Kids are small, but the cost of their birthday parties often is not. A lot of parents mistakenly assume that kid party items couldn’t possible add up to much, until they start to tally the receipts. There are plenty of ways to drop a fortune on children’s birthday celebrations, but the good news is that there are lots of ways to save money on them too. Here are some ideas for throwing entertaining and interactive kid parties – no pricey clown or bouncy castle required:
Scavenger hunt party - Scavenger hunts are fun for practically all ages and can be adjusted to fit any theme. For instance, older kids might enjoy a ‘Survivor’ based hunt, while little kids would probably love a safari or day at the zoo type theme. Have the items on the list tie in with the theme of the party or just go with a general hunt. As explained in an eHow article by Amy Hannaford, the search area should be determined by the ages of the kids. Little kids would probably be safest searching inside or around the house, while bigger kids could go on a wider search with adult supervision. To mark the beginning and end of the hunt, go online and order some inexpensive lawn signs; you can personalize them to suit the party theme too. Choose prizes for the winner(s) to also fit the theme of the party.
Seasonal activity party – If your child has a birthday in the winter then a sledding and hot chocolate party is always fun. Little kids can have a snow man building contest, while big kids might want to try their hand at ice carving. Summer birthday celebrations can be held at the beach or at a local park with an outdoor pool. Sand castle building and beach volleyball make for great competitions. Spring parties can be held at a petting zoo where the kids can spend time checking out all the new baby animals. Hayrides and pumpkins carving work well for fall celebrations.
Movie party (at home) – This type of bash works well for kids in the 7-12 range and would be perfect to incorporate into a sleepover party. Have guests come dressed as their favorite movie characters and decorate the space to look like the inside of a theatre. Movie posters on the walls and economical rope lights run down the length of the stairs help create the desired effect. Serve popcorn and other typical movie snacks. If you have a rental shop close by, check to see if they have a popcorn machine that can be rented for a reasonable price. Once movie time is over, kids can play movie trivia games to win prizes.
Spa or beauty shop party – Little girls will delight in the opportunity to act big and indulge in a day of pampering. Ask around to see if anyone you know has a home foot spa or two you can borrow. Get the girls set up around the room, soaking their feet and sipping homemade smoothies. One-by-one (or more than one if you can recruit spa worker volunteers), take them aside and give them a mini manicure, allowing them to choose polish colors. For a group activity, try mixing up one or two homemade face masks from common food ingredients like these ones on DailyCandy.com. You can even mix up masks ahead of time and package them in little jars to give as favors to the guests as they leave.
Kid parties don’t have to be over the top to be a blast. While kids’ initial instinct is often to plan the same kind of parties their friends are having, once you get them involved in planning something unique they’ll quickly get on board.