Hands out of the cake! Wait…Timmy brought his six siblings?! Are parents supposed to stay? You didn’t say to bring socks! Gift..no gift? Is three hours too long?
As parents, we are all plagued with the above questions at one time or another whether you’re planning the party for your kids or your kids are attending it. One would think a kid’s party would involve cake, gifts and a craft or game, but it’s so much more nowadays! Below are a few etiquette guidelines for kids’ birthday parties that will help make your party planning/attending a breeze next time:
Invitations: Send out your birthday party invitations approximately 2 weeks prior to the event. If you send it much before that it may get forgotten. Send it later than that and the child you’re inviting may already have two parties to attend that day. A good rule of thumb is to invite as many children as the age of your child. Thus if the child is turning six, inviting six kids would be appropriate. If you intend on inviting an entire class, make sure your venue can host that many kids and it may be a good idea to ask parents to attend or a few helpers to keep things calm.
Siblings: It seems like a guessing game after receiving your invitations as to whether or not you can bring your child’s younger or older sibling along. Make the guess-work easier by writing “siblings welcome” on your invitations if that is the case, or including both children’s names on the invitation envelope. If you don’t see anything noted on the invitation, it is best to ask when doing your RSVP if your infant or other child may attend. Do not be offended if the answer is no, as budgets or venues may have limitations. If you’re the party planner and extra siblings arrive un-invited, make sure to plan ahead by having a few additional goody bags available.
Gifts: It’s pretty safe to assume that unless the invitation says “no gifts, please” a gift will be welcomed. It can be best to do gifts toward the beginning of a party before the guests get tired, cranky or are ready to go home and miss the child opening the gift they brought. Also, if the kids are tired by this point your child may do the famous “open and throw” and seem ungrateful for their gift, which is an image I’m sure you don’t want to portray.
Thank you notes: As a part of good manners, be sure to have your child send out thank you notes 1-2 weeks after the party. It’s a way for them to practice etiquette and let their guests know how much they appreciated them attending and their gift. If your child is young you can write the note for them and have them sign it or draw a picture, or fill-in thank you notes are always a great idea.
So next time you’re planning a kids party, relax and remember the above tips that will help you make a party to remember because it was fun, not stressful!