The other day my son was invited to a ‘fiver birthday’ – a fiver what? I remember thinking as I turned the invitation over for the ‘please explain’ bit on the back.
Then when I read it, I realised that this is perhaps the best birthday party trend since the smash cake.
So here’s what they are and how you can throw one because if you’re like me, you will also think they are a gosh-darn genius idea!
Lots of fiver parties!
When I mentioned to a friend that my son has been invited to a fiver party, she said her daughter had been to three of these this year alone and that fiver parties are becoming a bit of a ‘thing’.
This was confirmed with a few of my other mum friends who said they love it when they open the party invitation and it says ‘fiver party’.
So what IS a fiver party?
In short, a fiver party is an end to all of our kid present-buying woes! It is simply a birthday party where all the little guests bring a $5 note to go towards a big ticket present that the parents have bought and which the child really wants.
There’s no gift. No stress and no expense.
I know, brilliant, right?!
Read more about birthday parties:
Create tech-free zones. Keep family mealtimes, other family and social gatherings, and children's bedrooms screen free. Turn off televisions that you aren't watching, because background TV can get in the way of face-to-face time with kids. Recharge devices overnight—outside your child's bedroom to help him or her avoid the temptation to use them when they should be sleeping. These changes encourage more family time, healthier eating habits, and better sleep.
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The thinking behind the fiver party
There are so many reasons why a fiver party just makes sense. Here are a few:
- It’s easy on parents. No more needing to dash to the shops to buy a present and then wondering if the birthday girl already has a rainbow My Little Pony or too much Duplo.
- It’s budget friendly. If your child gets invited to lots of parties and you spend say $20 each time on a gift, it adds up, especially when little ones start school and the ENTIRE class is invited to the parties.
- It removes the expectation of ‘stuff’ from birthdays. It teaches kids that parties are about friends and having fun, not piles of presents. It also teaches them the value of saving for something that they really want.
- It’s environmentally friendly. How many toys end up in landfill after being loved for a period of time and then ignored?
- It cuts down on toy clutter. Fewer toys mean fewer things to have to toss, give away or donate to charity when the time comes.
- The child gets one big and exciting present that they’ve been dreaming about. Not lots of little cheap ones that break and have bits that get lost.
Merry Christmas 💋 A post shared by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on Dec 25, 2018 at 2:08pm PST “this is me leaving the party early to go give my baby a bath (while wearing this dress because i couldn’t get it off by myself) and put her to sleep,” Jenner, 21, wrote on Tuesday, December 25, along with a blurry Instagram Story picture of herself holding the baby outside the event.
But where’s the fun?
Of course, kids love presents. Heck, grown-ups love presents! So does the fiver party take away from that?
Well, it’s all in how it’s presented to the child. If your child is aware of the ‘big ticket’ present coming their way and understands that everyone coming to her party will be gifting it to her, instead of bringing an individual present, then you will manage her expectations while also fueling her excitement about the ‘big gift’.
How to throw a fiver party
Simply write out your party invitations as you normally would but state somewhere that “this is a fiver party”. If you don’t have enough room to explain what this is on the invitation, you could write ‘PTO’ and then explain it on the back.
Set limits and encourage playtime. Media use, like all other activities, should have reasonable limits. Unstructured and offline play stimulates creativity. Make unplugged playtime a daily priority, especially for very young children.
You could say something like:
“Archie is having a fiver party! He really wants a (name big ticket gift item) so instead of bringing him a gift, please pop a $5 note in a card to go towards this. He’s very excited! Thank you.”
Then you could either present your child with the big ticket item at the party for his friends to see what they all gave him, or you could save this for after everyone has gone home.
Also, if you think $5 is a bit cheap, you could throw a ‘tenner party’ where guests give $10, but asking for any amount higher than this might appear a bit rude.
As for my son
I popped the $5 note into a Paw Patrol card as I know my son’s little buddy is obsessed with that show. Then I asked my boy to draw his friend a picture – this was a pirate ship as they always play pirates together. I wrapped this up along with a lollypop and sheet of truck stickers I happened to have in the cupboard. Because as much as I’m on board with the fiver party, there’s nothing like unwrapping a surprise, no matter how small it is, on your birthday.