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When did you start/succumb to the whole holding 'parties' for their birthdays?

(21 Posts)
pipkin35 Tue 23-Nov-10 16:08:57

DS will be 3 in Dec. Am torn between having just us and organising something more 'formal'.

I reckon at 3, I could get away with not holding some huge expensive soft play nightmare, but other friends reckon I'm being tight...!

We were just going to have a family day and then I was planning on taking him to his first panto whilst dad is at home looking after his 18 month old sister. That's alright isn't it?!

The other issue is, my best mates lil boy is 1 year 2 days older than my DS, so the day I might have done something - Sat 18 - she's now holding a massive soft play thing for her lil un. That's fine, but am now worried that my DS will wonder why when we celebrate his b-day he didn't have the same thing as his buddy - or won't he really notice/care at that point?

And, please bear with me - whilst I'm waffling on - do you all think it matters that we'll be celebrating his b-day the day before his actual b-day?! (I don't think it does but OH really thinks it matters...?!)

Bramshott Tue 23-Nov-10 16:12:19

At 3, DD had 3 friends from pre-school (where she had just started) over for a bit of a play and a party lunch. We're just thinking maybe of a party when she turns 4, but not sure because she doesn't really like big crowds.

Your panto trip sounds LOVELY!

stealthsquiggle Tue 23-Nov-10 16:14:28

Will your DS notice, do you think? Is he "into" parties?

My DS wouldn't have noticed at all at 3 - we did have a party, as it happened, as it was a "leaving party" for his nursery as well.

DD, on the other hand, just as I was reaching the stage you are at now (and thinking I would just do a family thing), came home from nursery and announced "Mummy I am having a princess party and I have invited x,y & z"

When they are older I think it matters that celebrations are on/after the day itself, but not, in all honesty, at 3.

SummerRain Tue 23-Nov-10 16:15:30

dd had her first birthday party for her 5th, she'd been to loads by then but wasn't too upset about never having her own. She would have had one the year before but i was 38 weeks with ds2 and didn't want to promise a party when there was a good chance i'd go into labour before or during grin

ds1 had his first for his fourth but it was also a combined christening party for him and ds2 as well as a birthday party.

ds2 will most definitely not be having a party til he's 4 or older either.

Aand your ds is 3... he doesn't know what date his birthday is on so of course it doesn't matter what day it's celebrated on!

MrsJohnDeere Tue 23-Nov-10 16:18:00

At 3 we just did a low key lunch at home for ds1 and a few of his friends (who were primarily dcs of my friends). At 4 we did the which class party in a village hall thing.

I am doing a soft play party for ds2's 3rd birthday but mainly because he shares a birthday with one of his little friends and we can do a joint one off-peak which will cost next to nothing and be very easy. I don't think a 3yo needs a big party though.

Greenshadow Tue 23-Nov-10 16:19:07

We started having small parties at home when the DC turned 3.

We've never gone in for big softplay/organised things for younger children - they were quite happy with a few party games and tea at home. Tended to invite about 7/8 friends round and mums mostly stayed up until they were abour 5 years.

Seona1973 Tue 23-Nov-10 16:49:21

dd had family round for his birthday up till his 3rd birthday. For his 4th birthday we invited his nuresery group (8 including him) and some cousins to a softplay party - it included some party games with prizes and a shot on a carousel.

atyourservice Tue 23-Nov-10 16:56:42

started at 4.

knackered76 Tue 23-Nov-10 19:45:19

Both mine had a party at home at 3. My dd's was much more then my ds's as he just wasn't as sociable. There was finger food, pass the parcel and a friend did face painting. Lasted around 2 hrs but not sure either would have been bothered it we hadn't of had one. The big deal in our house is the birthday breakfast where they get to choose whatever they want (dd pancakes, ds the cafe!). Not sure he will be bothered by how someone else is celebrating their birthday. The panto trip sounds lovely and not at all tight. His birthday is about making it special for him and that sounds like just what you're doing

pointydog Tue 23-Nov-10 19:49:13

When the dds turned 4.

harecare Tue 23-Nov-10 19:53:24

We have big themed parties at home/in the garden from age 1, because that's what I like. I wouldn't do a soft play thing or thing in a hall as I'd prefer to be at home so I can dress up and be a bit daft.
Do whatever suits you. Ask him what he'd like. I have a friend who changes the day to celebrate by a few days as it suits their arrangements. I wouldn't do this as I like to celebrate on the day - even if that means having a party tea on the actual day and a big party a couple of days later on a weekend.
Everyone does different things according to what their preferences are, don't worry about it.

