Kids' birthday parties present all sorts of opportunities for social awkwardness. For example: opening birthday presents. It's a big moment for the birthday kid and the party guests, but it can also lead to squirmy feelings.
Ellen's simple, thoughtful solution for opening birthday gifts at a party is mindful of everyone involved: the honoree, the guests, and their parents.
At my daughter's third birthday party, we quietly tucked presents into a side room off our entry hall when guests arrived so as not to embarrass anyone who didn't bring a present.
Whenever a family indicated they were about to leave, we took them and our daughter into the room and had her open the present. This allowed the gift-givers to experience the fun of seeing her pleasure and it let our daughter enjoy each present individually.
Unlike a communal present opening, this prevented the other children from being bored or envious and it spared parents the worry that they spent too little. (Our daughter was just as happy with dime store bubbles as name brand toys.)
I am in love with this hack! Thank you, Ellen.
We've been talking about birthday parties here at Parent Hacks for years. Some good links for you:
- Birthday party guidelines for sane parents
- Helping young kids get involved in writing thank you notes
- No fuss birthday cake decoration: Mr. Potato Head parts!
Christine also recently posted a fantastic series about simple birthday parties over at Boston Mamas:
- 3 easy (rainbow-tastic) party activities for kids
- 5 tchotchke-free party favors
- 7 ways to simplify birthday parties
What are your thoughts about opening presents at birthday parties? What works for your family?