Kids parties can be very expensive, and can quickly get out of hand in terms of planning. From buying enough food to satisfy hungry children (and their parents) through to getting the right kind of entertainment and decorations, kids’ parties have mounting costs. However, kids’ parties can be budgeted for, even on a shoestring. Some of the most important ways to achieve lower costs include setting a limit on attendees, making your own entertainment, and asking friends and family for left-over party items. By doing so, you can save money and still have a great party.
Our guest blogger, Rob James, gives us some helpful hints for keeping a kids party within budget.
1 - Set a Limit on Who Comes
It may seem a little bit cruel when your child wants to invite their entire class, but the more children attend a party, the more expensive it’s going to be overall. Set a limit on close friends, and a maximum amount of people that can attend. Smaller groups can be given a higher quality party on a lower budget, and also reduce the amount of stress on the day in terms of keeping track of everyone.
2 - Design and Decoration
Rather than buy branded decorations, make your own using paper cut outs and poster paint. Banners can be easily put together and hung for the party, while normal tablecloths and napkins can be covered over with crepe paper. If your child does want a themed birthday, however, it’s worth testing out your artistic skills on a favourite film or television character. The results may not be exactly accurate, so consider making shop-bought decorations a necessity if your child is particular about what they want.
3 - Make Entertainment
You can save money on entertainment by using a family member or friend instead of hiring a professional. This entertainment might mean acting as a DJ, doing magic tricks, or providing a face painting service. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to convince a friend with a pony to bring it along for the day, although with the understanding that there might be a mess afterwards.
4 - Make the Most of Games
Some of the best party games are ones that cost very little. Hide and Seek, and What’s the Time, Mr. Wolf? tend to be favourites, as do Musical Chairs and Musical Statues. If including a Pass the Parcel set of presents, try to set a maximum amount per item.
5 - Cook Food and Bake a Cake
It might be tempting to round up all the food and the cake for a party in the supermarket the day before. Another option, though, is to cook a few days in advance, and then freeze what you can. Pizzas are particularly useful for this approach. Try to enlist friends and family to help with the workload. A home baked cake will also only cost you the price of the ingredients.
6 - Keep the Location at Home
Having your kid’s party at home will remove the need to pay rental costs and insurance for the hire of a public place. While you do run the risk of breakages and damage to your home, making sure that the party is relatively small and well supervised by adults should reduce this risk.
7 - Make Your Own Invitations
A straightforward task that will save you buying a pack, making your own invitations can simply mean hand writing or drawing invitations with your child, which they can hand out in school. Email invitations are another option.
8 - Shop Around for Party Gifts
Look at discount shops and supermarkets for party gifts that can be given out in party bags at the end of the day. In many cases, having some sort of gift is better than skipping the bag at all.
9 - Ask Around for Left Over Items
Check with friends and family to see whether they have any left over items from their own kid’s parties. They may have some generic banners and tablecloths, as well as party music and games that you can borrow.
Rob James is a father of four girls, who love magic birthday parties. The first children’s party he organized was a disaster, however over years he has learnt to throw very successful events. Now he likes to share what he’s learnt and help others throw great parties!