We are throwing a birthday party for DD.
BG: Invitations will be handed out by DD at daycare. We do not have the names or phone numbers of most of the parents and daycare is not allowed to give out that information. It is a big daycare and it is not possible to hang out and wait around to try to bump into the parents. We are asking DD to ask her friends for their parents phone numbers. We will see how that works out
In the past we have had two different things happen with parties. First almost no one RSVPs. Other parents have told me that this is common. Second many parents will bring siblings (without a RSVP for either child.)
The party is at one of those party places that you can rent out, it is very popular in our town. You reserve a time and pick a party package for a set number of kids. If more children come you are charged $ for each additional kid. Parents can stay at no charge. But all kids are counted. The party lasts 2 hours and is staffed by the party place. The kids are old enough and it is common practice to drop off kids and come back to pick them up.
The location is pretty organized and requires that all parents sign a release form and leave emergency contact information, the form to fill out is actually part of the invitation. This invitation has very clear spots to say who is invited, how to RSVP, the drop off and pick up time, and there are check boxes to mark what will be served. We are doing a package that gives two pieces of pizza and a soda to each child included in the party package. We cannot bring extra food other than cake and bottled water, and we are bringing both.
We had a party there two years ago. Only 1/2 the kids RSVPd, three parents brought siblings. One was too young and was disruptive to the activity. One was fine other than I had to pay extra for them, the third had a disability that we hadn't made accommodations for. This was very frustrating because we had invited other children with special needs and we worked very hard to make sure we could accomadate their needs so they could have a good time. So the third sibling required extra help that we were not prepared for. In addition, two of the siblings demanded gift bags, and the parent of the third asked me where their gift bag was
During the party I actually had to resort out the bags so I had enough and I took the one I was going to give to my daughter and gave that one away too.
So I am looking for ideas on how to deal with the situation this time. Some ideas that I am already working with. DD is trying to collect phone numbers for the kids so I can follow up. At the time of the party, I will stay by the door and greet people who come in. If parents bring siblings I will cheerfully let them know that we expect the party to be over in two hours and the parent and little one can feel free to go do errends or whatever until then
If they say they are staying I will let them know that we did not order enough pizza for siblings but if they really need to stay they can pay the money the place will charge me for extra guests so the sibling can at least play. We will make sure all the kids get cake. Then I will escort them to the counter so they can pay. I have called the place and they have told me that this happens allot and they are set up for it.
Instead of gift bags the locations is handing out glow in the dark stuff as part of an activity. I plan on bringing some glowing stuff of my own and any sibling can have some that I brought, but the location is only going to have enough for the set number of kids that I bought the package for. I cannot order extra of this, or extra pizza, or extra soda without purchasing the more expensive party package for a bigger group. And I am not doing this "just in case" someone brings people that weren't even invited.
Any other ideas to prepare for the situation. Or what to do at the party.