Your 5-year-old son’s birthday party might be the largest party you’ve had to plan if he’s made a lot of friends at school or daycare. Whether you choose to invite a few of friends or his entire class, he is likely at an age where he has strong preferences and lets you know what they are. Ask him what he’d like most for his birthday party to ensure he has a wonderful day.
Most 5-year-old boys have specific interests that can serve as a birthday party theme. For example, use a dinosaur theme if your son never goes anywhere without his toy Tyrannosaurus rex. Other popular themes for 5-year-old boys include superheroes, cars, pirates, cowboys, sports or his favorite character. Everything from the invitations to the activities to the favors should complement the theme.
Make your own invitations if you want to get your son involved in the planning process for his party. Pirate party invitations could be shaped to look like treasure maps or superhero party invitations could look like your son’s favorite hero’s mask or cape. Decide on the best location for your child’s party, whether it’s your home, a relative’s home, the park or a birthday party establishment.
Prepare at least two or three different active games, as well as a “quiet” activity to keep the boys entertained. The active games could include traditional birthday party games, such as Pin the Tail on the Donkey or a variation that fits in with your theme, or creative theme-related games. For example, separate the kids into two teams. The kids can throw “cannon balls” (balled-up newspaper) from their pirate ship to the other side for a specified amount of time. Make ships out of large appliance boxes. Whichever ship has the most cannon balls on it has to walk the plank. Or create an obstacle course for the kids to run through to save a helpless citizen if the theme is superheroes. Use boxes to create cars that the kids can hold or “wear” to race around an obstacle course for a race car theme. Quiet activities can include painting small model cars, decorating a small treasure chest or having their faces painted like a superhero or pirate. Send the boys on an adventure to find treasure as a group as the finale.
Prizes and Favors
Simple prizes and favors work best, especially if they complement the theme. Gold foil-wrapped chocolate candy and shiny pennies work for a pirate party. Small robot toys are fitting for a robot party. A comic book or action figure fits in with a superhero party. Include candy, stickers, temporary tattoos and a small toy or two to send the other kids home happy.
Ask a friend or relative to help you supervise the party and run the activities, especially if you are having more than five to 10 other kids at the party. Allow your son to open his presents after cake and ice cream, as the other kids will likely be excited to watch him open “their” presents, and they are at an age when they understand the gifts belong to your son now. Indicate a precise end time for the party. Put on an age-appropriate cartoon or show that relates to the party while you’re waiting for other parents to pick up their children to keep them entertained.
- l’enfant aux ballons image by Francis Lemp??ri??re from Fotolia.com