Thank you for asking this question! I often wonder the same thing! Awesome ideas from everyone. My daughter is too young to do much more than scribble on paper. So I have been needing ideas for her b-day this summer.
Does anyone have any time saving creative ways to thank other kids for the gifts they give to a child at a party? I normally write out my own thank you's for my kids, but also find I sometimes just "let it go" because I just run out of time and feel badly for not sending one. I also find that many of the other parents don't seem to send out thank you notes at all, which also makes it hard to motivate myself to do it. Is there a fast, creative way to get the kids involved to do something that isn't tacky (unfortunately I know I can't just zerox one generic thank you note). I could probably get them to write one thank you note, but the thought of sitting with a 6 year old boy and getting him to write 10 or 15 thank you notes sounds like a bit of torture for both of us (don't bother suggesting it is a great lesson for a child in thankfulness - my life/home/schedule is too crazy and it's NOT happening)! I do try to give a great goodie bag to each child, maybe I could just put in a small note with "Thanks" signed by my son? Has anyone else done that? Any advice or hints would be great!
Thank you for asking this question! I often wonder the same thing! Awesome ideas from everyone. My daughter is too young to do much more than scribble on paper. So I have been needing ideas for her b-day this summer.
Target has these thank you notes that are preprinted with blanks, e.g., Dear ___________, thank you for the __________.
Then all he has to write is the guest's name and the gift.
Hi Kim.....I have seen the thank you cards that are easy for kids to fill out because they literally fill in the blanks. Really easy for kids who know how to write.....and it saves you from having to think of something to say. I think the fill in the blank thank you note from a child would be better than nothing. Hope you can come up with something. : )
I take loads of pix of my kids. My kids are younger than yours though. Mine are 2 & 3. Anyway, I catch the kids playing with the gift they got or wearing the outfit given and snap a photo. Then I print the pic and on the back write something like -"I love it so much. Thanks!" Have my kids "write their names" - which are squibbles and sometimes if I'm really in a creative mood. Will have them put their thumb print beside their name that I write legibly. Most feed back I have gotten from this is really really good. As the saying goes.. A picture is worth a thousand words and you have a lot of great photos of your precious one having a good time or looking great. As for actually writing out the addresses, well, when I sit down to send out the invites, I go ahead and address an envelope for the thank you. If they don't show or give a gift, no biggy, I just throw it out, but then when I print the pix, I just slide them in the already addressed envelopes afterward and let the kids put on the stamps and put it in the mailbox. Kids like to see themselves in the photos too. Hope this helps you.
Keep it Simple and always remember (probably from your childhood as well as mine), Kids LOVE, LOVE, LOVE getting mail. It really doesn't matter what is inside, the fact that there is an envelope with their name on it, is thrilling enough.
Use fill-in-the-blank thank you cards and include a picture of your child with their guest in it. It makes a great momento.
Typing out a generic note with a blank for your children (or you if they get tired) to fill in the gift seems perfect for your time crunch, such as "Thank you very much for the ___________. It was so thoughtful of you! Love,...." My friend does that every year and it I understand that she's busy so it's fine with me! Definitely send something though. :)
My sister had a really cute idea one year. She had me take a picture of every kid at the party. She printed them and taped them to the front of the card. Inside, she printed "Thanks for a wonderful party" or something like that, signed it and sent it. So although the written note was not personal, the picture on the front was. You could also probably get your child involved in taping the pictures to the cards.
At the party snap a pic of the child with your child and the gift then print it off and write thank you on the back. Each child then gets to go home with a picture to remember the party and it doubles as a thank you note.
Sending thank-you notes is a lost art, but don't be discouraged. You'll stand out as a class A chick.
Have some stationery made for your boys--just regular paper with their names at the top and some random pictures of their favorite things, maybe even watermarks. This will get them excited about writing on it, even if they don't write much. It'll be personalized no matter what they write, and the other kids and parents will enjoy the effort so much that it won't matter that they've only written "Thank you" in their beautiful script. They could even use crayons.
