Over the last few weeks I’ve been planning for a couple of parties, one for a 4 year old and one for a 5 year old.   A dinosaur party for my son and the games for a 5 year olds t-shirt painting party.  The dinosaur party went well – we had it at home and everyone had fun (or so they tell me) The t-shirt painting party also went well but what has struck me (literally between the eyes) chatting to parents about kids parties is that there is a general feeling, almost a rule, that parents have to have the whole class at the party.  We don’t want to upset anyone, parents or child and don’t then want our own kids to miss out being invited to a party in their class.

In some cases this can be up to 50 kids, 50 children!? That then means 100 adults and more if both parents come with their child and then take into account family too.  No wonder the cost of parties is soaring – just party bags alone could cost anything up to £500 and that’s even before the food, venue (which is going to have to be pretty big), entertainment and decorations.  That is as many guests as some weddings – it’s crazy to imagine.  If we carry on at this rate we’ll be looking at up to £1500 and more for 1 child’s birthday party – WOW!

Why do we feel we need to keep up with what everyone else is doing and invite so many kids – surely a party with just our child’s close friends is enough – 20 kid’s tops?  They can’t possibly know all those children apart from maybe their names. Can’t we talk to our children and ask them who they want to invite to their party?  Yes I know that they change their friends every two minutes, especially their best friend but when you hit 20 kids names they are able to understand that that’s enough, even from 3 years old.

Apart from the cost and inviting a load of kids our child doesn’t really know, what other reasons are needed in order to put kid’s parties into perspective and realise that this size of party might not be a good idea?  Our stress levels?  Finding space for 50 extra toys and games that are brought as presents?  The knock on effect of probably having a party every weekend that you feel your child must attend in return as well as the 50 birthday presents and cards you’ll need to buy when attending those parties.  Before you know it the knock on effect is huge and the cost, including your own child’s party could be anywhere up to £2500 and more depending on your taste in presents and where they are held. That’s a lot of cash and considering a lot of parents spend on their child regardless of having the money or not that’s a lot of money when you may not have that amount to spend! OK, this may be the worst case scenario but it’s certainly something to think about when planning your child’s next birthday party.

What are your thoughts?  Am I being too hard, not thinking of feelings?  What is the highest number of children you’ve ever had at your child’s party?  When the costs are getting into crazy figures and especially if you can’t afford it, why do we carry on regardless?!  Please enlighten me as maybe I’m missing something? Answers on a postcard, or just leave a comment below. I shall wait to be educated…

Charli x