Birthday parties without breaking the bank
Written by: Ineke
Birthday parties are such fun times – the balloons, the games, the cake, the tears…perhaps not. Here’s how to avoid the tears from mum and dad, and plan the perfect party.
Location location location
It’s important to choose somewhere that suits your child’s current obsession or chosen theme. There’s no point in picking a park setting for a child who wants a Nintendo themed party.
No room at home? Try the local church hall or community recreation centre- these are often well equipped with kitchens to hire as well, so the clean up is quick and easy.
Consider the time of year as well. A winter birthday is best planned indoors, to save any last minute changes for that unplanned rainy day.
Invites, friends and what to expect
Not all parties are made equal. Plan according to your budget, and encourage your child to follow this too and avoid disappointment. If you’re not planning on giving out party bags for example, then maybe think about mentioning this on the invite, or speaking to the parents before the day to avoid any meltdowns. Just because one person organises a party and offers the world, doesn’t mean that you have to.
For invites, consider using free templates on sites like Canva.com or Microsoft Word for quick, easy, budget friendly designs and printing. Don’t have a printer? Contact your local library – you can design and print all in one convenient location! And don’t forget to put all the important information on the invites in large print – date, day, start and end time, location, and your phone number.
General planning and organising
If you’re planning on special items like decorations, party bags and a cake, make sure you order or purchase these in advance. Allow a few weeks at least for delivery if you’re not ordering locally. Then plan what’s actually going to happen at the party. Are you going to have party games like ‘Pin the Tail on the Donkey’ or ‘Pass the Parcel’? Or maybe some outdoor party games – try these fun outdoor ideas, most of which can be done on a budget with things from around the home.
There are lots of options to consider here, but remember to stick to your budget. Think about asking parents to stay for the party; ask them to bring a plate to share, or bring their child’s favourite snack food to share instead. Ordering pizza might be a good option, especially if you’re ordering for a large crowd – call the store and ask if there are any extra discounts available. Or if you’re going to have an outside party, think about having a barbeque. These can be simple or extravagant, but remember to keep your plans manageable to avoid over-committing yourself. Always remember, you’re the one cleaning up afterwards!
Most importantly, don’t forget the cake and candles.
Last but not least…
Kids remember all the fun times, and rarely remember the things adults worry about. As long as you have food, cake, music or games, everyone will be happy!
For a more detailed timeline with planning tips and tricks, check out The Spruce’s party planning here.