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Kids Parties – The Dos & Don'ts

Are you planning your kid’s birthday party? Have you wondered what are the general rules when hosting a kid’s party? Perhaps this is your first party and you are unsure how many to invite, how long should the party be? Check out the Mykidstime Do’s and Don’ts of Kids Parties.

#1. How Many 

  • Don’t feel under pressure to invite everyone in class, just because everyone else is! It can be easy to get caught up in this cycle if other parents have done this, but in reality, parents don’t want their kids going to parties of every random classmate – as well as being time consuming, it’s expensive!
  • One general rule of thumb, is to invite only as many children as your child’s age, plus one.

#2. Invitations

  • Do make sure to add RSVP to invite, so can gauge numbers, and always put contact number on RSVP.
  • Help your fellow parents by making the invitation clear on who the party is for (age can help them pick a present), the type of party being given, date, time, and location of the party. If there is a party theme, with dress-up, be sure to let the parents know.
  • Don’t send invites in to school, with child, if not inviting whole class. Sometimes, if you don’t want to make it obvious that a select few invited, then invites by text can often be easier for everyone.
  • If a parent hasn’t responded, don’t assume their child isn’t coming to your party, plan for their child coming and if you have time give them a quick call or text if you know their number.

#3. Presents

If your child attends many parties, or you have a few children at party-going age, the present cost can significantly add up.
It’s sometimes good to let parents know they don’t need to buy expensive presents e.g fiver in card, present for a fiver or support Oxfam Pass the Present. Make this clear on your invitations.

#4. How Long Should Party be

  • For babies and toddlers up to three years old, a one-hour party.
  • For 4 to 7 Year olds, plan on one and a half hours for the party.
  • By the time children are eight to eleven years old, they can easily handle a two or 3-hour party.
  • Older kids will want to entertain themselves and may ask for an evening party or sleepover.

Whatever you decide, do let parents know the party end time, so they will be there to collect on time. At that stage, you will be tired, and ready to wave goodbye to all the little darlings!

#5. Should You Stay or Go!

Again, this can be a bit of a minefield – if you’re child attending a party, should you stay? Do you want parents to stay, if you are hosting your child’s party ?

  • Kids up to 4 or 5 will probably need a parent nearby at birthday parties even if they are independent at home. Often kids become overwhelmed by the noise and excitement.
  • Over 5’s are likely to be happy to be left at a party if they know at least one of the guests.
  • If you are happy for parents to stay or if you prefer them to leave the child and come back let them know, in advance of the party ideally.

#6. The Party

  • Don’t feel under pressure to provide hot food – timing the party after lunch can ensure kids arrive fed, and all they will need will be some light snacks and cake later. Let the parents know in advance to have their kids fed. In my experience, kids see the whole sitting down to food as just an interruption to the playing.
  • Don’t do Party Bags, if you don’t want to provide them. And ensure your own child does not always expect them at parties.
  • Do have a plan as to how party will go with timings etc. – amazing how fast the time can go, and before you know it, parents knocking on the door, and you haven’t even done the cake!

Finally, do what feels right for you and your child – there are no rules for the perfect kids party. Kids are easy to please. In my opinion, kids just love to play, have fun and eat some cake!

Related: Top Tips for Managing Allergies at Parties & lots more  party ideas in our Mykidstime Party Guide.

Do you have any further suggestions you would add? Let us know in the comments below.

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Jennifer, our Editor, has 1 son and admits to munching a Cadbury’s Turkish Delight now and again.