Friday, October 28, 2011

The Sibling Invite




I am in full party plan mode right now, no not the Tupperware party plan mode, kids birthdays.

I love kids birthday parties and I am happy for the kids to have a party each year if we can manage it. Really the kids have very little they want.  A cake and being able to blow out the candles, friends over to play and a lolly bag to hand out at the end.

This year my dilemma is the sibling invite. We worked out that Immy had between 6-8 little friends to invite, but she was extremely strong about wanting NO BOYS. She has even told the three boys in the crèche room whom she detests for some reason,  “You are not coming to my party today.” At two, she has no idea what this whole party business is really about and certainly has no concept of time. Mum is talking party, so therefore, a party must be sometime, why not today.

Anyway, if we invite eight little girls, who will each arrive with a parent (or two) plus us, we have 20 in the house. My panic levels will be setting in.

I don’t know all these kids and their families but I am guessing they all have at least one or two (or more) siblings. If the party is on a Sunday, do I invite them all? 

If the sibling were a baby I would expect it just comes along anyway, but do I need to put the babies name on the invite to let them know that I don’t mind the baby coming along?  Did I mention I don’t know them all – I don’t know the names of the babies. All I know is that Immy likes playing in the sandpit with the child and that makes them best friends.

If we allow Popps to have a friend at the party too, is just one ok, and what if it is a sibling of another child and we didn’t have all the other siblings?

Or do I just hit the kitchen and start making fairy bread, open the doors wide, and welcome everyone? It is a party after all.

How do you manage the sibling invite, and if you have done this a few times before, please fill me in on the politics of the preschool birthday party.

Plus, if you are capable of making the cakes above can you please upload a tutorial so I can pass it on to someone and pay them to make these for me. I found this image on Pinterest, where I am spending why too much time.





Photobucket

19 comments:

  1. We don't put the siblings name on the card unless we are close to the whole family. But if siblings come I don't mind. I usually make up extra party bags just for this reason.

    We also only invite the birthday boy/girls friends. The siblings don't get a say, they get there turn when it is their birthday.

    Good luck with the party planning. And extra luck for the cake!

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  2. As you noticed at our recent party we have a come one, come all policy! That said, the parties are more about us at this stage than the kids though I suspect that will start to change for Bliss' next party when she turns 4 where we will invite some of her friends from kinder/creche that we don't know but still all our usual family-friends crowd. It needs to be what you are comfortable with numbers wise. The no-boys thing is harder but I think she's still at an age where you can decide and explain to her your choice. Have fun! x

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  3. We are in similar modes.

    I just bought my weight in tissue paper for pass the parcel. Actually two pass the parcels because we have a boy/girl combination party going on.



    I think if parents have to come then you should expect other brothers and sisters as well. It's difficult to exclude, especially when they are young families.

    I wouldn't necessarily invite them but maybe just put a little note at the bottom of the invite, asking if they could give numbers, when RSVPing. That way you won't be caught short with catering etc.

    I'm not really worried about how many turn up to this party. We don't do parties every year. Ivy and Noah's next big party will be when they turn 12. The rest can be sleepovers and small affairs with just a couple of friends until then. The more the merrier, i say.

    Each of my kids can invite one friend each to the other's birthday party. This year, the biggies' friends are all working on different party stations. They think it's great!

    I guess when it all comes down to it, you have to do what you are comfortable with.

    I can't wait to see photos of your fairy princess party!
    Oh and I'm serious, if you want to have the bunting after our party is done, let me know and it's all yours :)

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  4. Such a tricky one.

    If it's a party at our home (alternate years) then I make a point of inviting relevant siblings as well. The more the merrier and all that...

    (If its at another venue, it depends on whether it's age appropriate for other ages.)

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  5. For the first time this year, I put the invite brakes on. Charlie was turning 4 and he was very specific about who he wanted to invite. So that's who we invited. A few friends from daycare. His cousin. And one of my girlfriends kids who he loves (a girl!).

    The rule I used was if a sibling is under 1 then s/he is more than welcome, but otherwise not. I made a point to call the Mum who has a baby under 1 and let her know her son was more than welcome. Everyone else got the gist from the invite.

    My sister in law and one of my girlfriends dropped their kids off and took off for an hour up the street by themselves. They couldn't wait to do the dump and run!!

    Ollie is turning 2 soon, so it will be the opene house friends and family thing again. (which usually turns into late night sausage sangers and lots of drinks once all the kids are asleep!

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  6. The sibling thing is a bit tricky, and so is the whole family coming along. If you don't work full time, one option could be to have it as a play date during the week. I did this for my 3 year old yesterday and it meant that although a few of his little friends couldn't make it, most of them could and we didn't have as many siblings coming along and only 1 parent per kid. I found this much easier to manage compared to the Sunday morning party we had for my 1 year old last week where everyone came!!!

    Yesterday it was just the 3 year olds and babies with any older siblings being at school or kinder. It worked quite well. It also worked for us because my husband wasn't at work, so I know it wouldn't work for everyone, but just one idea for you!!!!

    I would happily make those cakes for you! Although I know they wouldn't be as pretty and neat as the picture!!!

    Good luck with the party prep.
    Amycakes xoxo

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  7. Ohhhhhhhh this is a tricky one and thankfully I've not had to tackle yet! So far my boys have been happy to invite a small number of friends (who are the kids of our family friends) but I'm thinking Master 5 will have other ideas next year when he starts school...my stress levels rise slightly at the very thought alone!!

    I know for myself that when one of the boys gets an invite and it's on a weekend, I wouldn't take the other sibling or my husband but not everyone thinks like that.

    I did the mid week birthday party this year for Master 3 simply because I am a chicken when it comes to the idea of hosting big parties (their 1st birthdays were HUGE and from then on I opt for small!!).

    I think if you host on a weekend you do have to be prepared for the odd sibling & extra parent, and agree that if you ask for numbers at the bottom of the invite you can be better equipped.

    Good luck, sounds like great fun xx

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  8. We usually just put the invited child's name on the card but specify parents and siblings welcome if that's the case. But if parents and siblings come too I don't mind at least when kids are young, because sometimes parents don't have or can't afford babysitters. I do think as kids get older, it's nice for them to go to parties on their own and have their own 'things'. But you know it's not always possible. I appreciate being asked if siblings are coming. I notice a lot of parents now specify: drop off/pick up times, which makes it clear what they expect, which is helpful too. It's such a tangled web, isn't it?
    No matter what, I hope you all have fun!

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  9. Love those cupcakes- super cute!

    I can fully sympathise with your headache...I recently wrote about the politics of Kindy birthday parties although I don't know if it would provide much guidance to you...I was as frazzled as you sound :)

    Here's the link anyway:
    http://chroniclescamera.blogspot.com/2011/06/politics-of-kindergarten-birthday.html

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  10. I always invited a few adults with one child (or no children, like my mother-in-law) to stay. Everyone else were very aware they weren't staying. Nor were their other children.

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  11. This is going to be a touchy point (oh joy! another one to navigate delicately throughout my daughter's younger years!), but this is what we did for a recent at-home party (her first over the age of 2, where it was previously more about family/us together than who were her friends):

    I specified a drop-off/pick-up time on the invitation and put a note that parents were more than welcome to stay or drop off and collect later, that the party would be fully supervised by a paid entertainer. Despite this, most people stayed and the place was packed. We didn't mind and expected this, but there were a number of older kids looking terribly glum and bored.... I don't know why people would choose to do that but they have their valid reasons I guess. The ones that annoy me are the similar aged siblings who tear around and demand cake and lolly bags when they haven't been catered for. It's a bloody social-etiquette landmine! We thought we had made it clear and reasonable, but no. Still we had the siblings.

    Sorry. I don't mind including siblings but only to a certain point! (and I think there is such a thing as telling your child no, they can't join in) Going against the grain here.

