Here’s How To Throw The Ultimate Birthday Party For A Child With Sensory Needs

Photo Credit: @raheldaniel via Unsplash

When moms think birthday parties they often think of bright colors, noise making devices, and a lot of children!

But for children with a sensory processing disorder, being around large noisy groups with bright lights and sounds can be overwhelming, and produce deep anxiety.

The good news is, a child with sensory needs can still experience the birthday party of a lifetime – with a few tweaks.

Here are a few ideas to throw the ultimate birthday party, while being sensitive to a child with a sensory processing disorder.


Avoid Potential Triggers

For children who can’t stand loud noises – avoid using decorations or activities that have the potential to be loud such as a balloons that can pop or sing-along songs.

Instead, decorate with images of their favorite character or things – you can even cut out a birthday hat to place on the character to make it festive!

If they like trucks – do a truck theme.


There are so many to choose from!

Consider having noise cancelling earphones ready in case the stimulus becomes too much.


Less Is More

You don’t need to invite every child from school to the birthday party.Consider a more intimate gathering with close family or a few of your child’s favorite friends.

Seeing familiar faces is soothing – while a bunch of distant relatives or kids they don’t know could be too much to process.


Talk Through The Plan

Many children with sensory disorders don’t like surprises!

Talk through the day with your child and even make a schedule so they can follow along – listing major items like lunch, birthday cake cutting, opening presents, etc.

Giving your child a timeline to have eliminates unnecessary surprises and eases their anxiety as they know what to expect.


Quiet Spaces

Even with all the preparation, your child still might become anxious having more people there than usual, which makes the room louder than it normally is.

If the party is at home, allow your child time to go to a quiet place in the house if they need time to relax or take a break.

Having it at an outdoor place or relative’s home?

Make sure there is a designated quiet space created ahead of time, so your child knows they can go there should they feel overwhelmed.

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And of course, don’t forget to bring their favorite comfort items like a toy or weighted blanket.


No Pressure

And moms – if your child really doesn’t like being around a lot of people and doesn’t like parties – don’t feel pressure to throw one – and don’t beat yourself up if you make the decision to skip a party.

You can still celebrate your child’s birthday as a family with their favorite meal.

Remember – their birthday is about them.

They may be just as happy staying in or going out to get ice-cream than being forced to attend a party for a few hours.

Less really is more!

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