We Wanna Grow Up!
Planning a party for fours and fives
By Shelly Radic
Unlike Peter Pan, four and five year olds eagerly tell anyone willing to listen, “I wanna grow up!” Older preschoolers eagerly wait for their birthdays, counting the days, weeks, and even months until the big day. Stretching towards independence, fours and fives enjoy participating in party planning and preparations. They often have strong opinions on everything from the flavor of the cake to the height for hanging a piñata.
Fours and fives can participate in party planning by:
- Choosing the party theme, colors, and food
- Making the guest list (with parent input)
- Creating invitations and/or stamping and sealing invitation envelopes
- Selecting and trying out games and activities
- Helping create and display decorations
- Organizing party favors
Fours and fives begin enjoying team games and contests, creating craft projects on their own, and solving simple riddles as part of a hunt. Some popular games and activities for independent fours and fives are:
- Games of skill like “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” or “Bean Bag Toss”
- Low- key competitions like “Relay Races” or “Musical Chairs”
- Treasure hunts with simple riddle clues
- Self made crafts like child-decorated visors, t-shirts, photo frames, cupcakes, or cookies
Parents of very independent fours and fives may be comfortable dropping off their child for a birthday party. When guests RSVP, ask whether or not parents will be staying at the party. This will help with planning food and beverages, and ensure there are enough adults available to assist with activities. When children are dropped off, ask parents for the following information in case of emergency.
- Parent contact information during the party (this may be a cell phone number)
- An alternative contact in case the parent can’t be reached
- Allergies or special needs of child
Although eager to grow up, fours and fives will eagerly fly to Neverland for a Peter Pan Party.