How Should the Invitation Be Worded and Other Kid's Party Questions...

Updated on December 08, 2012
T.M. asks from Tampa, FL
12 answers

I am going to do it...I am throwing my kids their first birthday with classmates the first weekend of Feb. My kids have the same birthday and will be 5 and 7. I am having it at the local swim school that my kids attend and will be inviting their entire classes. SO, this could potentially be a large event if turnout is high. How should the invitation be worded? I don't want anyone to assume that we expect each guest to bring gifts for both kids. Obviously, these are two different groups of kids so most guests will either know my son or my daughter, but not both.

Also, given the timeframe for the party (4-6 p.m.), I know that I am on the hook to provide more than just finger food. The swim school has a agreement with a local Dominos, so I will probably order pizza to be delivered. How do I determine how much to buy? I also thought that I would have chips, pretzels, dips, juice boxes, sodas, and cake.

I have nightmares about the RSVPs. I really do need to get a decent headcount about 10 days prior to the party so that the swim school can schedule enough lifeguards...not to mention making sure there is enough food and drink.

How does everyone else handle this? This is the first time that I have thrown a birthday party that included anyone else but immediate family. Obviously, if this turns out to be a cluster, I will definitely do something else next year. Any tips or pointers?

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answers from Dover on

Word them the normal way but do one invitation for your daughter's classmates and another one for your son. Do joint invitation for family and family friends.

I would round up for whatever responses you get and then figure 1.5 pieces of pizza per person (some will eat one and others will eat two) if they are average sized. If they are like some and slice them into smaller slices, figure 2 for each person. Again, round can always freeze your leftovers for a quick dinner at a later time.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

If at all possible, use e-vite for the invitations so that you can better track the invites. Also if there is any type of waiver or release that the kids have to have filled out prior to swimming, you can include that in the e-mail or give people a link where they can download it, print it and bring it with them already filled out. Have the pizza place cut some of the pies into 12 or 16 slices. Plan on one pie for every 4-5 of the 7 year olds and every 6 of the 5 year olds. I find that there are always some leftovers. Mention on the invite that snacks and pizza will be served. I usually get some of those 8 oz bottled waters as well as juice boxes for kids that don't drink juice.

For the invite wording...I combine parties for my younger kids and this is what I have put on their invites. I actually consulted with an etiquette columnist on this and she had no ideas for me so I just went with it:

"PS - there is no way to word this without a major etiquette faux pas are, of course, not necessary but if you do bring one, please bring only for the birthday boy your child is friends with - please don't think you have to get a gift for the other brother! I only bring this up because other guests have generously assumed that in the past and it's way too much! Thank you!"

I cringed mentioning gifts in the invite, but the sun still rose the next day and the earth didn't stop spinning so it's all good ;-). Have fun!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I went to a party this summer that was for a brother/sister pair and I didn't even know both were celebrating their birthdays until I got there. So in this case, separate invitations were sent and I think it worked out fine. They did have a separate cake for each birthday child though.

If the pool can be sectioned off, you can have the 5 y.o.'s in one section and the 7 y.o.'s in another.

Definitely ask for a headcount by a certain date to make sure that you can plan for the right amount of lifeguards. I have seen some pool parties where the person throwing the party wants an adult to stay for each kid. If you have any expectation of parents staying, you should indicate that too.

Although people aren't great about RSVP's, I have found that most people who are coming do RSVP (usually count on 1 or 2 extras). One of the most awkward things is when a kid says they are coming, but you never hear from the parent. You can either assume they really are coming or double check with the parent.

Good luck! I hope your kids have a great party!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

If it were me, I'd do the invites separate per child. Note on the invites that RSVP prior to such and such date is important and then you can base your pizza order off of that. If there isn't enough food because people failed to RSVP then oh well. It's not worth the stress to assume how many people are really going to show up. A few bags of chips, some bottled water and juice boxes sound like plenty along with cake. And just because the party ends at 6 doesn't mean you have to feed anyone more than finger foods either. I'd also do a full sheet cake too and have each child's name on half so they can blow out the candles together.




answers from Los Angeles on

I would send separate invitations and only mention one child on each one. It's a little more work, but it's so much better than making parents wonder if they should bring two gifts (or feel obligated to do so).

As for RSVPs, put a date that is two weeks prior to the party so you'll have four days to follow up with people if they don't respond. I have never had more than 1-2 moms not RSVP, and they got back to me quickly once I contacted them.