It shouldn't be costly to have a printing company do that. You could even do it yourself: Open a blank document in MS Word (if you're graphically challenged) and type one son's name in the font and color of your choice. Paste in some pictures, maybe the same one every third page. Choose a paper color/type/size and print it. You can go to kinko's and have them printed in color.
I hope that your boys will enjoy that.
I make my own by typesetting a something like this"
Thank you for the _____________. )And then add a closing line or two.
Thanks again, ______________(child signs their name)
It goes quick this way and you can do a few each day. I buy colorful envelopes at Wal-Mart or Target and size card to fit.
I think thank you notes are a social grace that needs to be revived, especially if the gifts are not opened at the party. Times are tough and time is tight so a taking a little time to right a show your appreciation is the right thing to do...that is just my opinion. Hope that helps.
I'd much rather get a cute xeroxed thank-you note than none at all. I've gotten one I liked where there are spaces left for the child to write in, along these lines: "Dear ___________: Thank you for coming to my birthday party! I enjoyed having you and hope you had fun. Thank you for the ________________ that you gave me for a birthday present. Your friend, ______________." That's not too overwhelming for the child and gives a personalized touch.
When did it become manditory to write thank you's for b-day parties. As a kid, the only time I had to write one was if the gift was from someone who wasnt there for me to thank personally. And that was mainly if it was a family member who lived far away. Sometimes, we would even just call them and thank them. And I grew up with a very grateful heart. I dont think you should be required to take that much time to show gratitude for a gift. To me, if your son thanks each child at his party, that should be enough. What I find funny is that in the generation where most moms work and hardly have time for anything, they are "required" to do so much more extra stuff than back in the day where just a verbal "Thank You" was sufficient.
I know that if I give a gift to someone and they tell me thank you, I dont expect to get a note from them. THey have already said Thank you.
I think your idea sounds great. My children are 16 & 20 and we give them a party every year. When they were younger I would always make goodie bags (my favorite part)to hand out AFTER the party for the guests to take home. I never had my child write thank you notes nor did I. I also was never offended if I didn't get one either, some people are. Personally I don't think it's necessary. I would always have my child say thank you to everyone after they finished opening their gifts. When you think about it, the goodie bag could sort of be a "thank you" gift! Anyway hope this helps. God bless!
I take a lot of pictures at party's. I always have either the child with my child or my child playing with the gift the other child gave. I have my son right Thank you on the back of the picture and drop it in the mail. They are always well received.
take a pictue of your child playing with the toy/ what ever it was and make it into a card. This really hits homw with the parents and it make the child who gave the gift feel good that their gift was appreiated.
I just did thank you notes for my 6 year old. I didn't want to sit there and have her write them because I knew that would take forever. Instead, I got really cute printer paper and then used a fun font and typed out thank you notes. It stayed pretty generic in some parts: "thank you for the [insert gift]-i like it. Thanks for coming to my party and i hope you had a good time"
For certain friends, my daughter would tell me what else she wanted to say to personalize it. then she signed them all and stamped them with her favorite stamps. I'm sure you could alter things a little to make it boy friendly. good luck!!
There is a fast and effetive way to give thank you notes, in a birthday party, make small gift party bags with a variety of candy and put a thank you for attending note in the bag. In the bag if you want to put other things, put pencils, erasers, even balloons. This is the fastest way because your not only hosting your invites but also at the end of the party your sending them home with a small thank you gift bag. The small bags are in the party section at walmart, party world, and can get I believe 20 bags per package and are not that expensive. These bags are given at the end of the party so that people take the time to see that your thank you note is in there. If you don't want to put the thank you note inside, buy address or diskette labels, print your thank you on them and paste them on the outside of the bag. These bags can be done while your watching TV and don't take a lot of time to put together. Take care and good luck!
123greetings.com has great e-cards. you can get everyone's email address and send to all at the same time. Don't forget to make them kid-friendly and mom-friendly at the same time.
