Birthday party: I can't invite the whole class - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-02-2006, 08:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My Dd wants to have a birthday party with kids this year. I've never done this before, but there is no way that I can invite all the kids in her class and in her playgroup, but the playgroup is too small to make up a party.

I don't want any kids to have their feelings hurt or to not invite her to things because she didn't invite them to hers. So, I guess maybe I should invite the playgroup only and no one from the class. How have you dealt with this situation? Has your child been hurt by not getting an invitation?
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Old 05-02-2006, 09:15 PM
 
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For DD's birthday I invited the 4 girls in her class that she plays with daily (not the entire class). I sent the invitations to the children's homes and just didn't talk about her party at school when I was dropping off/picking up.
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Old 05-02-2006, 09:17 PM
 
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Yes to the above - don't pass out the invitations at school - mail them directly to the children's homes.
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Old 05-03-2006, 12:43 AM
 
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We have done both - invited whole class but half don't show. DD was hurt earlier this year bc she wasn't invited to a party of someone who came to her party. I think there is no way to avoid having some hurt feelings over the years, but for me it made it worse that the parent wasn't open about what happened. I would try to migigate problems by sending invitations home and not discussing it at school, but would be honest about having a party and tell me dd not to act as if it is some huge secret thing - explain that you can't invite everyone and she won't be invited to everyone's. Good luck.
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Old 05-03-2006, 12:12 PM
 
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It has been my experiance that if you invite the whole class, only a hand full will come any how. Make sure they know to rsvp, invite them all!!! They really wont all come!!!
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Old 05-03-2006, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by nikisager
It has been my experiance that if you invite the whole class, only a hand full will come any how. Make sure they know to rsvp, invite them all!!! They really wont all come!!!
Would half come? That would be 12 and with the 6 from her playgroup, that would be 18! I'd like to have about 10 maximum.
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Old 05-03-2006, 07:28 PM
 
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I too, say invite the children she is closest with...and send them by mail to avoid hurt feelings.
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Old 05-03-2006, 07:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nikisager
It has been my experiance that if you invite the whole class, only a hand full will come any how. Make sure they know to rsvp, invite them all!!! They really wont all come!!!
Not sure if I'd rely on that! I invited DD's entire class when she turned 5. We ended up with 18 kids from the class and some brought siblings too (I think an additional 3 kids)! It was one rowdy party!

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Old 05-03-2006, 08:01 PM
 
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I would invite just the girls from both groups.

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Old 05-03-2006, 09:53 PM
 
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I'd do the same as dallaschildren- invite all the girls, you won't have everyone show up, and there will be less hurt feelings. In dd's kindergarten class, there have been lots of hurt feelings this year on the part of girls who didn't get invited to a party when others did. Even though invites were mailed to the homes, the kids still talked about the parties at school so the girls knew who was invited and who wasn't. Our family rule is that all the girls in the class have to be invited, or none can. Just what works for us and our classroom situation, etc.

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Old 05-03-2006, 10:42 PM
 
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We trade "big" party years with small party years. So one year, the birthday child gets to invite 20 kids (and that isn't the whole class, especially since she has some close friends who aren't in her class/school) - and the next year she invites three best friends to a sleepover or destination party.

DO NOT invite the whole class if you can't accomodate them. In preschool (especially drop off type - as opposed to co-op) you might get only half but you might get more. In kindergarten, you will likely get the majority of those you invite. At least where I live - which is not terribly far from where you live I think. But my kids do go to a small alternative public school.

You really can't guess as to who will show. Some years it is every single kid you invite plus the assorted siblings who come along. Some years it is most but not all. Once we had half - but that was only once and my kids' birthdays are in the summer when it is harder to get everyone in town. My kids are 9, 5 and 2 so we have had a lot of birthdays... even more than we should as MIL likes to have parties for them in her town (two plus hours away) too.

You don't have to invite every kid in the class. Most people can't. Kids feelings can get hurt but it can't be avoided - and it is part of growing up. You try to be as nice as you can - absolutely MAIL the invites and thank yous!!!!!!! Make sure your child understands they are NOT to talk about the party at school.

