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4 Bumps

Kids Birthday Party Etiquette

My daughter has been invited to a birthday party next weekend, her first one that's for a school friend and not somebody in the family. So I'm really uninformed about these things, I guess. Am I supposed to just drop her off at the house of someone I don't know? It's supposed to be cake and presents there, then swimming at the local rec center. So do I have to go back and take my own child to the rec center, or just send money for her to get in, or what? At least I know there are lifeguards at th rec center. The invitation didn't give enough details. There's a phone number to RSVP, but I don't want to sound totally stupid if I call, either. I don't even know the family, I only know that my daughter has this other little girl in her preschool class. How am I supposed to get a present for someone I've never even met? And speaking of presents, how much should I spend? There needs to be a book, Kids' Social Lives for Dummies!


Asked by Ballad at 10:21 PM on Dec. 2, 2012 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 45 (193,996 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • For the gift, just get a doll, art set, something under $20 that your daughter would like. I would call and ask the mother the rest. In my experience, parents always stay at parties until they reach around 8.

    Answer by mompam at 6:54 AM on Dec. 3, 2012

  • I'd definitely just call and ask the other parents all these questions. Don't feel stupid, it's your right as a parent to know what's going on, and honestly, they should have outlined the plans on the invite...or they're just expecting people to call to RSVP and they'll explain it all then.

    Answer by Ludvik_Smith at 10:40 PM on Dec. 2, 2012

  • As far as the gift, my rules was always if my kid likes it, it works (well, for the same gender anyway - for the opposite gender, I just kind of winged it.) As for the rest, just call them up and tell them, "I've not had the opportunity to meet you yet, so I'm unsure what you might expect of me in regard to the party. Could you tell me what I need to do?" Then, if she doesn't know what you mean, you could then expand and ask your specific questions.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 10:38 PM on Dec. 2, 2012

  • my daughter is 5 (not sure how old your is) and she has never been to a party without one of us present, every child at each party has had a parent with them, however most parties she has been to have been in Australia, we moved back here when she was 2, its absolutely just expected that the parents/a parent attends with the child in the young years, so I cant tell you if thats a cultural difference or not, but when I lived in the States I never remember my nieces going to any parties without a adult relative. There is no way in hell I would send my child to a party with people I had never met. As for the gift I normally call the Mother and ask what the child is into.

    Answer by Princess_s21 at 10:59 PM on Dec. 2, 2012

  • call and get the details and gift ideas- maybe the lack of information was a way to GET people to ACTUALLY call and RSVP!

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 10:42 PM on Dec. 2, 2012

  • For preschool age, I would spend no more than $10 for a gift. Probably a Barbie or Littlest Pet Shop or something like that. Without knowing the parents, I would definitely not leave my preschooler there alone and I would not allow them to drive her to the rec center (I don't know their driving habits and whether they will utilize a car/booster seat) or even trust that she would be supervised well enough in the pool (I don't care if there will be a life guard there...).

    Answer by AllAboutKeeley at 11:42 PM on Dec. 2, 2012

  • no, why would you pass? Call the parents and ask
    1. What does _________ like?
    Okay great she and I will be there

    That way they can say OH you are staying? IF they didnt want you too but I do not knwomany parents that want to "watch" other peoples children during a party they are hosting.


    Answer by luvmygrandbaby at 12:21 AM on Dec. 3, 2012

  • Preschool age, I always stayed and wanted parents to stay when I hosted parties. At that age, I think it's expected. I usually spend $15 on bday gifts. You can ask the parents what she is in to when you call and always include a gift receipt.

    Answer by missanc at 4:22 AM on Dec. 3, 2012

  • I think they probably expect you to drive to the pool. Otherwise, how would they manage it, with all the car seats and all.

    Answer by mompam at 6:57 AM on Dec. 3, 2012

  • Would it be better to pass on this one and wait till my daughter is a little older?

    Comment by Ballad (original poster) at 12:10 AM on Dec. 3, 2012