Tuesday, March 22, 2011

8 Tips on how to throw a Child's Birthday Party on a budget

  1. Make your own cake.  Costco cakes are $15 each.  I bought cake mix at the store yesterday for .98.  You can buy canned frosting (not a fan) or make your own.  Here is my "famous" cream cheese frosting that I use every time I make frosting.  It's pretty much amazing. ;)
  2. Cupcakes vs. Cake I've found cupcakes are faster and easier for a kids party.  You don't have to cut and serve them, kids love them and they don't end up wasting them like they would a piece of cake that was cut too big.
  3. Don't bother with other foods.  I tried a few parties with pizza or hot dogs in addition to cake and ice cream.  By the time we got to the cake and ice cream the kids were so full they didn't eat any!
  4. When to plan the party.  Schedule the party between lunch and dinner.  That way you only have to serve cake and ice cream, not lunch too. The kids will be too involved playing to eat anything but cake and ice cream anyways.
  5. Don't worry about paper ware. Kids don't care about themed plates, cups and napkins.  Stick with solid colors and decorations that match your theme.  They are less expensive and serve the same purpose.
  6. Goodie bags seem to be a MUST HAVE at parties.  If you decide to do a goodie bag, go inexpensive.  Kids go crazy over little toys or erasers, and you can't go wrong with candy.  You don't need to fill the bags, just a handful of small favors is sufficient.
  7. Use items around your home for games.  Beanbag tosses, crawl through a cardboard box in an obstacle, hoola-hoops.....use your imagination and come up with games, the kids will LOVE it.  My boys always request a treasure hunt with clues around the yard.  I use the goodie bags as the treasure at the end.
  8. And one more tip I stick to when planing younger kids birthday parties.....Allow about 15 minutes per age of your child.   Example, if you have a 5 year old, your party should last about 1 hour 15 minutes....1 1/2 max.  And 8 year old party can go for 2 hours.  As the kids get older, they don't need to be entertained with games and activities, they just want to play together.  I've found this formula VERY helpful.

I just hosted a 5 year old party in January.  I was thinking of breaking my formula and extending the party from 1.5 hours to 2. I'm SO GLAD I didn't!  Those little guys have such short attention spans that it was a challenge to keep them entertained for an hour and a half!
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