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Planning the Best Birthday Party.
What to do when you're on a budget
Now as a mother of 7 children ranging from 22 to 2, I have just about done it all for birthday's. From the big extravagant to the most simple you can imagine. But what are you going to do, kids love them even the big ones (although they won't admit it). Now with things like they are it is sometimes hard to plan a big party without breaking the bank doing it. But since I have had a little practice I thought I would share my ideas. The best way to start is use your imagination, think outside the box.
All items from dollar treeClick thumbnail to view full-size
Now I favor what we call here " The Dollar Tree". Many cities have one it just might be named something different. You can find almost anything you will need there, at a fraction of the cost.
Figure a theme....
Now depending on wether it's a boy or girl and their age this could be difficult. The best place to start is looking around a dollar tree for ideas. Believe it or not they have some really neat things to put together for birthday parties. Even if it's bigger kids. They have a neat selection of movies or books to plan a sleep over party. Sometimes they even carry science stuff and space stuff. The selection for the little ones is endless. They carry all the paper products and decorations for some themed parties as well. You can go into a dollar tree and spend $20 and get everything you need to decorate and all the paper products also.
This can be really simple especially if it's during the warm season and really nice weather. Just through something on the BBQ add some chips and pretzels and the kids will be happy. That actually the perfect theme for summer parties. Water balloons and squirt guns make a real easy party.
If you are wanting to do something inside choose something with not much preparation. Like finger foods or a one pot meal. Not only is it cheap on the pocketbook, but also won't heat the kitchen up when it's real hot.
I have found that those pizza pockets, hot pockets and a variety of appetizer type foods really go over great with the teenagers, especially during a good movie.
Healthy fruit snacks and roll ups are a good idea. My kids especially love the go yogurt things they are great for running around outside with.
The perfect Cake....
Now cakes can be tricky, but it can be solved with a little imagination. I prefer to use cupcakes, they can be for both little and big kids and are really easy to do yourself. Most stores charge about $20 dollars to do a birthday cake. Which isn't to bad but if you have any kind of decorating ideas you can really make some nice cakes or cupcakes without spending that much. I normally make cupcakes for my kids little or big they love them. I caught a cupcake tree on sale at the dollar general for $4, so I bought 2, that was a really good find. You can buy cupcake liners from just about anywhere and any theme to match your party idea. I normally use a few different colors for icing. The best place to get something to go on the top of them is at a dollar tree. You can put rings or small toys, actually just about anything can top them to create a nice look.
Now if you like to decorate cakes, then go all out and make a big one. There are a lot of free decorating ideas on the internet. A good place to find some is allrecipes.com. They carry a train idea I made for my 2 year old. He loves Thomas the Train and it was real easy to put together and decorate. They have several different cakes you can make ranging from bugs to barbie. It really is a good place to start looking at ideas and recipes.
Now to finish the whole thing...
Now goody bags are a thing of choice. I normally just put some dishes out with candy and nuts in them and let everyone help themselves. But if you prefer you can do some up just make sure you have enough for unexpected guest. There's always some that will show up that weren't expected or didn't let you know they would.
Games just depend on the age of you party guests. Most of the little ones are pretty easily satisfied with simple things. If you are doing a summer party then outside water games are pretty easy to do and great for big or little kids. Inside games can range anywhere from scavenger hunts for the bigger ones to pin the tail on the donkey for little ones. This is where having a good imagination comes in handy. If you don't have one then recruit someone with one, because there are a million things you can do for a birthday party to liven it up.
I was planning a birthday party for my 3 year old, she likes the balloon things in the tent. So I set up a screened cover that we already had added about 50 balloons and placed some fans outside to bow them around. She loved it. It was just like the real thing and I didn't have to go rent one. Which can be pretty expensive.
I even made a slip and slide out of an old tarp off my husband's truck and slicked it down with bubble bath and added a sprinkler. Millions of things can be done right at home and not have to cost a fortune to do them.
Believe it or not bigger kids are just as occupied with stuff like that. Especially water balloons and squirt guns. Put on some music and there you go. Most big kids will play the same things as little kids they just don't want to admit it. But secretly they are having a ball.
Save any of the party decorations that you can. There are many things being made now that can be reused. Even if you do not reuse them for your kid, you will come across someone who can reuse it for theirs. I have two boxes full of left over party decorations, that I am always going through and reusing for one thing or another.