Ds turns 5 the first weekend after starting school and we're trying to decide what to do. Last couple of years it's been parties at home with mostly friends and their similar aged dc. But siblings are all.older now and not sure we our house could take it.
Then there's the issue of having just started school. Big party in hall and invite class on first day?! Soft play party just for friends? Ds himself will say he wants a party but he gets easily overwhelmed by things like this, so another variable to throw in!
I booked a hall and entertainer. Got first name class list from school admin on first day of term. Whole class invites handed out on day two (weds or Thurs iirc). I added a note to the invites apologising for short notice and presents were not necessary and if anyone had to arrive / leave early due to prior commitments that was fine.
In the end almost the whole class turned up . Lots with presents. The other parents also said it was nice having a chance to get to know everyone, I laid out nibbles and tables for parents around the edge of the hall.
That's our slight worry - that everyone would see it as a chance to get to know each other and all descend! Very impressively organised of you though I have to ask - what did you do with that many presents..?!