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Your 5-year-old now
Planning a birthday party? Remember this:
- Small is generally more fun than big. That old rule of thumb about one guest per year of age makes sense. Six guests is a big party.
- Involvement is better than surprise. Sixes-to-be like to have a say in planning the theme (pirates, ballerinas, dogs) and choosing the kind of cake.
- Home is as fun as away. It's become standard to rent special venues for kids' birthday parties. But your child is young enough that a piñata, cake, and party games with favorite friends still counts as exciting.
- Activity is better than chaos. Script the time for the party and make sure you have plenty planned to fill it.
- Simple is better than fancy. Kids this age care about the flavor of cake and ice cream, not the extent of the decor. And remember, 5- and 6-year-olds are as easily entertained by old-fashioned party games like pin the tail on the donkey as they are by pricey clowns.
- One party is better than two. Have beverages and simple snacks on hand for any parents who stick around, but don't try hosting two separate, simultaneous parties. At this age, kids are usually old enough to be dropped off at a party and picked up when it's over.
Your life now
One easy way to add to the odds that your child will go to bed peacefully and stay there: Do a little review of the day together.
Ask your child what the best and worst parts of the day were. This gives her a chance to reflect and unload, not to mention spend some comforting one-on-one quiet time with you.
You'll also gain a window into her life and what's on her mind. Often in the everyday rush these kinds of conversation are lost.
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