8 Fun Ideas to Make Your Kid's Birthday Party a Charitable Event

Michele Zipp | Oct 8, 2015 Food & Party

kids birthday partyBirthdays are for celebrating -- and they usually include lots of gifts. But we can also use the day to make a difference for others. For your kid's next birthday, consider having a party with a purpose. You can make your kid feel special and also show kids how they can do good for others, essentially spreading the cheer.

Having a charitable party can teach kids the value of working with others to help those in need. And the party just may be the most exciting one they've had. Here are some incredible and yet simple ways (all with fun themes!) to make your child's birthday party memorable and give back at the same time. 

What ideas do you have for planning a charitable birthday party?

 

kid charitable birthday partyImages © iStock.com/Christopher FutcheriStock.com/Susan Chiang

  • Partner with an animal shelter.

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    Kids love animals, and many local animal shelters need help. For the child that really loves cats and dogs, this could be the perfect party. Some animal shelters host parties for kids where they help make toys for the animals, feed them, and show them love. Contact yours for details.

    If you'd rather support the shelter without holding the party on-site, you can work with a shelter to find out their need, and make the toys for the dogs or cats at home. Maybe go to the shelter beforehand with the birthday kid and take photos of the cute animals and hang them on the wall at the party so kids can see the furry friends they're helping. The party theme can be cats and dogs, and guests can be guided to give a financial donation in a bucket with some of the animals photos on it instead of gifts. Have the birthday kid deliver the donation sometime after the party.

  • Volunteer at a recycling center.

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    Just like the local animal shelter, local recycling centers need help, too, and some hold events in partnership with their communities. Contact your local recycling center to see if it's collecting anything specific for a charity or organization. For example, a recycling center may have a call out for kids' winter coats to distribute to local children who need them. You can ask kids coming to the party to collect any coats or cold weather clothes that no longer fit to donate. Have them bring it to the party, and you can take your child to the recycling center for the donation.

    The party theme can be all recycled and repurposed items -- a great way to teach kids about their carbon footprint and reducing waste. A gift for Mother Earth as well.

  • Work on crafts to send to troops.

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    Our deployed troops would love sweet gifts from kids -- what better way to put a smile on their faces. Prepare a crafting section for your kid's birthday party and have kids create something that would make our troops happy. I love the idea of every kid doing a handprint and then decorating it however they wish. It's like they're giving our troops a "high five" for all they do and their sacrifices.

    Your child can write a letter and include all the crafts in a care package.

  • Work on a project for sick children.

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    Kids helping other kids -- now that is truly a gift. In lieu of gifts, you can tell parents and kids to bring something for children at a local hospital. Of course, check with the local children's hospital to see what it needs first and make suggestions. One of the crafts at the party can be artwork to brighten the hospitalized kids' day.

    More from CafeMom: Teaching Kids About Homeless Giving & the Value of Charity

    You can have your child deliver the items. And then as a gift for being so thoughtful, take your kid straight to the toy, craft, or comic book store to pick out a special birthday treat for him- or herself.

  • Share gifts with kids in need.

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    There are many families undergoing financial hardship or that have gone through an unfortunate event such as a house fire. Consider looking within your community to see where help may be needed and directing your birthday party efforts to helping that family.

  • Donate to a wildlife foundation.

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    Have an adorable animal-themed birthday party and in lieu of gifts, set up a bucket for donations to a wildlife fund. Many organizations allow you to sponsor an animal, so talk to your child about what kind of animal he or she would like to help. Some places even send progress reports about the sponsored animal, which will really help your child see the difference he or she is making and how he or she is helping long after the party ends.

  • Give books.

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    Books are the best gifts -- and you can help other kids get these gifts. Check with your local library to see if there's a need for book donations. You can also look into organizations that give books directly to the needy. Ask those attending the party to bring a book to donate, and have your child pick some out to give as well.

  • Provide disaster relief.

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    Volunteering is a beautiful thing and there are so many times (sadly) that it is very needed. Floods, earthquakes, and other natural disasters can leave communities hurting and in need of so much. If there is a disaster, you can talk to your child about ways to help -- and their birthday party is one of them. Together you can look into the best use of time and funds, and on the invitation you can suggest donations to bring to the party based on what's needed in the community. Working together to make a difference not only helps others, but it also bonds the kids at the party. What a great team!

    More from CafeMom: 6 Powerful Lessons Your Kids Will Learn by Volunteering

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