Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

5 year old birthday party

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Roe:
As far as goodie bags go, I've never been one to do them.  Instead, I buy a $5-7 dollar item for each child...one year I bought 3 giant Hershey chocolates and put them in cute bags and another time I wrapped them.  The kids loved those. 

Another year, I bought plastic superhero cups and decorated them with straws, juices, etc.  Hard to explain but I never do the typical goodie bag as I really don't see the point.  You spend so much money and most of the time the little plastic toys get thrown in the trash.  At least they do in my home. 

cicero:
I actually would organize activities, and I also would ask someone (in advance) to help me with this (or hire a HS/College student)

By age 5, I'm assuming the guests (I mean the little 'uns) are in school and understand concepts of games and organized activities. Personally, *I* wouldn't let them just get hyped up on sugar and run wild. but that's me.

It doesn't have to be overlly rigid, but there should be *some* organization:
1-1.30 arrival, greet the guest, and let them do some kind of art work (decorate a crown, decorate inexpensive pair of flip flops which will be their 'goody bag", etc). (have music on in the background). supervisor: Mary.
1.30-2.30: games. Pin the wings on the tinkerbell, duck duck goose, musical chairs, whatever you like. just take into account that 12 kids (and you may have more) may be a lot for a game where they have to wait. if you consider that each attempt at "pin the wings" will take 1-2 minutes, that's 12-24 minutes that they will be sitting around doing nothing. you may reconsider or have two tinkerbells.
supervisors: mary and Lilacgirl
2.30-3.30: refreshments, cake, birthday wishes, gifts (if you are opening gifts). I would start with the actual food and end with the cake.
supervisors: mary, lilac girl and...
after that - let them play with yard toys or sit them down to watch a cartoon (depending on how hyped up they are) or both

Softly Spoken:
If money is tight would a boxed cake mix be cheaper than a premade cake?

Have you considered cupcakes instead of a cake? Maybe decorating them could be a party activity? :)

As PPs have mentioned, traditional games can be tweaked to theme. What about freeze tag with a magic fairy wand? Instead of "Duck, Duck, Goose" it could be "Fairy, Fairy, Tinkerbell". Get creative with construction paper and turn musical chairs into musical flowers or mushrooms.  ;)
You could do a flying fairy relay race using flowers or cheap jewels from a party/dollar store.

You could also do a treasure hunt for Tinkerbell's jewel box, or "rescue" Tinkerbell/Tinkerbell's _____ from the _____ (I don't know the Tinkerbell mythology that has been created since the original Peter Pan). Use a flowery script font to print out the clues or note from Tinkerbell.

On that note, maybe have a crowning ceremony naming your DD the B-day fairy princess or something like that.

I used to host children's theme parties (Princess and Pirate). We'd get the kids dressed up, then games, then story time (aka wind-down/stalling while food was prepared  ;)), then food, then presents, then B-day ceremony, then get ready to go and hand out goodie bags.

Good luck and have fun!  ;D

magician5:
Want a really odd idea?

Remember how they portrayed Tinkerbell in the stage musical? A teensy spotlight that "danced" about.

Have a "pin the wings on Tinkerbell" contest - kids go one by one - give eack player a set of "wings" just cut from a sheet of paper with a tab of tape to stick with - you flit a flashlight beam around the room - "There's Tinkerbell!" - and keep the light well above their head until you let it dance on a larger sheet of paper taped to the wall. At that point, the kid can reach it and tape her "wings", and EACH contestant wins! Prize is (of course) the goodie bags, which you haven't let them know about until the contest ends.

workerbee:
I would most definitely order pizza - it will be less expensive and easier than the Take & Bake. Unless you have a huge oven, all you're going to be doing the entire time is shuttling pizzas in and out of the oven.

I like the idea of cupcakes, if you're trying to save on cost! Maybe have a few already decorated to give ideas, and then the kids can decorate their own as an activity? You can easily whip up a simple buttercream, then use food coloring to make different (Tinker-bell themed) colors, have edible glitter, colors, decorating sugar, etc.

I would limit the planned activities for this age. My kids have had the most fun just playing together. For that size group, though, it might be nice to have one or two simple activities - maybe an art project (or cupcake decorating) and then something more active? If you have space, scavenger hunts are fun, and you could hide Tinkerbell-related trinkets around.

Skip the goodie bags. As a parent, I would be grateful - I absolutely detest finding those tiny toys and bits-and-pieces all over the house! If you feel you must give something, I agree with the person who suggested ONE nice thing: a coloring book, a beach toy, etc.

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