Because birthdays only come around once a year, make the party as unique as the child you are celebrating. Play is a natural way of learning for children and can keep them engaged for hours. Here are some ideas to help you throw a party that focuses on play and learning as part of the experience.
- After all it is your child’s big day. Give them a party that’s original with a theme they create. Let the party incorporate things your child is interested in and enjoys doing. Keep the theme broad like science, arts, or sports. Find out what interests your child about this theme and let the planning begin.
- Just like your child is one-of-a-kind, make sure their birthday party is too! After your child has selected their theme, let them take part in the planning. Encourage your child to make their own decorations for their party. Your child could help design invitations and deliver them to their guests. Having them involved in the process sends the message that it’s their special day and they are important.
Something for Everyone
- Keeping the activities open-ended will ensure there’s something for everyone to explore, create and discover. With open-ended activities, there’s more than one way to engage, allowing all guests to connect their own interest and ideas. To do this, provide materials that support your child’s chosen theme and invite guests to see what they can do. Children will put more focus on their process of creativity, using their imaginations and their own self-expression.
All for One
- Play games that ensure everyone is a part of a team. Keep the games team and goal oriented. Teamwork is an important thing to learn as a child; through it you gain skills such as collaboration, problem-solving and sportsmanship.
Time for Play
- Play is a vital part of childhood; it’s how children explore the world around them. When children are engaged in play, their minds are active and constantly searching for understanding and meaning. Play stimulates curiosity, creativity, and imagination. Make sure to set aside some time for the children to simply play.
As Fred Rogers once stated, “What nourishes our imagination? Probably more than anything else, loving adults who encourage children’s own choices of imaginative play”. As you celebrate your child’s birthday, celebrate the value of learning through play too.