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My soon to be 6 year old wants to have a birthday party with school friends for the first time this year. I have two main dilemmas. First, he has 23 kids in his class-invite them all or risk hurting feelings? Where to have it that is not too expensive?

He has been to two birthday parties for classmates so far. One was at a local park in September and one was at a bowling alley last month. Obviously the park isn't going to happen three weeks from now, as it is freezing outside. Bowling alley is the only thing that seems possible. We don't have a rec center in our borough, museums are too expensive, no way would I want to have even half of his class at my house...Also found that most of the parents just dropped off kids and left at the parties that we attended. I can't imagine being in charge of that many kids with only one or two parents hanging around. All of the class was invited to the first party and only some to the second one. At least one mom was upset about her son not being invited to the second one. Not sure how the uninvited kids felt or if they knew about the party. I am an introvert and not much of a hostess, so am really stressing about this. We have been to an indoor water park a couple of hours from our home for one of his past birthdays. I was hoping we could do that again this year, but he has expressed a clear interest in having a party with his school friends. And he considers pretty much everyone in his class and some of the kids in the other kindy class at his school to be his friend! Any thoughts?
 

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Growing up I was allowed to invite the number of kids that the age I was turning. So turning 7, meant 7 kids were allowed. I invited close friends only which usually meant 2 neighbors, a cousin, and a couple school friends.

Personally I wouldn't invite that many kids to a party and to keep it so there's no hurt feelings, I'd tell dc not to talk about his party at school and not give out invitations until schools over or something.

Ds's birthday is in January. Last year we did 3 kids at an indoor swimming pool. This year its just a small amount of kids at home.
 

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What about just taking him and a couple of good friends somewhere. You could meet at your house do cake and presents then take them to a movie, or a museum, or you could just let them play and have fun. DS would probably enjoy this just as much. We did this for dd when she is young, then when we moved we allowed her to have a party with 10 kids total from her old and new school and although she is an extovert she continues to report that she likes smaller parties. We are now unschooling and she still wants a small intimate party!
 

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I alos don't think your going to have hurt feeling if you don't invite everyone (or some will be offended eaither way) I'd try for a smaller gathering.

Deanna
 

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My ds just turned 6 this past November and it was the first year we had a party with school friends. There is no way I would do a party and invite the whole class - hurt feelings or not. Personally, I would not be offended if ds didn't get invited to a party. I can't imagine having to bring him to 17 parties over the next year!! Ds was allowed to invite 6 friends (same "rule" as dawncayden mentioned). Invitations went to school but were directed to his teacher to put in the invited kids bags to go home (this is the standard rule here so that invitations are not distributed where all the kids can see them).

We had the party at a bowling alley and it was great. $10/child. We brought some fruit, drinks and a cake. They had a small room off the back that was decorated.
 

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My son is also turning 6 in a few weeks. He invited all the boys in the class plus his girlfriend. it ended up being 12 from school. We also invited some neighbor friends (about 9). So altogether, we invited 21. I am sure that some will not show up - I am hoping we net out around 16.

I don't think you have to invite the whole class. We just explain to our son that not everyone is invited and not to talk about it at school.

By the way, we had about 20 kids at his party last year and it really wasn't that hard to watch them all. As long as you plan activities, you pretty much have everyone in the same room at one time.
 

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So as not to hurt feelings, I know some schools have asked parents to follow the following guidelines -

5 or fewer classmates OR

all the girls or all the boys OR

the whole class

That way it is a predefined group being invited instead of just picking and choosing - because you know that if that was the case, some kids would never get invited. Some kids aren't bothered by not being invited, but some kids are crushed.

Also, unless your school has a policy about invitations like one PP, please send them through the mail. Passing them out at school - at any time - is so, so sad for the kids who don't get one. I used to be a K/1 teacher and our school did not have a policy around it. There were many times I consoled a little one who felt left out.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mamadebug View Post
So as not to hurt feelings, I know some schools have asked parents to follow the following guidelines -

5 or fewer classmates OR

all the girls or all the boys OR

the whole class

That way it is a predefined group being invited instead of just picking and choosing - because you know that if that was the case, some kids would never get invited. Some kids aren't bothered by not being invited, but some kids are crushed.

