Aviva Samuels of Kiss the Planner is an Event Planner with over 20 years of experience in designing and planning events of all kinds. Making a child feel special when they have accomplished something special or have had a birthday is always important. Samuels says that the party does not need to be expensive or over the top. Just to see and hear family and friends wish them happy birthday or congratulations, even if only virtually, can light up a child like a Christmas tree. Having each guest share what they love about the Guest of Honor can have a lasting positive impact. Praise and love are what most kids really want. Loving words, coupled with a special gift such as a new bicycle, device, or something that excites them will reinforce that they are deserving and worthy.
Monique Banks and Ariel Banks Baker are the founders of BLUEPRINT, a new DIY online service that provides parents with a blueprint plan based on themes like dinosaurs, camping, candy shoppe, field day, fashion runway, and more. For the parents, not being stressed creates a happy and festive mood. Having a plan and with step-by-step instructions allows everyone to focus on the fun. Banks and Baker feel that a child will have a magical and memorable birthday if the party focuses on everything that they love from food to music, colors to the party theme. “It’s not about spending a lot of money on entertainment or décor, but spending time on asking your child what would make their birthday feel special,” says Banks.
Anne Armstrong, a Mom, teacher and founder of My Gnome on the Roam, a brand of toys and tools that help busy families create adventures says to focus on moments that matter. She recommends an activity that “breaks the script”. What kids do at a party doesn’t matter nearly as much as the fact that they do it together. Treasure hunts, escape rooms, a craft are all inexpensive ideas that build a sense of community and coming together to create a solution.
It’s also to focus on making memories which can be done inexpensively and won’t ever be forgotten. Armstrong says to make a memory maker. This is an activity, a gift, or even a refreshment that holds memory. Guests can write on a picture frame, a t-shirt, or even a picture on a cake can create a memory that will live on in the heart and mind of the guest of honor. She also recommends an insight-a journal, a video or other way to record and remember important moments can make the celebration live on. Both guests and the guest of honor should have an opportunity to record something special about the guest of honor and specifically about a memory they share.
If your child wants a theme that is unique, go for it! Lauren Vien, Education Director, Rose & Rex, says “Think of every celebration as an experiential snapshot of your child. Since our children are constantly evolving, celebrations -big and small- are an opportunity to embrace whatever makes them happiest right now! Try to incorporate your child’s current interests, recent milestones, favorite color, and preferred foods. We planned a squirrel-themed birthday party for my toddler daughter and hid photos of squirrels (wearing tiny party hats made from construction paper) all over our home. My son just mastered riding a bike, so we’re looking forward to gathering some friends, decorating bikes and scooters, and having a birthday parade in his honor!”