No matter if you are throwing a children’s party or attending one, there are certain etiquette rules that should be followed so that feelings are not hurt and everyone has fun. Here are some answers to the most common etiquette questions for children’s parties, such as what to do with extra guests and who to invite and how to deal with it all gracefully.
If your child is school-aged, you may wonder if you have to invite every child in the class to the party. This can be a problem if you don’t have enough room or money to throw such a large party. Many classrooms have a rule that every student must receive an invitation if they are passed out at school. You can avoid this problem by mailing invitations or by having your child pass out invitations after school. You can also have a small in-class party complete with cupcakes and small goodie bags so that everyone feels like a part of your child’s birthday.
Family vs. Friends
You may wonder who you should invite to the party. If you have a large family and your child has a lot of friends, the party can become quite large. The answer is to have two separate parties so that no one’s feelings get hurt.
When a child is attending a party, many parents decide to stay. This can be in bad form. Many parents don’t plan a party to include unexpected parents. If you do stay, avoid drinking or eating. The snacks are for the invited guests and you don’t want to take food that was intended for a child.
Similarly, bringing an extra, uninvited child can be seen as very impolite. The host often makes only enough goody bags and treats for the expected guests. If another child arrives, the host is put in an awkward position. The child will want the same things that the other children are getting and she will be unable to do anything about it.
If you are the one throwing the party, prepare for extra people by having extra goodie bags and food on hand. This will keep you from having to deny a child or parent, making the party a much less stressful place for you and your child.
Though it may seem outdated, thank you cards are always appropriate to send to guests of a child’s party. It can be as simple as a nice postcard that says, “Thank you for the great birthday gift!” and a signature. Little gestures show your guests that your child enjoyed their company.