Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: Slartibartfast on June 13, 2013, 10:39:29 AM

Title: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: Slartibartfast on June 13, 2013, 10:39:29 AM
Babybartfast has decided she wants a princess party for her 5th birthday next month.  I suspect she wants it just like her best friend's party, but that's not going to happen because a) I wasn't there and b) DH was, but he doesn't remember diddly about the party so he can't help  ::)  Anyway, I think I've got a nice selection of princess-themed activities:

1) making and decorating hobby-horses (foam pool noodle with a cardboard horse's head on the end)

2) magic hunt - each girl gets a plastic magic wand and gets to "ride" her horse around the backyard, looking for "magic rings" (bracelets) which I'll hang from the trees.  Race to see who can get one of each color the fastest.

3) pin the horn on Princess Celestia (unicorn from My Little Pony)

4) drop clothespins in a bottle - not sure what I'll theme this one, maybe dropping gold balls in a well?

5) cake

6) "princess lessons" as time allows - race across the living room balancing books on their heads for good posture, red light / green light, Simon Says, etc.


So I thought I had it all worked out - I've never been a girly-girl, but I'm willing to fake it for one day  :P  But then I asked Babybartfast who she wants to invite*, and it turns out she wants two boys to come.  I don't know either of these boys or their parents, but I have heard Babybartfast talk about playing with them at school over the course of the last year.  (I didn't realize "Taylor" and "Alex" were boys until now.)  I don't mind inviting them, but I'm afraid their parents will see the invitation and assume it's a "invite the whole class" thing and not bother.  And since I'm trying to plan for a smallish party (less than a dozen kids), I don't want to go un-princess the party stuff (much of which I've already bought) if they're not likely to come anyway.

So advice: anyone here have five-year-old boys or remember back to when their sons were five?  Would they have gone to a girl's princess party?  Babybartfast is very definitely in the "this is for girls and that is for boys" phase right now, which we're trying to counteract as much as possible, so it's weird to say "princesses are just for girls."  I'm inclined to tell her we're inviting the boys and just not send the invitations, but figured I'd ask here first . . .


*Babybartfast is starting kindergarten this fall at a new school and we're in a pretty good-sized city, so she's not going to see any of her previous preschool classmates again.  I decided instead of inviting the whole class (which is always awkward), we'll invite a handful of her closest friends and a handful of my friends' daughters with whom Babybartfast will be in Girl Scouts this fall.
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: Betelnut on June 13, 2013, 10:45:33 AM
Call it a "Princess and Knight Party!" or "Princess and Prince Party!"  Maybe that will be less girly for the boys.
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: BeagleMommy on June 13, 2013, 10:49:04 AM
Have the boys be "knights in shining armour".  They can still do the activities (well, maybe not the princess lessons, but it could be a good time to teach them "chivalry" (aka manners)).

Pick up two plastic swords from a novelty store.  Have them turn their hobby horses into "gallant steeds".  Have some gold and/or silver paint and decorations on hand so they're not stuck using the pinks/pastels that the girls are using.
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: Slartibartfast on June 13, 2013, 10:50:06 AM
Call it a "Princess and Knight Party!" or "Princess and Prince Party!"  Maybe that will be less girly for the boys.

Oh, I have no problem calling it a "Princess (and Prince) party" - I'm just wondering whether the pink hobby-horses, collecting bracelets, etc. stuff would be too much.  Plus half the fun will be for the girls to be girly - if there are boys there, I suspect I'd have to tone that down.
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: Betelnut on June 13, 2013, 10:55:33 AM
Call it a "Princess and Knight Party!" or "Princess and Prince Party!"  Maybe that will be less girly for the boys.

Oh, I have no problem calling it a "Princess (and Prince) party" - I'm just wondering whether the pink hobby-horses, collecting bracelets, etc. stuff would be too much.  Plus half the fun will be for the girls to be girly - if there are boys there, I suspect I'd have to tone that down.

I actually think the hobby-horse idea will be a big hit with the boys--if you make the horses blue/brown and if there other things to collect besides bracelets.  The boys will use some of their "manly" energy out by running around on their horses.   All of your games can be made less feminine so I think you are fine.  Even "princess lessons" (balancing books) could be fun but the boys may feel weird if you call them that.  But if you make it a competition, they will love it.

