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5th birthday party reception year-what to do?how many kids?

(17 Posts)
Rosvita Fri 15-Mar-13 21:54:15

Hi all,
Just struggling to decide what to do for Ds' 5th birthday in July-it's the 22nd July and last day of school is the 24th so already there are issues with how many would come if kids are going off on holiday etc.he also only just started his new school just after half term so seems to talk about a lot of different 'friends' so wouldn't want to not invite the whole class and leave kids out but would end up being lots of kids if you include friends outside of school.
So far he has been invited to lots if hall-based disco parties-which from what I can tell have been 'whole class' parties but at none if then did the whole class issue with 1 of these type of parties is the cost,parents befrudging yet another kid's present to fork out for who they dont really know,risk only a few will come,stress of clearing up,parents leaving their kids etc, people not rsvping.

Our house is not big enough for anymore than about 8 kids and nothing much to do other than pass the parcel etc.

Mid sized party such as bowling,soft play etc could do for a lot less than the hall option but wouldn't invite more than 20 max-maybe a lot less.

He also has an inset day on the 19th so was thinking of family day out to legoland with overnight hotel stay,which would mean he could only have a very small/cheap party.

When I ask my son he says but I don't know mummy there's so many good things to choose from!ultimately I just want my son to have a good birthday and for me not to upset any of the other kids/parents for example by not improving the whole class.

stealthsquiggle Fri 15-Mar-13 21:58:08

Is there anywhere outside (park or similar) that you could hire for a party?

MummyNoName Fri 15-Mar-13 22:01:12

Bouncy castle for a dozen or so good friends?

I like park parties but always worried about losing a dc.

MummyNoName Fri 15-Mar-13 22:08:42

And I'd do the party the Saturday before his birthday rather than in the holidays.
I love kids parties and I'm a 'the more the merrier' type person. Been to parties with the whole class there and dc have been to birthday teas where there's just three kids there.
Do what suits you and your dc.

Catsdontcare Fri 15-Mar-13 22:12:11

Soft play, 15 classmates, plus a few additional outside school friends.

Rosvita Fri 15-Mar-13 22:28:58

Thanks guys for quick replies and apologies for typos (on my phone).i like the half class plus a few others idea but still feel bad about not inviting the others!doni ask him who he wants there or put in kids of the mums I know too and onea who invited himti their parties?seems to get on with everyone (ESP the girls!) but then could just be a novelty as he's still the new kid at the moment! I can get soft play inc party bags food etc for 10-20 kids between £80-£150 and with option just to pay deposit and pay balance in day once exact number confirmed by who turns up!i just would hate for the class kids to be talking about it and to miss out someone he's close to as he leaves them off the list by mistake or anything.however at this age I guess they're fairly resilient.could also take in mini sweet packs on his actual birthday for the whole class.he's had 2 parties this month for kids from his old school who he's never seen outside if school but sadly they'll probably be forgotten about by summer!

Rosvita Fri 15-Mar-13 22:30:02

Ps bouncy castles scare me due to risk of injury! Wouldnt want to be responsible for all those jumping children!

Rosvita Fri 15-Mar-13 22:33:06

Thought bowling might be an option as includes disco,lights etc but they can only do a Friday after school (kids break up early on last day of term) or Sunday morning but as fx' school C of E not sure if some kids will be at church?!

Kithulu Fri 15-Mar-13 22:55:25

Local sports centers do kids parties, have you looked into that?
I think you should do whole class if you can as a good way to get to know every one.
Local church hall, lots of balloons, a few games, a bit of food, cake. Job done! (balloons v important, these will keep them entertained for ages)

Kithulu Fri 15-Mar-13 22:56:59

Don't worry about those who don't come. If you invite 30 but 20 turn up, it will still be manic!!

Rosvita Fri 15-Mar-13 23:08:05

I looked into local sports centres -that's another's option-soft play or football party £65+£3.50 a head but max 20-25 kids -if we invites whole class plus couple of extras and they all turned up then we'd be over the numbers-financially ok -£135. The issue I have with the hall option is the stress,responsibility,clearing up etc and cost £50 for hall hire + £90 for best value dh I could find then food and party bags on top so near on £200 I reckon.and if say Roth whole class was invited and only 15 turned up then i would be annoyed as could have saved my money and done a cheaper soft play party (cheapest one £8 per head so £120 for £15) and have been able to just about afford legoland too!decisions, 3 parties coming up before the end of the month so wil see if they give me any inspiration!

kateecass Tue 16-Apr-13 21:58:29

Don't count on not everybody being able to come..Nearly everybody has always been able to come to ours!! Put an RSVP by date on..there's always someone who doesn't though!!

