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5th birthday party in first week of reception(22 Posts)
ds will be 5 the day before he starts school. we moved to this area a few months ago. He will have a little family thing and a few of his proper friends over on the day of his birthday but I really want to do a party so he doesn't miss out on a reception party.
His school is unusual because all the kids are in the same class for the first week (40 kids) then they split into classes. I need to invite all. Initially I thought about just arranging for them to go to the park for lunch, or over to our house - prob ok if weather good but say 40 kids plus one adult each and maybe siblings I think it would be very unstructured and overcrowded.
I could spend enormous amounts of money on a soft play thing (seems to be £400 minimum). I found a great party but maximum 35 kids, and cant leave out 5. Or I suppose a hall and entertainer. Does anyone else have any ideas? what could I do at home with that quantity of children? What does an entertainer do? does it work? have only had small parties for other kids in the past...
I think it is important that he has a party and that he have all the children. 31 of the kids have been to same nursery so know each other really well. He will be a newbie and I think it will be good for him to stand out a bit even if it's just so people know his name. The teacher said there is another child with same birthday. When i think about spending loads of money, i'll be gutted if other child has birhtday same day and ds then has no one coming. I'd really like to contact other parent to see how they are going to handle a birthday this early in the school year but not sure it's a good idea.
If 40 kids plus adults, I'd probably go for hall and entertainer as this means no real space restrictions.
Entertainers, at least good ones, do work and keep the children enthralled for an hour or so, with puppet shows, magic, silly games etc.
Best go for word of mouth of any that have been used by other parents.
Food.... To keep costs down, you can make sandwiches at home ( the usual ham, cheese, jam), get packets of Pom bears, a juice drink each or jugs of squash, and water. Also fruit like strawberries and grapes go down well.
Cake for dessert.
Soft play is another option, and I wouldn't worry too much about the 5 kids over, as usually not everyone can come. You said this would be about £400? In my area, it costs about £115 for an hour, so check around.
Or another idea is if it's nice weather, you could maybe do a picnic in the local park with a playground nearby. Just ask parents to bring a picnic blanket each, food as above.
And due to lots of space, you could organise party games....musical statues, pass the parcel etc.
Good luck whatever you decide. Have fun!
Thanks, originally I was going to do the picnic thing which would be fine except I don't know the parents either and really want to have something that is about him, not just a casual invite. I think hall/entertainer is best now I've had some time to think. the 400 is our local soft play place, I think that's just a ridiculous amount now I've thought about it. I think you'd usually get drop outs but I'm planning to do it in the afternoon straight from school and i think first week I have to consider they may all come.
thanks for your help.
I have held 2 birthday parties so far.
1 for 55 kids and 1 for 30 kids. Both were very chaotic. For the 55 kid one I had a bouncy castle (nightmare unless you can get an adult to man the bouncy castle at all times and make sure too many don't get on all at once. We actually had a nose bleed due to having too many on at once). I also had an animal man which was £90 for an hour (Fantastic, however I think 55 kids was too many. They lost interest because they were having to wait too long to get a turn at touching/holding an animal.)
For the 30 kid one we had a dance class party in a dance studio. This was £75 for an hour in the dance studio and an hour in the food area. My DS really enjoyed himself but a lot of the boys wouldn't join in because "dancing is for girls" A disco with a DJ probably would have been better.
If you plan to have a pinata (always a hit with kids) make sure they all line up to take their turn and stay in the line. I tried to do this but then all the kids got out of the line and crowded round the pinata. How we didn't have another accident I don't know and I felt it was quite dangerous. Also the kids were all fighting over the sweets so what I would do next time is put in 30 party bags closed with elastic bands with some sweets, 1 x punchball balloon and 1 x bottle of bubbles so there's one bag each rather than putting the sweets all in loose and some kids getting loads and others having none. 99p shop do 8 x punch ball balloons for 99p and poundland do 9 x bubbles for £1.
For decorations and plates, bowls, etc pound shop, 99p shop, Asda and Wilkos are really good. Don't bother with cups as you always get loads of spillages. I get those calypso type cartons that you poke a straw in the top. Also so you don't get loads of wastage put the food out on the plates ready and cling film the top. I do cheese sandwiches, crisps, raisins, fruit (you can get little fruit pots or grapes and strawberries are quite easy) I give out the savoury plates first then when everyone has finished eating do Happy Birthday and candles. Then I give them a bowl to go and get their pudding. I did donuts on a cupcake stand (you get 12 for £2 in Asda), ice lollies (63p for 8 in Asda) and a piece of birthday cake. An idea we have had for next year so we don't even have to make sandwiches is to have a make your own wrap station. So we will go round and give each child a wrap, some lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, grated cheese, ham, chicken, mayo etc.
Next year we plan to have a multi sports party. The local secondary school hires out it's school gym plus a room for food for £42.50 for 2 hours in the gym and 30 minutes in the food area. They provide the sports equipment so you can either do the games yourself or do what I will do which is hire a sports coach for £50. You can get 8 x medals for 99p in the 99p shop to give out at the end.
A big hit at both parties was hiring a mascot. We have had Mickey Mouse and Jake and the Neverland Pirates. It was £25 for 30 mins including a gift and the kids loved dancing with them each time.
hi, thanks for your reply. There are a lot of good tips there, I like the idea of laying the plates out as I have found it hard to keep up with requests even with a party of ten. I am beginning to have second thoughts about a big do like this anyway. It will effectively be for a load of strangers which I think might throw ds, he doesn't deal well withthings he's decided he doesn't want. I will ask him if he wants a party before spending a whole load of money. I am planning to have 5 or 6 of his friends over on the day of his birthday anyway...
Forgot to say in Asda those Calypso Cups are £2 for 24, Cheese Savouries are £1 for a big 250g bag (we had those instead of crisps), raisins are £2.87 for a massive bag. I decanted those into little sandwich bags instead of buying the boxes as my DS finds it awkward to get them out of the boxes.
Play.com do 50 x punchball balloons for £4.02 with delivery
Glowsticks always go down well too - 20 for £1 in Poundland
Oh and Smarties cupcakes and Smarties cookies are quite cheap. They work out at about 16p each, as do the donuts I mentioned.
Personally I would book the one for 35, invite everyone, and see who can't come/doesn't turn up. There are bound to be a couple dropping out.
If you end up with 40 at the party, apologise and offer to pay extra.
The best party my kids have been to had a magician. They all sat entranced. Do the food in boxes (happy meal style) so there is no quibbling over who gets what, and it's easy to transport. You will need to have some veggie ones though.
Sorry, just read your second post - the children who go to after school clubs hardly ever make it to parties after school ime. The childminders take them to their homes/nurseries, they don't drop them off at parties.
Oh and I put malt loaf on my savoury plates too. 50p per loaf and I cut it into 8 pieces so really cheap as well.
Actually I wouldn't do fruit pots because they have juice in so could be messy. I try and avoid any food you need cutlery for at kid's parties. I would go for yoghurt tubes or pouches instead. I buy them for lunchboxes and I think you can normally get 6 for £1.
Raisins, grapes and strawberries
Ice lollies (but only if you have a freezer to store them in obviously)
For pinata/party bags:
Punch ball balloons
This is mummy pig, thanks. The place that does 35 is at a secondary school so i'm not sure they will do afternoons. I checked with her and she will not take over 35, because they will all be in the first week of reception I just imagine people will be slightly keener than in other years I really don't want to stress about this so I would hate to be hoping someone will be sick. If i can I was thinking of a straight after school at 12 noon on the thurs or fri which means I can't do the 35 kids party anyway but I was hoping I might get another party a bit cheaper. Although I'm veering between having it and not having it, if I have it I think I'll just print out nappy addicts list of food and stick them in a box or on a plate!! Thank you so much for all these tips, if i don't use them this time I'll store them up for next.
Could you delay the party a couple of weeks and just do it for his actual class post-split?
Avoid party games with that many, it'll take too l
*long for them all to get their turn. Lots of balloons to play with, and a bubble machine if you can get hold of one!
If you do a piñata double check there'll be somewhere to hang it. I used to work at a party place with a suspended ceiling, we used to get a LOT of pissed off parents!
Raid the Poundshop for cheap multipacks o things for party bags/presents.
Oh, and stock up on gin! You'll probably need it
yeah, intravenously. I need it just thinking about it EduCated.
I think you are right, just delay a couple of weeks might be a good idea. Am hoping to find the child who has a birthday the same day as him and maybe we can share...I have no idea who it is nor what their parents are like so that could be worse than going it alone.
Re other child - can you ask the teacher if they could ask the other parent if it is OK to pass on an email address or mob number to text as the DC share a birthday and you'd like to see if they would be interested in sharing a party or if not seeing if they are planning a party so you can make sure they are on different dates.
yeah, we are going in for our individual visit on thursday so I thought I'd ask the teacher then but I don't want to accidentally get too involved with someone i later regret!!
Did you manage to find out anything about the other child and family?
Just thought I would let you know I went to Aldi today to get party food for my friend's DD's party and their yoghurt tubes are £1.19 for 9, rather than £1 for 6 in Asda, their Funkee Monkey cups are 12 x 200ml for 89p, rather than 24 x 185ml for £2 in Asda, their cheese thins (like big mini cheddars) were 59p for 150g packet (39.3p per 100g) rather than cheese savouries in Asda which were £1 for 250g packet (40p per 100g).
The cupcakes, cookies, donuts, malt loaf and ice lollies were all cheaper in Asda.
I forgot to check raisins in Aldi I'm afraid.
I'm not sure what you hope to achieve with this mega-party. Good luck whatever it is. We had a biggish party for DC1's 5th (that was end of October). We were brand new to town, too. It was mildly good for us to get to know some of the other parents. DS had precisely one invite back afterwards (an all the year group party). He didn't make good friends with any of the children present (although he didn't make enemies either, I suppose). DS had fun, that's true. Have generally learnt to avoid big parties since.
Have you asked your soft play place what they'd charge for a group visit of 40 rather than a birthday party?
At that time of day/ week they're unlikely to be really busy so they'd be foolish to not seriously negotiate down on that £400.
I'm quite strong on what I believe is polite negotiation so i'd go in say I have a budget of maybe £150 guessing play is normally £3/ hr ish off peek so £3 x 40 = £120 so for the remaining £30 see if you could get jugs of squash for the DC and a balloon each / thing of bubbles or similar to go home with.
Thank you all. Sorry we have been busy with end of term stuff. It turns out there isn't another child at the school with the same birthday.
I am actually rethinking the whole idea. lljkk, thanks that is kind of how I'm thinking it may turn out. I was hoping to mark his birthday as a party in reception was a big deal for my older two but their birthdays were mid way through and they had already established some sort of friendships. I was also hoping that as 31 of 40 kids are coming from the same nursery (not the one he attends) he would be noticed and the children would warm to him as they had had a fun time at his party, sort of manufacture some memories to help him slip into friendship groups that may already be established.
Now I think about it he can be quite a contemplative boy although he also likes to act the clown, and I'm not sure he will enjoy a large party full of people he doesn't know. I don't think I need to worry so much about it (nor spend loads of money) he will either make friends or he wont and I don't know that I need to be so desperate to make fun for some kids that he may never even like. I am having a party for his 'old' friends on his birthday anyway, just round my house, and we will celebrate with those family that can be arsed. I think I'm going to skip the whole school birthday thing but I might send him in with sweets on the first day and if the weather seems good and things are going well maybe suggest a picnic in the park if I like anyone while they are on half days. A big party of strangers seems stressy to both of us.
What a long post, i'm really overthinking this....
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