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Do you have a birthday party for your children every year?

(85 Posts)
MuddlingFrew Thu 05-Jun-14 07:37:02

Dd is coming up to 5. We had a soft play party for her 4th and it was a lovely little church soft play we hired out privately.

The children would be too old for that this year so we would have to look at bigger venues which also come with a bigger cost. Our home is too small to host and there are no halls to hire nearby.

To be honest, I think I would rather for go the hundreds spent on a party and use the money to take us away for a weekend as a family.

However, MIL thinks I'm being mean and should have a class party for her.

Do people really have a birthday party every year for their kids?

AElfgifu Thu 05-Jun-14 07:43:10

We had them mostly only for even numbered years, but one year we couldn't afford it, so missed a year, and then had parties on odd numbered years. Now (DC are teens) we have a party account. They get £80 pounds in it each, each year, and can arrange whatever they want. DS put two years money together and had nothing one year, then an extravagant trip out with friends the next year. He hasn't spent this years money, and says he will put it with next years to do something. DD does something little every year, 2 friends to cinema and McDs, etc.

WaitMonkey Thu 05-Jun-14 07:49:46

I have 3 primary aged dc they a all get a party every other year and an expensive family day out the other year. I like the suggestion of the £80 a year budget. Don't do it, if you can't afford it. They won't miss out.

MrsJohnDeere Thu 05-Jun-14 07:53:33

My Dcs are 6 and 8 and have only had 2 whole class birthday parties. They have a choice of big party, special day out with family, or small party at the house.

Instead things they've done include trip to big football matches, Gullivers Land, Lego Movie plus meal out.

In reception 50% of the children (max) have big parties, after that they're quite unusual ime.

lecherrs Thu 05-Jun-14 07:53:40

I've always done a birthday party, as we've always said Christmas is when they get presents from us, and birthdays is about the celebration not presents.

Why not have the holiday and do something cheap with friends for the birthday? A few friends to the Saturday morning cinema club (£1) followed by McDonalds or Pizza. She can choose as few or as many friends as you can afford.

Or another activity with just 3/4 friends such as ice skating, paint a pot etc, have just a few friends at home for a PJ party (wear PJs, watch a film, eat popcorn etc)

If a summer party, why not have a BBQ in a local park?

Parties really can be as expensive or as cheap as your imagination allows!

MrsJohnDeere Thu 05-Jun-14 07:55:14

The most successful birthday party we did, the one that is still talked of all the time, was having 3 friends round to play Mario Kart on the wii, with pizza and popcorn. Easy and cheap!

DizzyKipper Thu 05-Jun-14 07:55:39

When we were little my parents used to take us somewhere of the bday person's choosing, like the zoo or water park, and the bday person got to bring a friend. As we got older this turned into family meals out (usually pizza hut), again the bday person took 1 friend. We were all happy enough with that, I plan to do similar with my children - definitely not a party every year!

Waswondering Thu 05-Jun-14 07:57:06

Dd had 5 friends for a party this weekend. They were lovely, lovely girls and it was a very happy time. She loved it!

It was much calmer than a full class party.

Go with you budget!

My 3 have never had a whole class party. They have had various things like a build a bear party or a barbecue at home and had a few friends over. Whatever we do we have party food for tea and a birthday cake and they always feel like they have had a party.
This year they started asking for a party and ds1 wanted an Xbox. So he was given choice party or (second hand) Xbox. Be chose the latter. Dd is now trying to decide if she wants a bigger budget present or a party for hers.

vvviola Thu 05-Jun-14 08:01:06

We've always done a party of some sort. Ages 1-4 were more like family and friends summer barbecue with a few extra kids and a birthday cake thrown in - something we would have done anyway.

Ages 5 & 6 DD1 had parties (soft play one year, a "fairy cottage" the next), but no way was I doing a whole class party. We had a limit of 10 each year (which included her cousins).

This year I'm thinking of doing an at-home party, but again, just a few close friends and her cousins. No need to invite the whole class (provided of course it's not a case of only one or two being left out)

voodoochimp Thu 05-Jun-14 08:04:08

Yes. Our house also too small so tend to go to soft play or hall. But we've never had whole class parties, I usually restrict numbers to 10 due to cost. And the parties are getting smaller as she gets older so this year she's only inviting 4 best friends.

