As a parent with young children I know kids' birthday parties are a big deal. The theme, the place, and the effort put into a child's birthday party seems to be very important these days, then factor in the amount of friend's parties they get invited to, and you realize parents spend a ridiculous amount of money on birthdays each year.

A dear friend of mine shared something on Facebook yesterday that darn near made me giddy with relief; it was an article about the new trend for kids' birthday parties called "fiver parties".

I know, "fiver parties" sounds a little weird, but I happen to think it's a pretty brilliant idea. I'm willing to bet you probably will too.

To me, the two biggest problems with birthday parties are:

  1. The amount of stuff your kid gets, (and probably doesn't need), that you now need to find a place for.
  2. The $20 plus bucks you shell out on gifts you don't even know if your child's friend will like. (Let me just clarify, it's not that I don't like buying other children gifts, I just want to buy something they will really like and use, else I feel like it's just wasted money).

If you agree with those two problems, believe me when I saw a fiver party is the answer you have been looking for.

A fiver party is actually exactly what it sounds like; instead of party guests bringing gifts for the birthday child, they bring a card with $5 in it instead that will be used to buy the big gift the birthday kid really wants.

The thinking behind a fiver party according to babyology.com is;

  • It’s easy on parents. No more needing to dash to the shops to buy a present and then wondering if the birthday girl already has a rainbow My Little Pony or too much Duplo.
  • It’s budget friendly. If your child gets invited to lots of parties and you spend say $20 each time on a gift, it adds up, especially when little ones start school and the ENTIRE class is invited to the parties.
  • It removes the expectation of ‘stuff’ from birthdays. It teaches kids that parties are about friends and having fun, not piles of presents. It also teaches them the value of saving for something that they really want.
  • It’s environmentally friendly. How many toys end up in landfill after being loved for a period of time and then ignored?
  • It cuts down on toy clutter. Fewer toys mean fewer things to have to toss, give away or donate to charity when the time comes.
  • The child gets one big and exciting present that they’ve been dreaming about. Not lots of little cheap ones that break and have bits that get lost.

 

Pretty brilliant right? If you think the only hiccup to this plan is convincing your child that having a fiver birthday party is actually a cool thing, Babyology says presenting it to your child in an exciting way is key. We need to make it clear that this is the only way they will get the "big ticket" item they have been wishing for, and that each of their friends will be bringing money to help them get it.

If you intend on planning a fiver party for your child soon, just make sure all your invitees know what's happening. Just say something on the invitation like, "Ella is having a fiver party! She really wants a new American Girl Doll, so instead of bringing a gift, just put $5 in a card for her to use towards it and she'll be ecstatic!"

Or...something a little less obvious like, "This is a fiver party, so if you would like to bring a gift, a fiver in a card would be very kind".

Catch Lil Zim on ‘Q98.5 Mornings with Lil Zim & JB’ on Q98.5 from 5:00 a.m. to 10 a.m. Follow her on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook