5 things about a 5 year old’s party

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!


Life Begins and 40 (maybe)

It keeps happening, I can’t seem to stop it. I just keep getting older and older! Turning 40 is …interesting. I’m quite a level-headed person and know that age is just a number but for some reason the big 4-0 has been making me look at my life… a lot.

Physically I feel about 50 and look like I’ve not seen a mirror for 5 years, coincidentally the age of my boisterous little boy. Mentally I feel drained and like I don’t have a minute to remember who I am.

However, turning 40 has somehow made me more focused. First about how I wanted to celebrate my birthday but also about going through certain areas of my life and making some changes. Career, appearance, family, they could all do with an overhaul. I’m sure I’ll be writing blogs on all those things in the near future.

For my Birthday I planned the whole day, starting with a day of work and a lie in! After dropping the little one off at school we went for pancakes then went into town for a few hours of board games at a games café. Then we went to a nice burger place before picking up the boy for a party tea. We even managed to squeeze in a movie before bed.

I have decided I am actually going to celebrate all year round. So far I’ve visited family for afternoon tea, seen Mamma Mia with a good friend, been to the cinema on my own and spent a weekend in Bruges. I’ve been out more times this year than the past 5 years, which is why my life needs a bit of a make-over, but I’m feeling quite positive that a few tweaks to my life will make all the difference and a happier mummy can only make a happier family.