The party sounds like a lot of fun.
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: Tea Drinker on June 13, 2013, 11:23:27 AM
Yes, invite them. Some boys like to play princesses, if nobody tells them that they aren't allowed to because that's only for girls. Tell everyone that it's a princess party, and her friends (and/or their parents) can decide if that's something they want to do. It's also possible that one of the girls will decline, because she doesn't want to play princesses, and if she's pushed into doing so, that's going to be a bit of a downer for everyone.

If you have contact information for the boys' parents, you could call/email/etc. and tell them something like "we're having a small party for my daughter's birthday, just her good friends, and she'd like your son to be there." "A small party" could be four children or ten, but not inviting the whole class.
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: *inviteseller on June 13, 2013, 11:24:24 AM
As the mom of a 'everything is pink and princess' girl, I say because it is only 2 boys, don't invite.  If you had even numbers of boys and girls, you could pull it off, but just 2 boys and the rest girls I don't think it will work.  The girls will overwhelm the boys with the princess stuff.
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: Isilleke on June 13, 2013, 11:36:25 AM
I'd say go for it and maybe also ask the parents? I know that my nephew sometimes says he's a princess himself. Maybe these boys' parents also don't like the divide and want them to do something very "girly".
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: DoubleTrouble on June 13, 2013, 11:49:56 AM
I've got twin 4-almost-5-year-old boys & they would love a princess party! Sofia & Tinkerbell are some of their favorite characters & if they got invited to one I think they would die of happiness :) I say invite the boys & let the parent decide.
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: Sheila Take a Bow on June 13, 2013, 12:11:35 PM
Go ahead and invite them.  My tomboyish best friend (mother of three tomboys) thinks it's ridiculous that girls get invited to "boy"-themed parties all the time without question, but that it's somehow wrong to invite a boy to a princess party.

And I've been to princess parties that boys have attended.  They've just had knight-themed activities (and they didn't stop girls from doing the knight-themed stuff or boys from doing princessy things).  For the most part, the boys couldn't have cared less about the girly things going on around them.

My own daughter is having a fairy and pirate party next month, so I know how hard it is to try to balance what your kid wants with what her friends will want.  (But we won't have too many activities at my daughter's party, since it will be at a park with a splash pad and I'm pretty sure that the kids won't care about anything but the splash pad.)
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: cwm on June 13, 2013, 12:16:27 PM
Invite them. Almost all of the games that you picked can be very "manly" by a change of a few words and colors. And you may find that one or bot of those boys doesn't mind the princess stuff, and one or two of the girls is all into the prince or knight stuff.

As a little girl, if I had been invited to a princess party, I would have passed. I've always identified with the knights more. And Shining Armor is so much better than Princess Celestia or Princess Cadance.  ::)
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: amylouky on June 13, 2013, 12:56:44 PM
I've got twin 4-almost-5-year-old boys & they would love a princess party! Sofia & Tinkerbell are some of their favorite characters & if they got invited to one I think they would die of happiness :) I say invite the boys & let the parent decide.

POD.. I've got a 4 and 5 year old and they LOVE Sofia, and the princesses. They might not wear a pink princess tiara, and they'd probably rather have a brown hobby horse than a pink or purple one, but otherwise I think they'd have a blast.
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: CrazyDaffodilLady on June 13, 2013, 03:01:35 PM
Your list of activities is not all that girly if you turn down the princess angle a bit.  A good example is how you called the bracelets "magic rings". 

Perhaps instead of "princess lessons", you could offer "royalty lessons".  Princess Kate's due date is July 13; maybe you'll get lucky and she'll pop right before your party, and you can link your party to the news.  For example, you could say, "Let's practice some of the things the royal baby will have to learn to become king or queen some day".  Instead of "Simon Says" you can play "The Queen Says". 

Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: sweetonsno on June 13, 2013, 03:08:53 PM
Invite the boys and let the parents know that your daughter wanted to have them come specifically so they don't think it was an "invite the whole class" sort of thing.

I vote for having a few non-pink/purple horses around. It would be good for the boys if they aren't into the more girly things, and good for the girls who are a bit more tomboyish.

Instead of calling them "Princess Lessons," why not call them "Royalty Lessons" or "Court Contests"? That would include princesses, princes, and knights.

