Next weekend we're having an afternoon party with lots of children. I had envisaged popping the kittens up in our en suite with their litter tray, bed and scratch post to keep them safe but am now wondering whether that's unkind.
They live in the utility room overnight but that's connected to the dining room, where the children will be if it's wet, so I'm not sure that's the best place for them if they need to be protected.
We had a similar situation - NYE party when our kittens were 4.5 months old. We normally kept them downstairs but that night let them upstairs so they'd have somewhere quiet and peaceful to go. In your case I think it's a good idea to shut them in your ensuite with everything they need. If the weather's good, I'm guessing children will be in and out the house, and there's a chance the kittens could get out (I'm assuming they're not allowed outside yet given their age).
I'm not keen on leaving the en suite door open because I don't particularly want them on our bed, but I could cover that with a blanket/sheet and then it wouldn't be so bad.
We do let them outside under supervision. They love it, but get scared by a blade of grass on occasion! We have a fully enclosed garden. I don't think it would be sensible to let them outside with lots of children running around, though. I think they would find that too scary.
We have slightly older cats one of them is scared of his shadow - we shut him upstairs in the winter or outside with food if it is summer. He is much happier away from the crowds. His sister is more sociable and she likes some friends around but even she gets fed up with lots of children after a while although she tollerated being Crookshanks for most of the last party. How old are the dc? Could you put them in the en suite for most of it but then feature them as special guests either for ten minutes if they are all quiet or split them into little groups to visit the kittens? That would probably work for primary aged children, younger than that I would just separate. They might pull tails, chase them etc and then the kittens might scratch or bite.
I don't think an ensuite for a few hours is cruel. I think 'well if they were in a cattery they would have less /similar space for longer.'
'Unkind' be dashed. You're going to be headless after a party with lots of kids, let alone a couple of kittens. (And can you imagine what might happen? They would be lucky if they were 'only' dressed up and traipsed around by assorted youngsters: when the children become ever so slightly fractious as usually happens when there are a lot of them and towards the end, it could be 'Give it to me, it's my kitten now' etc etc - at 12 weeks old they'll still have the cute factor and be young enough to be hauled about without the dire consequences that might come from trying to manhandle an adult cat with full claws and teeth.)
I'd shut them away for the duration without a second thought and keep a close eye out to ensure that you haven't got assorted small groups sneaking into their room to 'play with them'.
The very best of luck for next weekend. I do hope you've got gin an adult restorative for afterwards? You may need it.