I have the same issue with 3 kids! Last year I gave each child a boquet of blowpops from the Dollar Store, I grabbed a bunch of blank cards at the Floral Dept. At Kroger and hole punched the corner. Put ribbon through it and tie around the blowpops. I just write thanks for celebrating my bday with me and your great gift.I passed these out at the party, treat and thank you taken care of at one time! Another thing I did this year was at the party I took a group picture, went to Walgreens, they have kid thank you bday templetes, typed the same general bday thanks, it takes about 5 min to print it all out, and they provide the envelopes for about $7 for 20 picture printouts. I received a lot of compliments on this, who doesn't like getting a goofy group picture with all of their friends?! I told them all to make a goofy face too, it was adorable! For my 10yr old son they had a really cool Pirates of the Carribian border. Hope this helps!
I do teach my daughter to write thank you notes, but I do not believe I could ever teach my son to do that. I do think it is important though. I think a really cute thank you on cute paper with your son's signature would be good enough. I did notice that other parents do not send thank you notes, but I think if we lead by example maybe they will follow.
As a craft at my daughter's upcoming slumber party, we are going to decorate canvas bags. I'm going to pre-decorate one side with a thank you from my daugher for attending her party. They leave with their craft, some token gifts I put in them after they have dried, and a permanent thank you already on their creation.
You can send E-thank you notes. Just write out what you want to say, copy and paste, insert gift name. Evite has them.
A friend of mine types out one note...prints how many she needs..and leaves a couple lines in the note. For example:
Thank you so much for the _____________. It was so nice of you to come celebrate my birthday with me.
Then the child only writes three things per page. Good luck!
I just have my kids thank them at the party! they give out hugs and thanks at the end.
I'm like you, and usually end up putting it off until, by the time I do it, it would be embarrassing to send because I've waited so long. On the contrary, my sister is very good at this type of stuff. Before the party she makes a standard thank you note on the computer with cute fonts, maybe some color, etc. The note has a blank at the top to write in the friend's name, thanks the friend for attending the party, etc., and then says 'thank you for _____________.' She has the gift opening in the middle of the party so while the children are playing later, she can quickly fill in the blanks and slip the notes into each child's party bag. It has worked well, and it gets the job done before you even start cleaning up the mess.
For both of my sons birthday parties in january (they turned 1 and 3)i went to cvs and made thank you cards with their pictures on them. everybody loved them. So everyone received a thank you and their picture, it was a big hit and easy.
Its a GREAT thing you are doing in having your children aknowledge gifts with a Thank you and gift bag. Your idea about just clipping a Thanks note inside the bag is GOOD! Having your child write their name to the Thanks note at least will teach them to take a little time & put out some effort on their part to let the other children/parents know they like the gift & the fact they came to the party. This will teach your children to be gracious and have good manners & be courteous (a trait that is being lost by some folks) COURTESY! Plus this is a value to have that your children will be blessed & appreciated for the rest of their lives. Your doing what parents are suppose to do teach our children!
This is what I have done in the past. It takes a little bit of time and works great in the end.
When kids call to respond that they will be at the party, I write the thank you note and address the envelope.
I simply write, thank you (name) so much for coming to my party. I hope you had a great time. I really like the ....
Then after the party, all I have to do is fill in the name of the present, maybe add another sentence to make it more special, and then I have my kid sign her name and they are ready to go.
I've also taken a group picture at the party and sent those out with the thank you cards too.
I kind of like your idea about having him add a thanks for coming to my party not to his treat bags. If I got a thank you note in my goody bag, I probably wouldn't expect another thank you note.
I started making photocards as invitations and similar ones as Thank you and can do that ahead of time, just add a cute picture from the party and let it print at walgreens.
http://photocards-by-N..webs.com/index.htm this site is still under construction, but just to give you an idea.
I like the idea of taking pictures of each child at the party, but in case you missed the opportunity you can take pictures of your child playing with the gift that was given and send that with a quick note written on the back.
I have picture cards made that say Thank You For Making My Day Special (or something along those lines)and send one to each child and family member.
I received a "general" thank you note from another kids birthday party. Using the computer, the mom used a picture from the party of the birthday child and just typed a general thank you for making the day special, etc. It was real appropriate I thought and saved the mom lots of handwriting.
