Is it possible to not stress out and get overwhelmed
with planning and paying for birthday parties for our kids?
Yes, it is possible and here’s how you can do it!
5 Tips for creating a stress-free, low-cost birthday party for any child
Keep the Guest List Small
The fewer kids there are the more quality time they get to spend together. Fewer kids also lessen the number of disagreements or fights allowing parents and kids to enjoy the event more.
You will see the added benefit of lower costs with fewer kids as well. I have written another post with 10 Money-Saving Strategies for Kid Birthday Parties.
Ditch the Venue
Again, you save money with this AND it is less stress because you don’t have to pack anything up, set up in a different location, pay attention to time, and make sure you are cleaned up and paid up.
Having the party at home is more like planning a playdate, but maybe with a few other fun activities and decorations. It’s also easier if a parent is dropping their child off and is late to pick up, you don’t have to wait around at a venue or outside that venue after your party’s time slot has ended.
If you don’t have space at your house plan the party at a local park. Some parks may charge a small fee for using their pavilion or other space, but you have built in entertainment and you don’t have to bring much with you. Having the party at a park can be a much more relaxed environment depending on how you feel about opening your home to others.
Go Cheap on Decorations and SKIP the Goodie Bag
The Dollar Store is a great option for decorations, cake supplies, and other party supplies. Yes, the quality is cheaper, but you only need them for a few hours and then you usually throw it all away. You will save tons of money and stress by utilizing a cheaper store like the Dollar Store.
Skip the goodie bag.
Seriously, I have never met a mom that was disappointed if their child left a party without the goodie bag full of items that don’t work once they are touched or are already broken and just end up on the floor of the car on the way home from the party. The kids like them for a few minutes, but you can save lots of money and time by skipping the goodie bag. Here are a few other ideas you could do instead of the traditional birthday party goodie bag:
- Buy a small plant at a local nursery and give out as a party gift.
- Get a small pot with dirt and let the kids plant a seed to take home to watch grow.
- If you are a crafty mom have the kids make soap, a candle, cookie in a jar, some other craft that they can take home.
- Give the kids a small bag of Legos and have them make a creation they can take home.
- Take a picture of all the kids together at the beginning of the party, send it to a one-hour photo place and send your husband or another parent to pick up the picture. The kids can then decorate a frame or you can have frames (again….Dollar Store!) ready. The kids will go home with a framed picture and memory of the party. Experiences last longer than material things.
- Search Pinterest…it’s a never-ending smorgasbord of ideas.
Simplify the Party Plan
You don’t have to have the party planned down to the minute. This was SO me!!
The first few years for my kids (who are 2 years apart and have birthdays 9 days apart) I had the bouncy castle, the Build-a-Bear kits, professionally made cakes, a balloon twisting guy, goodie bags, games planned and scheduled, and more!
My kids’ birthdays were quite memorable for all the guests but heavy on the budget for us.
Those kinds of parties are fun, but you have to be careful about what you start with. If you start big you will feel obligated to stay there or go bigger each year. It’s been hard for us to slowly scale back, but our budget has forced us to and there has been such a blessing in that.
A kid’s birthday party doesn’t have to have a ton going on. Again, remember, our focus should be on the quality time spent with each other.
Enjoy each other more than you enjoy the “things”.
You can still plan a fun activity and here are a few great ideas I’ve seen over the years:
- Perler Beads– Super cheap and easy. The kids make designs and a parent will iron the designs, the plastic will melt and they are able to take it home with them. The kids will be entertained with this for a while.
- Lego Creations– Most likely you have tons of Legos around the house. Put some in a bin and set a timer. Give the kids 4 minutes (or longer) to build the coolest robot, dinosaur, or whatever you want. When the time is up each child can explain to the group what they built and why. You can also make this a competition if you’d like.
- Magna-Tiles Creations– Similar to the Legos and if you don’t have these yet you will not regret buying them. These would be super fun for the party, but also great to have around the house for kids to play with later and for years to come. These are more expensive than the Legos, but a great learning toy to have. The kids can go individually or in a group and build the tallest tower, the coolest animal or the prettiest flower. The possibilities are endless.
- Scavenger Hunts– Click here to get 3 super fun and free scavenger hunt printables emailed to you. There are lots more ideas on Pinterest too.
Have you spent $75 on your kid’s birthday cake before? I hate to admit it, but I have! He was 4!
Moms, let me speak frankly to you…..Your kid doesn’t care! It was a nice cake. It was delicious and it looked amazing, but your child will not care if you have a $75 professionally decorated with famous characters cake or a cake you made at home that isn’t even decorated yet. Because………. This is genius…..wait for it……. Let the kids decorate it!
You can do a cake and ice it and then let the kids put sprinkles on it.
You can make large sugar cookies and have different toppings and the colored icing on the table and let them decorate their own cookie.
Cupcakes are a great idea for letting the kids decorate too. Split them up and let them decorate a few any way they would like. You will be surprised how much of a memory this experience leaves them and you just spent less than $10 on the cake and decorating supplies.
So Moms, make your next birthday party a No-Stress party for you and your kids. Enjoy it with your child and save the money too!
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