When The Four-Year-Old Turned Five


You know when something seems like it’ll be really easy and manageable in your head. And in reality, it ends up being a shedload of work and a bit stressful? That’s what happened really, with the five-year-old’s birthday party.

The plan was simple: hire a church hall, hire a bouncy castle, do a few activities like nail painting and biscuit decorating, give them all some sandwiches and crisps, job done.

I’ll admit, I totally under-estimated how much work it would be, and I have a new-found respect for people who plan events for a living. But, that said, the five-year-old had a whale of a time, and hopefully *fingers crossed* all of the 34 kids who came (I know, 34, I must be mad, right?) had fun too.


The activities were all based on the things that the five-year-old LOVES to do. We had a bouncy castle which was very quickly packed with red, sweaty, smiling children.


We had a nail bar where the kids could have Little Bu nail polish applied. Little Bu is brilliant because the polishes are non toxic, odourless and either washes or peels off.



The queue for the nail bar was long and filled with patient little people – brilliantly quite a few boys wanted their nails painted too, and I have it on good authority that the most popular colour with everyone was a deep pinky-red shade! We also had some of the cute nail stickers from Little Bu which were applied once the polish was dry. Big up to my friend Kim who was the super duper nail technician for the afternoon! She deserved a wine that evening.

We also had a tattoo parlour, with some amazing circus-themed temporary tattoos from Tattyoo – I’ve never used them before, and was really impressed with how well each tattoo came out. My friend Katie was the tattoo artist for the afternoon, and after the first few, cleverly cottoned on to the fact that these kids would be going to school the next day, so started to do the tatts on the kids’ upper arms, so they’d be covered by their school uniform.



The last activity was biscuit-decorating, and we used some amazing kits from BKD. I’ve written about BKD a few times – as well as selling biscuit kits and new baking kits, they run classes in London where you can decorate cupcakes and biscuits.



The BKD biscuit decorating kits were perfect, as each child had one biscuit (a choice between lots of shapes like dinosaurs, flowers, stars and rocket ships) plus a little icing pen and a packet of sprinkles. My mum was on biscuit bar duty and did an amazing job at helping all the kids get arty.

When it came to the party food, we kept it simple with cheese sandwiches, Nutella sandwiches, and a mix of cucumber, carrot and grapes with party ring biscuits and Hula Hoops snacks. We had ace party plates from Hema, pink cups from John Lewis and yellow napkins and circus-themed paper straws from Party Kitsch.


After a game of pass the parcel, blowing the candles out and singing Happy Birthday, it was all over and we handed out a book to each party guest, along with a slice of cake and their decorated BKD biscuit.

And then we collapsed into a bottle of prosecco. Next year, I’ve told the five-year-old she can choose five friends to take out for pizza!

I still can’t quite believe I’m the mum of a five-year-old. It’s a cliché but the past five years have flown by, but equally, it feels like forever and I can’t really remember what life was like before I was a mum. (What did I do with all that time I had?)

Massive thanks to Little Bu for supplying us with the nail polishes and accessories. Thank you to Party Kitsch for supplying us with the tattoos, straws and napkins. Thanks to BKD for supplying us with the biscuit decorating kits. You’re all awesome!



  1. October 5, 2015 / 9:25 am

    Wow, Alison, 34 children!! That is incredible and I’m not surprised the Prosecco was needed at the end of the day! Hope the now-five-year-old had a fab time!

    • Alison Perry
      October 5, 2015 / 7:39 pm

      She had the BEST time, thank you Sophie!

  2. October 5, 2015 / 12:44 pm

    341! You are indeed a saint. This might look like the coolest 5 year old’s birthday party ever though – love the nail bar and tattoo parlour ideas, defo pinching them for next time.

    My friend from the school run has the right idea – she lets her two kids have parties on alternate years and then does a quieter day out for the birthdays in between. Another idea I have pinched for mine! x

    • October 5, 2015 / 12:47 pm

      ahahah I wrote 341 by accident – god could you even imagine entertaining that many kids?

      • Alison Perry
        October 5, 2015 / 7:38 pm

        hahahahahahhahaha (nervous laughter)

  3. October 5, 2015 / 6:32 pm

    OH my the big 5! We’re celebrating F’s on party on Sunday and have gone down the bouncy castle and hall route, having a slight panic now! The tattoos looks amazing, what a great idea! I have to try and come up with a transformer piñata eek! x

    • Alison Perry
      October 5, 2015 / 7:38 pm

      Oooh he will have a BALL! Deffo have prosecco on stand-by for afterwards. You’ll need it 😉

  4. October 5, 2015 / 7:49 pm

    We did the invite-everyone-community-hall 4th birthday last year. This year I’ve told him he can choose a day out with the family instead. I think I can just about handle the big parties if we do one year on one year off. Plus, he’s so new at school for his birthday this year that it’s tricky to know who to invite, so I just sacked it off all together rather than risk offence so early on in the school year!

  5. October 5, 2015 / 10:24 pm

    Aw SO well done! I remember 5 being the very best big birthday party, 6 was definitely a bit wobbly with lots of kids and 789 has been just a few friends but the same vein – making stuff together. Home made parties are the best, tiring though eh. Looks absolutely glorious 🙂

  6. October 5, 2015 / 11:00 pm

    That looks and sounds like an absolutely cracking birthday party!! Can you come plan Talitha’s 5th next year?! Love the sound of the nail polish too. It always stresses me out that I’m putting toxic rubbish on the young ‘un when she wants her nails done.

  7. October 8, 2015 / 9:56 pm

    Glad she enjoyed it – looks like so much fun! Can you just buy those biscuit packs ? Might get some (for me, obviously)

  8. October 10, 2015 / 5:56 am

    TOTALLY STEALING ALL OF THESE IDEAS! Esp the nail bar!!! My girl is just having the girls from her class so this would be perfect. Looked like she had an amazing day!!! xxx

  9. October 12, 2015 / 2:56 pm

    34 kids Alison?! I keep feeling a bit guilty that Wilf is not really going to have much of a birthday this year (as the baby is due a week before his) but actually as he’s turning 4 I think he’s properly still at the age where he won’t really mind. NEXT YEAR however I’m totally stealing the idea of the tattoo and cookie making bits! x

  10. October 12, 2015 / 8:04 pm

    What a FANTASTIC party! We’ve done big parties for F for the past two years in a row and I’m concerned I’ve started a precedent. “Rod for my own back” springs to mind. Still, it does feel like a huge feat of accomplishment once it’s all over. I’m sure you earned that prosecco!

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