It is true that many parents take it upon themselves the heavy task of planning and carrying out a birthday party. When it comes to kids birthday parties, It is a great opportunity to think of them as a mutual experience that involves kids as well. Here is Partify co-founder, Dana Mazia, four expert tips on how to engage your child in planning the party and transitioning it into a shared experience overall.
1. Involve the Kid in the Decision-Making Process
Eitan is three, a big boy with his own ideas, so we decided to let him participate in planning his birthday party. We started with the type of party, and I was surprised to learn that he knew exactly what he wanted, “a party for all my friends in a gym”. I immediately thought of our partner Valor Mixed Martial Arts Studio. Although Eitan didn’t have his mind set on martial arts as one of the party activities, their large and well-lit studio was the perfect venue to meet Eitan’s request. Once we had a venue set, Eitan and I were browsing on Partify to look for an entertainer. Eitan picked our talented Looney Louie, and he watched Louie’s videos every day ever since. So on the day of the party, Eitan was already familiar with the show, and he was able to engage and enjoy 100%.
And of course, preparing for a party was much more meaningful with some mother-son activities. To me, it was important that we made something together for the party that he could be proud of. Since the theme of the party was circus, we made clown cookies together, and it was something fun and memorable for the both of us. I remember how he was walking around on the party, giving all his friends “clown cookies he made”.
2. Don’t Tire Your Kid Out on the Day of the Party
I understand parents go all out for their kids’ birthday parties, and they want to make sure the kids are having the most wonderful day possible. But we need to be mindful that our goal is for our kids to relax and enjoy the day instead of feeling exhausted. So here is how we planned the day. Starting the morning with some quality family time, we took Eitan to the barber (something he loves to do). And then, we went to do a cozy picnic in the park. But we made certain to go back home early to give Eitan enough time to rest before the party began.
3. Focus on Your Kid during the Birthday Party
This may seem very common sense, but many parents tend to overlook it because how hectic it is to plan and carry out a birthday party. It is natural that you would want to make sure all the guests are having a good time, run the logistics and fine-tune the details. But keep in mind that the priority is to focus on your child and meet his or her desires and needs. With the help of Partify’s day-of-the-event helper, a lot of busywork was freed from my hands, and I was able to actually sit next to Eitan and experience the party with him. A warm memory like this really made all the efforts worthwhile.
4. Make the Birthday Fun Last Longer
To end the day in a perfect way, we let Eitan choose three gifts from the pile. We opened the gifts and read the gift cards together as bedtime stories. We saved the rest of the gifts for him to open several every day. This way, he wouldn’t be completely worn out by the end of the day. But more importantly, for many days after, Eitan was still able to relive the excitement of that day and appreciate each and every one of the gifts.
I still remember how much time and effort it took to throw his first birthday party. Now that we have a great team at Partify and so many choices in place, I am able to put together a better party for Eitan without spending as much time and energy. And what matters the most to me is to be by his side and share these priceless moments with him.