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prep birthday party invite etiquette


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#1 für_elise

Posted 18 March 2017 - 11:13 PM

Just wondering what the go is these days when it comes to birthday parties. My son has started prep this year and has received his first birthday party invitation which he's stoked about. I'm friendly with the mum and I noticed that the whole class had been invited, so when I asked her about it she said that's normal for that age group so that they all feel included,and she also said that siblings are welcome. Just want to know if that's the norm, my DS has his birthday coming up soon as well so I need to know what the go is as our house is tiny and if we invited the whole class and they all turned up with parents & siblings we would not have enough room to accommodate everyone. We can easily have the party at a park if necessary but keen to hear from others what the done deal is these days.

#2 AdelTwins

Posted 18 March 2017 - 11:18 PM

It was the norm last year for us. A few of the kids had girls/boys only parties.

#3 BECZ

Posted 18 March 2017 - 11:22 PM

From my experience, the whole class is invited to most FYOS parties.  There have been some that didn't invite everyone though.

I didn't mention siblings, but it was fine if a couple turned up.

Edited by BECZ, 18 March 2017 - 11:24 PM.


#4 BornToLove

Posted 18 March 2017 - 11:54 PM

The majority of kids in DD's prep class who had parties invited the whole class. As the year went on, and friend groups more established, the parties were more likely to be smaller (ie birthday parties in term 4 were smaller groups compared to earlier in the year).

ETA- re: siblings - it really depends on the vibe of the party. If its at home or at the local park, you're more likely to have people want to bring younger siblings (older siblings tend to have their own thing going on) and stick around to socialise. The only time I've specifically invited siblings are in the case of twins where DD is friendlier with/wants to invite one twin, I'll invite both.

FWIW,  Parents were less likely to stick around after the first few parties. I know several families with kids born in term 1 delay the friends party to later in the school year simply to avoid having parents and siblings stick around.

Edited by BornToLove, 19 March 2017 - 12:07 AM.


#5 littlepoppet

Posted 19 March 2017 - 12:20 AM

Inviting the whole class has not been the norm at our school, even in fyos. My children and their friends have had parties with 20 or more kids, just not all from the same class. Parties stress me out enough as it is so I would hate to feel obligated to invite an entire class, especially if parents/siblings are tagging along too.

My niece (fyos) is constantly going to parties and yet she is very rarely friends with the birthday child. It's just the done thing at her school (also happened last year at her kinder).

#6 MadnessCraves

Posted 19 March 2017 - 12:26 AM

The school might have a policy regarding that.

Mine says invite who you want but if you don't invite the whole class give the invite to the parents not the kids.

Mind you kinda hard to exclude whole class when there's only ten of them! Some kids siblings came, some didn't. Depended on venue.

#7 Illiterati

Posted 19 March 2017 - 01:08 AM

I have always capped my kids parties at around 10 guests - including when they were in prep. That was the case whether we had them at home or at some sort of party place. Parties of that size were fairly common but so was inviting the whole class. Luckily when my kids were younger they always wanted to invite both boys and girls - so we never came up against the situation of them inviting nearly all the girls (or boys) but for one or two - which is really bad form.

#8 tiefbloom

Posted 19 March 2017 - 01:22 AM

This is why my DD wont be having a party this year.

I remember my mother inviting the whole class to my party in prep also.

#9 cordyline

Posted 19 March 2017 - 06:01 AM

Wow. Inviting the whole class plus siblings is enough of a reason to not have parties. That is a big obligation.

Growing up parties were family, cousins plus 3-4 friends from class.

#10 Moonl!ght

Posted 19 March 2017 - 06:18 AM

If the party is "drop and go" there is no reason to host siblings and I wouldn't if I was hosting the whole class!





#11 ~Kestrel~

Posted 19 March 2017 - 06:35 AM

Not all parents or children are comfortable with 'drop and go' in FYOS though. Some children are still only four, some wouldn't cope with being left with strangers, some would require one on one support.

#12 Nastyflea

Posted 19 March 2017 - 06:42 AM

I don't know any parties in FYOS that were drop and go.

DD (year 1 this year) has been invited to 2 all class parties(she declined lol) and most have been around 10 kids.  because most people in our area have small houses and tiny yards, the majority of parties are offsite at bowling alleys and playcentres.

She was invited to a party of around 40 kids recently but that's overwhelming, especially if you add siblings.

My rule is if you play with the kids regularly and are friends with them, they can come. I don't want kids she doesn't like or play with at her parties, and she doesn't go to parties of kids who invite her just for numbers(or gifts!) who she doesn't talk to or play with.

#13 kgtnkate

Posted 19 March 2017 - 06:59 AM

For us FYOS were always the whole class. True for most parties on offer.
Later parties  we did almost always all the boys or all the girls - a gender stereotype that makes me cringe now but it worked.

I had a socially awkward first born who had too many sad years where he attended perhaps one party a year if he were lucky.

Think of the class dymanics and who always misses out .

Oh and we were really strapped for cash so the parties were cheap and cheerful backyard affairs, in a renovated hovel for much of it!