I'd invite the playgroup friends - and the five closest friends from school. I don't think you should invite all the girls if your child is closer to four girls and two boys. Invite the ones she's closest to.
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Old 05-03-2006, 10:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirsten
You don't have to invite every kid in the class. Most people can't. Kids feelings can get hurt but it can't be avoided - and it is part of growing up. You try to be as nice as you can - absolutely MAIL the invites and thank yous!!!!!!! Make sure your child understands they are NOT to talk about the party at school.

I'd invite the playgroup friends - and the five closest friends from school. I don't think you should invite all the girls if your child is closer to four girls and two boys. Invite the ones she's closest to.
1) I don't have the kids' addresses, but every parent has a mail box at the school.

2) Yeah, inviting just girls wouldn't work for us.

3) I do worry about hurting kids' feelings because I remember that when I was a kid, kids retaliated when their feelings were hurt, and with my Dd being new in the school, I don't want her shunned by those who were not invited. Actually, I remember not speaking to a girl named "Starla" for the rest of the year because I was so hurt.

I guess I need to either suck it up and expect a lot of kids that I can't accommodate here or else keep it small. I thought I could talk myself into some third option, but maybe my feelings on this were stronger than I realized.
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Old 05-03-2006, 11:24 PM
 
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RubyWild, I feel your frustration. Dd's 6th bday is next week and she wants a Peter Piper party. Fine, I don't mind that. She only wants to play the game where you get the little stuffed animals with the crane, she's crazy good at it and can play for hours, only problem is that our house looks like the mating grounds for little stuffed critters She wants all the girls in her class, plus friends from church. So we're talking about 20 at Peter Piper, or roughly $250 once we buy extra tokens, pizza for parents,etc. We've done it before, but I just don't feel like paying that for a party where the kids don't even like the pizza. I'm trying to figure out how to still let her go to PP, and have all the kids she wants, and not spend that much money. I feel really strongly about not hurting anyone's feelings, too. They are only in kindergarten, and it seems like a really young age to learn "well, that's the way it is, your feelings are bound to get hurt" And even though the parents have told the kids not to discuss parties at school, they do anyway- they're only 5 and 6 and these parties are the high points of their lives sometimes.

Let us know what you decide

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Old 05-03-2006, 11:25 PM
 
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I let dd pick the kids she wanted to invite to her bd, and I invited other friends from playgroup and such that I wanted to have over. We had 15 kids or so, plus some siblings. Here larger parties seem to be the norm.

We went to a party just this week that was in a church basement (rain location for an outdoor party) and the kids played a few games, danced to some CD's, ate cake, did presents, and had a blast. It was fun and not pricey. Could you have the party at a park? Or a community center, or something? Cake/cupcakes and punch or juice, plus pizza, isn't too costly. (Is that part of your concern, or just locale?)

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Old 05-03-2006, 11:54 PM
 
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I agree that the whole class would not show up - have them RSVP so you can know in advance. But I also see the problem with inviting everyone if you are not able to deal with that.

I guess I am not adding much here, but wanted to share.
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Old 05-04-2006, 01:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyWild
I don't have the kids' addresses, but every parent has a mail box at the school.
At our school and others in the area (both preschools and elementaries), it is against policy/the rules/etc. to deliver birthday invites in any manner (kid cubby, parent mail box, in the parking lot, in backpacks, etc.) at school. Bummer that you don't have a class roster! We always get those (preschools and elementaries - I have the addresses, emails, and phone numbers of every family in my dd1 and dd2's elementary school).

I assume you know the last names of the closest friends at school? Could you look up the phone numbers and call the parents for the mailing address? I wouldn't find it odd to get a call "hello, I'm Jane Doe, Jennifer Doe's mom from your daughter's kindergarten class. We are having a little birthday party and want to invite Stephanie. Can I get your address so we can send an invite?" If a person was overly cautious and didn't want to give out an address (which I assume wouldn't be the case with a child your child plays with a lot at school - and probably talks about at home), then just give the party info on the phone. Or look online for actual addresses?

If you can't get the numbers or addresses of the kids, then I'd either invite the whole class (but expect that you may get them all or many of them) OR just stick with playgroup and neighborhood friends.

Are you open to a simple party in your yard or at a local park where you could accomodate more kids?
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Old 05-04-2006, 09:09 AM
 
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It is against school policy here to hand out invites at school too. I would mail them or telephone them instead.
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Old 05-04-2006, 09:30 AM
 
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We are in the midst of the bday party sceen in my dd's kindergarten class. It is an interesting ride.

