Greetings and Welcome to our Fall Issue,

As any parent knows, birthday parties are more than just fun and games. They are one of a child's first introductions to social situations and, as such, raise delicate etiquette issues for kids and parents alike. In our fall issue we gathered some of the very basics do's and don'ts of both hosting and attending kid’s parties as well as quick tips and tricks to make party manners a “piece of cake” for you and your children.
We hope you will enjoy and benefit from this issue and watch for our short and informative future issues. As always, we welcome your feedback and questions.


Children’s Business Magazine featured It’s a Piece of Cake in their October 2005 issue. You can view the full article on our web site.
Read the article


Thanks for Being a Good Sole.
With little expectations and big dreams, Good Soles, Inc., a non-profit community service organization was formed in the spring of 2005 in Berkeley, California. Good Soles coordinates the collection of gently worn shoes and distributes them, at no cost, to local agencies that provide resources for children and their families. For more information or donations please visit their web site www.goodsoles.org


R.S.V.P.

Host: Always include an R.S.V.P. date and phone number on your party invitations. In the event of a guest failing to R.S.V.P., a cordial call on or after your R.S.V.P. date is perfectly acceptable.

Guest: It is a mistake to think that this phrase invites people to respond only if they are planning to attend; it is at least as important to notify the person doing the inviting if you cannot go. The big no-no is bringing other siblings to the party without a direct invitation from the host. Unless you have an infant, it's not particularly polite to even ask the host if you can bring a younger sibling, but if you're having difficulties it's always better to discuss with it the host rather than surprising them.

GIFTS

Host:
There are good reasons to open presents during the party, and just as many reasons to wait until afterward. Ultimately the decision is yours to make. If you allow your child to open the gifts in front of the guests, be sure to encourage him or her ahead of time to treat each gift as a treasure, even if it’s not his or her favorite. Keep a list of who gave what for writing thank you notes later on.

Guest: Include a gift receipt with your gift. Most retailers can now provide you with a gift receipt that allows for returns or exchanges without problems; put the gift receipt in with the gift, tape it to the bottom of the box, include it in the card envelope, or hand it to the host.


The best way to teach your child social skills are to go over them in a role-playing game mode. This keeps learning fun and gives the child practice. It is often best to go through a role-playing session before going to a new or out-of-the-ordinary situation like a party so that the issues are fresher in your child's mind. Of course, the more often you do these things with your child, the better and easier it will be to for them to learn and retain the information.

Thank You Notes
Thank you notes are an excellent way to promote good manners and appreciation in your children. Not only are they important social skill builders, they foster good writing and creativity as well. Kids will learn to enjoy writing thank you cards if you make it a fun craft project by using colorful note cards and glittery gel pens or let them design their own on the computer.


Live Entertainment Etiquette
Please stay available to provide a controlling influence over the children even if you hire a professional entertainer. Ask adults to respect the children and the entertainer by keeping their conversations low and away from the entertainment spot. All too often unintentional adult chatter in the background diminishes the impact of the entertainment. Learning the rules of social etiquette requires the child to be aware of other people's feelings and that other people have feelings and viewpoints that are sometimes different from their own. Once s/he can achieve this awareness you can establish the need for social etiquette and begin to teach the why, what and how. Children learn a great deal by imitating what they see, particularly from their parents. If you model polite behavior and teach good social etiquette, manners will last a lifetime.

Be sure to visit our website at www.itsapieceofcake.net
Send your questions and creative party ideas to simla@itsapieceofcake.net.



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© 2005 It's a Piece of Cake. All rights reserved.

Fall 2005

Simla Akyol is the founder of It's a Piece of Cake, Children's Events and Entertainment service in San Francisco. Akyol trained as an artist and entertainer in London and New York. She has hosted children's events and worked with children in Europe and the USA for over ten years. It's a Piece of Cake specializes in custom-designed birthday parties and hosts educational workshops for kids and parents. You can contact Simla via e-mail at simla@itsapieceofcake.net or phone (415) 987-1946.


















Virtual Place Settings Our simple interactive game is a great teaching tool for kids to set the table properly.


















Kids Party Etiquette
Part 2