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About to invite 19 kids to our smallish home for DDs party -am I mad?

(29 Posts)
peacefuleasyfeeling Sun 10-May-15 09:30:16

Is this really bonkers?

DD1 (4) is having a birthday party next month. She wants to have her party at home, like she always has had in the past. Attempts to encourage her to consider a party at an alternative venue have fallen on deaf ears. However, we've just sat down to write the list of invitees and what started with her "must-have" list (comprising 5 kids), we've added the reciprocal invites and the names of children we know whom it would be weird not to invite as they've always come before and the list now stands at 19 (!) children.

Previous years we've invited around 10 kids and it's been a bit of a free for all with siblings and usually both parents, but this year it looks like we just won't have the space smile We're in a small three bed semi with a decent sized garden.

So, is there a way I can make this manageable? How can I tactfully suggest that parents drop and go where possible?
Anyone used to doing massive children's parties at home with some handy hints for activities (previous years they've just been tearing around the garden in their pants playing, but I sense an expectation of more formal activities now they're at school), seating arrangements etc, please share your wisdom!

I'm keen to go ahead but need a bit of "hey, it's just an afternoon" kind of encouragement!

bakingtins Sun 10-May-15 09:38:09

Bonkers. Offer her either a big party at an external venue where parents can stay, or a small party limited to 10 kids at home. Most parents of 4 yr olds won't want to drop and run and if they do you'll have 19 kids to contend with.

Pikkewyn Sun 10-May-15 09:39:36

It is in theory doable depending on just how smallish your house is. What is your wet weather plan? Can you accommodate 19 sugar/party hyped children in doors? You could go for some sort of crafty activity that can be done inside or out but you will need to enlist helpers (There is a reason reception class teachers divide kids into small groups for activities smile )

If it is sunny it could well just be an afternoon running about outside playing but if it is wet then it could be a very very long 2 hours!

NightsOfGethsemane Sun 10-May-15 09:44:41

I think you would find it very difficult yes. You can expect about half of the parents to want to stay so you would potentially have an extra 30 people in your house for 2 hours. Even if you have activities planned that is a lot of kids to entertain and feed.

I had a party at home when my DD was 3. We had 8 kids and their parents. Never, ever again. Everyone was well behaved but the mess at the end was unbelievable. Toys everywhere. Food everywhere. I vowed to throw money at parties ever after and have them anywhere but at home.

Could you book a church hall? They are generally reasonably priced for a couple of hours use and the kids will have space to run around.

DPotter Sun 10-May-15 09:54:49

Yep - yer bonkers ! It will be very unpleasant to have 19 children + parents + siblings. I've had 12 little girls in our house (open plan lounge /diner) on a wet day = no sibs and no parents. I had a 'Princess' entertainer who was great but the mess and chaos was awful - never again had a party at home. Booked local village hall - plenty of room to run around and much easier to tidy up afterwards.

I think you need to be the parent here - yes your DD chooses who is invites but you choose the venue. Seriously

ThenBellaDidSomethingVeryKind Sun 10-May-15 10:02:03

Afraid I think it's bonkers too. We've the same size of house and have always gone for a church hall type of thing. I'd want some parents to stay, or to have plenty of helpers, with that no of, and age of, kids

peacefuleasyfeeling Sun 10-May-15 10:02:33

Hm. Perhaps I have just really over estimated my capacity here... Starting to consider two parties, but [sceptical]. If parties weren't so political, I would just let her have the party she actually wants; her 5 friends at home. Her friend's mum did this, but I wouldn't have the nerve. Oh dear. I really appreciate the reality check. Noone who thinks it can be done? I am a primary school teacher so wonder if I have a blind spot?

