Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Planning a party

OK, so the photo in this essay is sideways. My on-again/off-again relationship with iPhoto continues as I wonder why it won't turn my pictures sideways for me. In the mean time, you get to crane your neck and squint and try and see what I've written on the page.
Aren't you excited to read this post?

OK, so the haphazard photo above indicates the planning that my eldest daughter and I did for her 8th birthday party. I sat her down and we discussed how we were going to plan the party. I asked questions the entire time.

What do you want to do at your party? What do you want to eat? What things are usually found at a birthday party? What kind of party favours? What kind of decorations? etc, etc, etc.

She planned out her whole party. I just took notes and made the odd suggestion here and there.
We talked about her different ideas and how we could remain within budget while we shopped for all of the different parts of the party.

Then I taught her how to spread out this major undertaking over a week's worth of time.
We talked over all the elements of her party and decided a day to do certain activities on. We also knew that we would be in town all day Friday and unable to do anything at home for preparation of the party and we factored this in.
Our conversation went something like this:
"Ok, you have listed a few games here. What do we need to do to prepare the games?"
"I could gather the materials for them and put them in a box. Set them aside until Saturday."
"Great idea. What day would you like to do that on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?"
I wrote that down in our action list under WEDNESDAY.
"What about decorations? You have listed here that you want streamers and balloons."
"I found yellow streamers in the art cupboard but we need to get orange streamers and some balloons."
"Ok, when do you want to decorate?"
"Well, we can't Friday because we're in town. So maybe, Thursday?"
"Thursday sounds good, but we need to get the balloons and streamers. When do you want to buy them?"
We then assigned appropriate tasks for each day regarding the rest of the party.

My daughter was very proud of her plan.
We talked about the importance of breaking things down into bite size pieces and stretching them over a few days.
"What would it be like if we had to prepare everything on Saturday morning?"
"We wouldn't get to make my cake and there would be no decorations. Too much to do."

And then a few days later when I had left something to the last minute and ran around like a crazy woman thinking "why am I doing this at the last minute?" I was able to bridge it all together and my daughter saw why planning reduces STRESS!

Criteria focus: Goal Planning

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