I totally can relate. Getting my kids (even the 13 year old) to write thank you's is like pulling teeth...I have thought in years past that I would confiscate all toys immediately afterwards and until they write their note of thanks they could not play with that toy ~ nice in theory but that never happens. I think for me that it has a lot to do with personal discipline.
I get so caught up in the business of day to day life and seemingly small things can get lost. After a bit of time goes by, it feels like it is too late. So you have 2 boys ~ different birthdays I imagine. What if you had the notes addressed ahead of time (by you, of course)...your child can write the same first/last line ~ thanks for coming to my party ~ and ~thanks for being such a nice friend and sign his name. Leave a space for "I really like my new ____! The excitement and anticipation of the event may make them feel a little more motivated and you could do it in advance so there is less stress on everyone (even on e each night). This way, the child is only having to fill in one short line after the fact!
The other thing I do is a Valentine idea that could be modified for this project. I have my kids draw a colorful picture (they are 4/6 so this may not work as well older kids). I include "Happy Valentines Day" in their own writing and their name. I take it to Kinko's and have it reduced to fit 6 images per page. I cut it out and back it with colored paper, trim the edges with decorative scissors ~ punch a hole, run ribbon through it and attach it to whatever treat we do (usually a large homemade cookie). It does take a little time but they are so cute and really makes a sweet keepsake for you! Hope this helps.
It does not take a child long to write "Thank you for coming to my party and I really like the......you gave me." Teach that child NOW while he is young and he will learn early in life the importance of a "thank you". The note writing can be stretched out over several nights. As for how it looks, don't worry about it. The ones receiving the notes are his same age, or they are relatives who will cherish the notes, especially the grandparents. But definately, hang in there and teach him to write them...and don't you do it because the gift wasn't given to you. A generic note placed in the goody bag is really a bad idea, not at all personal.
What we did at that age was xerox on some colorful paper the following:
Thank you for the ____________________________.
and it had a picture our child had drawn on the bottom.
This way, all they had to write was their name, and one or two words to describe the present they got from each person. It only took a few seconds for each one, but was personalized for each gift giver.
You can attach a little "Thank you for celebrating my birthday party with me" on the goody bags.
If you haven't already had the party, you could take a photo of each child at the party and send that as a Thank You. Or if you have an automatic camera take a picture at the party and send it home with them. I like the idea of a "note" in the goody bag too.
I am one of those slacker moms who doesn't do thank you's because I don't have the time and I feel bad later. As a parent I would be impressed to receive a thank you from a 6 yr old. I think at his age it would be fine for him to write a generic "Thanks for comming to my party..." and put it in the goody bags. At this age it's more for the parents anyways. We have received a photo thankyoy in the mail where the theme was a 50's poodle skirt party and the birthday girl took a picture with each friend. Then her mom did the foam photo frames to make poodle frames and the b-day girl just signed the back of the frame with her name. I have not done it, but I think you can get things pretty pre-made where all you have to do is glue the picture on. It was nice because it didn't end up in the trash, it's on the fridge.
I am the most "well intended" person I know! I'm HORRIBLE at finding the time to do thank you notes (especially for kid birthday's), so this is what I do for parties. I make up a little thank you note, sometimes even a poem that says something about "thanks for coming to my party and for the gift and for being my friend". I type it up and print it off. My child signs it and then we roll it up like a scroll and put it in with their party favor bag.
I've had so many moms tell me "that is such a great idea" when they come to get their kids at the party. I don't sense that they are offended that I didn't make a card, pretend my kid wrote it that says how much they appreciate the specific gift.
I personally am not offended if we don't ever get thank yous for birthday parties.
I have a 5 year old and when he had his 4th birthday party I was nine months pregnant. I have always sent thank you cards but needed something quick and easy so I got all the kids at the party to get together and I took their picture as a group then I put the picture on a photo card from Shutterfly or wherever I could find a cute card and wrote Thank you for coming to my party and for my gift. Your friend, Jack. It was a hit and I did it again this year. My son is 5 now so he wrote a little message on the back. All the kids love it because they have a picture of all their friends. It is a little cheaper than thank you cards and they are a good keepsake for the kids. This year I even got a little more creative and put multiple pictures from the party on the card.
