Mama in the City since 2008 and blogging since 2009!

Five Reasons To Host A Five Dollar Birthday Party!

February 4, 2017 // Apartment Living, Parenting

The other day my sweet spunky Josie turned five years old. She was so excited for this day and we had plans to host a small at home birthday party in our apartment. A couple of friends and our little cousins were on the guest list for an old fashion birthday party with games and cake.

My sister introduced me to the idea of hosting ‘five dollar parties’ back when my oldest turned five. The basic idea is in the invite  you tell guests that in lieu of gifts you will be hosting a ‘5 dollar party‘.

Instruct your guests to bring a total of ten dollars and briefly explain that five dollars will be going to the birthday kid and five dollars will be donated to a special charity of their choice. Both of my kids chose to give to the SPCA and they loved the idea of helping out the animals. Other ideas for charities include something special to your family or the local Children’s hospital.

We really love the idea of hosting this type of party for a few reasons.

  1. As a parent ten dollars total is a pretty nice amount to give for a kids birthday party. Often buying a present would cost more than ten dollars.
  2. Parents don’t have to run out and buy a present that would be appropriate and appreciated by the birthday kid. Picking out a good present gets trickier as kids get older and you don’t always know their school mates personally.
  3. The birthday child gets to buy one great toy that they love instead of accumulating a lot of little toys.
  4. Kids get to learn about the act of charity and supporting something important to them.
  5. Families don’t get a huge influx of stuff to add to their kid’s collection. This was really nice for us as this party was right after Christmas, especially as space is limited for us.

We thought it was cute that for a five year olds birthday she was doing a 5 on 5 kind of theme. As kids get older the amount can change and you can choose to do a ten dollar party instead. After doing two of these parties we have had great feedback from the parents of the party guests.

Josie enjoyed browsing for a special toy with her money. She picked herself out a toy sink (with actual running water!) and donated the other half to the SPCA.



About the author

Hi! I'm Andrea, a 30 something girl who loves living the downtown lifestyle and didn't want to give it up once I started a family. Mama in the City since 2008 and blogging since 2009!


  1. Samantha Wright says:

    I love this idea!! I like that it means you don’t accumulate a lot of ‘stuff’. As my kids got older the presents got more and more less personal. Just fill the void of a present!

  2. Elly says:

    Great idea and thought too. This is really for very good cause. Kids will learn a lot by this about charity. Its very reasonable too. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Shelly says:

    This is an extremely thoughtful idea! I think 5 years is actully the perfect time to hold a party that doen’t involve wrapped gifts as the kids understand the concept of money and is more appealing to them. Also introducing them to charity work at such an age is justperfect as they grow up very kind people.