Should I Invite the Whole Class to a Birthday Party?

When it comes to the guest list, many parents stress out about who to invite.

My child's school handbook recommends inviting the whole class. (For what it's worth, we don't invite the whole class and that's okay too!) On one hand you don't want anyone to feel left out, but on the other hand, throwing a birthday party for 20+ kids can be costly. We decided to explore what other moms are saying about it to help you decide if you should invite the whole class to your child's birthday party. 

In a recent Facebook group post a mom asked if anyone else invited the whole class to a birthday party. (Because this is a hot topic among parents, we created an open thread for your comments. We'd love to hear what you think!)

From the original poster:

"Did anyone invite their kid’s whole class to a birthday party? There are 20 kids so that’s a lot to handle even if a few don’t show but I don’t want anyone to feel left out. We also have three kids outside of class he wants to invite."

Her post received almost 50 comments, so we knew this was great information for other Partydip parents. 

One commenter is a teacher who has a lot of experience when it comes to inviting the whole class, and she said she sees a little bit of everything when it comes to invitations. She writes,

"I am a teacher. I see a little of everything. (1) whole class invited (2) only boys or girls are invited (3) students select close friends from different classes."

Many of the commenters agreed that even if you invite the whole class, not everyone will show up.

One commenter writes RSVP rates are usually not anywhere near 100%. Many of the other commenters agreed saying even when they invited the whole class, only a few kids showed up.

"I always do and literally only a handful RSVP and show up. So go on and invite the class! Lol"

"I do and only a few actually show up."

"If it makes you feel any better, RSVP rates are usually not anywhere near 100% in my experience."

If you're throwing a party at a popular location or the activity is something a lot of kids like to do, you should probably expect more kids to show up.

Another commenter said the guest number probably depends on the type of party you're throwing.
"Participation usually depends on what the activity is. In my experience, the cooler the activity, the more kids come. One year I did Build-a-Bear where I had invited his whole Daycare class, and a bunch of our personal friends. THAT was an expensive party! Like 70% of his class came, plus most of our friends we had invited. We had like 25 or 29 Kids or something like that, plus parents. I think we may have met or exceeded the party size limit."

Big parties can get expensive, so you want an accurate guest count. People don't always RSVP, so be prepared for anything.

If you're worried about cost but you decide to invite the whole class thinking many will not show up, you should probably expect the unexpected, and be prepared because the party could get expensive. Another commenter said she attended a party where they invited the whole class along with a few extra children. The mom didn't expect everyone to show but they all did, including siblings, and she was completely overwhelmed. She goes on to say that not many RSVP'd.
"We have a summer birthday kid so haven't had that chance but we did get invited to a bowling party where they invited the whole class along with a few extras and of course the mom didn't expect everyone to show but they all did, including siblings and she was completely overwhelmed, and not many RSVP'd. Expect the unexpected."
If you do decide to invite the whole class and you want to make sure everyone RSVP's so you get an accurate guest list head count, you can send a digital invite and try this creative tip. One commenter got a lot of reactions for her approach to getting responses from parents. She writes:
"I don’t include an address on the invitation. I just say text to RSVP and for address and that way I kind of have a head count."
In response to another commenter, she added...
"I just say 'Please text to RSVP and receive location details'…works for us and haven’t had any complaints from family and friends."
When you send out your invites, tell parents to RSVP and text you for details, and you'll be sure to get a response.

Mostly everyone agrees, they don't want any kids to feel left out.

If you decide not to invite the whole class, we recommend following the great advice from a teacher when she writes:

"One quick bit of advice. If your kid is not inviting everyone ask them to not talk about it at school to avoid anyone feeling left out."

To avoid hurt feelings, try emailing or texting the birthday invitation instead of sending a paper invitation to school. Many schools have a directory that lists the contact information of other parents, so you can find emails or phone numbers that way. You can also contact your teacher for parent emails or phone numbers. 

If you're planning a party and you want to text or email an invitation, Partydip has  digital birthday invitations to match your party theme. You can quickly and easily customize the invitation on our website. After purchase you'll receive a downloadable .jpg file that can be texted or emailed to your guest list.

Do you invite the whole class, or just a few kids? Leave a comment and let us know.

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