Birthday parties for kids can often be overwhelming in their planning, set up and especially cost. Many options for children include exorbitant amounts of money spent on venues, attractions and entertainment.
Parents feel pressured to put on these elaborate affairs for their little ones, but there's a better way! You don't need to compromise the fun in these budget friendly ideas as your child will love them. At this age, most kids are easy to entertain and don't require quite the packed itinerary that often arises from these parties.
Many of the items you need to make any one of these great party ideas work can be purchased from the dollar store, craft store or a discount grocery store. Check out these ideas and try them out with your kid and their little friends, then watch the fun unfold!
Children love balloons, they're inexpensive to buy and you can use a pump to blow them up. Designate one room as the ball pit, fill it with balloons and let the kids go wild.
In another room, give each child a balloon to decorate, these will be their souvenirs to take home. Food items can fit the circle theme too; homemade circular cake, cookies, meatballs and mini quiches, alongside grapes and hot dogs cut up into disks. There's no limit to the circular food you can find or make.
Paint Night gatherings are all the rage for adults, so why not create one for your child's birthday? Ask kids to paint a scene from their favorite book, TV show or movie. Give each child their own canvas and brush, and ask them to share the paint.
Once their masterpiece is completed, they can be left to dry while they go create their own edible masterpiece. English muffins can be “painted” with pizza sauce and kids can add whatever toppings they like.
This idea is great for indoors or outside. Ask each child to bring their favorite stuffed animal to the party, then designate a room where you can spread colorful tablecloths on the floor.
Children sit on the clothes and introduce their little friend and enjoy picnic style food. When everyone is done eating, clear away the food and use the tablecloths to play parachute with the stuffed animals.
This activity is best for large open spaces like the basement or backyard. Gather up old blankets, sheets and boxes of all different shapes and sizes, borrowing where necessary in order to give the kids enough building materials.
Let the kids decide what to build and watch them go crazy. Provide flashlights for them to use inside their fort so they can create shadow puppets against the walls. Help create a space inside the fort for them to remain in their special place while eating.
Invite party guests to wear their best attire and introduce them all as special guests to the prince or princess of the castle (birthday boy or girl) as they arrive.
Decorate a chair for your little one to sit on and receive their guests as the procession comes in. Serve high tea (chocolate milk) with cucumber sandwiches, scones with jam and cream and little cakes perfect for little hands.
Have each child decorate a crown or scepter to take home as a parting gift with glitter pens and ribbon.
Ask your guests to wear their favorite pajamas. Use a room where blackout drapes are possible or else one where the windows can be covered to simulate nighttime. Put on one of their favorite films and serve them popcorn and candy.
Once the first film is over, set out fun board games for them to enjoy together while you set up a sundae bar. This is a simple, relaxing party where the kids have fun, and it requires very little planning on your part.
Have the kids put on a short show, skit or a talent show where they dance and sing or re-enact a story or create one themselves. It will encourage teamwork and creativity on their part, but it also requires very little money to be spent.
All the kids will have a part in the performance and you can ask the parents to come a little earlier before the party ends so they can enjoy the fruit of their children’s labors. Afterward you can offer all your guests some finger food and drinks.
Kids love to play dress up with jewelry. Have each child make a beaded necklace with some yarn and medium to large sized plastic beads.
Measure your child to determine the length of the yarn pieces to cut so they are already done for when the guests arrive.
Use longer and shorter strings to give the guests a choice. Provide beads of all different colors and designs. You can give out candy necklaces for the guests to take home.
Choose a picnic spot near some shade and hang some colorful balloons and lay down some tablecloths. Invite the guests to wear their bathing suit and bring a change of clothes and a towel.
Let them play in the water and nearby playground along with Frisbee and other ball based sports. Where there are parks, there are usually ice cream trucks, all the kids can be given their favorite treat on a hot day for only a small cost. Take lots of pictures to send the parents.
Photo Booths are popular at weddings and kids love them too. Why not have a photo booth theme for your little one’s birthday party?
Designate someone as a photographer and use a large box or project board with a cutout for the camera and decorate it on the inside.
Gather a series of props from your own closet and those of your friends and family such as feather boas, large glasses/sunglasses and old clothes and shoes in bright colors. They'll love having their picture taken in these silly photos.
- Rosalind Savoury