For Girls Only?
By Shelly Radic
Planning a party around primping, princesses, or pink tutus? Trying to decide whether or not this is the year to limit the guest list to little girls? Parents cite several reasons for choosing to invite only girls or only boys to a birthday party.
- The guest list becomes more manageable.
- Guests are more likely to have similar shared interests.
- Older preschoolers are gravitating towards same-sex friendships as part of their normal growth and development.
- Interests of the birthday child are very gender-oriented.
- While preschool aged boys and girls share many common interests, in the later preschool years, parents often note marked differences in the party activities boys and girls are interested in. These differences remain evident throughout the grade school years.
Little girls may prefer parties that include these elements:
- Co-operative activities - Creating a mural, putting up decorations, decorating a birthday cake together
- Small motor activities - Making jewelry, decorating t-shirts, or hats
- Glitter, glam, and make-believe
- Princesses and fairy tales
- Pretending to be “grown up” girls
Little boys may prefer parties that include these elements:
- Competitive activities like races, hunts, and games of skill.
- Large motor activities - Running, jumping, throwing objects at a target
- Messy activities, living creatures, speed
- Soldiers, construction crews, sports
- Pretending to be “grown up” boys
At times, children and parents may chose to invite both boys and girls to a party more geared towards one gender than the other. When that happens, consider offering slight variations in activities to keep the party appealing to both boys and girls. Other times, parents chose to stick to an all boy or all girl guest list for the party and invite a special friend of the opposite gender for a birthday play date or special activity at another time. As with most birthday decisions, considering the desires and needs of the birthday child should guide the decision of who’s on the party guest list.
When the birthday girl is 100% princess, her birthday wish list may include a Cinderella Party.