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As we are approaching our son's second birthday I have been contemplating whether or not to have a big party or just a small get together with some close friends. Last year for his first birthday we just had a small get together which I think was perfect since he had not really started playing with other children yet. Now that he has more little "friends" I am not sure if we invite all of them (this usually includes their families) or still just do a small get together. I feel that if we start inviting some children, we have to invite all of them so none of the parents feel left out :). What have some of you done in the past?

asked 02 Oct '09, 02:57

Melissa%201's gravatar image

Melissa 1
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When your children are 1 and 2, they don't know anything about birthdays, so whatever party you have is for you, not them. Thats not to say you shouldn't have a big party, as a child's birthday is a great excuse to have a giant cookout or to see the entire family, or reconnect with parents you haven't seen in a while. So long as you're clear in your motivation, you can have whatever party size you feel comfortable with and know you're doing the right thing.

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answered 03 Oct '09, 20:50

WindyCityEagle's gravatar image

WindyCityEagle
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Small parties are lovely if you can get away with it. We found that the first couple of years could be relatively small, but from 3-5 we've had to have about 20-25 children. When our eldest is 6 he's going to have a small cinema trip though - 10 children max.

One thing to bear in mind is that before children are about 4, their parents are going to be at the party too... so a party for 10 babies can still end up with 30 extra people in the house (or wherever). Assuming you're feeding the kids, it's nice to have something for the adults too.

One hint for birthday parties: my wife (who is fabulous at craft things anyway) has always organised activities like decorating biscuits, or colouring and sticking hats, making fairy wings etc. These have always gone down really well with parents and children alike - and it's made for a much quieter party than having running around or bouncing at soft play for the whole time. (We've had physical activities as well, just not the whole time.)

We've always gone for "themed" parties (Bob the Builder, diggers, fire engines, fairies etc) which we've found helpful too.

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answered 02 Oct '09, 06:03

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Jon Skeet
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We had a big party for our 2 year old and she loved it (she loves being around other kids). In a way, it was a surprise party for her. When her first friend arrived she was so excited, then more came and she had a smile on her face the entire time.

We did a craft as Jon said in his answer and it was a big hit with everyone. One thing we did that I think worked well was we had her open one present and then made time for her (and her friends) to play with it until she was ready to open another gift. We didn't force her to keep opening one gift right after another as is sometimes typical with birthday's. The presents were spread out through out the party.

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answered 02 Oct '09, 07:19

Sabrina's gravatar image

Sabrina
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I think when they are that young you have the luxury to do what you think will be best, I agree with all the posts in that 2 is a little on the young side for him to really appreciate that the party, but for a 3 year old it does make an impact. Once the pre-school, kinder school start then the celebrations take on a new format, with new made friends and so fourth.

I recall that the 1st was special for us, the 2nd was celebrated with close family, 3rd was celebrated in pre-schoolwith friends and we had some entertainers come and paint childrens faces and dancing games. I would say enjoy the first few years amongst yourselves, there will be plenty of time in the future for planning bigger child filled parties.

Good luck!

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answered 02 Oct '09, 05:38

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Emi
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We had the same type of party for my daughter's first and second birthday party, a cookout with both friends and family, with about 20 people. She loved it. I like the idea of having a craft for the kids to do, think that would be great. Happy 2nd birthday!

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answered 02 Oct '09, 17:38

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Michelle
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Slightly offtopic addition to Jon's answer:

When our eldest is 6 he's going to have a small cinema trip though - 10 children max.

I like what my parents did: From the time we started school, we could invite as many friends as the age we were turning. So on my 6th birthday I could invite 6 people.

I think this works well because wrangling six 6-year-olds versus 14 14-year-olds probably take about the same amount of effort :-D

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answered 04 Oct '09, 04:23

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rick.measham.id.au
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Asked: 02 Oct '09, 02:57

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Last updated: 04 Oct '09, 04:23