Maybe add a game of Dragon Freeze Tag in which the knights have to rescue the princesses or something.
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: Amanita on June 13, 2013, 03:10:39 PM
Invite them. Almost all of the games that you picked can be very "manly" by a change of a few words and colors. And you may find that one or bot of those boys doesn't mind the princess stuff, and one or two of the girls is all into the prince or knight stuff.

As a little girl, if I had been invited to a princess party, I would have passed. I've always identified with the knights more. And Shining Armor is so much better than Princess Celestia or Princess Cadance.  ::)

That was me alright! I would have vastly preferred to be a knight than a princess. So I think if you give guests a choice of which they would rather be instead of dividing it along strict gender lines, I think you'll be fine.
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: magicdomino on June 13, 2013, 03:22:36 PM
Invite them. Almost all of the games that you picked can be very "manly" by a change of a few words and colors. And you may find that one or bot of those boys doesn't mind the princess stuff, and one or two of the girls is all into the prince or knight stuff.

As a little girl, if I had been invited to a princess party, I would have passed. I've always identified with the knights more. And Shining Armor is so much better than Princess Celestia or Princess Cadance.  ::)

That was me alright! I would have vastly preferred to be a knight than a princess. So I think if you give guests a choice of which they would rather be instead of dividing it along strict gender lines, I think you'll be fine.

As a former little girl who hated pink, I'd like a blue horse and a sword, please.   ;)
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: Perfect Circle on June 13, 2013, 03:29:30 PM
I see nothing wrong with it and in fact it would be very nice to invite the boys.
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: Thipu1 on June 13, 2013, 06:46:29 PM
I don't have kids and you know the children better than I do but the race games bother me a bit.

  Children that age have a lot of energy and the idea of a dozen 5 year-olds racing across a yard on pool noodle horses  to find magic bracelets or racing across a room with books on their heads doesn't sound good to me. 

As my mother would say, 'Somebody's going to wind up crying'. 

If the boys want to come to the party, welcome them. They'll probably love making the horses and many of the other games.  Teaching 'knightly conduct' would not be a bad thing.  The little guys might actually enjoy it. 

   

 
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: Jaelle on June 13, 2013, 08:48:00 PM
As the mother of an almost-5-year-old boy, I also say invite them. DS would love it. :)  I'll concede that perhaps not every boy would, but then, not every girl would either.
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: delabela on June 13, 2013, 10:27:00 PM
My boys have been to princess parties, and had a ball!  We don't really emphasis "boy" and "girl" things, so they just go with what they like.  At the last party, a very nice party helper was trying to make sure my son got a blue party favor, but he held out for a sparkly pink one (she was happy to oblige once he stated what he wanted).  We've also done the trucks and superhero parties.  They just love a party!

So I'm on the go ahead and invite side.
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: Eeep! on June 13, 2013, 11:08:37 PM
My son, who is 3 3/4 ( ;)) regularly plays princess with some of the girls at daycare and would loooove to go to a princess party! He would probably also like sparkly things. (We have discussed how its kind of not fair that girls get the sparkly shoes.  ;D)
But, as long as it wouldn't break the bank, I would try to get a few extra of each of the boy/girl favors as there will likely be girls they like the "boy" ones and, who knows, the boys might like the "girl" ones.
I think the whole party sounds splendid!!
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: nolechica on June 14, 2013, 05:34:07 AM
I still prefer blue and tomboyish things, but definitely played with boys that let me dress them up as a kid.  As such, I'd say invite everyone.
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: SPuck on June 14, 2013, 07:01:26 AM
I'm going to go with the don't invite crowd. If you were inviting more boys or personally the children them there would be less of a change than there being one prince or knight amongst a crowd of princesses.
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: Blondie on June 14, 2013, 07:25:14 AM
I had a little mermaid party when I turned 5. I invited 4 or 5 boys, and of them, only one was able to come (dangers of having a birthday in the shadow of Christmas...) He loved it, and to this day (20 or so years later) will jokingly bring up how he was Prince Eric when other girls were regulated to roles like seaweed.

I was one of the girls who had both male and female friends and never saw an issue in having to segregate them. Go ahead and invite the boys- they will come if they want to, or not if they don't. As we always say here, an invitation is not a summons.
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: faithlessone on June 14, 2013, 08:10:50 AM
Slartibartfast, you said you only realised Taylor and Alex were boys when you were deciding who to invite to the party? That implies that the fact they're boys doesn't matter to BabyBartfast. So why should it matter at the party?

