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First invite to a birthday party...what to expect?


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#1 Lunafreya

Posted 09 February 2019 - 05:25 PM

So my DS 4 going on 5 is invited to his first birthday party at preschool. The entire class is asked, which is normal I think?

Anyway, this is a first time for me so I’m not sure what to expect. Does he take a gift? A small one? And he’s currently not toilet trained so should I offer to stay with him when I RSVP for him?



#2 SplashingRainbows

Posted 09 February 2019 - 05:29 PM

I wouldn’t leave a child younger than yr1. IME parents stayed at preschool and FYOS parties.

Yes you take a gift.

#3 ~J_F~

Posted 09 February 2019 - 05:31 PM

A gift for sure. $20 is my max spend.

I would definitely offer to stay if your son isn’t toilet trained.

Some parents will stay, some won’t. The parent hosting may or may not want parents to stay.

Welcome to the minefield of school birthday parties :D

#4 Riotproof

Posted 09 February 2019 - 05:35 PM

All parents would stay for 4 year olds. Yes, small gift $10-20.

#5 Goldenash

Posted 09 February 2019 - 05:35 PM

Take a gift and definitely stay.

#6 Renovators delight

Posted 09 February 2019 - 05:37 PM

Where we live, the other parents would be expecting all parents to stay until the children are in grade 1 (so all prep parties, all the parents stayed). It would probably be thought rude if you expected to drop and run unless you were very good friends with the other parents and they had cared for your child before!

Take a present worth $20, or an equivalent gift voucher. Barbie or a Transformer are good neutral presents. I tend to go overboard with presents for little girls within the $20 budget and parents probably hate it but little girls seem to like getting a tiny box with fairy dust, a string of pearls, a feather boa etc.

#7 ~J_F~

Posted 09 February 2019 - 05:40 PM

View PostRiotproof, on 09 February 2019 - 05:35 PM, said:

All parents would stay for 4 year olds. Yes, small gift $10-20.

This is not my experience, so I think it helps to know in advance that some may not stay.

#8 MandaMama

Posted 09 February 2019 - 05:40 PM

Yes to staying. Yes to taking a gift.

BUT don't expect that you will actually get to see the birthday child open the gift, and in view of this, don't expect any acknowledgment or thank you for the gift either. It seems to be a "thing" to treat kids' birthday parties like weddings with a "gift" table, with only the immediate/close family getting to see the birthday child open said gifts once all the friends have gone home. Needless to say this is not how I conduct things at my kids' parties.

But my eldest is nearly 14 and I'm just a wee bit jaded by the whole birthday party scene!!

#9 Riotproof

Posted 09 February 2019 - 05:42 PM

View Post~J_F~, on 09 February 2019 - 05:40 PM, said:



This is not my experience, so I think it helps to know in advance that some may not stay.

I find that beyond surprising. It won’t really matter to the op anyway, she can just stay and if other parents don’t, who cares?

#10 Lunafreya

Posted 09 February 2019 - 05:42 PM

Its for a boy, and I know he and DS know each other. They play together a lot.

#11 Riotproof

Posted 09 February 2019 - 05:44 PM

View PostMandaMama, on 09 February 2019 - 05:40 PM, said:

Yes to staying. Yes to taking a gift.

BUT don't expect that you will actually get to see the birthday child open the gift, and in view of this, don't expect any acknowledgment or thank you for the gift either. It seems to be a "thing" to treat kids' birthday parties like weddings with a "gift" table, with only the immediate/close family getting to see the birthday child open said gifts once all the friends have gone home. Needless to say this is not how I conduct things at my kids' parties.

But my eldest is nearly 14 and I'm just a wee bit jaded by the whole birthday party scene!!

It is beyond boring for 10 kids to sit around watching someone else open gifts. And the potential for breakages is a factor.

#12 ~J_F~

Posted 09 February 2019 - 05:45 PM

View PostRiotproof, on 09 February 2019 - 05:42 PM, said:



I find that beyond surprising. It won’t really matter to the op anyway, she can just stay and if other parents don’t, who cares?

For sure. I guess I was thinking when you are hosting, it’s good to know some parents might not stay.

It’s interesting because when we moved, everyone stayed and it wasnt something that had occurred before... I was like ohhh do they expect me to stay.

Eta I don’t think I have ever been to a party where the kid hasn’t opened the gifts on arrival and thanked the people for it at that point. I don’t expect more than that!

Edited by ~J_F~, 09 February 2019 - 05:47 PM.


#13 amdirel

Posted 09 February 2019 - 05:53 PM

Yes take a gift. I would spend about $20.

