You’re only 10 steps away from having the best kids’ birthday party on the block
If someone told me they knew the secret to an easy-to-host, super-fun kids’ birthday party that wouldn’t cost me a dime, I’d want to know it. In fact, I’d probably be begging them to tell me how they do it.
Kids’ birthday parties today have become major productions. Gone are the days of simple at-home celebrations in favour of parties done in exotic locations with novel entertainment. From magicians to bug specialists, trampoline parks to laser tag, it sometimes feels like there’s a new kind of party every weekend. Needless to say kids today have pretty high expectations.
But I’ve discovered a new kind of party that kids love. They learn without knowing they’re learning. And they develop skills that will last them a lifetime. And if your kids happen to be friends with my kids, then they’ve probably been to one. (And all things considered, with the number of kids I feel like I hosted at the last party, they probably were.)
So what is this amazing kind of party of which I speak? It’s a physical literacy party and Active for Life makes it so easy to have your own.
In our Pro Resources section, there’s a handy tool called a Lesson Plan Builder. Unless you happen to be a teacher or a coach, then you probably haven’t given our Lesson Plan Builder much thought before. All that’s about to change in the following 10 easy steps. (I promise this part won’t take longer than about 5 minutes.)
- The first thing you’ll do is click on that Pro Resources tab at the top of this page and select the Lesson Plan Builder.
- From there, choose the 3-5 Years age group.
- Unless you specifically want to work on a particular skill, choose all three (balance, locomotion, and object manipulation) and move on.
- Now, because you’ve chosen all three skills, you’ll have a lot of activities to choose from. That’s okay. Just click on the “i” symbol for any activity to learn more about it and if you think it’s something your child and her friends will like, click on the activity to highlight it.
- Once you’ve highlighted all the activities you think are appropriate for your child’s party (I tend to choose many more than I think I’ll need, so that I don’t run out of ideas on the spot), it’s time to review and publish your lesson plan.
- On the review page, you can drag and drop your activities to reorganize them. So if you know a particular order you think will work for your child’s party, this is your chance to design it. It’s also totally okay to just keep the order as-is and work through the activities either in that very order, or randomly depending on the flow of the party.
- Publish that lesson plan, print it, and review it if you’re the type who likes to go over these things a few times before a big event.
- This one is critical: Remember to bring the lesson plan to your child’s party! And if you’re like me and you forget these kinds of things, it would be well worth emailing the plan to yourself in advance, so you’ll at least have it on your phone, even if you have forgotten the printed version.
- Also remember to bring whatever equipment is required according to the plan. Some gyms may have everything you need. Others may not. Definitely confirm equipment before you go.
- Follow the plan and watch your child (and his friends) have the most amazing birthday party ever. It’s seriously so easy to do. (Of course, you could always take the extra-easy route and try this lesson plan I created for my 4-year-old’s birthday party.)
Something important to remember is that kids can’t play hard forever. When I’ve hosted these physical literacy parties for my own children, we’ve made use of a little party room near the gym for snacks and crafts after our hour of fun. We make sure there are lots of drinks available, as well as wipes to wash everyone’s hands before they eat. Offer lots of fresh fruit and veggies to your hungry athletes before the cake comes out and you’ll be surprised what they’re willing to eat after all that hard work.
Once you’ve hosted a physical literacy party of your own, we’d love for you to tell us all about it. Feel free to leave a comment below, or tag us on social media to share some fun stories or pictures.