I’m all about inclusion, and it makes me itch to think about excluding someone, especially a kid. Regardless of our age, we can each remember a time we felt left out, and it’s never fun.

I commented on this topic, along with 10 other Mom Bloggers in “How to Get Around the School Birthday Party Invitation Policy.” I think the rules shift as kids get older, and it’s certainly nice to include the whole class if you can, especially in their young, formative years. Fostering a sense of community with your school friends outside of the classroom has many advantages for both kids and moms. We tended to follow our boys from sports fields to tracks year-round, and it was a lot of fun to hang out after games and get to know each other. As our boys grew up, it was fun for the families to develop friendships, and I love getting to know our kids’ friends. I can still remember those early birthday parties, packed with kids and lots of sugar. I don’t think birthday parties have to be expensive or elaborate to be fun. One time, we hosted a backyard Olympics with water balloon fights, hide and seek, and sprinkler racing.

What are your thoughts on whether schools should mandate all-class inclusion at parties? And what were some of your favorite birthday parties?