Who to Invite to a Kid's Birthday Party? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 03-02-2009, 12:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've know there have been lots of threads on this, and that they can get heated, but I thought I would try and get some advice before planning DDs 5th birthday party.

There are 2 definites who are her best friends, she plays with them often and they're the ones most likely to make it; came to her weaning party in December, know us all pretty well. I'll plan the party date to make it possible for them to come.

Then DD is in a Pre-K with 18 kids (9 girls and 9 boys). Maybe 2 she's played with outside of school, none regularly. She has a dance class that she plays more often with those kids, 2 from the Pre-K and 2 others. We have 3 more acquaintances that are possibilities. If we invite some from the school group, we're supposed to invite all, but the teacher said if there were just 2-3 kids she plays with separately and we don't give out the invites at school, that would be okay.

She says she would like to have a tea party, and that she wants to invite some friends from school but we have a small apartment and no backyard. I think we could host 10ish kids for a tea party and have a couple of extra adults/friends/dance teacher (also our nanny). But I think it would still have to be a drop off party. We could also plan to do an in-the-park thing, which would mean inviting everyone and having parents stay would be fine (just have to have a park permit, and there's no limit on people). But it will be in April, which is iffy in NYC--probably no snow, but who knows about rain, etc.

So... how do you decide this? I know the "child's age + 1" guideline, but does that mean invite 12 so 6 show up? Or invite 6 and know that 2-3 will probably not show up? Can you do a rain date for a birthday party? Should we forget the big party and just take DD and the 2 best friends to a play or something and then a birthday tea after?

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#2 of 12 Old 03-02-2009, 01:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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FWIW, I'm leaning right now towards inviting the 2 best friends, the 4 from dance class (making just 2 from the Pre-K class). That would make 6 kids plus DD, and knowing that the best friends will show unless someone is truly sick would put us at 3-7 kids total.

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#3 of 12 Old 03-02-2009, 01:31 AM
 
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Most people will not do drop off parties for the preK age so I would plan 1 adult per child. Plus, some people bring along a sibling, not because they think the sibling should be a part of the family, but rather due to a lack of sitters.

I would go with the idea of the 2 best friends and 4 from dance class. That seems like a good number.
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#4 of 12 Old 03-02-2009, 01:34 AM
 
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I think 6 kids at this age sounds good - expect 4 to come, everyone to bring a parent who stays and 2 to bring siblings.

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#5 of 12 Old 03-02-2009, 11:52 AM
 
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When my DS turned 5 in December, I invited all the boys in his class plus a few non-school friends. 16 boys in my house for 2 hours was a baaaaaaad idea. I think you will be safe as long as you keep it 10 kids or less.
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#6 of 12 Old 03-02-2009, 11:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by EviesMom View Post
Should we forget the big party and just take DD and the 2 best friends to a play or something and then a birthday tea after?
This sounds like a great idea.
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#7 of 12 Old 03-02-2009, 11:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by laura163 View Post
When my DS turned 5 in December, I invited all the boys in his class plus a few non-school friends. 16 boys in my house for 2 hours was a baaaaaaad idea. I think you will be safe as long as you keep it 10 kids or less.
I am just imagining in my head how that was....YIKES! LOL

When DD1 turned 6 last spring, we had a back yard bash. We have a huge back yard and we had about 35 kids plus some of their parents. I had games etc planned and the kids just finished the school year, it was a beautiful day so everyone just wanted to play. My friend did face painting and I hired a friend who does balloon twisting on the side. It was a great party but unless its outside and you have some extra help, I would keep it to about 4 kids.

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#8 of 12 Old 03-02-2009, 12:18 PM
 
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I have a little ballerina girl who is turning 5 in April too! We are facing the same problem.

Last year we invited her whole class to her zoo party. We didn't invite outside school friends-like dance friends, whom she was better friends with really -at all because it was 12 kids. Well they had about 4 round tables in the party room and all of them crowded in to 3 and my dd, the birthday girl, sat alone at the forth Learned my lesson; only invite FRIENDS!

I feel you pain about April, we are in NW PA so a park party that would be so easy is not really a good option.

DD went to bff's party on Saturday. That mom invited all the girls in her class (diff class than my dd) and my dd. it was 12 girls. They behaved great, and about4 mothers stayed. I think I would of been fine dropping off dd, because I know the family. Several mothers did do drop-off, and like I said it went just fine.

This year, we are going to invite her dance friends ( 4 girls), 2 girls from school, one boy and his little sister from school, and one boy from skating class.
I am not going to take the invitations to school, so I don't think it will be a problem. If you take them to school you have to invite the whole class.

My advice is to invite her good friends from school and her dance friends. If you know the mothers well, they might be ok with a drop-off party.
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#9 of 12 Old 03-02-2009, 03:36 PM
 
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I'd want to do it outside and invite kids and parents both. Maybe plan a date then have a raincheck date in case of rain or cold? Or, have a very small party with just the 3 kids, at home or at a tearoom perhaps.
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#10 of 12 Old 03-02-2009, 04:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post
Most people will not do drop off parties for the preK age so I would plan 1 adult per child. Plus, some people bring along a sibling, not because they think the sibling should be a part of the family, but rather due to a lack of sitters.
No parents stayed at my son's 5th birthday and no parents stayed at my daughter's 4th birthday so this might be a regional thing. I found that the parents couldn't wait to leave! And I was kind of bummed for my son's 5th party because I had made SOOOOO much food thinking that many parents would stay.

I love having big parties so we always have 15-20 and I have had 16 boys in my house. As long as there are lots of activities/games planned, I find it goes very smoothly. But I think small parties are fine too. I do whatever my kids want (as long as it is affordable). After all, it is their party.

If you want to have it outside, could you push the party out a few weeks (to early May) and then have a better chance of having a nice day?
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#11 of 12 Old 03-02-2009, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If you want to have it outside, could you push the party out a few weeks (to early May) and then have a better chance of having a nice day?
Hmmm... her birthday is April 1, so I could maybe push it back, but I think May will be too far away to be related for her.

Thank you for everyone's opinions; it's helpful to see what others do/think about this kind of thing.

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#12 of 12 Old 03-13-2009, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So we have decided to go with a drop off party, because 2 of the parties DD has been invited to recently are also drop off. I'm not going to tell parents they can't stay, and I'm sure some will, but I think judging from the one DD went to a couple weekends ago that most won't.

We went with inviting dance class friends, close friends, and just the girls from school (especially since there aren't any boys she plays with or talks about regularly; mostly it's just 2 girls there she loves). The sitter, who teaches children's dance classes too, offered to rent a room at the theater where she teaches (haven't done that yet though!) and do a little birthday ballet class. So we're inviting 11 girls for drop off, and if the theater falls through, that's not impossible in our apartment. DD and I are both very excited! I'm going to try and make my first fondant decoration for the cake, something like this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/graciescakes/3105947027/

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