ability to buy a sheep, cow or goat for families in third world countries provide a very realistic and tangible way, we can be of help to other people all around the world.
Read our article “Are Birthday Celebrations Important For Child Development?” for more about the benefits of celebrating your child’s birthday.
There are so many approaches to throwing a children’s party that doesn’t require all the lavishness yet teach a lesson to all and sundry. Talk to your child, have a honest discussion, about what might be the right idea for their next birthday. Whatever your child’s decision is, just having a discussion about helping others can help them realize how much it means to be thankful for all the gifts they already have and know that there are many who do not have such opportunities as they do.