Also, unless your school has a policy about invitations like one PP, please send them through the mail. Passing them out at school - at any time - is so, so sad for the kids who don't get one. I used to be a K/1 teacher and our school did not have a policy around it. There were many times I consoled a little one who felt left out.
I agree with this 100%. All of it. Great guidelines.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mamadebug View Post
So as not to hurt feelings, I know some schools have asked parents to follow the following guidelines -

5 or fewer classmates OR

all the girls or all the boys OR

the whole class

That way it is a predefined group being invited instead of just picking and choosing - because you know that if that was the case, some kids would never get invited. Some kids aren't bothered by not being invited, but some kids are crushed.

Also, unless your school has a policy about invitations like one PP, please send them through the mail. Passing them out at school - at any time - is so, so sad for the kids who don't get one. I used to be a K/1 teacher and our school did not have a policy around it. There were many times I consoled a little one who felt left out.
I think these are great guidelines too.

However, it seems like your son really wants a big party for his whole class. I have thrown many of these, even including siblings at some. It really is do-able, though you may have to be creative. Also, I have never had everyone show up for a party -- generally we lose at least 5 or so to other conflicts.

I don't know what your financial status is (though I would guess not super-rich or this wouldn't be so much of an issue!), but here are some other types of places to look that might be reasonable. You said there was no rec center -- is there a YMCA? They do a reasonable job and it wouldn't be at your house. Are there other gyms or indoor places that might rent out for parties? Is it cold and snowy enough that you can do it outside and deliberately call it a snow party or something?

If none of those pan out, you really CAN have 20 kids in your house. You need to come up with a theme, some activities, and some help. Ask 3-5 parents who you know to stay and help. You and your DS come up with a theme and then work from there. Once you have a theme, come back here and we'll all help you brainstorm ideas for activities. Its fun, really. Or if not fun, at least do-able in the name of making your child super happy. (And if worse comes to worse, you spend two hours muttering "The things we do for our children...")
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom View Post
If none of those pan out, you really CAN have 20 kids in your house. You need to come up with a theme, some activities, and some help. Ask 3-5 parents who you know to stay and help. You and your DS come up with a theme and then work from there. Once you have a theme, come back here and we'll all help you brainstorm ideas for activities. Its fun, really. Or if not fun, at least do-able in the name of making your child super happy. (And if worse comes to worse, you spend two hours muttering "The things we do for our children...")

I totally agree with this! I have to disclose that I love doing birthday parties, but you can totally do this - without loosing your mind and for not too much money. I have found kids love the simple birthday parties much more than the ones where the parents rent ponies, petting zoos or some other over the top thing I have attended before. Make it a couple of hours, have a craft, a simple lunch (we recently went to a party that had princess PB&J, princess grapes and princess lemonade - so, nothing too fancy or expensive), some cake and it's over. If you and your son come up with a theme, I am sure the mamas here would be happy to give you lots of ideas.
 

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It may be his birthday but its your decision. I say if he is turning 6, he gets to invite SIX children. Probably a couple wont be able to make it. Just have them over for 90-120 mintues, play some party games, pull out the legos if you have them, maybe do a small craft, maybe watch a short 30mins cartoon. have cake and call it a day. Your son will love it and you wont be stressed out.
 

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My son has 22 kids in his class. For his 6th birthday we told him he could invite 6 friends. He chose 3 from school, one from preschool, a neighbor, & a cousin. I wouldn't worry about hurting feeling with sooo many kids in the class who will be likely having parties.
 

