by Tracey Lynch
I feel the need to explain kids’ party etiquette tips. It’s very simple and very straightforward. Or at least I think so! Here I go.
Attendee Etiquette Tips
- RSVP. For the love of God and all mankind – RSVP! Anal retentive planning types like me will thank you for it!
- Show up. If you RSVP’d yes – then show up!
- When it comes to siblings clear it with the host before bringing uninvited siblings along.
- Speak up about food allergies and intolerances early. Really early.
- If the invite says game over at a certain time, corner your kid, make them say their polite ‘thank you for having me’ and get the flock out of there!!!!!
- Don’t give a gift you wouldn’t be happy to have in your own home. I mean come on – who on God’s green earth thinks its cute to give a 3-year-old a referee’s whistle as a gift???
- Should I stay or should I dump and run? Ask the host. And if you do stay, don’t be afraid to pitch in and give a helping hand!
Host Etiquette Tips
- When it comes to food, generally if the party is held anywhere between 11am – 2pm or 5pm-7pm you need to feed the hoards something substantial. Outside of these times, you’re safe with light finger foods, snacks and cake. When it comes to what to feed them the possibilities are endless but do try to add some healthy alternatives into the sea of chips and lollies! In terms of healthy food, carrot and cucumber sticks always seem to be a winner as is fruit.
- Don’t forget food and drink for the parents. I’m not saying that you have to put on a full beer, wine and spirits package (although this mama would be grateful for that!) but coffee and tea would suffice, along with something grown-up to eat. Sometimes fairy bread cuts it, but more often than not a mini quiche goes down a treat!
- If you don’t know the kids intimately, ask at the RSVP stage for any food allergies or intolerances. Better to be safe than sorry. And don’t forget to check the lolly bag for allergens.
- Pass the parcel – the unwritten rule, until now that is, is that every child wins a prize. Yes, you must wrap each layer with a prize and if you’re really clever, you’ll have just enough layers, and if you’re anal like me, you will know if it’s a ‘girl or boy gift’ in each layer. And if you’re really on the ball and haven’t passed off gaming duties to the nearest teenager for the princely sum of a $20 iTunes voucher, ensure that the brattiest of brats in attendance doesn’t score the grand booty!
- Party bags – yep, you’ve just forked out a motza to throw this little shindig and now you also have to bribe your guests to leave your humble abode! The party bag has become the bane of every parent’s existence. You finally cajole your sugar-fuelled child into leaving the party only to discover the host is thrusting a bag of more sugar, a noisemaker and a cheap plastic toy into your dear child’s hands. Love them or loath them, the party bag is here and as far as I can see, there isn’t an end in sight until the kids are at least 8-9.
- To open gifts or not. I guess it’s a personal choice. My own personal choice is to open the gifts after the party when the chaos and madness has left the building so that someone (ok, anal me) can keep track of who gave what so when it comes to thank you cards, if you’re so inclined, you can address the thank you appropriately. Also, opening them later stops any distraction from the party activities.
- No matter the age, encourage the birthday boy/girl to thank each and every guest for celebrating their day. Having the birthday child hand out the loot bags could be a good opportunity for them to verbalise their gratitude.