DD1 just turned 6. We had a joint party with her BFF (lol) and hired a jumping castle - expensive but was definately worth it, especially with energetic boys. Went very low key with small loot bags, no games or theme, just the 2 activities below. Our best party yet.
The kids (boys included) made 'necklaces' on string with fruitloops (put tape around end so it doesnt fray when threading).
We also let every child decorate a cupcake with smarties, mini marshmallows etc (name written on base) and placed them all on cupcake stand to form the birthday cake - after the candles were blown the kids ate their own cake.
At her 5th the theme was pirates and princesses. We played colour statues as its easier/fairer (great if ages vary), and the kids loved it. Place coloured card/paper squares on ground (eg red,blue,yellow,green). when music stops kids stand on a colour. A colour is drawn from a hat and all kids standing on it are out. Continue until you have a winner.
Bit over pass the parcel and pin the tail - kids get bored once they have a turn, takes lots of time to prepare and play, they prefered the statues.