Birthday Party Ideas for Minimalists (10 Tips for a Meaningful Celebration)

Today, I'm gonna share 10 ways to have a meaningful birthday celebration for your child At the end of these 10 steps, I'm gonna share with you, the gift that we gift each child for every single birthday

Stick with me till the end if you want a fool proof idea for a beautiful birthday gift for your children too If you want to love parenting and parent from love, then smash that subscribe button and hit the notification bell, so you're sure to be told, every time I upload a new episode, every Monday I'm Avital, mindful parenting coach and mother of four I have been blessed to help thousands of parents reclaim presents, peace, and play for their family Slam on the like button and let's do this

We typically do very minimal, almost non existent celebrations for our one year, old and two year, even our three year old It's really going to be, just about the immediate family getting together and enjoying a dessert or something, or a little hike in the woods At that age, almost any type of celebration is going to overwhelm the children If you want to celebrate for yourself with your friends, that's great Having a full on birthday party for a very young child is often going to be overkill, and actually be stressful for them, which is not what we were going for

Take everything I'm saying here with a pinch of salt, or a spoonful of sugar, and figure out what works in your context Number two is to decide on the purpose of your celebration This might sound a little, bit weird Well, the purpose is to have birthday celebration I've been reading the book, Gathering, by Priya Parker

In it, she explains that a birthday celebration is a category of event, it's not a purpose for the event A purpose for the event might be very different from one family to the next For some of us, a birthday celebration's purpose might be about filling our children up with love, showing them how special they are, and celebrating them That party will look one way, and will lead to a certain set of choices The purpose might instead be, to celebrate the year that's past, and to reflect on all of, the milestones and the growth that they've had

That party celebration will look very different A third might be to surrounding them with the people that they love and the role models, and the community that we want them to feel a part of Again, a very different approach As you're deciding on how to celebrate your children's birthday, just reflect on what you're trying to accomplish What are the feelings, messages, and value that you're trying to impart through this gathering

It will really be helpful in deciding and deciphering, the rest of the choices that you need to make Number thee is to choose a venue that feels, that it aligns with the purpose of your gathering Where would your child feel like, this is most about me? This is most about my, you know, hopes and dream Now, I think all of us want that a little, bit We want a little bit of that feeling in a birthday celebration

We're here to celebrate you and to make you feel special Maybe it's about a class that your child loves, or a place that your child loves to go, that wouldn't be overstimulating or overwhelming Often, children's birthday parties are so over kill, in an attempt to create a marketplace, where parents are paying so much for the entertainment, for the food, for the activities, it becomes overstimulating It doesn't end up being about that child having a good time, and being surrounded by people that love them, it ends up being about the place, about the venue and the activity and the entertainment It becomes, really just a marketing transaction, rather than a celebration that's more pure and more connected with that unique child and their needs

If you're child doesn't like being the center of attention, gets shy, or only likes being with small groups of people, or even just with one friend, consider that when you're choosing your venue Thinking about birthday parties in this way, is a very good idea, because I know from experience that you can end up spending too much money, creating an event that you didn't even enjoy, your child was overwhelmed by and didn't enjoy, and was bad for the planet as well Give me a love in the comment, if you know what I'm talking about Hit that like button, if this has happened to you Number four is to choose fun and meaningful activities

If your child's into animals, or into dancing, or trains, or ninjas, or vacuum cleaners (That one was for you Maxine) How can this celebration be about that, about celebrating their interests, their desires, their fun, their themes, or perhaps just about creating fun between them and the people that they love I want you to remember that some of the best activities are homemade and absolutely free If you want a whole list of creative, homemade and some of them are free ideas for your birthday party, then download my meaningful birthday guide, which is linked here in the description box below In it, I'm going to give you lots of different ideas, of ways that you can fun activities, fun themes that celebrate your child, and that just connect between people

A lot of them are gonna hark back to old fashioned games I would love it, if you would share in the comments below, what were the games that you played as a child, especially at birthday parties, that you love to do Things like pin the tail on the donkey, musical chairs, pass the parcel, and Simon says These are fan favorites, and they've become classics for good reason In recent years, we've somehow lost touch with, this simple and super fun approach to birthdays