At that age IME parents may stay or may not. If he is not toilet trained you should most definitely stay. If it's at their house this should be no problem. If it's at a play centre, also probably fine. But if it's at a dedicated party place there may not be much room for parents, so you would have to explain that you need to stay.

#14 Mollyksy

Posted 09 February 2019 - 06:07 PM

View PostRiotproof, on 09 February 2019 - 05:35 PM, said:

All parents would stay for 4 year olds. Yes, small gift $10-20.

This. Have fun!

#15 Mmmcheese

Posted 09 February 2019 - 06:09 PM

Everyone in our area stayed for that age. And $10-20 seemed to be the price range for pressures. (And as a parent of a girl who is not a girly girl, we really appreciated it when people thought about what my kid would like rather than a generic girl gift.)

#16 ~J_F~

Posted 09 February 2019 - 06:11 PM

View PostMmmcheese, on 09 February 2019 - 06:09 PM, said:

Everyone in our area stayed for that age. And $10-20 seemed to be the price range for pressures. (And as a parent of a girl who is not a girly girl, we really appreciated it when people thought about what my kid would like rather than a generic girl gift.)

Pressures is right ;) :lol:

#17 Mollyksy

Posted 09 February 2019 - 06:13 PM

As for opening presents, I've taken 5 yo DS to maybe 5 parties so far and at none has the bday kid opened presents. DS at his didnt as it was a play centre with strict 1 hr play then 30 min eat and cake then get out. So no time! If it was at home I might or as they get older. As for type of gift I asked DS what they liked and took notice of any themed invites as a hint of what the bday kid liked. Or asked via text as I rsvp'ed. We haven't had a party yet that wasnt a play venue or park so I imagine that's why parents stayed. My DS clings so I'd have no chance of leaving!

Edited by Mollyksy, 09 February 2019 - 06:14 PM.


#18 Mmmcheese

Posted 09 February 2019 - 06:21 PM

View Post~J_F~, on 09 February 2019 - 06:11 PM, said:



Pressures is right ;) :lol:

That was a bit of a Freudian slip!

#19 Mmmcheese

Posted 09 February 2019 - 06:22 PM

4-5 year olds aren't known for their diplomacy. Opening presents at parties seems rather fraught to me!

#20 WannabeMasterchef

Posted 09 February 2019 - 06:30 PM

Definately bring a gift. You could ask the preschool teachers what the birthday child likes if you dont know them that well. $10-$20 is fine.

I would personally stay for kids that age when I don't know the parents. Particularly if your DS is not toilet trained.

My girls are 6 and 8, whether I stay at parties depends on where it is and what the other parents are doing but usually I stay. If its something like swimming I always stay even though my girls are fairly good swimmers. I find theres usually another parent there who I can have a friendly chat to so its fine.
The parties we have had are usually in the park and so far every parent has stayed.

Edited by WannabeMasterchef, 09 February 2019 - 06:32 PM.


#21 JRA

Posted 09 February 2019 - 06:32 PM

yes, stay. Especially as he is not toilet trained.

I would be horrified if a parent left me with a non-toilet trained child, even more so with a 4yo.

#22 Rainyeyes

Posted 09 February 2019 - 06:39 PM

Yes to staying esp if your child is not TT

Yes to a gift, I would ask you DS if he know what the child likes or if you know the parent at all you could ask them.

As for opening the gift most parties we have been to the gifts either don't get opened or it right at the end as some people have left. My kids sometime open them straight away or else we put them in a pile together for later. If one of their guests seem keen to watch them open it we alway make sure that happens before they leave

#23 AdelTwins

Posted 09 February 2019 - 06:49 PM

$20-$30 for a present here. Normally $30 if it is an experience birthday - swimming class, laser tag, latitude, etc. Typically parents are paying $30-$40 per child for those types of parties.

I still stay with my 7 year old twins. Starting to supervise less with a plan to leave them at 8yo. Exception being swim parties; I will always stay for them. I’m normally quite friendly with the other mums/dads, so a good chance for a chat.

#24 Lunafreya

Posted 09 February 2019 - 06:55 PM

am I expected to reciprocate the invitation? Do you have to invite the whole class at preschool? We don’t have the room and I’m not sure we could afford that!

#25 JK4

Posted 09 February 2019 - 06:56 PM

Please stay if your child is not TT. When my eldest was a similar age we were at a 5th birthday party & a guest did a poo in her pull ups, her mum had gone and she got absolutely distraught. Difficult for the host and child in so many ways.
Yes to taking a gift. On opening them, I find that most parties don’t and I prefer this. It is a little awkward if you have spend less on a gift than other party goers and the gifts are opened in front of everyone.




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