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Birthday Parties That Give Back

by Birthday Zoo on October 4, 2012

Birthday parties in the holiday season are always more special. Everyone is in a good mood and ready to help each other out. That’s why I love the idea of birthday parties that give back. Here are three fun birthday party games or ideas that you can use to turn a special day into one that becomes special for all of the kids and for the lucky people who also get a gift.

1. Building gift baskets for the Homeless

Most of us are competitive by nature. Because of this you can host a build a gift basket giveaway contest for the kids. All you need to do is buy a few baskets, save paper bags from the grocery store, shred some colored paper for decoration and also buy Styrofoam liners for the bottoms of the baskets, take and wooden dowels. You may also want to leave out blank paper and pencils or crayons and then some fun things like markers, glitter and confetti too for decorating.

Now break the kids up into teams so that each team has a basket. Then give them each a goal. One has to do a basket to help feed the hungry, another for kids who need gifts or even clothes like new kids footed pajamas and one that is a mixed basket.

Then show the kids how to place the dowels in the Styrofoam base to support the weight of the gifts inside the basket as well as how to tape them on and let them get creative. You’ll want to assign points to each of the things like getting all of the canned foods in the basket, displaying every character from all kids pajamas, etc. Then the reason I leave out blank paper and pencils or pens is because you have hidden points the kids won’t know they earn. If each kid on the team writes a holiday card to the people receiving the gift basket, the team gets an extra point or even 5 points.

You can set up holiday themed hidden points for when the kids show that they are thinking of others and do something good for someone else. You can have a sharing point awarded if a kid from another team needs something and one of the other team lends them the thing they needed, you can take away points for greed if someone on a team grabs every thing so that other teams can’t use it, etc…

This becomes a fun game for all of the kids and for you; but the most important part is that you get to have your birthday boy or girl hand the basket to a homeless shelter, food kitchen or somewhere else on their birthday and let them see how much of a positive impact they can have on the life of someone else.

2. Nature Scavenger Video Hunts

This is one of my favorite things to do. The goals will be different depending on which part of the country you live in since some areas have pinecones and others have palm trees. What you should do is set up 10 goals for the teams of kids. They should include things the kids can decorate for the holidays like pinecones or palm leaves as well as 3 things they have to do and take a picture of. 1 can be form a pyramid in front of a landmark, another could be picking up trash (with safety gloves so they protect their hands) and the last could be to find a tree (which you left a head of time) and plant it. Then the kids have to take a picture of all three of these to get credit.

Once the kids have finished and returned home, you can now add up the points to see who won. Then you can also use the things they gathered for arts and crafts like pine cone ornaments, to keep them busy for another hour.

3. Nursing Home Parties

Although the holidays may be a happy time for you and your family, there are plenty of elderly people stuck in nursing homes with no family to take care of them. Having your child’s birthday at a nursing home can be fun for the kids as well as heart warming for the patients. Your kids will see the impact they can have on the older people and the people at the home will love having the company and getting the attention. Here are some fun games and things you can do to make the nursing home birthday party fun for everyone.

Nursing home Olympics – Set up different games like cane limbo, wheel chair relay races (where the kids push themselves in the chairs and pass things without using their legs), jello spoon passes (running with a thing of Jello on a spoon and having to pass it to a friend relay race), etc… This is fun for the kids and wears them out. The patients in the home also get to be the fans and cheer the teams on.

Reading stories to the kids – Have the kids break up into teams and listen to one of the patients’ favorite stories from when they were kids. The kids have to listen to the story and also take notes because after story time is over, the kids are going to put on a play and act out that person’s favorite story in a play.

The play – Go to party stores or if the party is after Halloween, wait until November 1st and pick up a ton of fun accessories that are on sale. Now you can have a ton of props for the kids to wear while they act out the plays and entertain the nursing home people. After the plays are over, you can also donate the costumes and accessories to local charities, theatre companies or even schools who are always looking for these things. You can also have the people in the nursing home vote on which play wins and then they get to present the winning team with a gift.

Parties that give back are fun for kids and also help to teach them about the importance of giving back to your community. It is important to teach this to kids when they are young because it is something that they will grow up knowing they should do. Whether it is helping to clean up garbage and plant a tree, or feed the hungry or take care of a person in a nursing home, they’ll learn that giving back can be good for the people who need the help and make them feel good at the same time.

About the author.

Mary is a frugal diva who loves everything from saving on clothes to finding deals on accessories like aprons and helping to give back to her community.

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