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Do 5-Year-Olds Remember Their Birthday Parties? Viral Reddit Thread Has Great Answers

A Reddit thread has gone viral with sweetness, thoughtfulness, and hilarity after one user asked just how much they should invest into their little sibling's 5th birthday party.

Big pink 5 number candle on homemade cake, with child standing behind it.

As parents, we all want our kids to look back at their childhood when they’re older with fond memories of feeling loved and celebrated — like when they remember their first big birthday party. Birthday parties are a lot of fun (at least for the kids) and a lot of work to plan (for the parents) — so much so that parents may wonder if it’s all worth it. Will a 5-year-old even remember the birthday party that you put so much sweat and tears into? A viral Reddit thread posed this exact question, and it might help you weigh in on when the best time to throw a big birthday party is.

In the popular Reddit community r/Parents, Reddit user u/princessxojah posted a thread titled “Do 5-year-olds remember birthday parties?” In the post, u/princessxojah shared that she wanted to help make special memories for her younger brother and was thinking about hosting a birthday party for him.

“I was planning on throwing a pretty big party for my baby brother. He’s never had any special celebration prior to this as my family aren’t the type to go all out,” u/princessxojah wrote. “I will be the one planning & paying for everything. I wonder if 5 year olds remember this type of stuff? What did your kids do for their 5th birthday? Did you remember what happened when you were 5?”

The community didn’t disappoint. Several people responded with hilarious and thoughtful answers about what they can remember from being 5 years old.

“Kids remember gifts, cake, and best friends who came and had fun,” MontEcola shared. “They do not remember the pony ride, bouncy house rental, or balloons. So, get a basic cake and invite some best friends. Get one good gift.”

U/fadinqlight_ said the cake was something they really remembered, too. “Not a parent, but I remember,” they shared. “My family went to eat dinner at a restaurant together and I got this really pretty cake that had a girl on the top so the whole cake was a dress.”

U/visvis shared that the gift was a big memory for their kids. “Mine remembers exactly which playground he went to for each birthday and what gifts he got,” they wrote. “This includes other kids' birthdays even before he was 5.”

U/mlkdragon felt similarly, remembering a gift they received when they were 5. “I remember my 5th birthday, but only small snippets,” they shared. “I got my favorite pair of white cowboy boots that I never took off, and I remember it was at my nanas house who had a huge backyard, and we roasted marshmallows and had a pony ride.”

For u/diaperedwoman, their memory from 5 years old was when they received their first Barbie doll. “I also remember I got a doll house and my mom setting it up in the living room, and it came with furniture,” they added.

U/Least_Ad5468 shared that they didn’t have big birthday parties when they were little, but it’s something they do for their kids now, and they all have good memories of them, making whether or not kids remember sort of not the point at all. “I don’t remember much from that age, and my parents never celebrated my birthday, but I’ve always had huge birthday parties for my girls and take lots of pictures,” they wrote.

U/Least_Ad5468 touched on another important part about birthday parties when kids are young. “I think it is very sweet that you are doing that, and you will remember it forever, so definitely worth it,” they wrote.