Five-year-old's party without bouncy castle.... Help!

(20 Posts)
KarenCBC Thu 10-Jan-19 13:40:27

Hi! I'm planning my son's 5th birthday party and have resigned myself to inviting the whole class (I know I don't have to but its the decision I've come to). Pretty much every other parent so far has hired a hall and a bouncy castle and other than pass the parcel has pretty much left them to it. To keep costs down I really don't want to hire the bouncy castle. Can I get away with this and so on earth am I going to fill a couple of hours without one?..... Any ideas really, truly welcome!! Thank you!

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RiverTam Thu 10-Jan-19 13:45:18

you do all the old-fashioned party games that existed pre-bouncy castles, of course!

drinkingfromthekegofglory Thu 10-Jan-19 13:47:34

Dc1 is in reception and they've been to a few church hall parties this year with an entertainer /magician. They've been very popular!

FoofFighter Thu 10-Jan-19 13:49:28

Yep, go the traditional route with a bit of a disco and some party games. You could take some toys along maybe - have you got any larger things? Space hoppers? Big bouncy balls? Scooters etc?

tables of craft activities go down well too and can be as cheap and easy as you like.

Strugglingtodomybest Thu 10-Jan-19 13:49:48

Party games. Dead lion is the best grin

Fairylightfurore Thu 10-Jan-19 13:50:56

Entertainers are going to cost more than hiring a bouncy castle! Check out leisure centres some of them do very reasonable hall hire with bouncy castle thrown in. Otherwise gets some kids party songs and fill the hall with balloons, balls, hula hoops and any ride ons you have, get a face painting kit and do pass the parcel, you'll be fine!

Mayhemmumma Thu 10-Jan-19 13:52:48

Party games for 30 four and five year olds?

They cry if they don't win. Parents get anxious...

You'll do it once and gratefully pay for the bouncy castle next year!

RiverTam Thu 10-Jan-19 13:57:50

oh, don't be silly. Split the kids into smaller groups and off you go.

horseymum Thu 10-Jan-19 14:03:03

There are loads of ideas for party games, have a look on Pinterest etc. We always did parties like this for our kids. Maybe chose a theme he likes, like dinosaurs or something. Then all the games can be themed. Eg cut Dino footprints out of newspapers and use them for musical islands. Plan lots to keep it moving. We have done obstacle courses, quizzes etc too. You don't want too many where they get out as sitting around is when they get up to mischief! Personally I found a mix of boys and girls helpful at that age so it didn't just disintegrate into wrestling! See if you have any friendly older kids to help out. The top tip would be do it less time though, it always goes pear-shaped in the last 15 minutes or so! 1 hour 30/45 is long enough. Have an order planned out, with a calmer game before the food. Basic party bags are all you need, their main purpose is to signal the end and to help usher them out the door! There's always one parent who can't get their child away so that helps. Enjoy, I always loved planning them and a bit sad they have moved on from these now!

GahWhatever Thu 10-Jan-19 14:05:28

Musical chairs, musical statues, pass the parcel, pin the tail on the donkey, Simon says.
You need to make the games short or have something else fro them to do once they are 'out' or chaos will ensue, so a little craft: at this age I did 'decorate a gift bag' with stickers and felt tips and then they could use it as a party bag to take home.
Dough for modelling (make salt dough yourself).
Loads of balloons for them to kick about.
party tea.
2 hours max or you'll run out of ideas and they will get bored.

YY to pp who said split them into smaller groups and do the games as a round robin.

