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Kids Party Time

Posted by School Run Mum on 03/11/2010. Tags: School Run Mum

text re imageWell, birthday party season seems to be in full flow at the moment. Invitations are being handed out quicker than free chocolate bars at train stations and my children’s social life is definitely reaching an all time high.
But while birthdays are a great occasion and a wonderful time to celebrate, they don’t come without their dilemmas. What, for example, is the right thing to do in terms of inviting your child’s classmates to their birthday, especially when the class size totals 27?
Assuming that most people don’t live in a sprawling mansion with an east wing and a west wing, or have infinite amounts of money to spend on bouncy castles, magicians, clowns and men with a van full of reptiles, what is the accepted norm for children’s parties? Do you invite everyone in the class and hope that at least half can’t make it, or is it OK to just invite a handful of the friends your child plays with regularly? Apart from the space and cost issues of hosting a huge party, I am also more than slightly terrified by the prospect of my child receiving another 28 birthday presents – we are drowning in toys as it is!
From recent party-going experience, it would seem that the days of jelly and ice cream, pass the parcel and a slice of cake to take home are well and truly gone. But should that be the case? Do our children expect too much?
What have you done for your child’s birthday and do you think in the current economic climate that we will start to see a return to the smaller, simpler parties of our own childhood?



(04-11-2010 12:11)

At primary level my kids were in mixed classes which helped to reduce the numbers for parties as if it was a boys party you just invited the boys and vice versa. It must be much more difficult when it is an all boys or girls school as some child is bound to feel left out if they are not invited but I don't see how you could afford to invite a full class of 28/30 each time - never mind where would you put them!

Maria Duffy

(06-11-2010 10:33)

I think things certainly got way out of control a few years ago. I know my kids were invited to some ridiculously fancy parties where the whole class were treated to meals, magicians, bouncy castles - the lot. I've definitely seen a reduction of that sort of thing in the last couple of years. For my own girls, I've had a couple of pajama parties where they were happy to have twelve or fourteen friends over in the evening for a couple of hours and watch a dvd and have some nibbles. And do you know what? Those parties were enjoyed far more than the big spectacular ones! Personally, I hate it when people ask the whole class to their parties. Now, don't get me wrong; I'm not mean and don't begrudge buying presents; but having four children, one weekend I ended up with six parties where I felt I had to spend at least twenty euro per present. I think people should limit parties to best friends and not expand to the rest of the class mates who the child isn't even friendly with.

Okay, sorry! Did I ramble? Well you did ask!

Maria x


(05-11-2010 11:38)

Totally agree that the whole birthday party issue has got a little out of control! When my daughter was younger (she's 10 now), the school insisted that all children were invited to the party, so you ended up with 25 one way or another! Some mums combined events and organised an activity where they shared the cost (Junior Chef for instance). My son's class in only 12 so its a bit more manageable.
One of my daughter's friends asked for a donation to WWF as a gift and was able to sponsor a tiger (which she was thrilled with), another requested donations to sponsor a child in India - I loved these ideas as the birthday girl or boy could see an end result and follow the progress of their birthday gift. The parents of the guests were all delighted to as it was one less thing to worry about!


(04-11-2010 14:32)

It's getting ridculous, I want to give my little ones the party they want but not with loads of kids there that they don't even play with, it's like a wedding all over again and your parents wanting more invites than you!!
Last year I had party in a pottery shop, was 8.5months pregnant at time so didn't want to have any tidy up to do at home, it was restricted to certain numbers, so between talking to little one and figuring out who she actually played with in school and talking to teacher, we picked a certain number of friends from school and friends from outside school and worked out very well!!

Someone else i know, hired the parish hall and put a bouncy castle in it for next to nothing, if that is an option for you!

I think though it's tough the first year in school, especially if the birthday comes before Christmas and friendships still forming but hopefully will be easier from then on, fingers crossed!

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