Birthday party ideas for a 5 year old boy? - Mothering Forums

Birthday party ideas for a 5 year old boy?

junebugmidwife's Avatar junebugmidwife (TS)
12:38 AM Liked: 12
#1 of 9
04-30-2009 | Posts: 296
Joined: Mar 2004
I've never had a "real" birthday party for DS before, just cake with the grandmas and a few presents, very low-key. I want to keep the low-key feel, but we're having a few (5?) kids over on Saturday afternoon. I'm thinking food/cake ("I want a chocolate cake with a cherry on top and vanilla icing"), a treasure hunt in the yard, and, um, what else? Watch me drill holes to make rain barrels? (Kidding. Kind of.)

Please share ideas for the crunchy families that we are! I was thinking of some sort of fun somewhat messy art project, but am lacking the crafty gene so would gladly plagiarize any of y'all's great ideas.
ziggy's Avatar ziggy
01:19 AM Liked: 10
#2 of 9
04-30-2009 | Posts: 363
Joined: Feb 2007
Get a biggish pile of dirt.

Hide random little toys in it.

eepster's Avatar eepster
02:30 AM Liked: 32
#3 of 9
04-30-2009 | Posts: 8,777
Joined: Sep 2006
Originally Posted by junebugmidwife View Post
Watch me drill holes to make rain barrels? (Kidding. Kind of.)
This is only going to work if you let them help. Which will result in said rain bucket looking like a collander when you're done, and at least 2 hysterical parent who don't believe 5 yo should do wood working.

Just teasing

With 5 yo boys, I think the treasure hunt and cake sound fine. Do you have a swing set or sand box in the yard? If your yard has enough going on free play should entertain them. If it's pretty bare back there, then maybe organize a few party games like duck-duck-goose, pin-the-tail-on-the-whatever, hockey-pockey, musical-lawn-chairs, etc. Do you plan to open the presents? That counts as an activity.

Don't forget to have rainyday alternative inside, just in case. Like a video. I always feel like not having a backup plan is tempting fate.
bestjob's Avatar bestjob
06:16 PM Liked: 11
#4 of 9
04-30-2009 | Posts: 980
Joined: Mar 2002
The dirt was a really, really, really good idea.

If you want to expand your crowd, you could play Capture the Flag and have cake for all afterwards.

But, really, why would you bother when you can have a pile of dirt?
Mommy&Will's Avatar Mommy&Will
09:44 AM Liked: 10
#5 of 9
05-01-2009 | Posts: 2,236
Joined: May 2003
Originally Posted by ziggy View Post
Get a biggish pile of dirt.

Hide random little toys in it.

That is so true!

We went to a party where the parents hid crystals in the dirt - the kids loved it!
junebugmidwife's Avatar junebugmidwife (TS)
01:32 PM Liked: 12
#6 of 9
05-01-2009 | Posts: 296
Joined: Mar 2004
I'm totally going to get a big pile of something. Maybe sand, then recycle it into his sandbox afterwards. I have some matchbox cars, little animals, bouncy balls, etc to bury in there.

Going to look in a back issue of Mothering for their ideas for "messy parties".

There will also be some use of hoses and squirt guns, I think, if it's warm enough.
YoungWorkerMom's Avatar YoungWorkerMom
06:29 PM Liked: 0
#7 of 9
05-03-2009 | Posts: 22
Joined: Nov 2005
I did the messy party last year when my son turned four. We did the 3 things a young boy could get messy with- baking, painting and dirt. We first started with making their own pretzels (so that they were baked by the end of the party to take home as party favor), painted a big homemade paper banner that said "Happy Birthday Ethan" (paper was on floor with tarp underneath) then had a baby pool of mud for everyone to make mud birthday cakes. Then hosed them all off with sprinkler and slip n' slide fun. It was suggested in the invite for parents to bring a clean change of clothes for afterwards. Birthday cake was a "dirt" cake- chocolate cake, chocolate pudding spread on top, mashed up oreos and gummy worms. He always talks about the worm cake!

Trying to be inspired myself for his 5th bday this year too. From reading other posts and other websites, I'm thinking of a bug theme since he has no problem picking up and examining *everything* outside. Maybe getting big fake worms or snakes and sticking them in a big dirt pile, bug catchers as favors, worm cake again?? A chrysalis made of puff pastery and cake inside...

Be sure to have fun and don't be afraid to enlist spouse/relatives/close friends to help out too! I had a 1-year-old in tow too, so I needed all the help I could get!
daniedb's Avatar daniedb
07:03 PM Liked: 21
#8 of 9
05-03-2009 | Posts: 2,336
Joined: Aug 2004
Z - that is an absolutely fantastic idea!

One thing I've learned about birthday parties (and we've had 5 + 2 of them by now) is that the less you plan, the better, sometimes. We always do a pinata, which we all love, and that's our big event. Until this last year (when H turned 5), that was our only activity, before that, we just played in the yard and hit the pinata and had cake. This last year, we did a little pin-the-badge-on-the-firedog game, pinata and cake.

Trying to corral the kids to actually DO an activity/game takes plenty of time, and before you know it, it's been 3 hours! Don't overplan. If you do crafts, set up a free-play area, where it's simple and takes NO instruction. If possible, enlist plenty of adults to help with direction and corralling of the kids, otherwise, you will miss the whole thing because you'll be running the party and not enjoying it. Simple, simple, simple.

People are coming to celebrate your son, to see each other and have a relaxing time, they're not coming for the groundbreaking games and amazing food and heirloom quality toys in the goodie bag, right? So, just try to stay focused on keeping it simple and focusing on your kiddo.
MomToKandE's Avatar MomToKandE
07:19 PM Liked: 0
#9 of 9
05-03-2009 | Posts: 2,995
Joined: Mar 2006
For ds's 5 year b-day party we invited his preschool class plus any siblings that wanted to come. We probably ended up with 15 kids.

ds is bit into trains and I was able to get cheap ceramic trains for painting at We also got canvas tote bags and stencils from there. We had a train painting station, a tote bag decorating station (with fabric markers) and a stamping station with paper and rubber stamps that we already had. Plus the kids had free run of our playroom toys which are nothing special but since they're different from the toys the guests might have at home they were extra fun. We also set up some big train layouts with extra parts to change/build to tie in with the train theme.

Ds's birthday is in January so in this area that means no outdoor activities. I think what you have planned sounds great. Probably that plus some free play time is all they need.
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