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Old 07.03.2011, 20:56
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4 year olds b-day party

We just moved here and my 4 year old has made a couple of little friends in the neighborhood and I am wanting to invite them over for a birthday party next month but I am unsure about what the Swiss do for children's birthday parties and I don't want to be presumptuous and offend anybody. Is there anybody here who might know something?
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Old 07.03.2011, 21:18
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Re: 4 year olds b-day party

If you don't get any answers, try a simple search on here under birthday party. I'm sure we've had this sort of question before, but I don't know which Thread it was and it's no good me telling you what we did thirty years ago with our children!
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Old 07.03.2011, 22:11
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Re: 4 year olds b-day party

Lots of individual little cakes and sweets, iced teas .... the making of something they then take home home with them ...... like .... each decorating a little flower pot, filling it with potting soil and a few seeds ... or .... finger painting a mask to wear(paper plate with eye holes cut out) ..... or ...... threading big beads onto elasticised thread for bangle/necklace .... etc etc ....

And games to play at the party (musical chairs, spoon races, etc), with small novelty prizes (make sure each kid gets a prize!)

And they each go home with a little bag of goodies ...(novelty stuff plus some nice sweets/chocolates)

Parties here seem to be all about the "loot" they take home afterwards! ... in exchange for the nice gift they brought the Birthday kid!
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Old 08.03.2011, 09:46
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Re: 4 year olds b-day party

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We just moved here and my 4 year old has made a couple of little friends in the neighborhood and I am wanting to invite them over for a birthday party next month but I am unsure about what the Swiss do for children's birthday parties and I don't want to be presumptuous and offend anybody. Is there anybody here who might know something?
Swiss being the operative word.

They have a cake, but nothing very flash.. often just a round one with a number on it. But if you want to be creative, its been discussed here.

Some take all the kids to trampolino or starbies - but the host family pays for all the tickets(!) (too much for cheep-skate me).

Yes, loot bags - but often just a plastic bag, with a pencil, a rubber, small packet of smarties, a few sugar free sweets (named sugus)

The parents will "drop off" their kids usually, and no need to invite more than 4 for a 4th birthday. Dont get sad if your kid doesnt get invited back for a few years (yes.. i mean years(!) it sometimes takes a loooong time to break in to the local scene here) because those kids too, will only be allowed to invite their 4 best friends (or 5 for the 5th birthday, and most have known each other since birth).

They have a lot of games. (check out the links in this link).

Most importantly, you have to feel comfortable with what you do. Dont go overboard with baking - the kids dont care and possibly wont eat it. Do use music - musical "sit-downs" - like musical statues, but you sit down instead of standing still. Do NOT care about what the others think (so much). Some will be happy, some will not be. Life.
Oh - and the usual time is between 2pm and 5pm. Parents will be back on the dot of 5! (or 2.30 to 4.30)
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Old 08.03.2011, 10:00
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Re: 4 year olds b-day party

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Parties here seem to be all about the "loot" they take home afterwards! ... in exchange for the nice gift they brought the Birthday kid!
Interesting because my experience is totally different .. my son is now a regular on our village party scene (and yes, totally agree Rangatiranui, it took time!) practically never comes back with anything at all, the only exception being if they have done some crafting during the party, when he brings back what he has made.

In the UK the birthday tea is a big deal, sandwiches, crisps, drinks, jelly, ice cream, all manner of sweet delights; Also not my experience here. Best catering I ever provided - weggli breads from the bread van, slices of cheese and salami, crisps and two big plates of mixed fruit quarters and nuts! That easy. And agree - cakes are generally very simple. A lot of people just go out into the woods around here (we are in a very small rural village in Jura mountains) and let the kids play. Less organised activities is certainly the preferred route in this village.

