Chances are you’ve noticed how much birthday parties have evolved into huge, expensive shindigs that bear little resemblance to the backyard, ‘Pass the Parcel’ days of old. First of all, if it’s not in your budget, don’t be swayed into competing with ponies, jumping castles and expensive food platters that inevitably get thrown at or thrown up on someone anyway.
The kids will be just as impressed with a little bit of creative, (budget-friendly) thinking.
Time it right
There’s no doubt that food ranks up there as one of the biggest party expenses. However, you can avoid this with some clever timing. Hold your party mid-morning or mid-afternoon. This way, you’re not responsible for the ‘big meals’ and you’ll just need to whip up some tasty snacks or get the local bakery to do it for you. Some cheap, easy ideas that impress both adults and kids include kebabs with chunks of fruit and marshmallows, sandwiches or mini quiches cut into shapes, mini pizzas and ice cream or yogurt parfaits.
There’s no need to hire performers for entertainment when the kids come in fancy dress.
Pick a DIY theme
A theme is really all you need to promote a fantastic atmosphere and let the kids create their own fun. Whatever’s trending in your family and age-appropriate, whether it be superheroes, magic, fairies, camping or soccer, run with it for decor and activities. Match your invites to suit the theme and invite everyone to dress up, rather than pay performers to play the role.
In terms of decorations, it’s amazing what the humble balloon or streamers can do for a venue, so there’s no need to waste money on expensive birthday paraphernalia. No matter what theme you choose, it’s the colour combining that creates an exciting visual. Unless your theme has something to do with rainbows, choose different variations of one shade only, or no more than three contrasting colours for impact.
Borrow or use your own things to set up a variety of entertainment corners.
Use what you have for activities
Everyone loves a jumping castle, however, kids are generally just as excited about any new toy.
Everyone loves a jumping castle, however, kids are generally just as excited about any new toy they haven’t played with before. Between your own stuff, your family’s and friend’s, it’s easy to compile a wealth of amusements, from sports equipment to crafts, blow-up pools and board games.
Set up different areas dedicated to entertainment, so kids can hop from one to the other without a chance of getting bored. If you have a couple of tents, fill them up with toys to rummage through. This way, it’s easy to entertain themselves, without you having to organise a thing once the party’s in full swing.
Lastly, remember that there are no rules. For example, it’s not written in stone that you have to provide party bags to take home (that often get thrown out anyway). Think outside the box, create your own fun and know that the kids will be just as happy running around in their imaginations, with or without a pony ride.
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