Having a birthday party in a village hall for fourteen 3yo's and seven 1yo's (siblings). I thought if I planned it for 2-4pm I would safely be after lunch and before tea. I was planning on having a 'snack table' with crisps, breadsticks, fruit, mini sausage rolls and drinks that they could help themselves to throughout. Is that acceptable? Or will people expect me to serve a proper 'tea'? I am friends with 80% of the mums so will happily discuss the fact I'm just serving snacks, but I don't really know the parents of a few of them. I just feel like the parties we have been to, firstly have been a bit later (3-5pm) and secondly, when the 'tea' was served it was not very fully embraced by the hyped up kids and much of it ended up as a mess. I'd rather focus the time on party games and general merriment. But please do advise if I'm committing a major kids' party faux pas!!
With those ages, I would suggest a designated 'snack time' where they all stop activities and sit down to eat, maybe about 3pm? Then a bit more running around, cake, happy birthday and home before the sugar hits too hard?
Letting pre-schoolers and toddlers help themselves to snacks and drinks throughout will be chaos imvhe.
OK, point taken (glad I asked!). I will skip the snack table and instead do a little picnic with same items and some sandwiches. Followed by jelly and cake! Will actually probably be a good opportunity for a 'rest' in between the mayhem. Thanks for the advice!