I have seen many School Mums ask on the facebook page about birthday parties and what is the “right” thing to do in terms of invites.
This is a bit of a tricky one as everyone is in a different situation and does not have endless birthday party options available to them. So first up I want to say you can only do what you are able to do and that is ok. The number one thing is to be sensitive to all of the children and if you can only invite a select few then try and do that discretely so nobody feels publically left out.
One of the big questions that comes up is “Should I invite the whole class?”. I decided this year for my seconds daughter’s 5th birthday party to invite her whole class as we had never done that before. She is in prep and there were lots of new mum, dads and kids so I thought that might be a fun idea.
Deciding on a location was the first big decision. I looked at a few different places but in the end decided to do it at our home as we have the room, it has a kitchen and toilet haha and it is not a cost per person scenario that can get expensive when you are inviting this many children.
So what did I learn from having a whole class party?
1) I learnt that it feels good to invite everyone and people seemed to really appreciate that
2) I learnt that some mothers really appreciated the invite as their child had not been invited to a party before and the level of excitement was heart warming and charming and I was glad we were a part of that even if I didn’t really know the mother or child
3) I learnt that this was a really great way to meet some of the other parents outside of school hours and get to know them on a more personal level which has now made school pick up and drop off that little bit more friendlier
4) I learnt the faces to the names of children my daughter talks about which has helped me feel much more connected to her class and friends and schooling
5) I learnt that when you have 25 kids at your house it was a very wise idea to have hired a party entertainer instead of having to manage games with the kids. This was really key to making the party work.
A great local magician and party entertainer Nickleby The Magician came along as our party entertainment. Our party went for 2 hours total and his “show” was 1 1/2 hours of that. There was a 40 minute performance, animal balloon twisting for all of the kids and an opportunity to meet his real life pet rabbit and doves.
Having a party entertainer was the key to making this work and be enjoyable for everyone. Most of the parents stayed so we had a full house and I don’t who enjoyed Nickelby more the kids or the parents.
The great thing for me is once the party started I did not have to do much except make sure there was food and everyone was happy but all of party fun and activities was taken care of which was great!
Would I do it again?
I think doing a whole class party was a really great idea in prep for my daughter. I am not sure I would do it for my Year 2 daughter.
I think if you are planning to stay at your school for a while doing a class party in prep is a great way to develop some parent friendships from the get go that might help see you through the primary school years.
I will definitely consider doing another class party when my youngest starts Prep but I think something smaller and more intimate will work better as my kids get older.
Hope that gives you something to think about and answers your birthday party questions?
Written By School Mum