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20 invites for 4th birthday party at home. Am I mad?

(20 Posts)
threestars Wed 09-Jul-08 23:24:39

DS turns 4 in August, and MIL has promised him that she'll host his birthday party at hers, as she has a big garden.

She's booked a bouncy castle, and is happy for his whole nursery class to be invited. Along with a couple of cousins and other friends, it comes to 20 children.

Is this an insane amount of children to invite? Is it likely they'll all turn up?

I'm looking for a balloon modeller too, as I'm worried the castle on its own isn't enough. Or is it? MIL is very calm and confident about it all, but I'm having a mini first-party-panic.

Invites have to be out by Friday, when nursery closes for summer.

Bowddee Wed 09-Jul-08 23:28:04

MIL is mad. The Bouncy Castle should be enough to entertain 20 kids for a fortnight. IME.

greenelizabeth Wed 09-Jul-08 23:37:14

I had 8 four yr olds to my house two years ago. Half were either whinging or crying and wanting to go home, and the other half were 'awkward' and just not on board with the games I'd planned. But if it'd been a big bouncy castle in the garden that would have been easier than trying to marshall them into this game to that game.

By five I found a real difference. They were fantastic at 5. That's no help to you right now!

Are the mums coming too?

HonoriaGlossop Wed 09-Jul-08 23:54:08

Actually i think it is insane - sorry

Bouncy castle = whipped up into a frenzy = bumped heads = tears and hysteria grin No, it sounds like they'll love it but unless you have LOADS of adult helpers I think 20 kids IS insane

Ten would be hectic, and enough all bouncing about all over the place, IMO

[killjoy emoticon]

threestars Wed 09-Jul-08 23:54:57

Well, they're welcome if they're happy sitting cross-legged on the grass with a drink, and are willing to help marshall the children...
I'll leave it to them as to whether they feel confident enough to leave their child with us, while quietly hoping that less than half stay.
It just had better not rain, as the house isn't so huge.
hmm

HonoriaGlossop Wed 09-Jul-08 23:56:23

To be honest, your ds is not likely to remember much of this party as he's only turning 4, so I'd be inclined to give yourselves a hell of a lot more of an easy life.

Invite four others; I think I read on here that inviting numbers to match the age of the child is a good rule to go by for parties

i know most people don't go with that - but personally, I think if there are 20 kids there your ds won't even SEE them all let alone play with them etc

Just sounds like hard work for you!

threestars Thu 10-Jul-08 00:00:21

Honoria, I NEED people's experience/opinion!

Yes, I'll whip that drink OUT of the parents' hands now and put them on bouncy castle duty while I breathe into a paper bag.

gigglewitch Thu 10-Jul-08 00:18:18

you are either a saint


or bonkers.

they will have a lovely time, a bouncy castle is the top party entertainer for 4yo's. oh, and forget feeding them, you won't get them off it for long enough grin

Clary Thu 10-Jul-08 00:42:20

Make sure you have room in the house for 20 kids as it may rain (sorry to be gloomy).

Do you have any clever pals (or you) who can do a bit of face painting? That's always popular and pretty cheap (just needs paints and brushes etc).

I have frequently had 20 or more kids at a party (had 33 once) tho not at home as don't have space for that many.

If party is in August they prob won't all come anyway (holidays).

I would wrap up a pass the parcel and have a few simple games in mind (I'm thinking Grandma's footsteps/musical bumps) in case they are needed.

Vinegar Thu 10-Jul-08 14:05:52

threestars - I don't think all 20 will come anyway, usually atleast one third can't make it.
I think it's fine calling that many children, but it can get a bit manic on the bouncy castle if there are too many children on it. I would organise some games as well, as not all children might want to go on the bouncy castle.

marmalady Thu 10-Jul-08 14:10:03

Will watch this for outcome with interest. Myy dd is also 4 in august but I am a bit worried many invites will be turned down as people are probably going on holiday.

Good luck and what a nice MIL you have smile

Eddas Thu 10-Jul-08 14:15:10

i had 20 ish kids at dd's 4th birthday in June. A fair few parents stayed as the kids wouldn't let them go! Some of them got a bit bored but it went off fine considering their ages (mainly 3 and 4)

How long will they be there for? my dd's party was 2 hours but if i was doing it again i'd make it 1.5 as they got tetchygrin or i'd make sure it was in the morning. It was 1.30-3.30 which was too late in the day i think.

