When your child turns 5-years-old, it is an exciting time for both a child and her parents. This is the age when most children begin school and learn to read and write. Suddenly, the child who was once a toddler is a big kid, with big kid abilities and responsibilities. Celebrate your child’s entrance into the big kid world by throwing her a birthday bash she will always remember.
Preschoolers are defined as children who are between the ages of 3 and 6, according to the University of Maryland. Children who are 5 years old are developing specific social skills, including a longer attention span and the ability to understand and follow rules. Still, they cannot follow complex rules. In addition, children this age may lose their patience easily. For these reasons, it is best to keep the party, and any party games, on the short and simple side.
Preschoolers are still not quite old enough to have a super-sized birthday bash. Young children tire easily and usually do not enjoy having a lot of people around, especially if they do not know everyone. Instead, invite just a few of your child’s close friends. In addition, small parties are easier to plan for, host and manage.
Plan for food that is easy to eat without making a huge mess. Finger foods are ideal and can be set out for kids and adults alike. In fact, make an effort to please your adult guests by making sure they have some adult-friendly appetizers. While your younger guests may love pigs in a blanket, the adults might rather have some smoked salmon on crackers. Try to match the food to your theme. For example, serve “puppy chow” (trail mix) and “dog bones” (sugar cookies shaped like bones) at a puppy-themed party.
Games and Activities
Preschoolers have the ability to take turns, and they are just starting to learn how to follow rules and wait their turn, according to the University of Maryland. Still, they might not have these things mastered quite yet–especially when it comes to playing a game at a birthday party. For this reason, choose games and activities that allow everyone to participate without have to wait for long, such as a craft (make and decorate foam tiaras or pirate flags, for example) or a race (old pillowcases can be used for a fun sack race).
All-girl or all-boy parties at this age tend to follow a specific theme. Many 5-year-old girls, for example, love to dress-up like princesses. Boys, on the other hand, may prefer a party with a pirate or ninja theme. Unisex party themes can focus around popular TV shows, or on something that boys and girls alike are sure to love, such as animals. Try choosing something like Puppy Party or Jungle Safari for a gender-neutral birthday party theme.
- Little girl’s birtday image by Nikolay Okhitin from Fotolia.com