Organizing a birthday party for your kids can easily turn into an expensive affair. These days there are so many different themes, decorations and ideas to choose from. It’s easy to go overboard. But you can plan a budget birthday party, and guess what, your kids won’t even notice it.
At the end of the day, the little ones just want a good time regardless of a fancy theme or entertainment. As long as you focus on making your party a fun time for all, you can relax on the expensive details.
As with any area in your life where you want to budget a budget birthday party needs some prior planning and research. Also, you will need to trim down on your guest list and make the whole party a more intimate setup. Once you are comfortable with these two key factors you can go ahead with the party planning.
Planning a budget birthday party
- Location for the party: Start with choosing a free location for your party. What better free location to choose from then your home. Do you have a backyard? even better, kids love playing outside. If you can’t host at home look for free locations in your vicinity, like a local park or play area for kids.
- Decorations: This is where you DIY. There are tons of free printables available online for any theme you can think of. Research ideas on Pinterest and then make your own versions using craft supplies. Invest in a few key décor pieces for the home like tea lights, decorative lights, crockery, vases, napkins, tableware, cake stand in white or plain glass. These elements help quickly decorate any area of the house for a party and can be reused over and over again. Another hack is to buy evergreen party supplies like buntings, paper lanterns in colors that you can easily mix and match and use over and over again. You can see this example in use in this post here on our son’s ocean themed birthday party.
- Go digital: Use free websites to design your invites and return gift cards. Canva is one such great option to design your own party invites.
- Food: Catering can be a big expense. Instead, you can prep ahead of time and make an easy party menu that can be quickly prepared on the day. Ask other family members to pitch in too. Grandma can bring in the appetizers, an aunt can bake a cake, while you focus on mains and drinks. I personally loved these types of birthday parties as a kid where family members would bring in homemade yummy dishes for our birthday party spread. Your child will definitely notice these loving touches. If this is not an option for you, you can schedule the party after lunch and before dinner. That way most kids are done with lunch at home and you can have a spread of appetizer and finger foods for everyone to munch on. Some examples of foods you can include for such a tea party spread are sandwiches, oat bites, energy bars, hummus and other dipping sauces with bread and cookies with milk for the kids.
Fun Idea: Arrange a mini cookie bar with a variety of cookies for little ones to dip in their milk.
- Cake: Instead of going for elaborate decoration cakes plan ahead and bake your own cake. Is baking not your strong skill? No worries, set aside a budget for the cake and research ahead of time for options available in your vicinity. This way you can get a great deal on a cake and don’t spend a bomb last minute. I have personally always done a little digging ahead of time to look for bakeries that are willing to make me a simple cake at a good price. If you are reasonable in your bargaining most bakeries will agree in giving you a discount too. Just don’t expect someone to give you a three-tiered cake with elaborate fondant work at a heavy discount.
- Return gifts: Depending on your budget you can either scrap the idea of return gifts or you can select return gifts to fit your budget.
- Entertainment: Dedicate most of your budget towards entertainment for the kids. The kids are here to have some fun. No matter what budget birthday party you have this is a key area you should focus on. Your guests will remember the fun and laughs they had at your party not the location and decorations. Research some fun party games for the age group of children attending your party. Some games like musical chairs, tail the donkey and pinata’s are evergreen party favorites. If you have money set aside you can hire a magician or entertainment for the night. Another great way is to bring in some fun elements to the party that serve as self entertainment like bubble makers,puzzles, play dough and art supplies. Dress up a corner of your house like a mini play area with these items and let the kids have fun exploring everything. For outdoor parties you can design a fun treasure hunt for the kids.
Noone remembers their first birthday. Young children have no memory of their early birthdays. So relax a little and save all those themed parties for when they are older and have demands of their own. They will be able to appreciate your efforts and you save on those first few years of birthdays. For our son’s first birthday we had a small family and friends celebration and kept the decorations very simple in green and blue so that I can reuse them for other celebrations. It was a lovely day with our close family and friends. He enjoyed the day too since he could recognize the people invited and it didn’t feel like a strange new experience to him.
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