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WIBU to close off playroom during child's birthday party?

(25 Posts)
TheArtistFormerlyKnownAs Wed 17-Aug-16 10:20:56

I'm having a party at our house for my DD's 3rd birthday. There will be 10-12 children ranging in age from 2 - 6. I'm hiring a bouncy castle and a ball pit and will probably do a few games, so there should be plenty to keep everyone happy. The thing is, most of these kids have played at our house before and know that we have a well-stocked playroom filled with all the same tat they have at home. You can't miss the playroom as it is right off the kitchen, on the way to the garden where the activities will be set up.

In my experience, kids often ignore the party activity if there are lots of toys available. I don't want that and I really don't want a huge mess made with all of our toys. Frankly it's a struggle for us to stay organized in general and I have some health issues that make it even harder. For my older DCs' parties we've cleared out most of the stuff in the playroom, but that in itself is a big task. WIBU to close off the playroom in some way? I could close the door entirely and put something in front of it, or drape sheets or something over the shelves of toys.... I don't want to be an ungracious host, but there's a big difference between having one or two friends over and having a dozen sugared-up kids running around while the parents chat in the other room. AIBU to think that a bouncy castle, ball pit, games, lunch, and cake should be enough to entertain everyone for 1.5 - 2 hours? And if not, what's the best way to present/enforce it?

YelloDraw Wed 17-Aug-16 10:23:11


At parties you play party games, you don't get free run to go and play with the hosts toys.

You could put a chair in front of the door and an 'no entry' sign on the door or something.

NavyandWhite Wed 17-Aug-16 10:25:48


I'd do the same tbh.

BrieAndChilli Wed 17-Aug-16 10:31:21

I would maybe put out a couple of big toys into the garden - car garage and a couple of cars, happy land or the such for kids that want to play quietly but on a couple
Definitely close off playroom- put table or a sofa in front of it.

SpringerS Wed 17-Aug-16 10:32:45

I'd probably just clear most toys out of the playroom and lock them in the bedroom. It's what I do before parties (or certain visitors). Just leaving large items that don't have little pieces to get lost and can be cleaned up quickly after the party is over. Even with plans to have the kids in the garden for most of the party things can go wrong. The weather might be awful, a child could hurt their leg and need sedantry entertainment, some pushy child could get their obtuse parent to let them into the playroom, etc. So it's best to be prepared for that and have a lot of stuff put away. Get you older kids or a trusted friend/family member to help.

EnglishRose1320 Wed 17-Aug-16 10:37:10

When I do parties a home the playroom is off limits, is the area in front of it big enough to put some chairs along it, or simply just shut the door, maybe string fairy lights/banners etc right across so it's clear to see its not meant to be opened. Having said that I tend to get one thing out of the playroom before hand the box of cars/bricks/dressing up etc and keep it tucked away as a back up in case the activities go very quickly but if you have a bouncy castle I cant see them getting bored.
Good luck, hope your dd enjoys her party, must remember to plan ds' less than a month to go!

indecisivedoctor Wed 17-Aug-16 10:38:16

Yanbu at all.. We've recently spruced up our playroom and it's all lovely and tidy. So far our DD is playing beautifully and putting everything away. I am tempted to close it off for the next play date as some of her friends are the empty every shelf type. I know this makes me super uptight!

MissClarke86 Wed 17-Aug-16 10:49:22

YANBU and you shouldn't have to move anything, just close door and put a sign up.

The older children will understand the sign and if they go in are just being naughty.
The younger children won't be wandering around without an adult to read the sign and stop them.

Hoppinggreen Wed 17-Aug-16 10:51:40

Id be blocking off the whole house !

cestlavielife Wed 17-Aug-16 10:52:49

close it off and put something in front of it small kids cant move.

blankmind Wed 17-Aug-16 10:55:09

Put a little bolt on the door at the top where a child can't reach it.

cheeeseplease Wed 17-Aug-16 11:06:01

Yanbu I would definitely do it. We sometimes get children over on a play date who don't even play with anything. They just seem to make it their mission to empty everything on the floor.
I've learnt my lesson. Things will be put away before the next one.

WorraLiberty Wed 17-Aug-16 11:10:35


Get some 'CAUTION POLICE' tape and seal it off.

Tell them they're preserving evidence grin

purplefizz26 Wed 17-Aug-16 11:15:40


I would fit a little lock, like a Chubb/barrel lock, that needs a key to open. Put the key out of sight.

It will come in handy in future for occasions like this!

timelytess Wed 17-Aug-16 11:17:55

Block off any part of the house you want to protect, but make it very secure. I like the idea of a lock. Definitely also put something in front of the door.

MapleandPear Wed 17-Aug-16 11:18:59

YADBNU. Very sensible.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Wed 17-Aug-16 11:51:57

YANBU. A friend of mine put all the toys he didn't want to be broken played with in the garage and locked them away, which was just as well, as most of the toys that were left out sustained some level of damage!

FranHastings Wed 17-Aug-16 11:56:43

I did the same at a recent party because I had dumped everything else in there to make the house look vaguely tidy. I covered the door with a party backdrop and a chair in front and no-one even asked what was in there, despite many of them knowing it was the play room.

ShoeEatingMonster Wed 17-Aug-16 12:16:04

Sod having to move stuff. Put a small bolt like this on high enough that children can't reach then you don't have to worry about it again!

Pastaagain78 Wed 17-Aug-16 12:18:37

YANBU, from experience our playroom has been trashed. Very sensible idea.

JockMonsieur Wed 17-Aug-16 12:19:08

sounds sensible
put the telly and any other expensive breakables in there while you're at it

we alway move bits and pieces out of the sitting room ahead of parties - partly to prevent damage, partly to create more space for games.

KC225 Wed 17-Aug-16 13:46:36

We had a Halloween party for 30 kids in a house were we renovating but not living in last year. We cordoned off the half derelict rooms filled with tools, plasterboard etc., with crime scene tape bought from eBay. Kids were 8 though.

Best thing about the tape is that after the party you can sneek out and put it around the neighbourhood and take it down a few days later. Talk of the village for weeks.

Close off the playroom. At that age they and with everything else going on they probably will not remember. If they do a polite 'not today.' will suffice

TheArtistFormerlyKnownAs Wed 17-Aug-16 16:33:20

Thank you all so much. Feeling MUCH less stressed about the party now! Thanks especially to FranHastings for suggesting that u can chuck other clutter in the playroom too.

TheArtistFormerlyKnownAs Wed 17-Aug-16 16:35:54

That I can, not u !!

Clankboing Wed 17-Aug-16 16:39:42

A big ottoman in front of the door might do it!

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