The Boy is 5! The time really does go quickly. Last year we went all out for his birthday party. He was going to be leaving a lot of his friends at nursery as a lot of them would fall into the school year below him. We hired a church hall and a bouncy castle and let about 30 kids run crazy for a couple of hours.
This year we really didn’t want to do that again. The Boy has actually found it quite hard to make friends at school so he just wanted to invite a few (12 in the end!) people, a mixture of school and nursery friends, and was happy to have it at the house. So we went old school, pass the parcel, musical statues and jam sandwiches. That was the plan anyway.
5 things we learnt
1 – Kids at 5 enjoy free play! I did my best to organise party games which I think they would have enjoyed but The Boy and the most popular boy in his class were not interested and without their engagement the rest of the group was lost. We did manage a tug of war and a few goes at Duck Duck Goose. We were lucky to have good weather so they entertained themselves outside for most of the party. (Do not expect the adults to help shepherd their kids – they were happy staying inside and chatting with the other parents.)
2 – They are too excited to eat! I tried really hard not to over cater. A couple of sandwiches each with some extras on the side, fruit, veg and crisps. A slice of cake and an ice lolly for pudding. But there was still lots left over. I put some things out for the adults too, but I think it was too hot and early for them to want to eat.
3- The Boy loves a present or a party bag but to be honest most of the kids were not that interested. Perhaps because I was offering them all a book! The Boy loves books though. Every child is different and I think as long as they go home with some sweets they’re happy.
4 – 2 hours is plenty of time. An hour of play and they already wanted their party lunch at 11.30am. I managed to push them to midday with the plan that after lunch they then went home. It was such a nice day though that everyone wanted to stay and play in the garden. I didn’t mind but I could see them getting bored near the end but I felt I couldn’t chuck people out.
5- Kids are happy. I worried that there wouldn’t be enough to do, that they wouldn’t want to play the games and wouldn’t want the food but kids at 5 are happy little people. Things didn’t exactly go to plan but everyone was happy and that was the main thing.
One thing we didn’t consider was the post party blues. The Boy was so sad when everyone went home it took the rest of the day and making homemade slime to cheer him up. But the next day he was back to his normal happy self, chattering away about all the things that had happened and playing with his new toys. Next year he wants a special trip out, I’m trying to think of ideas already!