Is there anyone you could share with? Then it'd be much easier to invite the whole class. Although there have only been a couple of whole class parties in our school in 3 years and they have been pretty chaotic. I think people realise not everyone can be invited though.

We have done our own parties in halls, one in a hall with an entertainer and one where we just turned up with a cake. The latter obviously more expensive but so much easier..the hall party we did ourselves was exhausting. This year DS just wants to take a couple of friends to cinema. REsult!!

nappyaddict Fri 05-Jul-13 21:40:13

I have held 2 birthday parties so far.

1 for 55 kids and 1 for 30 kids. Both were very chaotic. For the 55 kid one I had a bouncy castle (nightmare unless you can get an adult to man the bouncy castle at all times and make sure too many don't get on all at once. We actually had a nose bleed due to having too many on at once). I also had an animal man which was £90 for an hour (Fantastic, however I think 55 kids was too many. They lost interest because they were having to wait too long to get a turn at touching/holding an animal.)

For the 30 kid one we had a dance class party in a dance studio. This was £75 for an hour in the dance studio and an hour in the food area. My DS really enjoyed himself but a lot of the boys wouldn't join in because "dancing is for girls" A disco with a DJ probably would have been better.

Next year we plan to have a multi sports party. The local secondary school hires out it's school gym plus a room for food for £42.50 for 2 hours in the gym and 30 minutes in the food area. They provide the sports equipment so you can either do the games yourself or do what I will do which is hire a sports coach for £50. You can get 8 x medals for 99p in the 99p shop to give out at the end.

Our local leisure centre also does cheap parties, so it's worth looking at yours.

I also know of a DJ that does 2 hours for £50 and does a disco, bubble machine and party games.

Venues around here cost £20-£50 for church hall, community hall, school hall etc.

Also ask local dance instructors or zumbatomic teachers if they do parties. I looked into this and if I sorted my own venue they charged £25-£35 per hour.

Music Bugs (you have to arrange your own venue) - for up to 20 children - 30 minutes = £65, 45 minutes = £80 and 60 mins = £95.

However ask around as I found a self-employed lady who wasn't part of a franchise that did sessions very similar to Music Bugs and charges £30 per 30 mins for parties.

Private hire at a soft play near me is £100. It's double that at another local one, so try different ones.

Another idea for a cheap party I've had is a cooking party. If your venue has cooking facilities get them to make their own cookies/gingerbread and decorate them.

A big hit at both parties was hiring a mascot. We have had Mickey Mouse and Jake and the Neverland Pirates. It was £25 for 30 mins including a gift and the kids loved dancing with them each time.

If you plan to have a pinata (always a hit with kids) make sure they all line up to take their turn and stay in the line. I tried to do this but then all the kids got out of the line and crowded round the pinata. How we didn't have another accident I don't know and I felt it was quite dangerous. Also the kids were all fighting over the sweets so what I would do next time is put in 30 party bags closed with elastic bands with some sweets, 1 x punchball balloon and 1 x bottle of bubbles so there's one bag each rather than putting the sweets all in loose and some kids getting loads and others having none.

For decorations and plates, bowls, etc pound shop, 99p shop, Asda and Wilkos are really good. Don't bother with cups as you always get loads of spillages. Also so you don't get loads of wastage put the food out on the plates ready and give them out.

Cheese/ham sandwiches
Aldi cheese thins (like big mini cheddars) (59p per 150g packet - 39.3p per 100g)
Raisins, grapes and strawberries
Aldi yoghurt tubes (9 x 40g for £1.19)
Malt loaf (50p per loaf in Asda - cut into 8)
Funkee Monkee cup drinks with straws

We went to a party where there was a kitchen at the venue and they cooked chicken nuggets and french fries for everybody which was nice and simple.

For dessert I always do:

Giant cookies
Birthday cake
Ice lollies (but only if you have a freezer to store them in obviously)

For pinata/party bags:

Bubbles (9 x tubs for £1 or 10 x bubble wands for £1 in Poundland)
Punch ball balloons - do 50 x punchball balloons for £4.02 with delivery
Glowsticks - 20 for £1 in Poundland

An idea we have had for next year so we don't even have to make sandwiches is to have a make your own wrap station. So we will go round and give each child a wrap, some lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, grated cheese, ham, chicken, mayo etc.

Rosvita Fri 05-Jul-13 22:05:32

Thanks nappyaddict the party is in 3 weeks time and we're having a football coach in a rented hall and 16 kids,giving out footballs instead of party bags.thanks for food ideas.

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