Every Child’s Birthday – Everything you need to know! | Wender Mind Kids

Group Of Happy Kids At Birthday Party

AAll kids deserve to have fun at birthday parties. For some, however, some additional measures must be taken into account so that everyone can enjoy this special event.

When planning a birthday party, making sure everyone is attending and having a good time can be both stressful and tiring.

I’ve been through it all, so I’m sharing some key ways to prioritize inclusion on your child’s special day.

When hosting a birthday party for a child, you may get overwhelmed with the planning and the thought that something could go wrong. You can think about how many guests there will be, whether you’ll have a full first aid kit in case someone gets injured, whether you’ve covered any allergies, and whether your child will be happy at their birthday party.

Personally, I find it relatively easy to go overboard with planning and activities. Here, however, it is essential to implement effective planning strategies. I want to make sure everyone is included and feels welcome and no one feels left out.

That being said, catering for guests with disabilities can be quite difficult. I’ve put together a few suggestions to help everyone enjoy the special occasion.

Lock in the guards

I never realized the importance of reaching out to guests’ guardians until I found myself lost in how to successfully engage their children. At one of my son’s birthday parties, one of his friends said, “I can’t jump on the bouncy castle. Is there anything else I can do to have fun?” That broke my heart. Why? Because I didn’t plan to include everyone and the last thing I wanted to do was make anyone feel left out.

From that point on, I knew I needed to change the way I planned my children’s birthday parties. I usually call the child’s guardians to let them know of any activities planned for the day and ask if their child would like to join. This allows me to determine if guests require special accommodations.

If you know a guest has a disability, don’t be afraid to make it a big deal by calling their parents. The opposite sounds true! Parents may feel more loved and included because they have taken the time and effort to understand their child’s needs.

If you’re concerned about being insensitive by asking if a guest has a disability, you can easily work around this by including a single line in the answer. An example is: “We want everyone to have fun, so please let us know if your child has any special needs that we need to be aware of.”

Lead by example

Make sure your child is included in any welcome celebrations on their special day. When I was planning my 11 year old’s birthday party, I asked him what he thought would be appropriate to ensure everyone at the party feels welcome and included.

Surprisingly, young children often understand inclusion better than adults, but children are naturally more tolerant. You interact with others without judgment or bias and maintain a positive tone throughout the day.

I find that having a chat with the group about hospitality and integration before the party starts is a lot more fun for all guests!

Don’t forget to focus on the parents

Greeting both parents and guests provides convenience that breaks down any stigma and barriers that may have been put up before attending the party.

Children with disabilities may feel more comfortable if their mother or father can attend their party. Heck, even parents enjoy the company of other adults at a kids’ party! Say hello to everyone and everyone will be happy. It will be a win-win situation!

Become the next MasterChef

You may need to become the next master chef at your child’s birthday party. That means having foods available that are appropriate for different religions, spiritual groups, and physical intolerances.

Personally, I’ve found myself at parties where pork was the only source of protein. Not only did I feel left out, I can’t imagine how a child must feel, especially of an Islamic or Jewish faith, who is now publicly excluded from the entire meal.

Many children with disabilities have very specific nutritional needs. Let’s take children with autism as an example. Research has shown that eliminating dairy and gluten improves sleep, behavior, mood and speech.

Be aware of sensory overload

Not all children like the roar of bright lights and loud music. I remember throwing my son’s party at Incredible Pizza and a friend of his was walking around with his hands over his ears. Sometimes he even had his eyes closed!

I knew the environment was too much for him, so I asked him to go outside for a few minutes to relax. It’s easy for children to become overwhelmed by so much going on.

I found that people with a disability like autism or sensory processing disorder don’t respond well to chaos. That’s why it’s so important to plan for all kinds of children, whether they have a visible disability or not.

Always ensure adequate access

Ask yourself whether the entire location of the birthday party is easily accessible for all guests. Are there ways for those with crutches or wheelchairs to access the entire party?

I always make sure to talk to all the guards. A child does not necessarily have a physical disability, but may have suffered an injury that affected their physical functioning and mobility.

in summary

They want everyone to have fun! After all, that’s the point of a party, right? I promise that if you consider all of the above, making sure everyone feels welcome and included at the birthday party will be easy! The little effort it takes to chat with the guardians before the party can go a long way in ensuring everyone has a fun and enjoyable experience.

dr Tamecca Rogers is the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Tulsa Technology Center. She is a writer and mother of three boys who love adventure.

June 2022 school age pin