I love capturing special birthday parties for parents. And those parties for under 5s are very special indeed! Our youngsters change more in those first five years than any other period. Consequently those precious photographs of those memories are special.

I’ve been to A LOT of under 5s parties and have compiled a tip list to share!

  • Most parties follow a similar format, in that parents hire an entertainer. It definitely reduces the stress to get someone in who can engage under 5s with ease. As parents we can be great with our own, but entertaining a group, with parents watching on, raises anyone’s stress levels!

  • Most entertainers will still offer scope for parents to decide on a theme. Asking youngsters to dress up too all adds to the party vibe. It also reduces the need for decorations, because the guests provide the theme decor!
  • If you are inviting boys and girls, themes which work well for both genders are often the following:  Farm or Jungle Animal Themes / Pirates & Under the Sea themes / Circus themes / Transport, Wild West and Hero themes or parties based on well known characters like Paddington or Beatrix Potter stories.

This Pirate party was led by one musician, Tabitha Blyth. She is well known in the area for running Tabby’s Tunes music classes for pre schoolers so most guests were very familiar with her and her whirl of puppetry, songs, games, parachute action and bubbles. Impressively her parachute for this bash was sea themed, with trailing seaweed and came with an abundance of sea-life.

Tabby’s activities shifted about every 6-10 minutes, so she really packed in a lot in an hour. Experienced with under 5s, she knows maintaining pace and not asking them to stick with one activity for too long creates the most fun.

The kids lapped it up before eating up their pirate buffet and lining up for eye patches, swag bags and cake. And, so follows the next tip, because this was not a long party.

  • 90 minutes is often LONG ENOUGH. A lot of parents feel they need to offer a 2 hour party, but most entertainers for under 5s offer the one hour option through experience. Often an hour’s worth of party time followed by food and cake is plenty for this age group.

And finally, the best tip in the world for EVERY party….

  • Party bags are the best and politest way to tell parents and children it is time to go home! They needn’t contain a lot, often a balloon is the biggest treat under 5s need, with some colouring pages and a small sweet treat.

This party imagery is private, so there are deliberately few guest images shared here. You can browse more of my party work elsewhere on my blog and through my gallery page here.

Last tip!

  • Often there are only so many parties before your youngsters prefer to go bowling or to the cinema or just out with pals without us! So, understandably parents want to treasure those extra special parties where they hire in a photographer. Not every party warrants pro photography, but have a read of this blog if it will help you to decide!