That was the first line in the invitations my daughter sent out for her fall festival that she held in our back yard this weekend. It was a beautiful day and the children in our neighborhood had a fun time.
Have your children ever planned a party or other event? Are you thinking it would take too much time away from more important things? You might be surprised at all the important things that are happening when your child plans a party. There are so many lessons and life skills they can learn, and it’s all within the context of real life and something they enjoy.
Some benefits to allowing your children to plan gatherings:
- Putting together the W’s of a party and making it all come together; who, what, where ,why, when, and how?
Money management skills:
- Give them a budget and teach them how to work within it. At some point they’ll experience the great “time or money” debate. (should I buy cookies all made or should I make them myself?)
- Have them spend some of their own money so they can really get the feeling of what things cost. The impact of price doesn’t mean as much when its mom’s money.
- It might help justify the cost if you consider this as part of your school budget
- They will need to think about what their guests would enjoy.
- Making people comfortable in your home is a skill learned with practice.
- They will learn to remain calm and welcoming even though they may feel nervous or stressed
- People are busy. Your child will have to “market” their event in such a way that people are convinced that it is a good use of their time. This can be anything from a warm invitation to posters, etc. for a larger event.
Depending on the event there will be a need for some or all of the following, your child can learn to make them.
- posters to advertise the event
- posters to use at the event
- place cards
- menus, or menu boards for larger events
- activity pages etc for children’s events
- planning worksheets for their use
- many other types of print materials
Photography and videography:
An event will give your child something to photograph. They can expand their skills by learning to create things such as photobooks and newsletters using the photos the made.
Sometimes they will need help from siblings and/or friends. They will learn;
- delegation skills
- team work
- devision of labor skills
- giving “orders” diplomatically
- expressing appreciation for contributions of time and energy
- Have older and younger siblings team up, the older will be mentoring the younger
- Some of your parties can be learning experiences for younger children (Bible camp, art camp, etc)
- Invite people for Thanksgiving
- Host a widows dinner
- Invite children to make a gift for mother’s day, etc
- Start small by inviting one family for dessert
Outreach and fundraiser opportunities:
- Organize a read-a-thon to raise money for kids who can’t afford books
- Have a carnival in your yard to raise money for… whatever God puts on their heart
Mom only allows a party if the house is clean- before and after!
And some more benefits:
Just think of how little work you’ll have to do to plan their senior party, and what a wonderful 50th anniversary party you can expect!
So, tell your kids it’s time to have a party. Count it as school and enjoy!