James has a birthday

Birthdays are usually exciting days, but sometimes things don’t seem like they are going to work out. In this podcast we have a story called James has a Birthday. His party is to be held at Yew Tree Farm where there is a petting zoo. James is very excited about his party. His friends will be there, and they all get a chance to ride a pony. But James in not sure he wants to ride the pony. And to go along with the theme, we have two horse/pony songs.

As a parent and teacher, I know birthdays do not always live up to expectations. Sometimes parents make “too big a deal” about the birthday activities. Children sometimes feel forced into participating in activities they are not really sure about. There are times when birthdays end in tears!!

What should parents do? My suggestions are:

  • keep the guest list appropriate. You know your child. Decide what’s best for your child. A good rule of thumb is one guest for every year of age.
  • destination party or home? Sometimes a small party playing with toys at home is all that’s needed. If your child is adventurous perhaps a busy outing will work, but it’s not for everyone.
  • outdoing others. Sometimes parents are tempted to match or even outdo their child’s friends’ parties, getting bigger, wilder, more extravagant. It should not be a competition. Keep the party appropriate. If you want to be somewhere other than home, consider holding it in the park. Playing on swings and slides, and playing games keeps most children happy.
  • family or friends? Sometimes, keeping the birthday celebration within the family is the right thing to do.
  • remember the birthday child. Most important is that you consider what’s best for your child when planning a party. After all, whose birthday is it?