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what are the 'rules' re party invites for classmates - primary

(12 Posts)
jumpyjan Mon 24-Oct-11 16:08:18

DD just started primary school and am wondering about her birthday this year.

She has been invited to a couple of parties already. DH took her to the first couple and was a bit vague about which/how many kids were there. I took her to one the other weekend and I have to say it was a bit of a nightmare. There were loads of children and practically all the parents dropped them and left (even though some children looked pretty unhappy about it sad). If I was to do a party I wouldn't have that many helping hands if loads of kids got left and am rubbish at crowd control. Also not sure DD would really enjoy it - she didn't like the one the other weekend that much as it was a bit chaotic, children crying etc.

Is it the case that you either invite the whole class if asking teacher to distribute invites or give out a couple of invitations (subtly) to the parents in the playground for a smaller gathering?

Am wondering whether just to do a birthday tea with 5 or so friends as don't think I can cope with 20+ kids.

overmydeadbody Mon 24-Oct-11 16:11:09

Do whatever you and your DD would prefer, there are no rules.

MY DS is in year 4 now, so that's five year's worth of parties, and there are no rules. And only reception parents make the mistake of inviting the whole class! <smile>

You could do a tea party with as few kids or as many kids as you want. Hope you have fun!

stealthsquiggle Mon 24-Oct-11 16:14:26

Do you have your tin helmet and flak jacket? This is a subject which always gets people going.

It seems that there are huge variations by school, as well - DC2 is now in reception at same school as DC1, so I am on 2nd time around - and then, as now, no-one D2 "drops and runs" at parties - very occasionally one DC might be left in the charge of another guest mother, but that's it.

As for "rules" - they vary similarly, but my rule of thumb has always been "less than half the class, or the whole class" - so never excluding a minority IYSWIM. So tea with 5 absolutely fine if that is what you and your DD would prefer.

stealthsquiggle Mon 24-Oct-11 16:15:00

not sure where 'D2' came from confused

cat64 Mon 24-Oct-11 16:16:46

Message withdrawn

stealthsquiggle Mon 24-Oct-11 16:19:07

lots of whole class parties here - especially in YR/Y1, tailing off after that - but plenty of people opting for smaller / family only as well.

jumpyjan Mon 24-Oct-11 16:24:24

Thanks for the replies.

Thats interesting about 'dropping and running' not being the norm. I have to say I was pretty surprised by it as think the kids are still a bit small (and a few of them were crying and asking for mummy!)

So perhaps the choice could be a tea for 5 or if she really wants a party it would be acceptable to invite say 10 school friends (invite list cunningly drawn up to include children of parents who are not drop and runners grin)

Hmmm something to think about - will have to discuss with DD.

stealthsquiggle Mon 24-Oct-11 16:28:46

Some MNers have reported on previous threads that drop & run is the norm even in YR at their schools, so I have tried to work out what is different. I think in part it is because it is a very rural area, so by the time people have gone home and come back it is hardly worth it. OTOH it may just be because the parents take the opportunity to catch up on gossip and ignore their rioting children, which is a bloody nightmare if you are the party host.

Do you have enough time to build a list of drop&run vs stay&gossip so that you can steer DD accordingly?

MrsTittleMouse Mon 24-Oct-11 16:34:32

If you aren't going to do drop and run (and I agree that a lot of children aren't confident enough at 4), then make sure that you are very clear about whether siblings are allowed or not. For a lot of families it is awkward to stay with one child, because then they'll need babysitting for older/younger siblings. So they will need fair notice. And you will avoid unintentional extras, because it sounds as though you would get quite stressed if uninvited siblings tagged along (I would too, because I only cater for the number invited).

I drop off my invites subtly to the class teacher for book bags, I limit the number of children (for my sanity, and also so no-one can feel singled out because they're not invited), and I coach DD to be discrete about party talk at school (obviously I'm not there to see if this has any effect, but it makes me feel better to at least try!).

jumpyjan Mon 24-Oct-11 16:39:37

Well squiggle being stay and gossip types we have got to know a few of the other stay and gossipers and dd is friendly with some of those children so here's hoping grin. Failing that I could opt for the rural venue location option <evil laughter>

snailoon Mon 24-Oct-11 16:49:59

I think it's best to invite a few, not a horde, just make sure (as she gets older) that you avoid situations where someone is left out. So if you aren't inviting all the girls in a class, make sure you don't invite at least 5 or 6.
At this age we found it most fun to invite a few family friends and families with friendly older kids and a few age mates (often with families) so we ended up with a good mix of ages, and the younger ones LOVED the attention of a few cool older kids. This is very unorthodox, but lots of fun. We would have lots of food and wine, and some really fun unusual activities for the young kids, which often older children and parents enjoyed too.

exoticfruits Mon 24-Oct-11 17:08:49

Tea with 5 friends and parents to drop and leave. She will like this much better-she won't want hoards and who wants 30 presents? confused
Don't feel that you have to invite back those whose party she went to-if parents are mad enough to do whole class ones that is their concern.
I guest per age of DC is a good guide- so 5yrs old 5 guests.

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