Pre-School and Daycare

Did you/are you throwing a friend bday party for your 4yo?

I am struggling with whether or not I should throw DS1 a friend party for his 4th bday.
Last March we moved from NY to FL and knew no one down here at all. Since we've been here we've made some friends on in our neighborhood, plus both of our kids go to a structured school-like daycare where DS1 has a lot of friends - some of which we've had play dates with.

Under normal circumstances in NY I wouldn't be entertaining the idea of a friend party yet since we had so much family up there and would just do the one family party. But now that we are down here and there is no family, my only option for a party is a friend party. I just hate the idea of starting this young. He's attended 2 parties already since we've been here so it's not out of the norm but I still struggle.

Would you throw a party or no? Is it okay to pick just a couple of kids from his class at daycare that he talks about most (there are 2 that he talks about every day but we haven't met their parents) or do you invite them all (there are 35!) in addition to the couple neighborhood kids?

His birthday is on 3/14 so I really have to get going on this, DH has said to throw one but for some reason I'm stalling on this when normally I'd have all the party details taken care of by now!

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Re: Did you/are you throwing a friend bday party for your 4yo?

  • 35 is allot, and I've found that you don't make more than small talk at any school parties and the party hosts are too busy to talk much at all.  I'd invite the 2 he talks about over for a special play date.  That way you're more likely to get friendly with the parents too.
  • 4 was the first friend party we had for our youngest. We moved 18 months ago and he has made his own friends finally ; )

    he is my early fall bday boy so we met friends at a playground and had pizza and cake during the week. One of his brothers was not there since he was at school at the time too ; )

    he only invited 2 friends from class (kids he knew before he started preschool).
    Boy 1 2/06 - Boy 2 12/07 - Boy 3 9/09
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  • DS had his first party at five. We had about 10 kids...his cousin, neighbor friends, and a couple boys from preschool.

    This year, at six, he's having an all school friend party. He invited a little less than half the class. I feel bad that we couldn't invite everyone, but we can't handle 25 kids in our house. We sent the invites to the kids' houses and I told DS not to talk about his party at school so that his other classmates wouldn't be sad if they weren't invited...but of course I can't control other kids talking about it.

  • Yes we have done a friend party every year, mainly because we have no family here. The first two years were play group friends and some of our friends. For his third we did some of his preschool friends and a few play group friends we still kept up with. We didn't do his whole preschool class, just 5-6 kids. We sort of luck out with a July birthday in that I didn't worry about inviting everyone, especially since school wasn't in session. This year I think we will invite the 20 kids in his class. As another person responded, they won't all come. The ones we have gone to this year have only had about half of the class come. I say either do just a few friends (maybe 4 friends since he's turning 4) or you need to invite all.
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  • I would either invite the whole class or all of the boys.
  • We did our first one at 4 and invited the whole class (25ish at the time though it was summer so a lot of kids in part time or out for summer, etc)- like you we live far from family. The other kids started having parties at 3 but we arranged a trip to see family over their bday so escaped that one. But they really wanted one at 4, having attended quite a few (they're the youngest in their class).  Our class has 26 but I'll be honest, only about 50% ever come to the bday parties where ppl invite the whole class (and it is the same 50% that always come and don't generally come). Have you been to any parties w/ the class already to gauge how many will actually come if you invite the whole class?
    I think you can get away with inviting just the couple (people at our school do that too, I would say less than 5-6 total) or just boys if you want to go that way (though as a mom of b/g twins if you happen to have any in your class, you might wnat to communicate that in some way to their mom to eliminate any awkwardness...just my .02 on that topic ;)).
  • This is the first year DS is getting a friend party but honestly, DD has been having them since 2yo (with her we did playgroups and were very active in our Mom's Club).  I am inviting all the kids from DS's preschool but there are only 16.  If I were you I would do a small party with his closest friends.  
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  • Thanks everyone! I did decide to do a party and am inviting 3 friends from our neighborhood plus 5 from his daycare class. 2 of the 5 are twins that we've done a few playdates with and were invited to their party, a third is a boy we've had playdates with and again was invited to his party and the other 2 I haven't met the parents yet but my son talks about them so I'm hoping they will come since he really seems to like them.  There's just no way I can invite all the kids in his class and besides, we haven't been invited to anyone's else's party other than the 2 I mentioned and they didn't invite the whole class so I think I'm safe. Now to get planning.... :)
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  • We did a friend party this year for the first time. DD's prek class is much smaller than 35 and I still didn't invite everyone - only the ones I knew well & she was closest with. I think your decision to scale back is a smart one :)
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