Another thing is, to have the children themselves, be very active members of creating that entertainment Face painting, for example Maybe your child wants to be the face painter If you're having a Simon Says game, maybe your child wants to be the one who does, Simon Says If you're having a jam session, maybe your child wants to play a musical instrument or do the dancing

You could have a movie night, or a bubble party, or a bring-your-own-wheels party and have everyone riding their scooters, and skateboards together There are so many, different ways to do it in a, creative way in a, free way, in a, homemade way and in a way that your child can take pride in the celebration itself and in the themes, activities that have been planned out Number five is, to make the preparations with your child If you're making a cake for example, having them bake it with you If you're sending out invitations, having them choose the theme on Evite, or write out the wording with you

Having them be involved in the guest list decision, if that can make sense Having them taking ownership This is an amazing learning opportunity, learning about how we balance a budget, how we plan an event, how we host, how we word our invitations, how we make decisions based on eco friendliness, or based on budget, or based on the weather

So often children show up to their own birthday parties with zero insight to what it takes to put that together and to make those decisions I feel that, that's a lost learning opportunity Plus, when they take ownership in a process like this, they're much more likely to be grateful for it, to be aware of what goes into it, and not to feel so spoiled and entitled, like they just show up, like the king Making the preparations with your child also means preparing them emotionally for what's coming Just walking through what to expect, what to be aware of

Things like, "Your friends might touch all your toys when they come to your home Do you wanna put some of those toys away?" Things like, "We have a guest who has allergies, and therefore we all need to wash our hands and be careful, not bring any nut products," et cetera Even if your celebration is very minimalistic and low key, the magnitude of being the birthday boy or girl, can sometimes overwhelm children Just preparing them emotionally for what to expect, and then really letting go and accepting whatever it is, whatever it comes and just focusing on having a flowing good day Just do your very best, not to be yelling at them, and being tense with them on their special day, because it will derail all of your efforts, to have made them feel loved on that day

Number six is to be an active host or hostess Again, from the book, Gathering, by Priya Parker, I have learned the importance of having generous authority when you're a host Being a good host, or hostess means that you include your guests, that you show them what is expected of them and that you help them to overcome the obstacles to participating in the party If for example, there are children that are shy, it means making them feel at home If there are guests that don't know each other, it means introducing them to each other

Hopefully, if you're having a children's birthday party, most of the people are close to your child and they know everyone It's also a great opportunity to teach them to be a good host and to include different members of their community together, to build bridges between people, because often children can get cliquey or stick to only one friend If there's just a neighbor, or someone who's not part of the school, or someone who doesn't know the rules to the game, they can feel very left out This is a great opportunity to aware of that and to model good hosting Number seven is to think on your approach to food

I know that birthday parties are typically a sugar fest I definitely let my guard down a lot about what we usually eat when it comes to birthdays You don't have to You can maintain your healthy approach to food, even during your children's birthday celebration I will give you a list of great ideas for healthy snacks and the meaningful birthday guide, so make sure to download that

If you have ideas for healthy snacks, please comment here What I wanted to say is, yes, we do let our guard down a little, bit We certainly have some icing on the cake, and that kind of thing We have a cake We have sugary foods

Just like everyone else, being pumped full of sugar, doesn't bring out the best in children It's something we want to be aware of Next, I want you to think on your approach for gifts If you're at all interested in minimalism, which you probably are, or you wouldn't be here, then you probably don't want a ton of plastic-y, junky gifts being flooded into your children on their birthday You do need to let go and accept that some people are simply going to bring gifts, and they're not going to be the type of gifts that you particularly want in your home

That's okay It's a beautiful problem to have, that people are giving us gifts All we need to do is say, "Thank you so much," and that's fine If you do want to be a little bit, proactive about directing people to the type of gifts that would most serve your family, if you send out an invitation I highly recommend going with an eco friendly invitation, such as an evite, then you can actually word, what type of gifts or what your gift policy is Now, I've never done a no gift at all policy, because I feel like, we're part of a culture where children expect gifts for their birthdays Adults expect to give gifts for their birthdays That's okay

