Birthday Parties

Sally - posted on 06/27/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )

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My almost 6 year old wants a friend party this year. She's chosen a guest list and a theme. We have an activity or two and some ideas for party favors. How long should this last? Am I supposed to provide a meal or are cake and ice cream enough? How small (and I'll admit cheap) of a party favor can I get away with? This is our first one and I don't want her friends to hate it because she's very sensitive. Also, she's homeschooled and her friends are not so they may have different expectations than she does.

If it helps she wants princesses and our activities are decorating cupcakes and maybe making simple bead jewelry. I'm hoping the party favor can be cheap jewelry (especially if they make it) and maybe a picture of them all dressed up as princesses.

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Renae - posted on 06/30/2010

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First thing I want to say - I'm sorry but I wouldn't go with those activities. You will find that the kids loose interest half way through, dont listen, dont pay attention and just want to run around like mad men. Play games that only last 10 minutes each. And dont play all the games in a row, the kids will get bored. Google kids party games. Things like pass the parcel (stop the music frequently like every 2nd or 3rd child or they will get bored and rig it so every child gets a turn - that is expected), pin the tail on the donkey, musical chairs etc.

Princesses is great. That's a good idea.

You should really provide some party food. Mini sausage rolls, hotdogs and fairy bread would be fine, in addition to cake. You also need to provide suitable drinks (I believe juice and water are fine, I dont provide cordial or soft drinks for kids). If you have the party over lunch time you are expected to provide enough food to count as lunch for the kids, so have it in the afternoon.

The party favour is usually a lolly bag. You can buy the bags in lots of different themes and just put a small handful of lollies in each one. I also put a small toy like a bouncy ball, yoyo or whistle in there, but that is not essential, cheap jewellery and lollies would be fine.

The party should last about 2-3 hours. 2 hours is perfectly acceptable, any longer than 4 and the kids will be tired and ratty. I find the mums hang around and chat so it is good to have a platter and some drinks ready for the parents.

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Annie - posted on 06/29/2010

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I don't think you should be expected to feed my child if you are inviting her to your party. We should be flattered by the invite and expect only a safe place for the kids to play. However, if it were me throwing the party I would assume that all little kids get hungry after playing and might provide a "princess tea party" with finger foods so that they are not just consuming sugar from cake and ice cream. I think your activities sound great and that two to three hours are plenty. Make sure you state all of this on the invitation and if a parent is offended or thinks it is not worth their childs time hopefully they will just not send her.

Andrea - posted on 06/29/2010

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I think it depends on the time of the party i you need to serve food if their a party lets say between 1 to 4 I won't expect there to food be on the normal cake and icecream. I you schedule a party for what most people typical eat lunch or dinner yes it would be smart to have food. Either way you go I think you should include if you are going to be serving food or not in the invitation.

I love the cup cake ideal I think any 6 year old would enjoy that.

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Depending on the time of the party you could do just snack (fruit and veggie trays and chips) and cake or a meal and cake. I don't do gift bags ever. I don't care if the kids 'expect' them or not... they aren't getting one. If they make beaded necklaces or something.... party favor right there and it's all good. :)

Good luck and have a great party!!

Sally - posted on 06/29/2010

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Thanks everybody. We're hoping to have it at the pizza place my husband works at if they can fit us. (They have a very small dining room.) If not we'll have hot dogs in the back yard. The dollar rack at Joann has pink sequined crowns and I'm getting glittery pony beads (and hopefully some kind of princessy charms) for them to make necklaces and bracelets. We'll have decorated cupcakes and ice cream. My daughter thinks that sounds fun. The crowns and jewelry will be the party favor. Should I get decorated bags for them to carry it home in?

Sherri - posted on 06/27/2010

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I agree it is rude not to serve food. I as a parent would be quite annoyed. I never do grab bags because honestly even when I receive them most of the things end up broken before we get home or in the trash because honestly it is just cheap crap. So I love the princess theme and the jewelery they make they can take with them that is such an awesome birthday party. I love the decorate their own cupcake idea too. I would do 4 hrs for the party their girls they will want to giggle and play and not be so rushed to hurry through everything to leave. Usually we do 1-5pm. Or around then.

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you can always serve pretzels and chips and "fancy fruit punch" (you know, the kind with fruit juice and sprite or 7up) i agree with the 2-3 hours thing... the cupcake decorating and jewlery sound like a good idea you could also make princess wands... i also agree with getting the little party favors from either walmart or the dollar store... you can really run wild with the princess theme, and make it a really fancy dress up party for the little girls and i always love the picture idea as a party favor...=)

Ida - posted on 06/27/2010

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If you get a crown for each girl at the dollar store or some kinda cheap place you can get away with each girl get a crown a candy bag...as a party favor..or I have done the pick a favor in the basket before too I go to the local dollar store and buy a few items and place them in a basket and as the guest leave they pick one!... food do peanut butter cut out crown sandwiches and cut up apples and goldfish or cheez its and then do cake! good luck and Happy birthday to your princess..

Theresa - posted on 06/27/2010

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I think for 6 year old 2-3 hours is plenty. You do not have to serve more than cake and ice cream as long as it's not over a meal time. If you do 1-3 or 4, or 2-4 then no meal should be expected. You can find some cheap party favors at Walmart for instance. Just a little baggie with a few things. Some of the things my kids have gotten from others are a pencil, eraser and small notebook, at another party the favors were a few pieces of candy. I know Walmart and Target both have packages of cheap jewelry for party favors. You can also find princess items in the party area of the store too. Good luck.

Amanda - posted on 06/27/2010

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Many consider it rude if you do not provide food, even if its just hotdogs or pizza. (me being one of them). I personally could careless about grab bags, but I did supply them for my childrens partys under the age of 8. I just did dollar store stuff. Everything you have planned sounds great.

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