How To Decide who to Invite to Your Child's Birthday Party

One of the first steps in planning a child’s birthday is making a guest list. Now, it can get quite tricky figuring out who gets a coveted invitation, especially if you and your child have a wide circle of friends. It’s impractical to invite everyone you know, so you need to be savvy when making your list.

Here’s how to decide whom to invite to your child’s birthday party.

  • Decide how many guests you can have by planning the other details first. Before making a list, decide first on your venue so you know how many people you can practically accommodate. You should have a budget set so you know how big a party you can have. If you only have enough money for an afternoon of cake and ice cream in your yard, you’ll be able to determine how many people can fit in your space. If you only have a $300 budget, it’s not reasonable to invite your child’s entire class, plus family and have a sit down buffet for 100 in your two bedroom apartment.
  • Decide on immediate family members. If you have a lot of family, you may actually have a family only party. Grandma and Grandpa would also appreciate an invitation to the party, but only if they live in town and it wouldn’t be a huge ordeal on your part to have them involved. This isn’t like a wedding wherein you have to invite relatives from out of state. However, if most of your family members are old and wouldn’t appreciate young boisterous children, you may decide to leave off all family members and simply invite children.
  • Invite those your child regularly sees and plays with. This is his party so invite people whose company you know he will enjoy. Make sure his favorite afternoon playdate buddy is there, as well as the kid from across the street that he bikes with regularly.
  • Be selective about classmates. Just because your child goes to the same school as someone doesn’t automatically necessitate an invitation. You wouldn’t invite everyone at work to your own gigs, so don’t feel guilty if your child has to be selective. You can allot about five to ten slots for your child’s closest friends at school. This is plenty since most kids only have one or two best friends.
  • Try to invite children. If your child isn’t in school yet, try to invite other couples that have children close to your child’s age. Otherwise, you’ll have a children’s birthday party with no kids. You want this party to be fun for your child as well.
  • Don’t feel obligated. Don’t feel like you have to invite all your neighbors and friends. You have to be firm and selective. Accommodate only the number of people you can afford.

If you really have too many people that you know, you may want to break up the celebration by groups. For example, you can have a small get together with family members, but let your child take out his top ten friends for some ice cream on a Saturday.

Don’t stress too much about the party. It’s supposed to be fun! Have the right balance of grownups that can help, as well as enough children to play with to make sure that everyone has an enjoyable time.


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