Hope this helps.
Here's an idea that may work. At the party, take a picture of the child giving the gift to the Birthday child. Print them out and on the back of photo, using mailing lables, print out "thanks for your gift" This way you stick it on the back of the photo.
I hope this helps and saves time!
What I have found helpful is when your child is opening his gift have the child who gave it to him stand next to him/her and take a picture. It is easy to remember what each child gave and makes them feel special. Then you can have them developed and mail out a thankyou photo card with the message on the photo. You can even have a parent fill out the envelope when they come to the party.
Just FYI snapfish develops photos for 8cents and you can pick them up at Target or have them mailed to you. Hope this helps.
T. from Humble with 2 girls.
During the birthday party, I take a picture of each guest with my daughter or son after she/he has opened their gift. This helps me remember who gave my daughter/son what. It makes great memories from her/his party too! Then, after the party I print out the pictures. I have a little note typed up something like "Thank you so much for coming to my party! I'm really enjoying the ___________ you gave to me. Love, ____________. I then sit down with my daughter or son and I let her/him choose which guest she/he wants to respond to first. They just fill in the blanks, and we stuff the envelopes and away go the thank you notes with the pictures. It really is easy to do, and my children enjoy recapping their party as they look at the pictures! I also have gotten compliments from parents saying how much their child enjoys the picture.
You could always get the fill-in-the-blank cards where your son would only have to write the person's name, the gift, and his name. I bought some several years ago at Target. My son also just recently turned 6 (he's the oldest of my 3 kids), and I made him write thank-you notes the afternoon of the party; as he opened each gift that afternoon, he had to write a simple thank you note first: Dear (Name), Thanks for (gift). (heart) (Name). By interspersing it with the gift opening, it wasn't quite so tedious. With packaging like it is, he could usually finish the note by the time I got the toy out! Also, I have found that "birthday party day" is usually shot anyway (as far as getting any other work done), so that is the easiest day to get the thank-you notes done, too.
Hi K.. I didn't do this myself, but my son went to a party and the thank you note he received was somewhat generic, where there was pre-printed "Dear ___________," and the child filled in the blank. Then the "Thank you for the __________." etc. However, the best part was the mom took a picture with the birthday boy and that gift so everyone's card had a picture with the gift they had given to the birthday boy. I don't know if this is easy for you to do, but I thought it was a fun creative way and there was not much writing involved.
I read in a magazine that wrote help for mothers throwing birthday parties, that to help save time and so you don't feel bad later on to put the thank you notes in the goodie bag. My twins birthday party is on June 1st and that's exactly what I'm going to do, I'm really bad about remembering to send the thank you notes and feel really bad about it once I do. When I read that it made perfect sense and so that's what I have decided to do personally. And if you feel that the thank you note might get lost by the child you give the goodie bag to you could just give out the thank you note to everyone as they arrive or right before they are about to leave. I'm sure everyone else (especially if they have ever been a mother) will surely understand and will probably make note of what you did for there next birthday party bash. Best of luck!
Hi Kim, My son has dyslexia so writing Thank You notes was a real chore for him when he was your son's age. However, we still felt it was very immportant so we always sat with him to do them. Sometimes he would do one or two at a time right after school. It was like a task that he had to complete each day until they were done and he could get a little treat afterwards. Also, we found some of the kid friendly notes that have blanks for the name and gift. I think we probably found them at Hallmark. It had a bright kid's art type of graphic on the front and text inside that said something like "Dear ______, It was a blast having you at my party to celebrate with. I really like the _________. It is awesome. Thanks Bunches, _______." Obviously that would be tacky for us or an older child to use but it is perfect for little ones that are still learning to write and compose. If you can't find them you could make your own with supplies from Micheal's or Office Depot. Use a really fun font for the printed text and then let him fill in the blanks and maybe even draw a picture on the front. OR if you took photos at the party you could put a photo of the gift giver on the front.
