Top Kids' Birthday Party Questions Answered

Many Girls At Party

Should we open gifts at the party?
There are two schools of thought on opening birthday presents. The first is to wait until after the party is over. Key reasons: 1) you don't want the party to focus on gifts; 2) it can get boring for everyone to sit there while the birthday boy or girl rips open boxes; and 3) you have a limited amount of time, especially if you're having the party at a party venue.

The second viewpoint is to open presents while everyone is there. Key reasons: 1) the birthday guest of honor can't wait to open them; and 2) the kid giving the gift wants to see his or her friend open it—especially if that child helped pick out the present.

Decide what makes you comfortable—just be flexible about it, should circumstances warrant a change of plans.

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Should I insist that my child write a "thank-you" note?
Absolutely. Before kids learn to write, it's appropriate for the parent to write the note and have the child scribble or color something on it. When the child is able to write his or her name, signing the bottom of a mom- or dad-written note is OK.

When kids are older, though, they should understand that written "thank-you" notes are a very meaningful way to let people know that you appreciate their kindness and generosity. Think of thank-you notes not only as part of teaching kids to be well-mannered, but as helping them learn a social lesson that will serve them extremely well throughout their lives.

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