2beautifulgirls Thu 10-Jul-08 15:51:05

I'm having a 4th birthday party for DD at home on saturday for 25 children! Was planning on having bouncy castle, put a tent up, other garden toys, lots of picnic blankets????
Well now it might be a change of plan because of this beautiful July weather we are experiencing!!!!
So now have 3 pass the parcels, 2 pin the tail on the donkey and a list of games and prizes. Party music and sweets! i am absolutely dreading it but i know that DD and the kids will enjoy themselves that is what matters.

pickie Thu 10-Jul-08 15:59:09

I did have 22 DC last year on DS's 4th birthday party and it was fine! It was a Sportacus theme and we had several games and the kids all enjoyed it, if they werent interested in playing the games that was also fine. Only for 2 hours and was very do able (11 to 1pm in our garden).

I personally wouldnt hire a bouncy castle as it will be tears & fighting to get on unless you get one of those huge ones

squeaver Thu 10-Jul-08 16:00:50

If it's in August I think you'll get about half that number - people will be away, surely?

Went to a 3rd b party the other week: HUGE garden, with bouncy castle and face painter and that kept 15 3 year olds occupied for an hour. Then tea - outside on the grass - one game of pass the parcel then home. All done in 2 hours, but could easily have been 1.5 hours.

Also agree morning is better.

squeaver Thu 10-Jul-08 16:02:05

Oh just remembered the dad did a good long game of "What's the time Mr Wolf?" - that filled in a good 15 mins

sundew Thu 10-Jul-08 16:07:20

we had 25 children at dds 4th birthday party (in the local village hall). Just had a bouncy castle + a few party games after tea - so they didn't go straight on the bouncy castle and be sick all over it grin.

It was great, really easy, no tears, no bumped heads, no tantrums smile.

make sure you plan easy party food - I planned the party for the middle of the afternoon so I provided snacks not a full meal - mini sausages, cucumber, carrots, cheese cubes, crisps, grapes and biscuits.

Also don't go overboard on party bags - I boughts lots of the little Mr Men books from one of those book clubs and put a mini bag of sweets and the birthday cake in.

choosyfloosy Thu 10-Jul-08 16:16:01

They will have lovely time.

Based on ds's 4th birthday party at home, plus others:

I make an initial plea - please DON'T have pass the parcel. It is a nightmare with 20, very hard to keep track of the layers when packing, and even though children think they want it, it is always horrible with children sitting down, glumly acquisitive, utter misery. Hell for the helpers too and you need lots of helpers for it at this age.

Have lots and lots of helpers on the bouncy castle. With 20, things are absolutely bound to get hairy at times. Intervene early.

Make tea a major feature - kids much nicer once they have been fed.

Sorry can't remember from thread whether parents are staying. Try to feed them, or at least give them tea and biscuits.

Sorry to say this too but have a rain plan. Plan the schedule of things and have it pinned up - you don't have to stick to it, but it helps.

I'd agree What's the Time Mr Wolf is great but make sure that everyone who wants to gets a chance to be Wolf.

Games that were brilliant at ds's:
Kim's game (maybe 8 items on a tray, they all look, cover the tray, remove one, remove cover, what's been taken? Go through all items.)
Make huge blanket den for all children, then read them a story, with another adult doing sound effects. Massive success when they were tired towards end.
Who's Next? Circle of children. Give each child a card with pic of an animal (plus name of animal, unless you can draw very well!) Cards held up facing inwards. First child makes their own animal noise, then somebody else's. Then that child makes their animal noise and somebody else's, etc etc. Worked quite well.

threestars Thu 10-Jul-08 22:09:03

Wow, lots of brilliant suggestions, thank you. Like the party bag idea.

The party will be 11am - 1pm.

DH keeps saying "the more, the merrier". So I'm going to make sure he takes a very active part in this party. I'll go with the 20 invites after reading about you super-mums and see how many we get back.

Ha, I went to a party at the weekend with pass-the-parcel which rapidly turned into "won't-shan't-pass-the-parcel".hmm So maybe a treasure hunt instead?

I've forgotten how 'what's the time mr wolf' goes, apart from 'DINNERTIME' and running and screaming. What comes before dinnertime?

Clary Fri 11-Jul-08 01:41:05

what's the time Mr wolf - Mr wolf says what time (2 o clock etc) and everyone moves forward 2 steps. Contineu till dinnertime or someone gets to him and becomes wolf.

I do forfeits in pass the parcel (wrap a number and you read it out at this age) eg hop across the circle, make an animal noise, sing a song - then you only need say 10 layers instead of one each, Plus they are less keen to hang on to it I find grin

Everyone gets sweetie once finished of course (I'm not that mean)

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