As for how much pizza, most kids at parties only eat one slice. If you are going to have the parents there too, I'd add one slice per parent. I've noticed that many parents don't eat the pizza at birthday parties and the kids are usually too excited to eat more than one (though, if your son is the older one, I'm not sure if boys that age are starting to eat more. Five year old boys are usually fine with one slice each). The rest of your menu sounds good. We usually do chips or pretzels, fruit, and cake to go along with the pizza.



answers from Detroit on

pizza....figure 2 slices per child.. or adult. I would want plenty of parents on hand to help with dressing and undressing and supervising kids in and out of the water.

rsvps.. are a nightmare.. even for a big event liek a wedding people do not respond. so do not expect to get a ton of responses.. in my experience most folks that respond say they are coming.. if they do not respond.. they will not be there..

i would do 2 separate invites.. they dont have to be at all the same..

parties at locations are easy.. pay the money..the location takes care of the event.. super easy.



answers from Pittsburgh on

You should send out 2 sets of invites. One to each kid's classmates.
I would definitely send evite because its the best way to get RSVPS. You can then keep sending reminders to people you haven't heard from. And if you STILL haven't heard back you can call and say you where having some trouble with the evite and wanted to make sure that they knew they were invited. You can also add in the notation area that it will be a joint party. Don't say anything about not bringing gifts though-way too tacky.

I would seriously rethink having your 5 yos whole class and just have only the same sex classmates of the birthday kid. I would be nervous as heck with a classroom of 5 yos running around! Its actually dangerous and has the possibility of getting out of control. You may even want to do the same with the 7 yo.

I suggest that you make sure there is enough adult supervision. Enlist people's help beforehand. I have thrown many a party where I thought that my friends would help out only to find them chatting away and me running around like crazy!



answers from San Francisco on

Sarah and Johnny are having a birthday~
Come join us for fun in the sun. Bring your swimsuit and a towel.
4-6pm food will be provided

Please RSVP to this ____________number so we can make sure we have enough food for all. *do this one week prior--have them rsvp. Then say if you can't join us, please let us know that too.

I don't think people will expect to buy 2 gifts. I think the kids will get gifts for their friends and leave it at that.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Send the invites to the respective friend as if it were 2 separate parties.
Add "please RSVP by XYZ for final head count!" (Give a phone number AND an email.)
And, of course, there will be those who won't, so call!
2 slices per child will be PLENTY for those ages.
Add O. more pizza for the parents that stay.
I suggest pizza & gift opening last, since they'll be swimming.

Oh-those little ice cream cups will be fine in a core with ice.
Consider cupcakes.
Keep it as simple as possible.



answers from Reno on

As others have said, send out separate invites. Be sure highlight and underline the RSVP and phone number/e-mail. For some reason, many people do not either understand or respect the RSVP on invites. IF you have the phone numbers/e-mails of parents or if you see them personally, you may want to ask a few days before the party if they are planning on having their kids attend, I would plan for about 4 extra kids for each child's party for the ones who do not RSVP. You should be covered that way. It's tough when you have to plan for lifeguards, food, etc... Good luck and have fun!



answers from Honolulu on

I would think, that EACH of your children, will have a different set of separate invitations, to give to THEIR friends... hence, the kids that attend, will be coming for that child, and/or bringing a b-day gift for THAT child.

I would not, in other words, send out invitations and have both children on the invitation and it being given out to both of your children's group/class of friends.
That way, the invited will not "think" they have to bring gifts for BOTH of your children.
And it is 2 different groups of kids, anyway.
But once the invited get there, they will see that the other sibling is having a party, too.

RSVP deadlines, HAVE to be, listed on the invitation.
Say, that you need a headcount, for the swim school. Because, they need to have on hand, enough, Life Guards.
Say on the invitation, that you need to know, who can or cannot attend.
Because, typically, those who cannot attend a party, may not even bother replying back with an RSVP.

AND, per the ages of the children, you ALSO need to specify ON the invitation... IF parents are allowed to attend or if it is just a drop-off, party.
Because it is a pool party, and some kids may not even know how to swim, and given the age of the children, MOST parents, will want to be there too... or know what other Adults of your family, will be there to watch the children. ie: to the bathroom, to anywhere on those premises, etc. How will they ALL, be adequately, supervised... beyond just the pool area?????

You are inviting a lot... of kids. Both classes from both your kids. And, it is a pool, party. What a doozy.



answers from Detroit on

For the RSVP after your name and # I would say "please RSVP by xxxx so we can ensure enough lifeguards are on hand. That would not offend me-it would encourage me to RSVP for safety's sake.
I did pizza, a subway party tray, and homemade spaghetti salad for my daughters birthday. The tray I picked up that morning, and I called the pizza place in advance and told them how many I thought I would need-then called the actual order in after the party started. We had some people that arrived late and just phoned in another pizza.
I did juice boxes too-and iced tea/water for adults.
For the invites I would give each kid their own-you could write in there that the bother/sister will be celebrating too. Honestly, I wouldn't buy a gift for both kids unless I knew both. I might get them both a card.
I agree with one and done-keep it simple. For party favors I bought a bunch of round cereal and gummy candy in bulk and put red shoestring licorice and elastic and made edible jewelry kits. I gave them to each kid as they left and got a ton of calls from the parents later that the kids love it and they're going to "steal" the idea.

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