19 answers

Son's 4 Year Old Party?

My son attends preschool two afternoons a week, he's turning 4 next month. At preschool, they sing Happy Bday to the kids and celebrate with cupcakes or whatever a parent decides to bring in on the week of your child's bday, it's nice. If you decide to have a party, the school's policy is to invite all the kids in the class (15). It's a bit overwhelming for me to have this many kids plus their parents over for a party, and I'm not about to or really in the position right now to spend a ton of money on holding a party someplace outside of the home.

I really just want to have a small family party for him (that's what we've always done) and let him have cupcakes with his classmates at school. A lot of people have big parties for their 3 and 4 year old's so I'm feeling guilty/stressed about this. I really think he'll be just as happy with a family party. Any input on this? Thanks!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

At his age, I think you're fine to have a small family party for him.
Just include his favorite things: decorations of his choice (a theme he
likes), balloons, maybe his favorite food or snacks to eat.
Maybe a pinata etc.
That kind of thing.

2 moms found this helpful

That is totally okay! He is 4, so until he asks you to personally invite specific friends or asks to have his party at a particular place, he will not care.

I agree-family birthay gatherings are the way to go! As they get older you will be spending a lot more time and money planning birthday parties! :)

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

My son just turned 4 and we did just the family party and cupcakes at school. I also felt guilty for not having the big party. My son was happy with what we did.
We have gone to other 4 year old party's and he loves going and has never even asked why we did't have a party like that. Hope this helps

Updated

My son just turned 4 and we did just the family party and cupcakes at school. I also felt guilty for not having the big party. My son was happy with what we did.
We have gone to other 4 year old party's and he loves going and has never even asked why we did't have a party like that. Hope this helps

3 moms found this helpful

Totally do it your way. Many people get wrapped up in the "over" celebrating way too early. He'll have fun at school with his friends and enjoy a small family party at home.

2 moms found this helpful

You have nothing to feel guilty over. As long as you celebrate and make him feel special, he will be happy. You don't need to have it at a special place or an invitee list a mile long to make it nice. My parents NEVER did big parties. Every year it was just family. And since we were military, most of the time it was immediate family. We had our traditions and our birthdays were always incredibly special.

If you decide to invite friends over, you are not obligated to invite the whole class. That rule generally applies to sending out invites during class. I never invite the whole class. I understand those school policies, but an entire class plus our other family and friends is entirely overwhelming. Plus, although my son gets along with everyone, there is a child or two he doesn't want to spend extra time with outside of school. I simply email or ask parents for a mailing address outside of class and send them that way. I usually mention to the parents that I am not inviting the whole class so they know. Our parties are always at home and rather simple affairs.

2 moms found this helpful

My opinion? He is four. A small family party as you have described is just fine at his age. I know it's easier said than done, but don't worry about what other people think/do. It sounds like a family party is what's right for YOUR family, so stop stressing and go with that. :) Best wishes.

2 moms found this helpful

At his age, I think you're fine to have a small family party for him.
Just include his favorite things: decorations of his choice (a theme he
likes), balloons, maybe his favorite food or snacks to eat.
Maybe a pinata etc.
That kind of thing.

2 moms found this helpful

Typically the daycare "rule" is that if you have a party and hand out invites at the school you have to invite all the kids. If you want to have a family party you can. If you want to invite just one or two of his "best" friends, you can do that...just don't hand out an invitation at the school.

Take cupcakes in for the class.

1 mom found this helpful

I think it is fine to have a family party and celebrate with cupcakes at school. No reason to feel guilty about this. There is plenty of time for him to have parties with friends when he gets older. I think most 4 year olds are happy as long as they celebrate in some fashion.

I think the big reason to have a party with the whole preschool is so you can meet parents and maybe set up future playdates.

If your son does have 1 or 2 friends you would like to invite, you can as long as you don't pass out invitations at school. School policies usually dictate to invite the whole class so feelings don't get hurt.

1 mom found this helpful

15 kids plus other friends and family is a lot. We had a party for my son at McDonald's and all the kids loved it. We had 13 kids total and it was 9 dollars a kids. BUT it was a beautiful McDonald's playland place. If your son's preschool allows to to bring cupcakes and he is ok with just a family party later on, then do that. It sounds like fun!

1 mom found this helpful

That is totally okay! He is 4, so until he asks you to personally invite specific friends or asks to have his party at a particular place, he will not care.

