Turning 5 is special. A whole new world beyond home and family has opened up at school. Read and writing are new skills. 5 is a special birthday. My boy isn’t 5 for another couple of weeks but at the weekend we filled a hall with children and celebrated the joy of being 5. The class was invited and then some.

They screamed, whooped and laughed. The invitation said fancy dress. There was a vet in pink. A fireman in yellow. Superhero’s in black and blue. Princesses in shades of purple and pink. Little girls in red flamenco dresses. A witch with a big green hat which matched a small ninja turtle. The games were organised by an orange tiger who tickled children with her tail.

Chocolate coated fingers and party biscuits in pastel hues. Piles of sandwiches; jam, ham or cheese. Presents wrapped in multi-coloured paper. Giant red balloons that could be kicked as high as the ceiling. The hero of the hour wore a black gorilla outfit and brought along his cuddly baby gorilla, because when you’re 5 taking cuddly toys to a party is still good. He chose a yellow cake with the black symbol of batman across the top. We dimmed the lights, sang ‘Happy Birthday’ and I cried a few proud tears. My little boy, his face lit golden from the candles. One big breathe and they were out. He beamed at me and my heart swelled.

Running, chasing, dancing and a few tears. Songs from the Jungle Book on repeat. Musical bumps and statues. Sleeping lions with multi coloured jelly babies balanced on foreheads. Birthday banners, balloons, party bags and sweets in rainbow colours.

At the end of afternoon as the outside sky turned from blue to black we switched the lights off, ditched the Disney tunes for ‘Call Me Maybe’ turned the volume to full and threw day glow bracelets across the floor. The children when “ahhh” most of them wowed by the brightly glowing bracelets and in a moment every small arm was lit in day glow colour…… and then it was time to go home.





  1. Jenny paulin

    That’s a fab photo to begin with I thought the was going to be an Olympic inspired post! Blimey a hall full of screaming and energetic 5 year olds – eeeeeek! Brave woman! I hope your boy enjoys his 5th birthday when it comes and his party sounds like a blast x

    1. helloitsgemma

      It was chaos but the children seemed to love that, especially the boys. I could never have done it without friends who made cups of tea for parents and the friend who organised games. Not sure what I did but I didn’t stop. It was fun.

  2. Trish @ Mum's Gone To

    That reminds me so much of a couple of parties we had for our son when he was a similar age: we still remember them now, far more than the usual trips to soft play centres for parties. It’s always hard work but so worth it. Secretly I think I enjoyed the planning of them and coming up with different ideas for going home presents. Great post, Gemma.

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