Whether you are obsessed with Marie Kondo and living a more minimalistic life or want to teach your child about giving back to their community, considering to throw a No Gifts party can be risky. Here are a few tips to test the waters with your birthday child:

Talk to your child in advance. 

 Getting your child to be excited about giving up gifts should start with a conversation well before the invitations go out. We suggest 2-3 months before their big day and before you begin planning the theme or location of their event

Remind them of their abundance. 

Have them help you organize all their toys and sort them into piles starting with frequently played with, less frequently played with, and ones they forgot they had! Explain that when you have enough toys for more than one pile, it means you have more than you need and in life we should try to help others than are not as fortunate as us.

Create a win-win situation! 

Ask them how’d they’d feel if they asked you for ONE birthday gift that they’d really love and instead of receiving many small gifts from their friends? What if their friends gave money to help a charity they choose and then everyone could experience that joy?

 Give examples of local charities.

AARCS (Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society): They can help rescue and care for homeless or sick animals. You can have your guests donate directly or get the group to go shopping for supplies listed on their website and deliver it to ARCS

KidSport: An InjaNation charity of choice, your funds create opportunities for kids to play sports when they wouldn’t have the chance to otherwise.

Brown Bagging For Kids: Help kids focus at school by making sure each child has a healthy lunch. 1 in 6 Canadian kids do not know where their next meal is coming from. This number could be one of their friends.

Accept their decision.

Regardless if they choose to have a Gift Free Party or definitely want the whole cake, presents, and chaos, acknowledge their decision. You created awareness about the power they have to help out others in their community and have them recognize that opportunities are there to give back either through donating toys, money, or time when they can

More Resources

Good luck and keep us posted on how attempting a gift-free birthday party went for your family!
For an extra local Calgary resource, check out blogger and co-owner of Akidemy, Dina Ottoni-Battistessa at  Move. Play. Mom .