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According to Parenting Magazine, thank-you notes are the final act of a birthday and an important lesson in good manners. So don't think of your children's birthday party as over once the guests leave. There is one final task to be done (besides clean up!).
Your guests take time out of their lives to celebrate your child and bring a thoughtful gift. It's a good idea to teach your child early on that a thank you is important. Continue the theme of the party by making thank you cards that incorporate that theme. Perhaps you spent lots of time crafting special kid's party invitations. While the crafts are out, why not make simpler versions of those invitations to use later as thank you cards?
Tackle a few at a time so it's not such a chore. And aim to send them within a couple of weeks (though parents understand if it takes a month).
Whether the thank you cards are store-bought or homemade, try to add a personal element to each. A simple "Thanks for coming to my party. I really like the coloring books" is fine. Or you can tell a little story about how excited your child was to use her coloring book inside the card.
Let your child sign his or her name to the card after you've written a few thoughts. Or perhaps your child would like to draw a picture or, if he or she is very small, add a simple red-crayon scribble.
For a special touch, snap a photo of the guest at the party and include it in the envelope, or take a group shot and make it into a postcard which can double as a thank you note and a final party favor.