Knowing what a tedious task the notes are, I always have a lot more respect for the parents of the writers of the thank you notes we have received. It IS an important lesson but it will make an impression on the recipients.
Hakuna Matata, R.
KISS- You might try a card that is already printed with "Thanks for the Gift" and then have your child draw a simple picture on the inside- one thing kids like is book by Ed Emberly- it's an entire book that shows you how to make pictures from finger prints. The child does the fingerprint- you add a few lines- et voila, you have a homemade picture.
One of my kids friend's used to take pictures at the party and put a picture in with the thank you note. I never did keep up on thank you notes, but sending them is a good habit and they are always received with Joy. In a few years, your child will be able to write their own!!
I write a thank you note in crayon on a plain white paper and leave blanks for my children to fill in. I leave a blank for the persons name, the gift and for my child to sign.I then color copy them and let my child fill in the blanks. It makes it easier and faster for them but still making sure they make a effort to show there appreciation.With my younger children I will write what to put in the blank on another sheet of paper for reference.
If the event has not occured, then take pictures of each person with your kid then print them up and have your child write thanks and his name on them. You can add your own personal note as well and mail them off. Not only are they a bit quicker for you and your child, but your guests get a memory of the event.
i've seen moms provide a thank you with the goody bag...for example..."thank you for coming to ___'s party and for the gift! You really made his day special". good luck! generic but covers all bases.
Either at the party or right after, take a picture of your child holding each gift and smiling. Print out the pix at walmart or at home and write on the back, thank you for the "whatever gift." Have your child run them up to the door or put them in the mailbox. Fast, easy and impressive.
Hi, Kim. I do remember one of my students giving me a thank you card for a gift I had given her. She was 5 or 6 and it was pre-made. She had bought it at Wal-Mart or Target in the invitation section. It had most of the note on a decorated card, and in her handwriting was the name of the recipient, what she received, and her name. I hope this helps...E.
Just make one card a day! No rush on sending them. Whenever his friends get them they will be excited just to have mail! Have him decorate the cards in fun, different ways - stickers, glue on glitter or little rocks, draw, paint, or bake a batch of cookies and send a few to each friend. Have fun with it!
Maybe it's just my mother morphing in my mind (oh, didn't we all say we would NOT be our mothers......!!!) but a handwritten note is truly the best way to show appreciation to parents and kids who:
schlepped to the store to spend their hard earned money to select a present specifically with your son's likes in mind, wrapped it (or bagged it) and bought or made a card for his special day, and took time out of their day to acknowldege your son. (and if the parent stayed, they took time out of their day because let's face it, children's birthday parties are NOT the highlight of our day) A birthday should be treated as a celebration of your son's life which he wants to share with friends, not the great day of free loot.
Pictures are great and we do that sometimes too, but it is always accompanied with a note. It's easier to start when your child is young, because then it is instilled in them, but you can still do it at 6. I wrote them for my daughter when she was 1 and 2, but at 3 and 4, when she couldn't write, but could articulate better, I would ask her what she liked about the toy or wanted to do with it, etc. Whatever she said I put in quotes, added a sentence or two of my own and sent it off. At 5 she wrote two sentences on her own. Now at 7, she completely writes her own, sometimes draws a picture with it, and it's done. She does 3 a day and I let her pick who she wants to thank first. (and yes, we do it at Christmas too) If my daughter can do it, then anyone can. This is not rocket science. (and yes, we have received plenty of thank you cards from boys so don't start with the it's a girl thing as if boys get a pass on sitting for 15 minutes because of chromosomes!!)
We are all busy and I really think we all have 15 minutes a day to express our appreciation. We seem to make time to watch TV, read a book, talk to friends, surf the internet, etc, but somehow the arduous thank you note is WAY too much trouble.
A birthday present is a gift, not a right. As you indicated, I won't suggest that it is a great lesson in thankfullness. It's not, and you have made that abundantly clear to your child. It is a great lesson in doing what is right and honoring friends, who honored you.
Good luck, you can do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!