In a child's eyes, a 5-year-old's birthday party is a huge event, ranking right up there with Christmas. To make it live up to the child's expectations, keep it simple, fun and upbeat.
Consider a theme costume party: Disney princesses, dinosaurs and SpongeBob SquarePants are all popular with 5-year-olds. It's extra fun if the parents participate. Hand out framed Polaroids of each child in costume at the end of the party.
Stock up on bubbles, sidewalk chalk and inexpensive lawn games like golf and Frisbees. Host the party outside and play hopscotch, have relay and potato-sack races, and make a sidewalk mural.
Offer a selection of simple crafts like Popsicle stick picture frames, foam masks and puppets. Five-year-olds can complete a craft, do cake and gifts while the glue or paint dries and take their creations home.
Five-year-olds aren't always ready for a sleepover. Have them come in pajamas, get in their sleeping bags with a big bowl of popcorn and watch the birthday girl's favorite movie. Hand out small teddy bears or fluffy pillows as party favors.
A large wading pool, beach balls and a sandbox transform your yard into a beach for imaginative 5-year-olds. Set up a net and play beach volleyball, roast some hot dogs and stick umbrellas in the drinks to complete the theme.