Chocotrekkie Thu 05-Jun-14 08:06:35

We've done pj parties which are popular when not doing a big party.

Kids come round in pjs about 5ish. Pizza/nuggets type tea, few games (decorating cupcakes is popular) then all on blankets/duvets etc to watch a DVD. Parents pick up about 7:30ish.

Number of kids limited to number of chairs you can fit at the table.

All you need is a bit of food, cake, a small teddy (pound land) can make a fab party bag, and the DVD which you can either rent or you were going buy as a birthday present anyway.

We always have a party. My mum was a single parent on a very low income and always did a party. They do not need to be expensive. Dh only had one party his whole childhood and still feels sad about it if we discuss it. I think marking your child's birthday with their friends is important.
That said there's no need for a whole class thing that costs hundreds. Ds had 7 friends over this year and it cost me £70 to do a harry potter party. Friends over for pizza and a birthday cake could be done for a tenner.

Iswallowedawatermelon Thu 05-Jun-14 08:12:07

I will only do a party for my dc when they ask specifically for one.

Ds is 3 this year and he hasn't asked for one so we aren't doing one.

When he wants one we will have his first (I think it will be when he is 4 or 5).

MuddlingFrew Thu 05-Jun-14 08:33:21

I definitely agree with the idea of having a few friends over, however as her class is small (13) I would feel awful leaving a handful out.

Dd hasn't quite made a few best friends yet - her teacher says she will happily play with anyone. I'm hoping this changes by the time she's 6 so we can have smaller parties grin

MuddlingFrew Thu 05-Jun-14 08:34:44

I never had a party for my birthday when I was a child. was usually a party tea with just mum, dad, brothers and me.

I don't feel like I missed out. I don't get MIL way of thinking about this confused

13?! Jesus. Most here would kill for a party of that size. I thought you meant 30!

13, park, picnic, and races? I mean to me it sounds more like lack of imagination than needing to cancel if just 13 involved....

CMOTDibbler Thu 05-Jun-14 08:46:26

Ds always gets a party - but the numbers are smaller now, with 7 guests this year. But his birthday would be a rather damp squib otherwise as theres no family to come round and celebrate instead.

Don't forget the social importance of a party either. It doesn't need to be much - Pizza Hut meal for 5 children, or a film and burger, that sort of thing

Madrigals Thu 05-Jun-14 08:51:44

We do something where we invite around 15 kids every year so far (dc still under 5).

DogCalledRudis Thu 05-Jun-14 08:54:55

We never do whole class parties. Ours only reserved for good friends and relatives. So we do parties every time. The best option is a BBQ in a forest camping site. Then kids can run around as much as they want without breaking anything.

wigglesrock Thu 05-Jun-14 09:21:42

No, dd1 has had a party with school friends 3 years out of 5. She's not having one this year as we are going on holiday shortly after her birthday. Dd2 is in P2 & hasn't had one yet - she will for her next birthday. They have a party with cousins, aunts, nanas etc every year.

swampytiggaa Thu 05-Jun-14 09:24:53

I have five children ranging from 5 to 21. I think we have had about ten birthday parties between them. Smallest two haven't had one at all.

I have other things to spend cash on tbh.

PancakesAndMapleSyrup Thu 05-Jun-14 09:29:05

We have a whole class party every other year for ds who is 7 this year, and a smaller one at the other times, Dd is having her first party this year with 16 or so kids for her 4th and will be the same as DS.nov and december are bloody expensive for us as thats their birthdays...urgh....(pukes at the thought of this year :D)

Swannery Thu 05-Jun-14 09:50:32

We don't do whole class parties - I'd hate to invite 30 children! We tend to end up with about 10. We've always held parties outside, in public places like parks. So the venue is free. Then do home-made food and have a picnic. The children play games and do fun races, like sack and egg and spoon races. You can get a pack of what you need from Tesco's, and use it every year. So it's not expensive. Plus on several occasions both the children have shared one party, which makes things easier in terms of preparation time. Parties are very important to children, and I think it's a shame so many children are pushed into dropping them young. We've had this kind of party up to age 11.

WillPenn Thu 05-Jun-14 09:58:49

Never done a whole class party either. DD1 and her best friend's birthdays are a week apart. Last two years they have had a joint party with 10 people altogether including younger sisters. My absolute budget limit is £100 and the bigger the spend the fewer presents they get.

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