For the most part, the families are inviting ALL of the girls and then sometimes other neighborhood friends. There was one family who left 2 of the girls out and it really hurt fellings.

No matter how you distribute the invite, kids talk.

The kids will all be in school with each other for the next 13 years and hurt memories like that can really linger.


What about an after school party instead or in addition to? I have had all of the girls over for a 1:00-3:00 movie playdate/party. DVD, popcorn, applejuice and a beading necklace activity and voila! You have an easy party.


Good luck and happy birthday to your dd!!
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:10 AM
 
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Is the whole class thing a new tradition, because growing up it was unheard of - everyone just invited their closest friends, boys and girls, and it was never an issue.

That's still the way it is within the circle of friends I have now. I asked around to see .

I would just call the parents and ask for addresses to send out invites or skip the whole paper mailed out part and just invite them over the phone. If you don't have their phone numbers could you ask the parents for their numbers at pick up and drop off?

I just wonder if we as parents have created this whole birthday party drama? Maybe making parties too big a deal. It was a non-issue growing up and seems to be with DS and his friends. Sometimes he is invited and other times not. It's never even come up in discussion.
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Old 05-04-2006, 05:29 PM
 
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DS's school has a policy that you must invite the entire class if any invites are given out at school. We have stuck with the kds in my moms group and family for birthdays so far; I'm not up to the whole class party
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Old 05-04-2006, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by nicole lisa
Is the whole class thing a new tradition, because growing up it was unheard of - everyone just invited their closest friends, boys and girls, and it was never an issue.
Well, I'm 39 and most kids invited the whole class or no one when I was a kid. The difference is that class sizes were more like 15, then.

I don't have phone numbers and addresses. I'm surprised that schools give this private information out. My own phone number is unlisted. Anyway, our school gives every parent a mailbox and I've never heard that we're not supposed to put invitations in there. It's not like the kids read our mail.
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Old 05-07-2006, 07:51 PM
 
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This year we just invited the girls from dd's preschool class, because otherwise it would have been too many kids, considering that we have tons of friends with kids that we had to invite. I think here's nothing wrong with doing that, but make sure you mail out the invites, and not give them out in front of the other kids
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Old 05-07-2006, 07:54 PM
 
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my ds's classes required we invite all the class if we invited any at all. so i usually either did the whole class at home (arts and crafts and grill party, etc.) or only invited those that he played with outside of school.
good luck and have fun!
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Old 05-08-2006, 05:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Several have mentioned just inviting the girls. Am I the only one who thinks that's a bad idea? I don't want to discourage friendships with boys, particularly when two of her bestfriends (outside of school) are boys.

When I was a kid, the first thing my teacher did was put girls with girls and boys with boys. We even lined up in boys' and girls' lines. Sometimes I think adults actually cause the segregation of the sexes.
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Old 05-08-2006, 06:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyWild
Several have mentioned just inviting the girls. Am I the only one who thinks that's a bad idea? I don't want to discourage friendships with boys, particularly when two of her bestfriends (outside of school) are boys.

When I was a kid, the first thing my teacher did was put girls with girls and boys with boys. We even lined up in boys' and girls' lines. Sometimes I think adults actually cause the segregation of the sexes.
Most children segregate by sex around age 7. Many do so earlier. This is a well esablished psycholigical phenomenom and in not "caused" by what the parents do at that point.

The reason people invite only girls is to prevent hurt feelings. Even if your child is friends with a boy, if he hears only girls are invited he does not take that lack of invite personally. It's "oh she was only having girls, Okay" He does not wonder like a girl not invited would "Why doesn't she like me."

Here ALL the girls (or boys) in the class is STANDARD. The few people who don't do it, do get many less invites.

Why not invite your playgroup seperately over for a very simple little party. Like only with cake. Since its such a small group you don't need to do anything much.

Personally, I believe in as many celebrations of the good things in life as possible. If she is friends with boys why not have a special playdate with them sepeartely also (a couple of cupcakes with candles) could make the celebration.

This is what my dd's have done.
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Old 05-08-2006, 06:58 PM
 
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My kids aren't in school, but I really don't get the idea that the school gets to dictate who you can and cannot invite to your home for a birthday party ??

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