The “New” Etiquette of Children’s Party

Throwing a birthday party can be fun and a great way to celebrate your child’s special day.  However, learning the dos and don’ts of children’s parties can be a tough learning curve.  We have compiled a list of helpful hints and answers to some of the most common questions we encounter.

How large of a party should I have for my little one?

When your child is very young, they may get overwhelmed with large numbers of children or with being the center of attention.  For very young toddlers, it’s usually best to have small informal family get-togethers where they feel comfortable with everyone.  For larger crowds and a more formal birthday celebration, make sure the child is constantly accompanied by someone they are familiar and comfortable with.  This helps alleviate the anxiety they often feel when encountering the unknown.  Try to plan the party around your child’s normal nap times and keep it short.

When holding a larger, more formal celebration that includes friends from daycare or a playgroup, there is only one rule to live by…invite the whole group.  Parental feelings are often the ones that will be wounded, and not including a child of a small group is almost always an invitation for drama.  Don’t forget to account for parents when planning your menu.  It will be a given they will attend with the child.  I always plan for extra kids as well.  Parents with children this age will often bring siblings along without remembering to mention it.

Who gets an invitation?

When the child is old enough to begin inviting their friends from school, a good rule of thumb is to allow as many guests as their age, plus one.  So, if you’re child is turning 5 years old, they may invite 6 of their friends.  This will keep the numbers down, making it easier for you to plan and supervise while keeping it a reasonable number for your child.

When your child is in elementary school, you always risk that someone will feel left out if they’re not invited.  However, while you should not feel obligated to invite the whole class, discretion is the key.  To avoid any hurt feelings, a great idea is to send treats with your child to pass out to his classmates on his birthday, like cupcakes or fruit.  This way, everyone in the class can feel like a part of the birthday celebration, even if they’re not being invited to the party.

What do I put on the invitations?

Include all the necessary information for parents.  Who (your child), What (birthday party), Where (the park), and When (noon on Saturday) are obviously important, but there are other things that many parents forget to include.  Don’t forget to have an end time for the party as well.  It’s also important that you inform guests if there will be additional items required.  For example, if you plan to have a party at bounce house or bowling alley, remind them to bring socks.  Include any waivers parents may need to fill out or to arrive early to do so.  Remember to include all information that you would like to have if you were sending your child to a party.  Prepared parents and guests will help your party to run smoothly and show that you are a thoughtful planner!

How do I deal with RSVPs?

This is the number one complaint of parents nowadays.  In my day an RSVP was a must.  Today, I hear more and more parents worry about not being able to plan because they cant’ get an accurate headcount.  It is still considered rude in this Southern raised gal’s mind not to reply to an invitation.  My advice is make hard not to.  Include a phone number, an email address and hazard flare, smoke signal, and the words REGRETS ONLY.  It puts the invitee on notice that he/she is being planned for unless they tell you not to.  Also, try to make your RSVP deadline for a week before the party date, so you have adequate time to plan for your final number of attendees.  And again, always have a little extra of everything prepared, just in case someone who was not planned for shows up at the last minute!

With these tips and a little thoughtful organization, your child’s birthday will be a big hit for them and less stress for you!

Have more questions on children’s parties?  Send them our way and we will do our best to address each one.

Love and Sass,



  1. Nice job. Good luck.

  2. Yes these questions are very important to make a birthday party nice.

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