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Quote:
If none of those pan out, you really CAN have 20 kids in your house. You need to come up with a theme, some activities, and some help. Ask 3-5 parents who you know to stay and help. You and your DS come up with a theme and then work from there. Once you have a theme, come back here and we'll all help you brainstorm ideas for activities. Its fun, really. Or if not fun, at least do-able in the name of making your child super happy. (And if worse comes to worse, you spend two hours muttering "The things we do for our children...")
laughup not in our size apartment! Not unless the theme is stand in one place for 90 mintues :nana:

Deanna
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mamadebug View Post
So as not to hurt feelings, I know some schools have asked parents to follow the following guidelines -

5 or fewer classmates OR

all the girls or all the boys OR

the whole class

That way it is a predefined group being invited instead of just picking and choosing - because you know that if that was the case, some kids would never get invited. Some kids aren't bothered by not being invited, but some kids are crushed.

Also, unless your school has a policy about invitations like one PP, please send them through the mail. Passing them out at school - at any time - is so, so sad for the kids who don't get one. I used to be a K/1 teacher and our school did not have a policy around it. There were many times I consoled a little one who felt left out.
I agree 100%. It's very hurtful when kids invite some and not everyone (I'm talking more about inviting half the class, not inviting 3 or 4 friends). If he wants a big party, maybe invite all the boys (if those are his main friends). If he is okay with a small party, tell him to pick 5 kids from school and that's that.
 

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We do big giant birthday parties at home every year. I have fun with it . . . I make up games for the kids to play, crafts, etc and they all seem to have a great time.

Rylie invited all 11 of her classmates when she turned six in October, as well as quite a few friends . . . there were probably 15-18 kids all total, but there could have been 25 if everyone came. They bobbed for apples, painted pumpkins, went on a hayride (we have a farm), ate cake, and had a blast.

I would definitely say let him include his whole class if that's what he wants to do. It seems like so many kids start separating themselves off into little cliques so fast, I am really enjoying the fact that my daughter loves all of her classmates as much as she does. They are like a pile of puppies, always hugging and wrestling around together and just being adorable and sweet with one another.

If your home can't accommodate that many kids, what about a relatives home? A fire station? A mason/Elks hall or something similar? Those can be inexpensive to rent and would give you a lot of space without turning into a "canned" party like you'd get at a bowling alley or other venue.
 

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or at a local ice rink? generally there are good group rates for b-days and such and that might help you figure out how many people to invite - they probably have deals for 10 kids, including skate rental and hot cocoa or something
 

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What about The Little Gym or a gymnastics place, roller rink on a Saturday morning? Great indoor places. I definitely would NOT do bowling, that's extremely expensive!! Do you have any princess party places in your area? We have several of those in our area now and they are very popular with girls in this age range, but can be expensive.

At this age you are best to have a same sex party to cut down on how many children there are. When my DD was in kindergarten last year all parties were same sex. She was never invited to a boy party, only the girls parties.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom View Post
If none of those pan out, you really CAN have 20 kids in your house. You need to come up with a theme, some activities, and some help.
That's not true for everyone. I have a 2200 sq ft home and still could not have a party in my home for various reasons.
So I can totally understand someone not having one in an apartment or feeling they can't do it in any size home really. Plus, our home is private and I don't really want 30 or more strangers in my house for two hours.
I always preferred having parties out somewhere.

Chuck e Cheese is a good place to have a party if you have a decent one in your area. The one in my area is not decent but my kids love to go there sometimes. You'd be likely to have more parents stay at a place like that.
 

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Originally Posted by MtBikeLover View Post
My son is also turning 6 in a few weeks. He invited all the boys in the class plus his girlfriend.
I couldn't leave without pointing this out.
How sweet!
My DD had the same little boyfriend in preschool and the next year in kindergarten. Of course she didn't want to be his GF but he totally mooned over her for two straight years. I loved it! They were too cute.
 

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Originally Posted by mommy68 View Post
I definitely would NOT do bowling, that's extremely expensive!!
I think it really varies, because that's the one out-of-home location we're considering for a 5yo party next month because it's so affordable compared to the other party locations in our area.
 
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