When you have children, birthdays are part of the territory.
So how do we keep parties special without breaking the bank? So far we have held 2 parties for our children, and did each one completely different. But each was also done in a way to make it fun, without the fuss. I hope these ideas will spark some imagination for you as well!
First off, for our family we have decided that having a party every single year is unnecessary. Especially since we have 4 children! So each child will have a party when they turn 5, 10, then 16. Each of our first two parties ended up being princess themed.
When daughter #1 turned 5, I planned our first party. Her new friend’s birthday was one day before her’s, so we combined their parties. That way, each family only had half as much work to do. I made the cake, crocheted crowns for the girls, and bought table settlings. I came up with 2 of the games. My friend brought snacks, made cardboard swords for the boys, and came up with another game for the children to play. She also bought prizes for the games from the dollar store.
Money spent for my half: cake mix, paper plates, cups, table cloth, and plastic ware. What I didn’t have to buy because we already had it: yarn for crowns, printer paper, ink, and tissue paper to make a Pin-The-Tail-On-The-Pony game.
This year I planned a party for our second daughter’s birthday. I made it even simpler this time. Since the girls were in school this year, we printed invitations on the computer, and sent them with her to hand out. We held the party at a local park this time. No stressing over getting the house cleaned up beforehand, or afterwards. Also, I didn’t have to plan any games or worry about buying prizes. The kids had a blast on the play equipment. We brought pretzels and pitchers of water with us. Way cheaper than buying water bottles or juice. We also made cupcakes, and handed out coloring sheets to her guests that had been printed at home.
What I bought this time: cake mix, pretzels, paper plates and cups. What I didn’t have to buy: location, invitations, coloring sheets.
So, as you can see, birthday party #2 was even cheaper than #1, and way less work. Even if we can’t afford a fancy event center, or even party decorations, we can always do something! And chances are, our kids will remember that year they got to have a special party, not that we paid an arm and a leg to have a super fancy one.
What have you done to keep parties affordable?