Keep Your Child’s Birthday Party Affordable with These Seven Tips

Do you remember Junior’s birthday party from the 1990s comedy, “Problem Child?” The scene was brimming with guests, presents, food, clowns and other entertainment. It was the party every child of that generation longed for. It was also the kind of party that most parents would find a bit over-the-top as far as birthdays are concerned.

A child’s birthday is important, and most people like to celebrate with a party. Whether it’s a small family-only affair, or a friend-filled get together, there’s no shortage of kids’ birthday party ideas. The challenge often lies in how to keep the party affordable. The cost of birthday decorations alone might break your wallet. No matter what type of party you have, you can cut costs in several ways so you don’t need to take out a loan in order to finance it.

Here are seven tips for hosting an affordable kids birthday party:

Make Your Own Invitations

Forget the fancy, preprinted birthday party invitations and put the birthday kid to work, letting them design the creations themselves. Use card stock to make them by hand or turn to the computer and use clip art to create personalized invites.

Keep Entertainment Simple

Do elementary age kids really enjoy hypnotists at their party? Apparently some parents think so, according to Martha Segal Block in her article for the Huffington Post. Clocking in around $400 a party, it’s not cheap entertainment. Choose some age appropriate games for the kids to enjoy–water balloon fights or campfires are perfect for summer birthday parties.

Make Crafts As the Party Favors

Double up and plan crafts that the kids can take home. Decorate pre-made picture frames or T-shirts. Make bracelets or headbands from old knit shirts. Have a treasure hunt where kids find small trinkets they can take home.

Have the Party in the Afternoon and Skip the Big Cake

Save money on food by holding the party between 1 and 5 p.m. Kids will come already full so the cake and ice cream will satisfy them. Whip up a batch of cupcakes, a large recipe of frosting and set out bowls of candies with which the kids can decorate, and then eat, their creation. If the party is going to be an all-day event, the kids could even help bake the cupcakes.

Use Generic Paper Products

Mother Miser says that if you’re planning on a themed party like “Transformers” or “Dora the Explorer”, you can save big by buying the off-brands rather than the licensed plates, napkins and balloons.

Hold the Party at Home

Memories can be made just as well at home as they can at the water park. Hold the party in your backyard or at a local park where the kids can play for free. If you do need an indoor venue, other than your home, check with your local school or religious house of worship as they usually rent out their extra recreation rooms for reasonable rates.

Skip the Birthday Party Packages

If a do it yourself party isn’t for you, find out where your child would like to hold his or her party and check out the prices carefully. If you’re taking the kids to an indoor playground, you will often save money by just buying the tickets and taking your own food, decorations and cake. Another option is to plan on taking the kids there in the morning, order pizzas as you’re leaving and then enjoy eating at home for a huge savings over the birthday package.

Remember to keep the party age appropriate and never try to out-do it from one year to the next. Your child will likely remember how his party was last year and be expecting a bigger and better one this year. Letting him help you plan a fun and simple party will make the birthday special and keep the costs down.

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