wannabeglam Tue 23-Nov-10 19:56:50

When DS turned 4. I'll wait till 5 for DD I think.

pointythings Tue 23-Nov-10 21:39:23

We had a small-scale soft play thing in a pub that did kids' parties when DD1 turned 3 - it was really lovely, all the parents showed up and we had lunch and a good natter whilst the kids marauded around having fun. We did softplay for a while but moved away from that now - had joint parties the last 2 years, activity party in hall one year, bowling last year, but there are only 2 weeks between the DDs and their birthdays are 15 days apart, bad planning!
This year we're going for the home option for the first time, very small scale and girls only - we're making suncatchers, putting together our own party food and having a DVD and popcorn, and it'll be an all girls thing with the DDs being allowed to invits a max of 6 girls each. Next year - probably swimming, as by that time the peer group will be able to swim (youngest DD will be in YR 4 by then).

Roo83 Tue 23-Nov-10 21:55:44

We've had parties since ds 1st birthday but that age it's more for the parents than the kids anyway. Are many of his other friends having party's (not just the boy you mentioned)? Does he have other older friends? This would probably effect whether he realises/wants a party. Why dont you talk to him a bit about birthdays and see if he says anyyhing about a party? If he's not fussed a trip to the panto sounds perfect.

blueshoes Tue 23-Nov-10 22:45:35

4 is when the dc actually looks forward to it.

cory Tue 23-Nov-10 22:55:10

We have always had smallish parties at home rather than softplay/entertainers/special outing; started with toddler group friends and went from there.

Have sounded dcs out about this, seeing that so many other children seem to do the full works, but what they reckon is that their mates quite like the variety.

Portofino Tue 23-Nov-10 23:01:22

I had a few friends, very informal, when dd was 4. Took a friend to the zoo when she was 5 - had not much cash. Had an entertainer/clown/magician woman when she was 6 and had about 10 children round.

Noone here invites the whole class. Dd has started to notice, but I just tell her she won't be invited to every party - that is just how it is. She gets to go to SOME parties and seems to accept that....

Annya Wed 24-Nov-10 09:08:14

We have held parties at home for DS since he was two but it was for our friends and their children and all the adults stayed, so it was great - champagne and samosas for us and our friends and fizzy water and snacks for the kids. It lasted about 3 hours and was soooo much easier that I had imagined. We did the same when he was 3 - also good. However I think at some point he will want to invite his school friends and I guess their parents will drop them off and the whole thing will become a bit more work!

kreecherlivesupstairs Wed 24-Nov-10 09:52:48

Started when DD was one, as someone else said though, that's for the parents.
She/we have had one every year since. None have ever been held at a venue, they've all been either at home (Bangkok with a pool), Switzerland the park and her next will be in the park.
I've found you can invite as many as you want and some won't come. As long as you have the space and the weather is OK, let them be outside.
I have also never provided a party bag. DD is mortified by this but it keeps the cost down too.
As DH is a teacher, there is no way we can compete with her friends. We can't afford to hire a cinema, swimming pool or soft play area so keep it simple.

MangoTango Wed 24-Nov-10 11:02:36

We started at age 1 with both of ours. Just had a few pals over to our (v small) house to play and did a few games at their third. The soft play nightmare starts at age 4 here when we invite more kids!

NoahAndTheWhale Wed 24-Nov-10 11:09:56

DS did have a party in a hall when he was 3 but there were quite a few friends we had and our house was small and it was easier to put everyone in a hall grin.

DD had a little one at home when she was 3 - about 5 friends I think. She would have hated a larger party. She also had one at home when she was 4 - again would have hated one in a hall. She is now 5 and had one at soft play with about 8 children. Loved it this year

I think it doesn't matter at all when the celebration is. When DD was 4 her party was a week before her birthday as another friend had a party the weekend of her birthday and as my mum and dad were coming down that weekend it was nice to have the party a different weekend. Children can cope with having a celebration before their birthday

I do know that in some countries it is considered unlucky to celebrate before the birthday - my friend in Germany says that she has found that.

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