#14 RynandStompy

Posted 19 March 2017 - 07:05 AM

Inviting the whole FYOS class isn't a norm in our area. Some parties are large with up to 20 kids but that's usually kids with loads of similarly aged cousins also attending. Most around the 10 child mark. A few more if at a party venue like Bounce.

Edited by RynandStompy, 19 March 2017 - 07:06 AM.


#15 danni_pink

Posted 19 March 2017 - 07:13 AM

I think the important thing is to either have the whole class or a small group but not 'almost the whole class'. Last year I was teaching a class and a child gave me invitations to help hand out but he had invited everyone bar one child!! I felt awful.
As a teacher I'm happy to help hand out invitations to a smal group discretely

#16 Bearynice

Posted 19 March 2017 - 07:14 AM

Wasn't whole class at our school. Some did but not many

Most parties invited about ten kids

#17 laridae

Posted 19 March 2017 - 07:18 AM

DD1 has always been allowed to choose who she wants to invite, up to a maximum number for that year,  though we do go through the class photo to ensure she hasn't missed anyone and to make sure we haven't left out just one (or just one boy or girl).
In kinder we went somewhere fairly cheap so pretty relaxed about numbers. She invited a bunch of friend outside of school, wanted to invite all but one of the girls (and the one she didn't want to invite was an on again off again friend so we invited her anyway), plus a few of the boys and a couple of kids from the other kinder classes.
The next year we went somewhere a bit more expensive so I limited her to 12. Again, she got to choose who. Ended up being 11 girls and 1 boy.

Edited by laridae, 19 March 2017 - 07:54 AM.


#18 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 19 March 2017 - 07:29 AM

I allowed my kids choose who they wanted to invite. We did not do whole class.

We had them at catered places with activity where it was just us, so most parents dropped and ran. The ones who stayed are the ones I was friendly with.

Invites only to be given out at school if whole class invited. We mailed/emailed invites (class contact and grade contact lists are done by P&C after getting authorisation from everyone on what to include. At a minimum you have an email or mobile number usually).

ETA the stay or drop and run can often depend of where in the family the child sits. A first born more often has parents stay whereas for the 3/4/5th child parents more relaxed to drop and run.

Edited by Veritas Vinum Arte, 19 March 2017 - 07:31 AM.


#19 GreenEgg

Posted 19 March 2017 - 08:03 AM

DD who has a first term birthday invited her whole class, and 17 out of 20 came, about half dropped and ran. I made her invite the whole class as friendship groups were still forrming and she had named 16 kids out of her class she wanted to invite and I didn't want the last 2 kids to feel left out. DS has an August birthday and he is keen to invite everyone but we will see!

Our local YMCA does a gymnastics circuit party which is fully supervised and only one party is held at a time and relatively cheap as ou byo food. My biggestconcern with inviting whole class was having it somewhere I could keep track of the kids as I didn't know them that well.

#20 Abcde-La-A

Posted 19 March 2017 - 08:36 AM

Gosh I hope not! I don't want to attend 20 birthday parties this year, nor host 20 children!

There were no whole class parties in DS' preschool year, and we haven't had any party invitations at all this year - I suppose that may be because there haven't been any birthdays yet (or no birthdays involving a party at least) but I'm assuming there are parties happening and DS is not invited. He wouldn't expect to be invited to every party, he's very comfortable that there are kids he's friends with and kids he's not particularly friends with. .

I can see the utility in whole class parties though, particularly where there might be a child or children who are routinely excluded. But I wonder whether those kids end up being/feeling left out at the parties as well?

#21 für_elise

Posted 19 March 2017 - 08:39 AM

Thanks for all your responses! If I had my way I wouldn't be having a party for him this year but he didn't get a party last year so he's super excited already.
I'm thinking I'll just have him invite the kids that he likes and plays with. There's no point inviting everyone as he doesn't actually like some of the girls in his class (girl germs!). If he didn't get invited to a party I wouldn't be offended at all, especially if I didn't know the inviting child.
Just working out what's the right thing to do....first world problems....

#22 sealie

Posted 19 March 2017 - 08:55 AM

OP, just be yourself.

#23 Heather11

Posted 19 March 2017 - 08:58 AM

Just because it is the 'norm' doesn't mean you are obligated to follow the trend.  Especially if a) you can't afford it, and/or b) you can't accommodate it.

I must admit I have never understood whole class parties.  My children have never been friends with the whole class, they are simply class mates.

I don't know if it is due to the socio economic area but three kids later and there has only ever been one whole class party that any of my children have been invited too.  In fact parties aren't even really that popular.

#24 Starletta

Posted 19 March 2017 - 09:01 AM

Plus siblings really? Parents really expect they can bring their other kids?

#25 IkeaAddict

Posted 19 March 2017 - 09:08 AM

Not the norm for DS in FYOS last year. He got invited to many parties where the whole class wasn't there and I know of parties he wasn't invited to. No biggie. It costs a lot to have a party, especially at a play centre etc. This year we are paying $29.50 per child for laser tag, h is choosing kids he wants to come, not all are in his class and his whole class is definitely not all invited. Not sure how I am going to handle the invite thing, I don't see the mums of the kids he wants to invites in the playground so might need to ask the teacher to give it to the kids. Or just let DS do it....not sure




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