But be warned .. parties also go on for a long time! typical would be 2 to 6 or even 1 to 6!! But no one is going to be offended if you restrict your first foray into the enfantine social scene to just a couple of hours.
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Old 08.03.2011, 10:20
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Re: 4 year olds b-day party

It really depends where you live. In our very mixed place on the shore where at least half of the population are furiners, the party favors actually do happen, even with Swiss. A local friend of mine told me how nice that tradition is and so all the parties we have been to, they also give treats to kids. Games are big fun, I second the tradition of parents to drop off kids although it is rather....strange to me, the last party we went to I was actually asked by the organizing couple to stay, since most of the times the parents who organize do appreciate help, a little chitchat, etc. so I would ask ahead about this. I think the tradition to leave kids alone here was to not stigmatize folks who don't have the means or don't want to invest too much and pay for all the drinks and snacks adults would consume. We always went big, rented a place, I catered, home made soup and cheeses, olives, bread sticks, cookies and a giant cakes, which got us some lovely friends and made us settle in nicely, but was a humongous effort and honestly, it is nice to slowly cut down on the festivities now when bub is in creche and her social scene is a lot more wild. Parties where we live are simple, kids with no parents often, no food just a cake and water (sirup) for kids, some small thingie for kiddos to take home.
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Old 08.03.2011, 10:22
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Re: 4 year olds b-day party

Sorry to go against the flow here, but I would think for a 4 yr old, plus 2/3 others, nothing too elaborate.

The big themed birthday parties that occur in US and now UK are slow to arrive here - maybe a trip to McDonalds, being the exception.
If you start now for his/her 4th birthday, the same will be expected next year, and some - every year you'll have to try to better the last one. By the time they're in kindergarten, you'll be already having to put on a show.

They're not used to such big "do's" here, and 4 yr. olds are usually happy just running around causing mayhem.
Have a few games (with small prizes) in reserve, but don't feel put out if you don't use any/all, if things are flowing smoothly without.
In between the mad excitement, encourage a few "down times" - sit to have a drink (not ice tea - it wires them up too much), maybe watch a short (non-language specific) cartoon and "do" the cake and sing Happy Birthday.

Just have a few picky, nibbly bits to eat, in addition to a "normal" (but kiddy type) cake.
Plan it for an afternoon from about 2 - 5, with the option of it over-running, if all is going well. If the mums/dads of the other kids aren't there for the duration, then it gives a chance to have a chat and a tea with them, when they come to collect.

My eldest daughter only start having (and being invited to) parties after she started kindergarten. Prior to that, they were just the extended family. I realise not an option for everyone.
I was always shocked when I took/collected her to/from others' parties, how disorganised they seemed. We always tried to have loads of games organised (like a typical English party when I was a boy) for hers, which was appreciated by the other kids for novelty value - but I also got the feeling, that they were also happy just "doing stuff" and playing with my daughters toys (and sometimes trying to break them). Another point - hide away anything that would be upsetting if it got broken.

Ohh... and the parting gift goody bags.
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Old 08.03.2011, 10:36
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Re: 4 year olds b-day party

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Sorry to go against the flow here, but I would think for a 4 yr old, plus 2/3 others, nothing too elaborate.
I don't think you are really! General message now seems to be one of keep it simple (with or without party favours!)

Edit: Sorry reading back ... what meant to say was, do what ever you want to do for your child, but general message seems to me to be, don't be afraid of keeping it simple, even very simple![/SIZE]

Last edited by ecb; 08.03.2011 at 10:42. Reason: change in weighting of comment
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Old 08.03.2011, 10:41
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Re: 4 year olds b-day party

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I don't think you are really! General message now seems to be one of keep it simple (with or without party favours!)
I'm a slow typist - yourself and MusicChick hadn't posted when I started.
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Old 08.03.2011, 10:43
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Re: 4 year olds b-day party

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I'm a slow typist - yourself and MusicChick hadn't posted when I started.
No! you are reflective in your posting (unlike my fast touch typing which leads to me having to edit .. see above )
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Old 08.03.2011, 12:06
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Re: 4 year olds b-day party

These were a hit at our party. I'm sure your 4-year old would enjoy making them with you! All you need is a pack of strawberries, some haribo candy to make the tails with, almond slices and confectionary chocolate in a tube.
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Old 08.03.2011, 14:59
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Re: 4 year olds b-day party

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These were a hit at our party. I'm sure your 4-year old would enjoy making them with you! All you need is a pack of strawberries, some haribo candy to make the tails with, almond slices and confectionary chocolate in a tube.

How did you stick the tails on?
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Old 08.03.2011, 15:01
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Re: 4 year olds b-day party

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How did you stick the tails on?
With toothpicks. Warned the kids, of course.
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Old 08.03.2011, 15:56
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Re: 4 year olds b-day party

Swiss Birthday Party

I posted about something similar around half way through the thread above, and got some great replies. Just don't have the party on a Sunday!!

Last edited by lemondrizzle; 08.03.2011 at 16:00. Reason: link problem
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