The 5th birthday is a milestone for many children. Once they turn 5 years old, they are no longer considered “babies,” as many children will enter school for the first time or start participating in other activities outside the home. A child’s 5th birthday doesn’t have to be overly elaborate, but it should be fun and memorable for her.
Keep It Simple
Don’t be tempted to have a birthday party that includes everything but the kitchen sink for a 5-year-old. You may want to give your child the world, but unless you have loads of money and patience, odds are that just won’t happen. Instead, choose one theme or one activity for the party. Hire a clown or take the children to a roller rink, but don’t do both. Keep the guest list small–not more than 10 children–unless you will have a lot of help from other parents. Limit the party length to two or three hours.
You don’t have to choose a theme for your child’s 5th birthday party, but if he has a favorite cartoon character or activity, you may as well incorporate it into the party, as a theme may make it easier to decorate and pick activities. For instance, if your 5-year-old is into astronauts, hang up a spaceship pinata, make a star-shaped birthday cake, and give the party guests glow-in-the-dark space stickers and astronaut ice cream as favors.
Hold the Party Away From Home
One way to ensure a successful birthday party is to have it focused around a structured activity. Reserve a few lanes at a bowling alley or rent space at a roller or ice skating rink. Since 5-year-olds may not know how to bowl or skate, see whether you can include a quick lesson in the party rental fee. If you have a party outside of your house, you may want to ask another parent to help chaperon it with you.
You can also throw your child a traditional birthday party at home. Serve a homemade birthday cake and ice cream as well as child-friendly foods such as grilled cheese and hot dogs. Have the guests play Pin the Tail on the Donkey and musical chairs and do the Hokey Pokey. Distribute cone-shaped party hats for them to wear, and decorate the house with streamers, birthday balloons and a Happy Birthday banner.
If the birthday child likes to play dress-up, throw a costume party in his honor. A costume party works especially well if your child has an October or early November birthday. Instruct the guests to come dressed up as their favorite character. If you are throwing a party with a theme, tell the guests to come dressed in a manner relevant to the theme. Although you should encourage the guests to dress up, don’t make them feel compelled to do so if they really do not want to.
- child’s birthday image by Katrina Miller from Fotolia.com