Mothering Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,<br><br>
My son is going to be 4 years old next month. I'd like to organize a "no gift" birthday party and invite some of his preschool friends. I am looking for ideas to make the party fun and interesting for them without a gifts-giving and gifts-opening part of usual birthday parties. Please let me know if you have any good ideas... Thanks!<br><br>
Izumi
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
410 Posts
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lurk.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lurk">:<br><br>
I'm very interested to see the responses you get. We've tried TWICE to give two different "no gift" parties and people always brought things anyway and said stuff like, "I know you didn't really mean it" or "Kids don't understand NOT getting anything" or "I just HAD to pick this up" ....<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
We finally stopped having parties altogether. I would just call a couple of mom's on the phone and say, let's go to the zoo (park, playground) or whatever and show up with some food. Kind of almost "surprise" the guests with the fact that it was a birthday celebration. KWIM???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
410 Posts
forgot to sub <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/duh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="duh">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,633 Posts
Since the no gifts part is so hard for people to understand, why don't you just guide it in a direction you feel better about? Like, you could have a "gardening party" where you get a bed ready for planting and invite people to bring some seeds or a seedling to plant, and suggest some things that might grow well. Then the kids can work on the bed together, draw labels with their names and pictures, etc.<br><br>
Or if your dc is into tools and building, you could get some simple things for kids to assemble (like a small wooden base with a hook to screw in) and invite kids to bring things to decorate them with. A friend of my ds's did something like that -- the dad took the kids out to the deck two at a time so he could supervise them with the tools, etc. and the kids all took home a hook and some stuff to decorate it with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,576 Posts
We onnly do no gift parties. Kailey is very ok with this.<br>
There is a native american tradition of giving gifts to guests as a sign of appreciation. So we do goodie bags for all who come to Kailey's party. We have games, cake, and food yummies.<br><br>
For games we do the egg relay, sack race, scavenger hunt, and balloon popping.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
262 Posts
My friend had a beach/park party and asked guests to bring a wrapped sand toy for a grab bag. That worked out well. She runs a home day care and already has all the toys they need!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone for great idea! My son is the first grandson for both my and my husband's sides, so he is getting too used to receive gifts...to the degree that he almost expect others to give him something all the time. The last thing I want is for him to expect his little friends to the same to him. You know what I mean...<br><br>
I like the idea of building something or making something together. I will do my best to communicate the parents that we really and seriously do not want any gift. We once lived in India where the birthday person buy others sweets and share the joy with others. I explained to my son that we will do the Indian way and he is so far excited about it. We'll see how the party turns out! Again, thanks for all your idea!!<br><br>
Izumi
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
I think it a more "directed giving" approach might work well. For instance, you might have a time capsule theme and have everyone bring an item to add to his own time capsule. So one person could bring a newspaper, one could bring a soda can, one could bring the most popular soundtrack etc. Everyone can write a little something about your son and make predictions about the future.<br>
This is what we are going to do for his 1st birthday.<br><br>
You could also have a in leu of gift, please donate to your charity of choice, or bring something to donate. Or you can have a build a library and everyone could bring a book to add to his library or to donate to the homeless shelter or something like that.<br><br>
Bottom line is people will bring something, but you can have some influence in the type of stuff that they bring.<br>
hope that helps
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,713 Posts
Could everyone bring some special crayons/markers/stickers? Then take a roll of paper, tape it to the floor or ground, and everyone could color that collectively? Maybe even trace the birthday boy on it several times and they could decorate him?<br><br>
I like the idea of bringing books that you could donate to a charity. Maybe a domestic abuse shelter?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,315 Posts
i saw on a couple other thread recently about doing book swaps. have each kid bring a book, used is fine, then sawp the books so each kid gets a "gift" to take home
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
306 Posts
We did a no-gift party where each person was asked to make a page for ds's scrapbook--we got poems, pictures, collages etc. and put them together in his book as the party progressed (so everyone could see their work in the finished product). kids put so much effort into their artwork, IME it makes them feel really special when others create art for them--and what a great keepsake we have at the end!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
Another idea is 'homemade gifts only'. There is a family at my dc's school that always does this and it has carried over to other friends. My dc want to make gifts for all of their friends (although they sometimes have a specific purchased gift in mind as well). The kids give things like homemade muffins, capes, just little things but it's nice to see the thought that goes into it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
we do mainly no gift parties. My 10 year old had to pick a charity and ask people to donate. That was great fun! She chose the animal rescue league. We dropped off our donations and she was able to cuddle a kitty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,297 Posts
I'm thrilled to see this thread. I've been wanting to go "no gift" for a while now and was just talking about it with a mama friend yesterday. I love the idea of building/decorating something. I personally want to explore the charity approach also. Do you have a nursing home in your area? What if the kids made something to decorate the nursing home? I personally love the idea of birdfeeders for this time of year. You know the plain kind you can buy for a dollar or so at the craft store? You could ask parents to bring a plain birdhouse or fun decorations instead of a gift. The kids could paint and decorate them at the party then you and your ds could then deliver them together.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,168 Posts
Great ideas so far. A friend of mine attended a dog- and cat-themed party, and the guests were asked to bring a can of pet food to donate to the animal shelter, instead of gifts. I've also heard of asking each guest to bring a flower to put in a bouquet for the birthday girl/boy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,824 Posts
I love the idea of everyone bringing something to plant. It would be so great to have something that could add to the fun of the day, and at the same time give the kids a sense of accomplishment and a "thing" to have given at the end of the day. They could even decorate clay pots or something. I bet everyone would remember that. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
The idea of a swap instead of presents is great too. I think that people (myself included) just feel the need to bring "something" because you are, after all, hosting their child, feeding their child, and providing their child with an afternoon of amusement. I would have to do something to help somehow if a present wasnt the standard fare, or I would feel bad.<br><br>
I would say bring a dish, cupcakes or salad or whatever, but I would be afraid of what the mainstream fare would be at my table. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
571 Posts
One of the kids in dd's class had a party and the mother requested "If you must bring a gift,please bring an unwrapped book for the school library". At dd's party I felt there were way too many gifts, but felt at 4 she was a little too young to understand no gifts...I did put a few away for a rainy day.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top