AlternativeTentacles Sun 10-May-15 10:06:02

Just invite the 5 friends and leave it at that. Reciprocal invites? All the parents? You are a primary school teacher so you can handle 5 five year olds.

ratsintheattic Sun 10-May-15 10:06:10

You could get one of those big white party tents and have the party in the garden. Personally, I'd just invite the 5 kids she wants there. Sod the politics and return invites BS.

chocolatelife Sun 10-May-15 10:08:25

when is it? We have had 22 kids or so in the garden in May, they couldnt fit in the house comfortably, you might be ok, just pray it doesnt rain, we had thunder and lightning but soldiered on regardless

chocolatelife Sun 10-May-15 10:08:56

is it May half term op?

chocolatelife Sun 10-May-15 10:09:32

oh i just see it is June. blush

chocolatelife Sun 10-May-15 10:10:24

all sorts of games for 4 year olds,
Simon says
Sleeping lions
musical bumps

puddymuddles Sun 10-May-15 10:15:27

Noooooooooo! I had 12 kids in our 2 bed flat for DDs 4th bday recently and was total chaos. I also have a 2year old and am pregnant and just stressed myself out. One Mum brought an older sibling (age 6) - my fault I said she could bring him and he was the worst behaved there had a screaming tantrum at the end. Never never never again.

paxtecum Sun 10-May-15 10:15:42

Many years ago we used to have 15 little girls every year in November in a small semi.
Put a great big cotton throw on the floor as a picnic blanket and they all sit round that to eat. If the weather is good they can have a picnic in the garden.

They love pass the parcel, sleeping lions etc.

I know I'm not supposed to say it, but they all were really well behaved especially compared to my friend's party invitees who were boys and just charged round and round the house, though it was a much bigger house and could accommodate charging about

HagOtheNorth Sun 10-May-15 10:27:16

Had a similar sized party for a teenager, but we borrowed a large marquee tent and put it in the garden.
If you're a primary teacher like me, then wrangling that number of children should be less of a problem than for many. Think organisation, grouping, space and resources.
or show her some lovely places she could have her party that aren't home. smile

AlwaysWashing Sun 10-May-15 10:31:05

Do it! It's 2 hours! Pray for a sunny day and have lots of party games planned. You'll be fine!

peacefuleasyfeeling Sun 10-May-15 10:34:40

Ha ha, yes, if I'm really honest, I'm probably most worried about having lots of adults whom I don't know around. One set of parents wouldn't bother me, they're old friends, but the thought of the new school parents, lovely as they are, makes me feel a bit self conscious. I'm tying myself up in knots about it now!

chocolatelife Sun 10-May-15 10:36:39

you will be so busy op you wont have time to worry about the parents, and hopefully they will muck in and help and not stand around demanding cups of tea

chocolatelife Sun 10-May-15 10:37:21

if your DD is going to be 5 assuming majority of party goers are also 5 then most parents wont stay

TendonQueen Sun 10-May-15 10:42:42

The stay/won't stay question comes up a lot and it's very variable (regional thing?) Where I am, at age 5 parents stay. So you need to know what's the norm for yourlocal parties.

I really would book a church hall. I wouldn't like to have to host many sets of parents in my home and worry about how it looked. I also invited more kids rather than less at this age, to build friendships, then cut numbers down as time went on.

Hotbot Sun 10-May-15 10:53:58

DOnt do it
I did it for ds at 5 , 10 children 3 parents stayed 2 children didn't join in clung to parents legs, but not quietly !!!
Really I wanted to say to them just go your kids are clearly not happy.
Would have been much easier for all to handle in a church hall rather than a house. Be brave stick to the 5 and sod the rest. People understand if it's in a house.

MirandaWest Sun 10-May-15 10:56:34

Your DD wants 5 children to come to her party.

So invite 5 children. Much easier smile

chocolatelife Sun 10-May-15 11:02:12

just do it, and tell them not to worry about staying. they might appreciate the 2 hour freedom.

peacefuleasyfeeling Sun 10-May-15 16:18:18

Thank you for all your responses. I really appreciate your insights. ChocolateLife, have I missed a trick about throwing a party during the May half term? Or can you guarantee sunshine grin ? Is there something about it that might make it easier? Just the way you wondered made me think you had a solution was the party to fall in that week (clutching at straws)? Might ring around a few local halls tomorrow to see if there is a suitable spot before I make up my mind. Thanks again!

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