I think you should go ahead and invite them. Keep the princess games, add some blue pool noodles if you like (although I have two boy cousins aged 4 and 6, and their fave colours are purple and orange!) and swords, and just let all the kids at them!

Good luck with the party!
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: PurpleFrog on June 14, 2013, 09:41:44 AM
Invite them. They'll come if they want too. These boys are part of your ds's friendship group, they may be hurt if they're excluded because of gender. My mil is a teacher and there are several boys who will head straight to the princess dresses (most of whom would never be allowed to wear a dress at home). I like the option of making it knights/prince's and princesses if only because I'd rather be a knight. :D
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: beakiebean on June 14, 2013, 06:07:10 PM
How will our children ever get past stereotypical gender roles if we parents keep reinforcing them. I agree with the others who've suggested throwing in a little variety with colors and ideas and running with it. I think it'll be a great time.

You can always phrase the invitation something like "Princess Babybarfest invites you to join the royal court and celebrate her birthday with us."  Then the kids can embrace whatever royal role they wish-princess, prince, knight-maybe there's a royal jester lurking in her group of friends. :-)
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: Betelnut on June 14, 2013, 08:49:23 PM
How will our children ever get past stereotypical gender roles if we parents keep reinforcing them. I agree with the others who've suggested throwing in a little variety with colors and ideas and running with it. I think it'll be a great time.

You can always phrase the invitation something like "Princess Babybarfest invites you to join the royal court and celebrate her birthday with us."  Then the kids can embrace whatever royal role they wish-princess, prince, knight-maybe there's a royal jester lurking in her group of friends. :-)

Or a court sorcerer like Cedric of Sophia the First!
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: gramma dishes on June 14, 2013, 09:25:45 PM
I have a four and a half year old grandson.  He's all boy in every way.

However, right at this moment his favorite colors are pink and purple and he really likes Princesses.  Very young kids aren't usually really very divided up along boy-girl "expectations" unless their parents or other adults in their lives push it.  (Sadly, some do.) 

I think he'd LOVE to be invited to your party!   :)
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: Marbles on June 14, 2013, 11:50:35 PM
My boys go to princess parties every year for my goddaughter's birthday. They seem to enjoy it - there's cake and ice cream, really nothing else matters to them. I wouldn't make a big deal of having special colors of stuff for them, just a variety for everyone.

Also, my boys love mardi gras beaded necklaces, so I don't see it as being such a stretch for bracelets (though my kids lose interest in those faster). Heck, my kids like going through my barrettes and having me put them in their hair. It's just play.

How will our children ever get past stereotypical gender roles if we parents keep reinforcing them. I agree with the others who've suggested throwing in a little variety with colors and ideas and running with it. I think it'll be a great time.

You can always phrase the invitation something like "Princess Babybarfest invites you to join the royal court and celebrate her birthday with us."  Then the kids can embrace whatever royal role they wish-princess, prince, knight-maybe there's a royal jester lurking in her group of friends. :-)

I agree completely!
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: nolechica on June 15, 2013, 12:21:01 AM
How will our children ever get past stereotypical gender roles if we parents keep reinforcing them. I agree with the others who've suggested throwing in a little variety with colors and ideas and running with it. I think it'll be a great time.

Exactly! My mother still worries about that stuff and I'm 30!
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: Craftymom on June 15, 2013, 04:54:44 AM
Craftykid requested that I decorate his bathroom and bedroom in Hello Kitty, and he ADORES My Little Pony- invite the boys...
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: mechtilde on June 15, 2013, 04:58:07 AM
I have two boys- one of the most sucessful fancy dress parties was "Pirates and Princesses". Although it was a rather more piratical affair complete with jolly roger cake.
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: lurkerwisp on June 18, 2013, 02:54:33 PM
I had a party kind of like that in the first grade - but unicorn themed instead of princesses.  My very best friend was a boy, but all my other friends were girls.  He was invited, and we had a unicorns and dragons party, where everyone got to choose between unicorns or dragons or just go with both.  There was face painting and we decorated sugar cookies.  I still remember it as the best party I'd ever had to this day, and it was fun for everyone.  :)
Title: Re: inviting boys to a princess party - should I bother?
Post by: mechtilde on June 21, 2013, 09:32:57 AM
Knights! Great idea!