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How Many Kids Should You Invite to a Birthday Party?

Children’s birthday parties can cause many parents colossal anxiety and stress. You want to ensure that your children’s parties are not different from any of their classmates.

They invite who they want, do what they want within reason, and, most importantly, thoroughly enjoy their birthday party.

For many parents, the first question they ask before they decide on a venue or theme is how many kids should you invite to a birthday party? We are going to discuss this below.

A question that many parents ask themselves is, should they invite the entire class? The answer to this is not an easy one but a common one.

First of all, it’s going to depend on how many children are in the class. Class sizes vary hugely, but anything over 30 children is something I would most definitely advise against.

How many you invite can vary hugely depending on factors like the age of the child, venue, theme, etc.

Preschoolers Under Five

This age group is often the most difficult as many children are not yet in a structured school environment and may not have many friends their age.

I have always found that it’s best to keep the number of children quite small at this age, under ten can be ideal. Young children can very quickly become overwhelmed in a large crowd and do not fully understand the birthday party principle.

If you have a lot of older children at the party, your little one has the possibility of being knocked over or injured by the bigger, more boisterous children.

If your child is in a daycare setting and is not sure who they are friendly with, you could always have a conversation with one of their workers. Someone who is most familiar with your child. This will help you narrow down the list to under ten children.

birthday essentials

You can still expect a mix of boys and girls as most children have not shown a preference for either gender, meaning that boys don’t yet think that girls are disgusting, and girls don’t believe that boys are gross!

You will require a lot of adult supervision for this age group. If you intend to have the party at home and provide entertainment, then remember that the adults will more than likely have to participate.

This means that you may have to enlist the help of your parents, in-laws, and friends.

Another excellent formula that many parents use when deciding on how many to invite to a birthday party is, you invite one child for each year of your child’s life plus 3-4 extra children.

Children 5 – 8 years old

As children grow, their circle of friends also grows. They may want to invite the entire class or a select few. This depends on your child and party’s venue and theme.

The average number of children invited to parties for this age group can be anything from 10-12 to an entire class of 20+ children. By this age, girls and boys are only starting to gravitate to one gender group or the other, so you should still get a good mix of boys and girls.

This age group will still require some adult supervision.

Activities for this age group can include stay & play, movies and food, at-home party with entertainment, and you may just be getting into the age group for sleepovers.

This is going to be a huge factor in deciding on how many children you can invite. Another thing to remember is that if you invite the entire class, it’s unlikely that they will all show up.

Children 9 – 12 years old

By the time your little one falls into this age group, many children already have a small group of friends that they play with regularly. This does make deciding on how many to invite much easier.

You will either end up with a small group or the entire class, but this will depend on the location of your party and your child’s preferences.

This age group does not require much adult supervision, so if you were to have 5-6 children in your home, you should be more than able to manage them on your own.


Now, this is another age group that causes parents huge stress, especially when trying to organize a birthday party for them. The number of kids here is going to depend on your child’s choice. Realistically the guest list could range from 1-30 kids.

As we have said, the guest list can vary depending on the time of the year, party budget, venue, and theme.

kids in a birthday party


This will very much depend on the age of your child. It is unlikely that you will be having the same birthday party for a 2-year-old as you would a 9-year-old.

For example, if you were planning a small party at home, it is unlikely that you would have space for 30 children, let alone want 30 children rampaging through your home.

So you would try to keep the numbers small to around 10-12 children, but this will depend on their age.

If you were hiring a large venue and having entertainment brought in, then you could potentially have as many children as you wanted there within reason.

You might want to decorate the place with some birthday ornaments to liven up the place.

Party Budget

This is a factor that is very much going to decide the entire party for you. If you have a small budget, you will not be able to have 30 children.

A good option for a small budget would be an intimate party at home with some simple games like pass the parcel or a pinata. These would all need to be age-appropriate.

If you have a budget that is middle of the road, then you may be better looking for a venue that offers a party package where food and entertainment are all included in the price.

This will help you keep on track, and you will know precisely how many children you can afford to invite. If your budget has no limit, then you can have whatever party your child wants.

birthday cake

Activities Planned

As children get older, their parties tend to get easier to plan. Many want to go to the movies with friends and then for food. This requires very little adult supervision and is relatively inexpensive.

If you are looking to hire a professional entertainer, you need to ensure that they are age-appropriate and keep them entertained. Many entertainers do not just offer the traditional stage show.

Many now offer science-themed entertainment, computer coding for kids, soccer, and the list goes on. A traditional yet fun game can also go a long way.

My advice would be to do your homework and have a conversation with your child and see what they want to do. They may surprise you and have plenty of ideas of their own.

The Final Word

A birthday party should be fun and lighthearted. It is time to celebrate your child’s birth and remember how far they have come in that year.

It does not matter if your child has an enormous party with 60 people or a small intimate party at home with 5-6 close friends. The important thing is that they have fun, make memories, and enjoy!