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  12. This is going to be a touchy point (oh joy! another one to navigate delicately throughout my daughter's younger years!), but this is what we did for a recent at-home party (her first over the age of 2, where it was previously more about family/us together than who were her friends):

    I specified a drop-off/pick-up time on the invitation and put a note that parents were more than welcome to stay or drop off and collect later, that the party would be fully supervised by a paid entertainer. Despite this, most people stayed and the place was packed. We didn't mind and expected this, but there were a number of older kids looking terribly glum and bored.... I don't know why people would choose to do that but they have their valid reasons I guess. The ones that annoy me are the similar aged siblings who tear around and demand cake and lolly bags when they haven't been catered for. It's a bloody social-etiquette landmine! We thought we had made it clear and reasonable, but no. Still we had the siblings.

    Sorry. I don't mind including siblings but only to a certain point! (and I think there is such a thing as telling your child no, they can't join in) Going against the grain here.

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  13. I'm lapping all this up as it's an issue I'll have to face down the track. I did like my friends solution though .... actually had the party at the creche and hired a clown to attend. Creche agreed to it and they supply the cake for a small fee and my friends left a lolly bag in the kids lockers for later, so numbers were straightforward. And with no parents/siblings present, and no messy home to clean up, I reckon it was a great idea.
    And no, I couldn't dream of being able to make those cakes! At my 3yr olds party, I bought a slab of cake from the supermarket and had a personalised icing topper made up ... looked fab!

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  14. If I was a parent at your creche and did not know you. My husband and I rock paper scissors to see who the poor sucker is that has to go and we take the child invited only.

    The only time I would take another child with me is if I had no one to look after them and if I couldnt I would ring the party parent and ask if it was ok to bring another person.

    I would hope other parents do the same thing.

    I feel your pain I too am in November party planning hell.

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  15. Well l said no sibiling as life tough . kids have to learn that there brothers and sister have special days for them selfs with there friends.. Then there is no crap when you dont have enough party bags.. Or if dont want it at your house have the party at the local park.. We have mr 10 party at the skate park and the kids loved it!! and parents just drop and leave !!! would love to make those cake!!

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  16. When the children are young, it's a bit of a come one come all thing. I catered enough fairy bread and fruit platters for an army in those days as well as those small chipolata sausages. Keep everyone happy at a reasonable cost.

    As for party bags, only the invitees got one, although I always made extra just in case, but I never expect my child's sibling to be given a party bag at a party they were not invited to, so that's how I run my parties. As for the invite, I only put the name of the child invited on the invitation.

    Good luck!

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  17. Under 5, I've always invited everyone in the fam, but I've only ever invited kids from families that I know.

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  18. I only put the invited child on the invite, but some people don't get the hint. You eventually start to work this out after a few parties with the sibling that always shows up.
    If I know that someone is going to bring an extra (and I don't want to ask them not to, because I don't like conflict) I'll create an extra wrapper on the parce the parcel or make sure we have enough. Or you can be really pointed and only have bags for the invited children and just say 'sorry, I only made (so) many.'

    I actually brought this up at a party once in general conversation, talking about how siblings shouldn't just assume they are invited, and that got the word out a little bit. I don't want to be a mean mummy, but at the end of the day it's my money that's paying for the party, and I have to be able to cope, and too many kids makes that hard and expensive. (Plus I have 4 of my own!)

    And I dont invite a friend for siblings. It's not their day, and th per can learn to enjoy it being about someone else instead. :)

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  19. This is such a tricky dilemma isn't it! I have been reading the comments, and there are some fabulous suggestions aren't there?
    I have done many of the above suggestions, and have found that it is something that has changed over the years.
    When my eldest was little (before school), it was just easier to invite a couple of close friends and say openly that it was a family event and all siblings and parents were welcome. It tended to work pretty well, but at that stage he wasn't usually fussy about who came. When my second was a preschool I did what someone above suggested, and had it on a friday morning when the big siblings were at school, so it was just a little people's party. Now that the older two are both at school, people seem to generally assume that siblings are not invited (unless specifically on invite), so that makes it easier. Although on the other hand I kind of miss the bigger family parties.

    I think that the best thing is probably to decide what you want the party to be like, and then make that as clear as possible when inviting people. Good luck with it!

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