I agree-family birthay gatherings are the way to go! As they get older you will be spending a lot more time and money planning birthday parties! :)

1 mom found this helpful

I say....screw the school policy and invite who you want. In no way should a school be able to dictate who you invite to a birthday party you are having at your house. That's stupid and unbelievable!!!

1 mom found this helpful

SOOOOOO sick of everyone being PC and trying not to hurt people's feelings. REALLY???? Get over it. Guess what, at some point, we don't get invited to everyone's parties...and with everyone FBing or Twittering it, we ALL get our feelings hurt because no on can shut their mouths. It is what it is.

Invite who you want to invite. Let him have a celebration at school for his classmates and a party at home with his family and a few friends, if you so choose.

People get out of control with kid's birthday parties. This should not be stressful for you. Enjoy it. If it's causing stress, then something is wrong.

1 mom found this helpful

My son is turning 3, we had a very small family part when he was 1. Since then, no parties. We get together and have dinner with family, that's it. I won't be having a party for him (and they will never be big and expensive) until he is old enough to ask. I'm assuming that will be around 5. When the kids are young, the parties are for the parents anyway...in my opinion. I've seem more meltdowns and overwhelmed young ones at parties, then happy young ones. Kids don't care!! I don't want to throw a party when he's so young it doesn't matter, so I don't!! Do what YOU want to do!

You don't HAVE to invite anyone in the class. Keep it small, if you want to!

1 mom found this helpful

My kids, have never been to a school in which they make you invite ALL the kids to a party.
What my kids Teachers did say is: if you have a party and make invitations, do not pass it out yourselves... but give it to the TEACHER and then she will discreetly, give it to the parents, of the child. NOT to the child themselves, because a child will blabber mouth it to everyone or get it lost.
So that is how it is at my kids schools.

It is unfortunate, that the school is dictating that you have to invite the ENTIRE class.

Maybe just invite other kid friends that your son has. Friends that are not school, related.

And NO... not all 3-4 year olds get big parties. My son did not. His friends did not. Its OKAY.
Do not feel guilty, okay?
And certainly, do not break your budget.

1 mom found this helpful

I have always only done a big family party. If we did invite anyone from school it was because they were family friends that was a relationship outside of the school from before they attended there or that will last beyond there time there.

I would not invite anyone from pre-school otherwise. These people may attend the same elementary school as your child in the future but they may also only be people he has contact with this particular year. So I say don't worry about hurt feelings or anything like that.

Wait until he is in Kindergarten or even 1st grade to have a party where the whole class is invited.

If you cave to pressure just do cake and ice cream, nothing more. It is such a waste of time to do gift bags for the kids that attend. Whomever started this gift giving to the kids who come is just a money grubber.

1 mom found this helpful

If you are just having a small family-only party, I don't think the school policy applies here. I think it's just so kids are not handing out invitations to just a few kids in the class and not others and kids are not getting their feelings hurt by being left out. Let him have cupcakes with his friends at school, do your own family-only thing, and don't worry about it!

1 mom found this helpful

I think the school's policy is that if you hand out invites there you have to invite all, but if you hand them out somewhere else, you can invite who you want. The school can't force you to invite everyone. That being said, after 2 kids, here is my thoughts about birthday parties that young: don't have a class party unless he asks for one. My daughter begged me for one and in preschool at age 5 I gave in (she got the idea from all of the other parties she went to) and now at age 8, we haven't been able to break her of the assumption of a big party each year, even though few in her class are still having them. My son, now 5, has never asked for one, and what he doesn't notice won't hurt him. 3 and 4 year olds don't remember much, so I think the early parties are way over done. Stick with the family party and invite a friend if he asks.

1 mom found this helpful

My son is turning 4 soon. At a recent birthday party, one of the other mom's said they never do a party, just a family get together, then cake at school. I wouldn't sweat it. Some people do a party and others don't. At this age, totally no big deal.

1 mom found this helpful

More kids, more presents!

This question, nearly the same, was asked less than an hour ago. You could scroll down the list and see the answers there too, but I will copy and paste mine.

You never have to invite everyone and you are free to invite no one! If you can ask the parents of the children he wants at his party for their address do so, and then mail the invites to them. Dont hand them out at school and I dont know about you, but I have no clue what anyones email address is. Just do what YOU want to do for the party and dont worry about all the others who just follow the crowd whether they want to or not. Start the new trend that is reasonable and managable and enjoy it!

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