As a parent planning your child's birthday party, your first impulse might be to go out and buy all the matching Elmo decorations and plates, plan a four-course meal and buy a huge cake for your child's birthday party. However, the number one ingredient for a great birthday party is fun! You can plan a fun birthday party for your child without spending tons of money.
Instead of going to the expense of renting a place for your birthday party, why not have it at your house or at the park. It's free! And if your house is not big enough for the occasion asking grandparents or another relative to use their home is not out of the question. Be sure and clean up afterwards though.
Go Cheap on the Invitations
Instead of buying those expensive invitations, why not make your own? Handwritten and homemade invitations can add a personal touch. Or you can make computer generated ones and even add a picture of your child on the invitation. Another great idea is the almighty Internet. Email your invitation or use a website such as www.evite.com to send your invitations. This will save you on stamps as well.
Plan Easy Games
Plan easy games that will cost nothing or little. You can make your own pin the tail on the donkey game or play duck, duck goose, musical chairs or Simon says. There are also many game ideas on the web to choose from. If you are planning an outdoor party some inexpensive sand toys, Frisbees and balls can add to the fun.
Keep the Food Simple
Keep the food simple. Most kids love hot dogs and chips. Serve drinks of soda, juice and punch from large bottles and avoid those expensive cans and juice boxes. Store bought cakes are expensive so prepare your own birthday cake or let grandma or another relative prepare it as part of their gift to the child. Or it is not unheard of to just serve cake and ice cream at a birthday party. Usually that is what the kids want to eat anyway.
Don't Go All Out on Decorations
There is no need to buy all those matching plates and napkins. If your child really loves Elmo maybe have a few Elmo plates for the kids and use regular plates and napkins for everyone else. You can also use leftover plates and napkins from other events and purchase decorations from discount stores. Blow up some inexpensive balloons to add to the occasion.
Avoid Spending a Bunch on Treat Bags
Purchase some white paper lunch bags and let the kids decorate their own treat bags with stickers, crayons and glitter. Find inexpensive items and candy at discount stores to fill the bags.
Don't Sweat it
Children are pretty easy to please. At parties they mostly entertain themselves. Throw in some games, toys and cake and they will have the time of their life!
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