GahWhatever Thu 10-Jan-19 14:07:31

Can you borrow a parachute? Loads of games you can download for a parachute and 4-5yo seem to like them. It'll fill 15 mins or so!

springtimeyet Thu 10-Jan-19 15:20:17

Can you borrow a karaoke machine from somewhere?
Games are fine, you need a few helpers and lots of little prizes.
Magicians are good but probably more expensive than a bouncy castle.
Some kind of music to dance to fills some time.
Large bubble tubes if you have any outside space.

cheercaptain Fri 11-Jan-19 10:13:39

.....maybe a sports day party. You should be able to pick up a sports day kit for way less than the cost of hiring a bouncy castle and you can put this to good use afterwards. You can also add games such as paper cup games (lots online) at very little cost. Let the kids work in groups and move from one activity to the other. You will need helpers and to plan it so every child gets a medal for something. A mini disco at the end could be something they all do together. I personally won't bother with pass the parcel with a whole class party .

mummmy2017 Fri 11-Jan-19 10:20:29

You can do the running game ..
Guides used to do it...
You have pictures of 4 animals one in each corner...
Everyone choices an animal and runs to a corner....
In a bag you have 4 balls write an animal on the balls...
Pull a ball out, that group have to go sit down as they are put.... Add ball back to bag... Repeat...
Winner is last child not out.
Sit down bingo is good as well...
Sit down if your number is called....
Winner is last man standing...
Give all the Losers a sweet...
Winner gets prize... A cup of sweets or something..

KarenCBC Fri 11-Jan-19 12:10:00

Thanks so much for your ideas so far! I know we used to do them when we were younger with just games but feel like kids don’t have the attention span so much any more (broad generalisation I know) and I do worry about some kids getting upset if they don’t win. Although I’m annoyed at myself for worrying about that! Also, entertainer is definitely out of the equation due to cost. Had just thought about team games so particularly love the sports day idea!!

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mummmy2017 Fri 11-Jan-19 12:16:23

Did you see the program last night, they showed the children with tablets, then they showed them when they had to play with each other, even the children said they like play more...
So long as you do little gifts like a lolly... 99p shop 20 packs, kids feel they won....
And anything messy is fun for children, different is so much better than just another bouncy castle event.

GahWhatever Fri 11-Jan-19 12:32:15

This takes me back to when DD(14) was in reception. I was a single Mum and overstretched myself a bit with only DS(then 10) to help but 4 people contacted me to say that their child had loved it and said it was the best party ever(not because it was actually all that, but because they all get soft play and bouncy castles a lot):

As above, I did party games and parachute, assisted by 10YO.
They ate at long tables dressed with value white paper tablecloths with a line of plastic coins down the middle (I think it was pirates and princesses): the main low effort solution was the provision of boxes like these: boxes which contained a little pack of crayons to colour in the box when food was consumed, 3x1/4 of sandwich, (a ham, a cheese, a jam) a fairy cake, a bag of pombears and a supermarket minifruit bag plus a little bottle of water. These were all filled before anyone came so super easy to set up while the party was in motion.
Asd a pp said: playing games together is quite often a novelty and certainly the kids really enjoyed it!
Also used a website (can't remember if it was party pieces but something like that) for table dec coins, musical islands (which we also used a prizes so they could go on a bedroom wall), pin the tail on the donkey etc. It was not expensive or complicated but it was tiring on the day!

ManicGirl Fri 11-Jan-19 22:05:30

I absolutely love these 'old school parties and loads of parents say how much they love them. Couple of tips from the many I've held in the last couple of years:
Steer clear of team games. With large class parties some kids will always wander off so it buggers up team sizes
Give any child who loses a game a sweet when they are out. This tends to pacify them.
Agree with poster who says a quiet game before food to chill them a bit.
Have at least 10 games as you get through them really quickly!

One thing I did once was a space party where all children got an astronaut trainee badge when they arrived. If they played a game they got a star and anyone with 5 stars got a medal and a certificate. The kids loved the idea of getting another star each time.
Good luck - it'll be great!

BikeRunSki Fri 11-Jan-19 22:11:18

The biggest roll of bubble wrap rolled out on the floor, and music to jump around to!

KarenCBC Thu 17-Jan-19 14:44:55

These are all such fantastic ideas. Thank you for them and the support. Love the idea for a sweet as kids get knocked out of games. It always scares me with musical statues/bumps/chairs!

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