The Newest Kids Birthday Party Trend Is Actually a Great Idea — and It’s Cheap, Too!

published Jun 27, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Little girl wearing yellow long sleeved shirt opening red-paper-wrapped gift on green velvet sofa. She is concentrating.
Credit: Ippei Naoi/Getty Images

Birthday parties: love ‘em or hate ‘em, they’re here to stay. Whether it’s a DIY backyard party or a gathering at the local bounce house, one thing usually holds true: you’ll need to bring a birthday gift.  It can be hard to pick a gift for the six-year-old from your child’s class you’ve met once, and the money spent on gifts for party after party adds up. 

But there’s one birthday party trend I’ve heard about that solves all these dilemmas…

The Fiver Birthday Party

The “fiver birthday party” trend has been gaining momentum, and for good reason. At a fiver birthday party, kids are asked to bring just $5 in lieu of a gift. The parents of the birthday child then use that $5 toward a big, exciting gift the child really wants. 

It’s a win for everyone involved. The birthday parents aren’t left with a bunch of toys that will become clutter, the birthday child is happy with a highly-coveted gift, and the attendees save money and time by foregoing gift-buying. Fiver parties also help reduce waste and consumerism. 

Once the day is here, the actual party is no different than any other traditional birthday party. Some people choose to skip the present opening portion of the party altogether, while others might want to open cards. If parents bought the big-ticket gift in advance, they might choose to present it to the birthday child during the party. 

In some cases, the birthday child might not have one big gift in mind; instead, they might use the money to purchase something after the party is over. If parents go this route with a fiver party, it presents a great opportunity to talk about money and budgeting. 

No matter how the party is structured, a fiver party takes the focus off of material items and gifts and instead places the focus on enjoying time with family and friends. 

If you’re invited to a fiver party, please just bring the $5! Pop it into a card and add some stickers or a candy bar if you must, but don’t feel obligated to bring a gift anyway. 

Credit: Shutterstock

How to Sell Your Child on a Fiver Party 

The hardest person to sell on a fiver party might be the birthday child. If you’re thinking of throwing a fiver party for your child, talk to them about it first. Childhood birthdays are incredibly exciting, and you don’t want them to be disappointed if they were expecting a huge stockpile of gifts. 

First and foremost, help them understand that they should never expect a gift from somebody else. A fiver birthday party can help your kids appreciate the importance of simply spending time with friends and enjoying their company without expectation. 

A fiver birthday party can help your kids appreciate the importance of simply spending time with friends and enjoying their company without expectation.

When it comes to the gift, make sure the item they receive is highly-coveted and something they would be unlikely to get if it weren’t for the party. Maybe it’s a new bike or a Nintendo Switch. Chances are, you already know what the gift will be because they’ve been talking about it for months. 

What to Say in a Fiver Birthday Party Invitation

Many people haven’t heard of fiver parties, so you need to nail the invitation. If you’re thinking of throwing a fiver party for your kids, here’s what the invitation might say: 

We hope you’ll join us to celebrate Atlas turning six! This year, he’s having a fiver party. He really wants a (insert highly-coveted gift here) for his birthday. If you were planning on bringing Atlas a birthday gift, we ask that you instead simply bring $5 to contribute to his (insert gift again). 

On the back of the invitation, you may want to explain the benefits of a fiver party in more detail. 

While I have yet to attend a fiver birthday party myself, I’m keeping this idea in my back pocket for when my kids are old enough to have birthday parties with friends. With three kids who are bound to be invited to quite a few birthday parties throughout their childhood, I hope we get invited to a few fiver parties, too.