Resources for parent educators

Lesson one

Background and introduction

There is a parent-lead project in St. Paul, Minnesota called Birthdays Without Pressure.  Their mission is to raise awareness of the problem of out-of-control birthday parties and to offer alternatives.  Let’s piggyback on their work today.

Group discussion

(working in groups of three…and designate a person to report back to the whole group)  Do you struggle with this issue yourself with your own children’s birthday parties? [If yes] How is it s struggle for you?  What have you tried—what’s working, not working?

(continue to list ideas on the board)

(whole group watch video…the running time for Martha Stewart’s “The Perfect Gold Birthday Party” is 5:23)

(set-up the video)  Ask parents to consider the following (and take some notes if you find that helpful):

How is the experience for the children?

How many hours of parent labor is involved in this project?

If each trophy is $3.50 each, do you think the total materials will equal or exceed $40?

For next week

Think about the following:  Why do you think birthday parties have gotten so out of control?  What do you think we can do about this as parents?

To do at home (provide slips of paper with the questions…report back next week).  Please interview your child with the following questions:

What was your favorite birthday party?

What was fun about it?

What was not fun?

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