Kids Birthday Invitation Etiquette | Hosting and Attending

Kids Birthday Invitation Etiquette | Hosting and Attending

Warm weather months seem to bring birthday parties and that means both hosting and attending a variety of celebrations for friends and family.

I'm sharing my top tips for the best birthday invitation etiquette to create comfort in the run up to your event whether hosting or attending.

Click through to learn the ins and outs of birthday invitation etiquette for hosting and attending birthday parties large and small. | Birthday parties | Manners and etiquette | #etiquette #manners

Birthday Best

As I teach in my manners classes that I host at my gift shop in Seattle, I emphasize that etiquette is not a rigid set of rules. Etiquette instead is the manner in which you make those around you feel comfortable.

It's likely that a birthday party is one of the more significant event hosting that one does in a given year. With that, it's a good idea to start a successful event at the beginning and that means the invitation! 

Children's Party Invitations

I host dozens of children's birthday parties each year and I have some time tested tips that make hosting the event a breeze for parents.

Guest list

It’s not essential that you invite every member of a child’s class, but if you’re opting for a small sub-set of the larger group make sure that is an appropriate break. For example, if your group is 10 girls, but there are 1 or 2 other girls in the class, include them as long as relations are friendly.

Invitation Timing

Families are busy and it’s important to consider others’ schedules when planning a child’s party. You want more than half of invited guests to be available to attend. For this reason, plan to send out invitations – paper or electronic – a month in advance.


Ask for an RSVP date on your invitation – paper or electronic – as many busy parents appreciate a deadline and often a deadline will prompt immediate replies.

If you do not, however, hear from some of your guests in advance of the party, reach out by email, text or phone, and kindly ask if their child will attend. You can simply say, “I’m calling to see if Jane can celebrate with us on Saturday. I was afraid you didn’t see the invitation and wanted to make sure you knew Jane was invited.” Feel free to leave this as voicemail as well.

Siblings and Unexpected Extra Guests

A gracious hostess makes room for everyone. If siblings attend who may not have been included on the guest list, simply accommodate those children in the activity and with refreshments as allowed. If there is a shortage of some element, it’s very reasonable to ensure that invited guests are served first.

Make Room for Mom!

In spite of the fact that you state that your party is a drop-off format on your invitation, you will undoubtably get parents who want to (or the kids want them to!) stay. Don't worry about the why, but make sure you've covered the how.

I like to accommodate parents who decide to stay for the party. Have chairs and sparkling water available and assist the birthday child's parents to make connections by introducing parents to one another who might not know each other.


Best Guest!

It's important to be as nice a guest as your hostess has been to include your child in the birthday party.

Encourage children to use their best manners, which includes all of the magic words, plus a sense that it's a gift to be invited.

Remind children that when goodies are passed to take what they're given!

Let's Be Social

Thanks so much for sharing your social media love! Follow me on PinterestTwitter and Instagram. Tag #satsumasmiles to share your creativity and I'll share back.  

Click through to learn the ins and outs of birthday invitation etiquette for hosting and attending birthday parties large and small. | Birthday parties | Manners and etiquette | #etiquette #manners


Today is a gift. Let's put a bow on it!
Find creative and sustainable ways to make family life a delight! Sharing modern etiquette that kids will enjoy.
💕 jennifer

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