Birthday Party Question/Etiquette

[deleted account] ( 2 moms have responded )

My son will be 5 in February, and every year we have a party at our home for family. I get an outside bouncer, and for the most part, just a handful of kids: niece, nephews, a few friends. This year my son would like to invite the kids in his preschool class, which I think would be fun. So I am wondering how to word an invitation that invites my son's preschool classmate only, and not siblings. Quite frankly, I am not interested in entertaining small siblings of his friends, especially if they might get caught in the crossfire of 5 year olds in a bouncer. In fact, I would not even have a problem if parents want to drop their kids off and come back for them later on. I guess a few parents will most likely stay. What seems to be birthday party etiquette these days? Do parents drop off their kids and return later on? Or stay at the party? Secondly, in the past I always ordered pizza or 6 foot subs to feed my family. I can simply tell my family to eat lunch on their own before coming over, and then simply serve cake/ice cream at the party, and they will be fine with that. If I start the party later, let's say 1:00, do I have to provide lunch for the kids? Can I write "Cake& Ice cream" on the invitations? I'm looking at a possible 15-18 five year olds, which will be a huge party for us compared to the relatively smaller family only parties in the past.

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Sharon - posted on 12/28/2009

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I think



"you're invited to a birthday party!

I'm sorry but due to space & the number of guests we cannot have your siblings attend.

Cake & Icecream will be served



Please RSVP"



Don't put your address on there or directions, they'll have to call for directions and to RSVP. Then don't answer your phone the day before or during the party!



Um - when I took my daughter and her friends to the movies for her birthday - I was amazed at the parents for not only dropping off siblings, but THEIR FRIENDS. So be prepared.



At 5 yrs old - we stayed for the parties and tried to not eat any of the food unless the host specified they planned for parents to attend and had enough food.



For our own childrens' b-day parties - most kids were drop offs.



I always let the parents know what will be served so that if there is an allergy issue they can let me know ahead of time. It hasn't happened yet, but I plan on getting the allergic child his own special cup cake to match the main birthday cake so they don't feel left out.



If food were served, I'd either alter the menu or provide an alternative meal (maybe prepared by the childs' parent) .....



Good luck!!!

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JL - posted on 12/28/2009

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I always put in my kids invites whether or not lunch is part of the party.I would just write.."Cake and ice cream will be served" I also like to write in..." no gifts required we just request your presence for a fun time," because some people feel like they have to bring a gift so they will decline the invite.



As far as not wanting siblings I would put that the parents can drop off their kids and pick them up at whatever time you have designated..I usually put down in invites 2 hours for the party..so if you say it starts at 1:00 pm then say it ends at 3:00 pm and parents can pick up kids at the time. Noting parents can drop off their kids will encourage many to do so..Also put in an RSVP date and number to contact you and note that it is important you get an RSVP beforehand so that you have an exact head count..that way they will also understand that you are just counting the invited kids for the party not siblings and parents.



We always have huge parties on average 20 kids at least and unless I have specifially invited a kids sibling I have never had issues with parents coming and staying with them usually if I specify for them to drop off thier kids in the invite they do so and don't bring along thier other kids.



Good luck and have fun. Have any additional questions just send me a PM I have kinda of become a party expert over the last few years...I am totally into throwing big themed parties..haha.

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