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Making Share Your Wish a Teachable Moment

You have decided to use Share Your Wish for your child’s party, now it is time to share the site with your child. 

Here are some tips:

Ages 1-2 yrs

If you are planning a child’s first or second birthday it would be challenging to sit down with your child and explain how the site works, but it would be really nice to save the memory in some way for them.  Perhaps you can create a scrap book that they can look back on as they get older with a copy of the invitation, the certificate, and of course pictures from the party!  You can even include a letter or journal entry to your child explaining why you chose to use Share Your Wish.  Children can look back on it in years to come and be proud of what you did.


Ages 3-5 years

From my experience at this age children know exactly what a birthday party entails!  My children have provided me with tons of details from type of party to the cake and what gifts they hope to receive. 

As the creators of SYW we have had several conversations about our site in our house.  The nice thing is our children have had a great deal of knowledge about charities even before SYW existed.  They have had experiences cleaning out their closets for others and donating to important charities.  My advice would be to draw from an experience they may already have had.  We told our son that the charities we picked were going to help people who needed help.  Of course my 4 yr old chimed in with lots of examples, which was incredible.  Talk about charities way before the party, talk about sharing with others and why it is important. For example, I chose Voices Against Brain Cancer as one of the charities for my son’s birthday. Obviously I don’t want to scare him, I explained that this charity helps people who are sick get better.  We want to be honest, yet appropriate.  The day of the party give your child his/her medal for being a sharing star and present them their certificate.  Perhaps you even want to present it to them at the party. 

Your child is going to receive fewer gifts, but the presents they do get are going to be even more special because you are selecting gifts that your child will truly appreciate.  We don’t need to focus on the fact that there are fewer gifts, let’s focus on the reality, there are more meaningful gifts!  My 3 year old son never once asked where the rest of his presents were and this was the first party I didn’t have an anxiety attack about where to put everything!


Share Your Wish is about creating memories, focusing on what is truly important, and celebrating your child’s special day.  It is an incredible gift to teach our young children to give back at an early age and learn how being kind make you feel good.  We hope your party is filled with wonderful memories.  After all, isn’t that what birthdays are really all about?



Rebecca Schleifer December 24, 2012

Tags: presents  teaching charity  birthdays  teachable moment 

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