Birthday Thanking Tips (for kids and their parents)
Being grateful and classy can also be . . . fun!
Okay, there’s a kid’s birthday in your house. It’s a special and exciting time for both you and your little ones. You’ve got a lot of celebrating planned, and a lot of fun is on the horizon. Sometimes, though, when we think about the good times involved with a birthday, we overlook the thanking afterwards. Why can’t expressing gratitude be part of the fun? Why can’t showing good manners be a positive experience for everybody in the family?
Well, at TodayIsFun.com, we think thanking can be fun, along with all the other kids’ activities surrounding birthdays. It can also help kids feel good about themselves. And thanking people is a good habit to get started at a young age, of course.
Below are some of our fun and fitting birthday-time thank you tips:
The Thank You Speech at the Birthday Party
As an adult, there are occasionally parties thrown in your honor: weddings, for instance, engagement parties, baby showers, and yes, even the occasional birthday party. What do you always do at any party that is thrown in your honor? You thank everybody for coming, right? You never are required to make a long speech (unless you’re a victorious politician), but you do really need to say a few words of thanks. Why not start this with your kids? Why not prep them for a future of being polite and gracious?
For both kids and adults, saying thank you shouldn’t be too scary or in any way a big deal. The guests all came to the party because they like you (or in this case, your child), right?
Have your child stand up and say thanks to the assembled party-goers. Right before the cake would be a good time for this, since everyone will be gathered around (and awaiting the delicious food finale). Right after the cake is served would work fine, too. All your child needs to say is, “Thank you everybody for coming to my party!”
Talk to your kid beforehand, so you’re on the same page as to what will happen and why! Maybe you guys can brainstorm some special, fun, or funny words to be said.
This mini-speech will make quite a positive impression on the other parents, we promise! And who knows, you might even start a politeness movement on your local birthday party circuit.
And at the risk of over-doing the thank yous
Birthdays are a very special time for kids, of course, and they should be. Birthdays are also a time when people make an extra effort for the honoree. So, especially if your child is older, a thank-you for Mom and/or Dad is in order. Nobody needs to be a martyr (“I was up all night folding Sponge Bob Square Pants napkins for your party!”) and nobody needs to need a thank you. But it is a good habit to start — even for kids — to express some gratitude to the supporting cast and crew! So, encourage your kid to thank Mom and Dad. Tell your little ones to thank, your spouse.
Thank You Notes
As kids get older, they become subject to the time-honored obligation of thank you notes. Did anyone reading this, as a kid, think that writing thank you was a fun use of their time? But writing thank you notes is indeed classy, polite, and the “right” thing to do. How can you make them a bit less painful for your child? Here are some thoughts:
Have your kid use a different, positive adjective for each thank you letter. Instead of “thank you for the great toy monster set,” what about the “spectacular” toy monster set? The “superb” toy monster set? There are plenty of positive words that could be used: magnificent, marvelous, splendid, stunning, unrivaled, and so forth. What other words can you guys come up with? Have your child be sincere, but use some interesting, new vocabulary words.
If your child is too young to write, they could draw a little picture for each thank you card. This still counts as a nice way of expressing gratitude. And if your child is old enough to write, they could still draw a picture, if they’re artistically inclined. Such drawings add a nice, personal, and unique-to-your-child touch.
A lot of thank you notes written by kids are a bit “standard.” That is, they all sound pretty similar, only the names and item in question change. That’s not a problem, but it does make writing them monotonous. In addition to the two thank-you-note writing suggestions above, your kid could also add variety and interesting details to the back of the envelope. While a parent should write the address on the front of the envelope, the kid could write “thanks!” on the back, or draw a little happy face.
Tasty Thank Yous
Assuming that your guests live reasonably nearby, you guys can cook up some thank you treats. Bake some cookies (or other delicious goody), have your kid write a quick note, and drop them off in friends’ mailboxes. Baking can be a fun activity for kids, and making stuff for others can be fun, too. This version of thank you’s is sure to be appreciated and remembered.
Birthdays should be fun and special, from start to finish. That includes the thanking. Turn thank yous into an educational and engaging activity for parents and kids alike.
Steve W. is one of the two Dads who contribute fun ideas at the parenting website TodayIsFun.com. Visit TodayIsFun.com for many, many more polite and entertaining activities and for a wide number of situations and different children. Today Is Fun!