As soon as your little ones are old enough to attend a nursery or kindergarten there’s one thing you can expect on a regular basis – birthday party invitations… and they keep coming and coming. While they parties may seem like a simple concept – balloons, cake, games, there is actually a whole lot of other stuff that you need to be aware of, whether you’re the host or the guest.

HOSTS

Should I invite the entire class to the party?

1. Invite all the girls or boys depending on whether you have a birthday prince or princess; 2. Invite the whole class; 3. Invite whoever you like as long as you don’t need to send an invite through school channels. For example, if you can go direct to the parents of the kids you want to invite that’s fine, but don’t expect your class rep or teacher to hand out invites to a select number of kids in a class. Bear in mind that kids talk – you don’t want to upset anyone when someone in the class brags about going to a party and other kids get upset. So if you aren’t planning on inviting the whole class, talk to your child about discretion!

 

How should I send the invitation?

Nowadays everything is done electronically, invitations included. Environmentally friendly, not to mention friendly on a budget, a whats app party group is a great idea, plus it makes it easy to keep a tab on RSVPs. That said kids love a paper invite, it gets them involved. There really is no hard and fast rule when it comes to invites, just do what suits you.

 

How do I ensure my guests RSVP?

Include an ‘RSVP by…” and give a date. And if you haven’t heard back by the specified date, a friendly reminder along the lines of “I just wanted to check whether [insert name of child] is able to attend the birthday party. Sorry to chase only [insert name of birthday boy] is hoping he/she will be there and I’m just finalizing numbers.”

 

When should the birthday boy / girl open their presents?

There are pros and cons for opening presents in front of guests (so they can thank them and so the guests can see the happiness their presents bring). However, little guests can also get bored quite quickly watching their friend opening their presents. Whichever you decide, your child will still need to send thank you notes to everyone.

 

Are goody bags necessary?

The children love the cake and they love the goody bag. Most children will look forward to getting their at the end of the party, plus it serves as a nice ‘thank you for coming and thank you for the present’.

 

GUESTS


How much do I spend on the present?

Naturally there is no right amount. As a rule of thumb, between RM70 and RM100 should get you something nice that the birthday girl or boy will love. It’s always nice to ask the mommy if their child is into anything particular so you can get them something they will really love.

 

Should you let your child choose the present?

It’s always nice to include your child in present buying, it teaches them about ‘giving’ to others. The older children will also know exactly what their friends are into, which is a huge help when it comes to choosing something they will definitely want.

 

If you have more than one child, can you take a sibling along to the party?

Unless they have been specifically invited it’s not ideal to take a sibling along. If the host is a very close friend, asking is OK. But remember that a majority of the children invited could have siblings and that can mean it could get very expensive for the host. Another option, if the host is holding the party at a venue, is to offer to pay for the sibling.

 

If you’re child is invited to a party, but can’t make it, should you still buy a gift?

You aren’t obligated to do so, however it is a nice thing to do.

 

More Tips

  • Don’t let your child blow out the birthday candles.
  • Always RSVP to a party as soon as you can.
  • If you can’t make it to the party at the last minute, always let the host know.
  • Make sure your child isn’t a bad sport during party games, particularly during pass the parcel when it can be tempting to hold onto the parcel and not pass it on.
  • Always offer to help the host clear up during and after the party.  
  • Don’t hang around when it’s obvious the party has wrapped up.