Parent Sanity – How to be a parent and keep your sanity

What I have learned so far…

How to host fantastic birthday parties for kids – on a budget

on October 11, 2012

One thing I know how to do really well (if I do say so myself) are children’s birthday parties. I am happy to say that my kids have fond memories of their “cool” themed birthday parties. The nice part — almost all of them were at home! Sure, we did the McDonald’s party one year, and the bowling party another year, but almost all of the others were in our own home with an interesting theme. And I have to say, I would go all out with the theme. Teddy Bear and PJ birthday party (picture above) included a teddy bear birthday party invite,  “breakfast” with teddy, a home-baked teddy bear cake, teddy bear decorations, crafts and games. The kids especially loved being in their PJs!

The best part of all, home parties don’t have to cost a lot.

For an example, why spend $20 a kid at a movie theatre party, when you can show a movie at home? Make it interesting. Set up the movie in the basement. If you can, display it through a projector on the wall. Get glow in the dark necklaces for everyone, serve hot dogs and make a huge batch of popcorn. And don’t spend your money on useless items for loot bags — who needs all those pencils, mini erasers and little toys?  Instead, give a few useful items; such as a microwave popcorn bag and gift card to the movies.

One year, I made a “spaceship” in the basement. I used a few really large cardboard boxes (our neighbour had purchased some sort of  appliance and was going to throw out the box). I put them together and made a large square fort in the basement, and covered it in foil wrap. I cut out a few holes and put plastic bowls in place (to look like spaceship windows). I made a tunnel for them to crawl through in order to get inside the spaceship. I made a simple control station with some craft supplies and hung glow in the dark planets and stars from the ceiling. For food, I served “astronaut treats” (aka food in zip lock baggies) and served Kool-Aid Jammers. The cake was a round cake with red frosting (the planet Mars) with little green alien toys on top, and a rocket shaped decorated cake. The kids loved it! In fact, my girls spent the next 2 weeks playing inside the spaceship fort every chance they could.

Another memorable year, was my daughter’s Snow White birthday party. We spent $100 and hired Fantasy Fables — and Snow White came to the house. She was fantastic! Not only did she look like Snow White, she sang songs from the movie, she completely stayed in character the whole time, she read the Snow White book, did the girls “makeup” and played games with them. For loot bags, we bought Snow White books for the kids, gave them an apple and made headbands. We made little finger sandwiches and had a tea party. We spent very little money, all in all, and the kids absolutely loved it

There are great birthday party cake books out there. They really are pretty easy to make. And your kids can help decorate. I never had birthday cake left over!

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5 responses to “How to host fantastic birthday parties for kids – on a budget

  1. […] I have learned so far… « How to host fantastic birthday parties for kids – on a budget Oct […]

  2. Jo-Ann says:

    Good memories and fun parties for sure 🙂

  3. Anonymous says:

    Okay Deb, where were your great ideas when my kids were small huh? LOL

  4. Barb says:

    I remember all of those parties so well, and the children really did enjoy themselves. Great Deb<3

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