A Bit of Etiquette:
There is nothing more fun than a child's birthday party and what better way to start it off than with the perfect party invitation. As always, when sending invitations, keep in mind that sooner is better. A rule of thumb is two to four weeks before the event to allow guests to arrange schedules and purchase gifts if applicable. Also remember that the bigger the city or if your event falls on a Holiday weekend, even more notice is required.
The vital statistics to include on a child's birthday party invitation would be: the purpose of the invitation, the name of the child, the age the child will be turning, day and date of the event, time, name of place, location of place, name of parents and an R.S.V.P. if desired.
If there is a theme to the party such as "Birthday Tea Party", "Birthday Swim Party", "Barbie" or "Wii" this will need to be explained on the invitation as well so guests will know what to expect and to also assist in their gift purchases. If there are specific events planned such as a visit by a clown, video gaming stations or backyard inflatables, this should also be pointed out to add to the excitement and help parents prepare.
If lunch or dinner is being served, this should always be pointed out on a party invitation, otherwise guests will assume there will be the usual finger foods and cake and will eat accordingly before coming.
Most etiquette references will tell you it is completely inappropriate to mention gifts on a birthday party invitation - even if your intent is to request "No gifts please." However, it is becoming increasing popular for children's parties and appropriately so, to request charity donations in lieu of gifts. For example, bring dog food and dog treats for the local humane society or your favorite children's book for the local public library branch.
There are endless ways in which to word a birthday party invitation and we have included some standard wording as well as some of our favorite more creative options below: