Why Fiver Birthday Parties Are Every Parent's Dream

The brilliant party concept makes kids' birthday parties less of a hassle.

January 22, 2019

From smash cakes to doughnut walls, kids' birthday party trends are always evolving as parents constantly look for new, fun ways to celebrate their little ones' milestones. One look at Pinterest and you can find that number-shaped cakes, scavenger hunts, and enchanted forest-themed parties have seemingly replaced the simplicity of pizza and balloons. But have you heard of the clever birthday party trend called fiver parties? They involve telling guests to skip a traditional gift (like an electronic, game, books, etc.) and instead to bring a $5 bill.

Lana Hallowes described the trend on the Australian parenting site Babyology, "The other day my son was invited to a 'fiver birthday'—a fiver what? I remember thinking as I turned the invitation over for the 'please explain' bit on the back."

Hallowes quickly learned that many parents in her community had been throwing and attending parties like this, pointing out how the trend eliminates the stress and cost of shopping for gifts. "It is simply a birthday party where all the little guests bring a $5 note to go towards a big ticket present that the parents have bought and which the child really wants," Hallowes wrote. "There's no gift. No stress and no expense."

Birthday Party
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The Perks of Throwing a Fiver Party

How many among us have stressed out because we've had to buy a gift last minute? And, of course, other anxieties are baked into that panic mode, like wondering if the birthday kiddo already has the gift you bought. And for many parents, simply being able to afford to purchase gifts for a birthday party is enough to send that blood pressure rising.

One other interesting opportunity for the fiver party idea is that it may even help kids focus on having more fun with their friends instead of opening gifts and making the party about having more stuff. Besides, who wants all the clutter of gift boxes and wrapping paper that a typical birthday party produces? When you think about it, it feels pretty wasteful.

How You Throw Your Child a Fiver Party

If the idea of a fiver party appeals to you, you can easily put together an experienced-based party for your child. To start, send out invitations that explain what a fiver party is:

"Harper is having a fiver party! This year, Harper asked for (name the expensive item here), so instead of asking guests to bring gifts, we're requesting that everyone bring $5 to go toward the big gift. We're so excited to see you! Thank you."

Once your party day arrives, you can choose to present the big gift to your child in front of guests or wait until everyone goes home and then enjoy the surprise as a family.

What Parents Are Saying

Although the trend first exploded in popularity in Australia, North American moms are into it, too. Florida parent Rachel Horan told TODAY that throwing a fiver party for their daughter Michaela was a hit. "She'd been wanting a zoo pass and we've been trying to put a bigger emphasis on experiences versus things," Horan explained. "So when people asked, we just said if they'd like to contribute to a zoo pass it would very appreciated but that we would never expect anyone to feel obligated to bring a gift. She ended up getting enough gift cards and cash to get her zoo pass plus an additional summer camp, and also received gift cards to the movies and a local play center. It was so wonderful and is creating many more memories than a toy could. So many parents said they wish they had thought of it with their own kids, but were never sure how to word it."

Fellow parent Amy W. tells Parents that a fiver party may be in store for their kiddo too. "He is turning 6 and want to get him one—yes, one!—big present," Amy shares. "My children have soooo many toys, we are bursting at the seams and don't need more...I'm in the process of getting rid of some!"

Other parents noted the wisdom in money management that the fiver party gives a young child. Danielle J. from Phoenix, Arizona told Parents, "By receiving a gift of money, I think you have the opportunity to use it as a lesson in saving/spending money," Danielle said. "You would likely spend more than $5 on the birthday, and ... it encourages people to attend and not feel like they couldn't afford to come and celebrate, if finances were a concern."

Given all the potential pros and minimal cons, more families are jumping on the bandwagon. Malori A. from Peoria, Illinois, shared a recent experience with a fiver party. "I personally loved it," Malori tells Parents. "It was at the trampoline park, and the parents didn't want to cart 30 gifts home. I gave $15 tho since all three of [my kids] were invited, and that's still getting off super cheap. The girl was saving for an electric scooter, and a few days after her party, her mom sent us a video of her riding it around and saying thank you."

For both parents and kids, fiver parties seem like a real win-win.

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