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How can I reduce numbers without upsetting anyone?

(13 Posts)
Lucky13 Wed 05-Oct-11 12:25:59

DD will be 4 soon, she really wants a party, but we don't have much money this year and really need some cost cutting ideas - including the number of people invited.

Her nursery class is small and everyone invites the whole class, hires a hall and an entertainer. The main problem is that many of her friends have just left nursery and started school, so she would like to invite her school friends as she has known them for longer, but also has to invite everyone from nursery. This all adds up to around 35-40 children, plus around 20 adults, which includes a few siblings, as they are never left out. I cannot afford to give party bags to that many and feed them too.

I tried to broach the subject with a few of the mums about having small parties and they just said that they all large parties for ages 4 and 5 and stop after that as otherwise people get offended.

I thought about only inviting girls, but there are a couple of boys that she is really good friends with too and wouldn't want a party without.

We can't afford the entertainer, so will have to try and entertain them ourselves, which I am dreading esp. that many.

Shall I just run away and pretend that DD isn't having a birthday wink or can anyone come up with some practical suggestions for reducing numbers?

Reality Wed 05-Oct-11 12:28:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cece Wed 05-Oct-11 12:32:18

Joint party

Very small just a couple of friends for tea

Meet in the park party!?

Book it for the same time as something else so that most of them can't come grin

An0therName Wed 05-Oct-11 12:34:48

joint party with someone else?
a special treat instead? Trip to the cinema with a couple of friends something like that
a party in your hourse for just a few close friends - that would be the cheapest

give out invites really really late so noone can make it
BTW I have never hired an entertainer for my DS parties -

Lucky13 Wed 05-Oct-11 13:43:25

To be fair, it's not about being bullied, more the fact she has been to all the other children's parties and it is only fair to reciprocate. We only did a small party at home the previous year with no nursery children as we had only just started there.

There is only one other friend that has a birthday around the same time, but she lives a long way away.

I do like the idea of having it when others might not be around though. Maybe an afternoon weekday party?

It's probably just me - I'll feel like I am letting her down if she can't have the same as all the other children (and I do mean all of them), but if I can't afford it there is no use pretending that I can!

It's just I would like to invite some of her nursery friends that she is just starting to get to know as she is really shy. Is it realistic to invite a couple of girls to tea and leave out others - it would be horrid wouldn't it?

If only it wasn't a winter birthday when everything is shut, or I could just take her out for the day to take her mind off it.

An0therName Wed 05-Oct-11 18:49:18

I really don't think its a problem to invite just a few of the girls - the children won't mind - and most parents will understand -

LovingChristmas Wed 05-Oct-11 18:55:39

Hmmm, have a birthday tea and mini sleepover with around 4 girls or so, and arrange to take a massive cake into Nursery on birthday so everyone can share cake with her!!
Or hire a small hall for a couple of hours on an afternoon (very much cheaper) and cater yourself (I did our evening wedding do, for 250 ppl for £180 and that was pizza, pasta, sarnies, sausage rolls etc). Bang on a cd player, play musical chairs, bumps, pass the parcel etc.

What about asking family members to contribute towards the party as well, so if family normally buy something for £20, ask for £10 gift and £10 to party (would only work with close family though).

CristinadellaPizza Wed 05-Oct-11 19:00:31

I would do afternoon weekday party with three other girls from nursery. You can do an activity then - make glittery something or others for them to take home.

Sod inviting everyone - just because that's the way other people do it, it doesn't mean you have to

going Wed 05-Oct-11 19:03:11

You will get used to the fact that you can't reciprocate every invite and every invite won't be reciprocated. Have a small party and don't feel guilty!

nailak Wed 05-Oct-11 19:10:02

have a picnic in the park, sandwiches, crisps, homous and carrot sticks, cheese sticks etc, pass the parcel, blind mans buff, musical statues etc,

louiespence Wed 05-Oct-11 19:10:43

I agree that it is ridiculous to feel that you have to invite the entire class to her party at age 4! Especially if you can't afford it! Just have a few of her closest friends round like others have suggested.

Some of the other Mums might also be relieved if someone breaks the trend, as they all may be dreading having to do that when it's their turn! From the other side it can also be tiring for parents to constantly be taking their DC to parties, (and expensive buying that many presents!) so they might even be relieved at not being invited?

Lucky13 Wed 05-Oct-11 20:26:23

Thanks for all the replies and a solution! I think i will hire a hall mid week and just invite the nursery children as the others will all be at school. I will just have to invite anyone important left out round to play individually at a later date.

midnightexpress Wed 05-Oct-11 20:32:24

A few people at DS1's school have done either joint parties or have only invited girls/boys and done some sort of activity.

I have an absolute horror of whole class parties. Last year we had just a few of ds1's friends round. The year before we ran off to see the grannies - they live a long way away so that's a rare treat for him. This year we're going away for the weekend.

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