Your venue may well supply these. If so, great, you’re sorted and you’ve just got to get them written…. and delivered in time…

If not, there are lots of options.

  • Stationers, toy shops and web sites have pre-printed selections on just about any theme or topic you might think of.
  • Other websites allow you to put together your own invitations using their layouts and clip-art.
  • Or you can do your own. Use clip-art or scanned images. Get your child to design their own images.
  • Or print the basic format and get them to decorate each invite, personalising each one.

Anyway, deliveries – plan early and don’t forget to allow for school holidays and particularly half-term breaks; it’s almost as bad as scheduling the party itself! How long before the party should the invites go out? Some people go for 3-4 days, but that is cutting things very fine. People have busy lives these days and you risk several children not being able to attend. Aim for a couple of weeks in general, more if there is a school holiday in the middle, or if the party will be in the run-up to Christmas.

If you can, you might save some grief by delivering the bulk of the invites directly to the homes – that way it’s not too obvious on the playground that one person has been invited while another hasn’t. Or if you are inviting most of the class, talk to the teacher or the teaching assistant; especially with younger children, the school are usually happy to help out and allow you access to their normal ‘parent-post’ mechanism.

Don’t forget to provide the RSVP information – your name, telephone number and any date deadline. Slips that can be sent back to you are great, but inevitably, some people will tell you on the playground, probably three at once, just at the point when your child has fallen over and hurt themselves! By the time you get home, you are bound to have forgotten at least one name. So, write a list of who is invited. Once the invites have gone out, carry the list of names and a small pencil with you whenever you leave the house. Just tick or cross them off as you are told. Easy.

If the numbers do change, don’t forget to advise the venue of the numbers, if it’s that sort of party.

And finally, there is a good chance that someone will ask you for ideas for presents for your child when they accept the invitation. They are being thoughtful and trying to ensure your child gets something they’d like. So don’t just say ‘Oh, anything will be fine’. Its not much help! Have a few ideas to hand, such as books, drawing materials, lego, etc. You can end with ‘Anything’ but at least you’ve responded to their thoughtfulness.