We can try to create more of an awareness around the types of gifts that we give In a separate video I've mentioned that I don't give gifts to other children That means that I don't go out and buy new plastic toys for them We could always give them something, right? We can give them a homemade piece of art We can give them a letter

We can give them an experience We can give them some kind of toy or object that does make sense, or a toy or object that is pre-loved, that is second hand We can give them money to spend either on their future investments and savings, or on something that they're saving for now For this last birthday party, we went with the Fiver birthday party approach I'll give you the wording that we used for our birthday invitation

Something along the lines of, "Johnny is so blessed to have all of, the things that he needs He's really saving up for this big ticket item, such as a large Lego set, or a bicycle Please feel free to bring no gifts at all If you do want to gift him something, then perhaps five dollars or less Just put in an envelope, would help him to save towards this gift

In Canada, this is known as the toonie birthday party, because they offer two Canadian dollars Make it the sum that makes sense within your culture Five dollars or less sounds too much, make it less, or make it more, depending on what's going on where you live It should be a small and almost insignificant amount of money for your guests, but something that when pooled together, is a significant amount that can cover at least part of the cost of something that your child's really coveting You can also ask that all gifts be second hand, or pre-loved, or that they simply be handmade cards

You can say that we would love to spend time with you, rather than to get more things, so if you could give us a coupon for a play date If you want more ideas for wording on this, just download that guide below Number nine is to consider meaningful party favor options Now, you actually don't have to do party favors In fact, if you're having a minimalistic gathering with just family members, then it's wonderful to cross this one off your list

If you love doing something crafty and fun for party favors, and if it's something that is accepted and expected in the culture where you're at, then you'll probably want to send going home gifts You could consider a going home gift that is linked somehow to the experience that the children have just had together If they were face painting, perhaps it's a little tattoo If it was a bubble party, perhaps it's a little bottle of bubbles If you were out in nature, perhaps it's a little seed packet to plant a seed

One idea that we've had is to give guests a pre-stamped envelope to the birthday child, asking them to be pen pals Think creatively about a little gesture that is meaningful to you and that actually builds connection between the children and their guests Number 10 is to follow up with your child in creating, thank you cards I think it's incredibly important to thank people properly, for the gifts that they've given us That could be in the form of a written thank you card, or a drawing that your child draws, or a video that you take of your child and they say what they appreciated about the gift, and thank that guest for coming to the party and for thinking of them

I think it's a really important chance for your child to show gratitude, and to really take a moment to note everything that they've received Saying, "Thank you," isn't just old fashioned etiquette It's still a very important part of reciprocity and relationship building Okay Those were my 10 tips

I would absolutely love to hear your tips in the comments below Now I wanna share with you, what we gift our children every single birthday What we do is, every birthday, we create a photo book for our children We create a book with photo's of them, and of the things that they've done and the art that they've created, and the projects they've worked on, over the past year It's a memory book

We also add in some text, telling some stories about the important events that year, milestones, things that we want them to remember about their character development or about their friendships, names of friends, names of places that they visited We gift this birthday book tot hem each birthday, as a way of cementing their memories and celebrating them I think to me, this is an opportunity and a tool to help my children form, their memories and form their sense of self, their narrative and their story of their childhood, so that every year, they add a year, they add a book and they're able to read back and reflect about what they've accomplished, what they've learned, where they've been, who they've been with To me that's a really beautiful way of celebrating a child each year, and an of accomplishing communicating our family values, and what we love about them, and what we celebrate about them We tend to gift this to our children on top of a physical gift as well

If you also create birthday book, or if you'd like to, let me know in the comments below Please share your resources for creating these books What platform or software do you use? I'd love it if you could let me know either here, or over on our guilt free community, Love Parenting with Avital on Facebook If all of this was super helpful, and you want more resources, ideas for wording invitations, ideas for gifts, for activities, et cetera, then download the Meaningful Birthday Guide now You're definitely going to want to subscribe to the channel and hit the notification bell

Next week, we are talking about, five reasons your kids don't listen, and what you can do about it I have a very special guest on that episode, so subscribe

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