As a parent, we all know that feeling (or if you don’t you soon will) of the sheer panic that descends when your kid says those four words just before their next birthday…
“I want a party!”
And, if you’re lucky, they may have given you at least a weeks notice! All joking aside, children’s parties are not for the faint hearted, with the average cost of a children’s birthday party in the UK ringing in at £320 – and that’s before you’ve splashed out on the all important, must-have gift! Kids parties are a big business in the UK and for good reason – parents are prepared to spend big when it comes to their little ones.
However, we don’t all have the means to spend big yet we want our kids to have the best birthday ever. So, how do you go about putting on a creative, unique and well organised party without putting yourself in the red?
There really is no need to panic as there are ways you can throw an epic party on a budget – and here’s how…
- A great party starts with a great invitation – it sets the tone for the whole event. It gives you a chance to grab your guests attention so be as quirky and as out there as you like and make the design to suit your occasion or theme. It will also guide your guests choice of outfit for the party e.g. a garden party or an evening disco.
There are loads of creative and unique templates online so, if it’s your little princesses fifth birthday party, you might want to look for images of unicorns and perhaps a bow svg to finish off that fairytale princess invitation. If your son is having his friends round for an army style camp-out why not add a touch of camouflage and some military theming?
- When considering a venue for your party why not look close to home…or in fact in your home? If you have the space, or if a friend has a large garden, why not host the party from home? You could hold a camping party or perhaps a water play party and provide everyone with water guns and water balloons.
It will mean a huge saving on hiring a venue such as a community hall and will allow you to start decorating well ahead of time giving you more time to focus on matters such as food.
- And, talking of food, if you’re anything like me, you’ll agree that a partys not a party without some great food and that goes for kids partys too! I think we’ve all seen enough curly ham sandwiches, part rings and dehydrated cucumber to last us a lifetime so why not get inventive?
Head to Pinterest for some creative ways to prepare your party food. Perhaps you could carve a pirate ship from a melon or make pirate treasure chests filled with sweets and chocolate! The possibilities are endless and it doesn’t have to be expensive – budget party food served in a creative way and, if you’ve got large numbers of people to cater for, head to your local cash and carry and pickup your supplies in bulk.
- So you’ve sent out fancy invitations, you’re creating tiny unicorns out of marshmallows but now you need to think about decoration. It goes without saying that the decor needs to match the theme of the party; yet a lot of the decor can be created at home. Use You Tube or trawl the web for party decor DIY ideas and you’ll soon be giving the professional party planners a run for their money. It’s amazing what can be made from a bit of paper and a few balloons!
- The bulk of the expense, for the majority of childrens parties, is the entertainment e.g. a bouncy castle, a face painter or perhaps a disco – and this is an area that’s hard to DIY, so to speak. If your kid wants a bouncy castle there isn’t a great deal you can do yourself besides hunt for the best deal. It is worth spending a little time doing research as you will find prices vary from business to business and there’s usually a deal to be done – especially if you happen to be booking last minute.
Of course, there are ways you can entertain children whilst spending next to nothing. Some great suggestions include:
– Hold a fun sports day event
– Set-up a treasure hunt
– Apple bobbing
– Hold the party at a park
– Set-up craft stations
- Don’t break the bank over party favours – it’s easily done but completely unneccesary. If you have a polaroid camera, a nice idea is to take a photo of each guest with the birthday girl or boy as a keepsake and give it to them when they leave. Alternatively why not make friendship bands or perhaps keyring, again, as a nice keepsake.
- If your kids have friends with birthdays around the same time of year, why not pool your resources and club together on one epic party? The kids will have a blast as they’ll be celebrating together and the parents will reap the rewards of splitting costs and economies of scale. Together you will be able to lay on the type of party which alone you may not have been able to afford.
- Finally, and probably the most important thing to remember is, don’t stress! It’s easy to get carried away and wrapped up in trying to make every detail perfect but the truth is kids don’t notice the small details that us adults do. If the basics are in place the kids will have a blast!
So, there you have it – eight ways to throw an epic kids party on a budget. It’s easy to go crazy and spend money we don’t have on our children. The key to throwing a great party on a budget is to get prepared in advance – rope in friends and family to help too. The more time you give yourself to get organised the more money you will be able to save.