My List of Kids Party Do’s & Don’ts

Ava turned 5 in December and Hannah turned 2 a couple of weeks ago and in between, we’ve attended or been invited to a multitude of birthday parties.

Here is my list of do’s & don’ts of kids parties:

Do – RSVP to the invite.

Don’t – just not RSVP if you can’t make it.

Do – Do arrive on time, or as close to on time as possible and not an hour late.

Don’t – Just NOT arrive on the day.

Do – let the Mom/Dad know if you can’t make it on the day because your kid is sick or your hair is on fire. Seriously, it is inexcusable to just not arrive, unless there is a death or illness or … you know what I mean, just not pitch because you don’t feel like it or something better came up.

Don’t – not bring a gift! It’s a kids party, even a box of chocolates or a R15 coloring in book from The Crazy Store will do, but bring something!

Do – offer wine/champagne/beer at your party or at least the option for attendees to bring their own, kids parties are my own personal hell and it helps me to be able to enjoy a glass of something while I’m there, not to mention helping the childfree attendees cope during the mayhem.

Don’t – ignore your guests, even if you are a social misfit, make an effort to chat to everyone, even if it’s just for a few minutes. I recently attended a party where I felt so painfully isolated I wanted to abandon my children and go home.

Do – let your kids have fun, it is a party after all.

Don’t – dress your kids in their best outfits and then not allow them to get dirty/play/go down the water slide.

Do – cater for the parents too, in some small way or form. Just have something, even if it’s a plate of sandwiches for the adults to eat.

Don’t – over cater for the kids, my experience… they’re far too busy playing to be interested in a table full of treats.

What are your absolute do’s and don’ts of kids parties???

Resized 5


  • dummymommy

    March 4, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    So thrilled about this post, as planning Erin’s 3rd birthday party.

    Do – have utensils if the food needs it. Recently went to a party, no cake forks etc.

    Don’t – Buy the cheapest toy for a party pack that will break within seconds, rather have no gift (it is your child’s party after all, not everyone else’s party).

    Don’t – over cater, agree with that one, but many of us do this.

    Do – thank guests for gifts, no matter how small. A few times I haven’t been thanked, just good manners…..

    Do – let your child have FUN! It’s what being a child is all about.

    Do – have sugar, doesn’t have to be copious amounts, but at least have some. Nothing worse than going to a 3yo health freak’s bday…..

  • Pandora

    March 4, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    Just a couple of points that get to me.
    Don’t arrive with a couple of extra kids that were not invited especially if you have not even bothered to RSVP. And don’t then expect them all to get party packs.

    Don’t drop your kids and disappear leaving the hosts to look after them! Arrange with another mom to keep an eye.

    Do serve good coffee. For those of us that don’t drink wine!

  • Jenny

    March 4, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Boy oh boy so true. My worst is the not RSVPing – just let me know one way or another – Dyl has insisted I invite his one classmate for three years running. For three years running I haven’t ever had an RSVP and he’s never come. My boy is clearly a sucker for punishment! The not arriving on the day – we had that this year. It’s just damn rude and I still haven’t heard from the mom even though she mailed me to say they will make it?!. Rude. And as Dyl gets older I notice the lack of thank you’s. I always mail everyone to say thanks for the gift and for coming to the party. And when my kids are old enough I will make them do this. Manners surely?

  • catjuggles

    March 4, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Great list. My favorite pet peeve
    Don’t arrive with an extra child! If you have not other option let me know before hand. I would love your extra child to also feel special and not like they were not suppose to be there.
    Do – do sweetie buffets and let parents and kids choose what sweets they want.
    Don’t put lots of chinese crap or sweets I do not know in a party bag and give it to my kid

  • MeeA

    March 4, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Your list and mine are pretty similar. The year before last, when my daughter’s birthday party invitations went out, not a single person bothered to RSVP or show up on the day. My poor child was gutted! I can (kind of) understand it from a bunch of pre-teen girls but what about their parents?

  • wobbly02

    March 9, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Most comments have been said regarding the responses/non responses and people bringing hordes of other children with them to the party (dont have a problem if ive been warned at least i can still give the additional child a party pack).On the note of additional people the party is normally a childs party not extended to cousins,aunts and uncles. Last year I had my daughters birthday party I had one mother arrive with her child (minus a gift) the mother said sorry will leave child here and quickly shoot to shop to get something (arived back empty handed) but the topper of the lot was I had catered for parents as well as kids with platters and drinks and things and lo and behold one of the parents at the party was getting her child to walk to the car with drinks and platters to take home. Thought that was rather cheeky as there was plenty of food and really if they had wanted to have “padkos” I would have given but to watch my snacks being marched out the party i was horrified!


I LOVE comments, leave yours here:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: