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I don’t know about you but when I was a kid my birthday parties were usually just me, my parents, and extended family. We didn’t go all out for kids birthday parties and the few I had consisted of my friends and me playing in our big basement.
Birthday parties for kids these days are big events that usually involve inviting most of their school class. This can get super expensive if you are planning a party in another location. Of course having the party in your home can be a stressful thing too.
This post gives you everything you need to know about planning a kid’s birthday party at home, on the cheap, all while keeping your sanity.
Table Of Contents
For returning visitors or if you are looking for something in specific here is an easy jump to table of contents for you. Just click the link and jump to the part in the post you want to view most. To come back there is a link after ever section to send you back to this table of contents.
- Home Birthday Party Ideas
- Inexpensive Birthday Party Ideas
- Popular Birthday Party Ideas For Kids
- Throwing A Kids Birthday Party
Kids Birthday Party At Home
Filling your house with a bunch of excited and boisterous kids doesn’t always feel like the smartest thing to do. In fact, you might be getting a headache from the thought of it all. However, if you want to do a birthday party on the cheap it’s almost necessary to do it at home.
I’m going to give you some big tips to throwing a birthday party that makes your kid happy, keeps the kids entertained, and will line up playdates for the rest of the year, all the while sticking to a budget.
Home Birthday Party Ideas
There are a few things that make birthday parties awesome. Themes, games, and kick butt goodie bags.
Go With A Theme
Figure out a theme for the birthday party first and foremost. The theme is what sets the stage for every single portion of the birthday party. Decorations, games, entertainment, and goodie bags will all be based around your theme.
A little later in the post I will go through some popular themes based on ages.
Plan Games Around That Theme
Games that you can play might include; bingo, charades, treasure hunts, what’s in the bag, how many in a jar, musical chairs, or plastic wrap games.
So create bingo cards and then the kids have to check off what they see in movie to win. Do what’s in the bag or how many in a jar guessing game that geared with the theme. Do musical chairs with music from a favorite musician.
Hide money, toys, gift cards, and a small box with a big prize in plastic wrap. They have to unroll the plastic wrap to get to the inside and they only have a certain amount of time to unroll before it gets passed to the next person.
Gear all the games towards the kids theme and it becomes loads of fun.
Allergy Friendly Goodie Bags
Finally, gear your good bags with your theme. If none of the kids at the party have allergies go with whatever floats your boat. However, if you are unsure pick small trinkets, gift cards, to go with the theme.
For instance, a Fortnight themed party could have gift cards to purchase fortnight add ons. A unicorn theme would include socks and unicorn trinkets from Target.
Inexpensive Birthday Party Ideas
Now that we’ve covered what makes a successful fun birthday party now we can look at some ways you can save some money. Or where you should spend some money to save your sanity in one case.
Watch A Movie Based On Your Theme
Plan to do a movie screening, pop a whole mess of popcorn, buy a bag of candy, and serve up an awesome bunch made from 7 up and sherbert. This will keep the kids interested for 90 minutes to 2 hours depending on the movie.
Let parents know that you will be doing a movie screening and what movie will be watched so that they can decide if it’s ok for their kid to watch it.
Do A Cupcake Cake
If you want to save some money but don’t have the decorating skills or materials to create a cake than a cupcake cake will work instead. You can paint the cupcakes and put them on a tier, or lay them out in a sheet and then decorate them. Or go with option two below.
Or Buy A Sheet Cake From The Store
Sheet cakes really aren’t all that expensive these days and you can save yourself a messy kitchen and a headache by buying the cake instead. I personally feel the extra money spent is well worth the headache. Especially if I’m doing a movie screening and a fun cheap game.
This is about the only place where I vote splurge instead of try to DIY it. It’ll save you a lot of time and energy which is worth the splurge.
When decorating your house for the party don’t bother going all out unless the theme really calls for it. Get some cheap streamers in the color palette of your theme and call it done.
Otherwise, recruit your family for DIY action the weekend before the birthday party. Cut, glue, and create DIY decorations in your home with materials you already have. You can also get table covers for cheap and turn them into decorations too.
Print Your Own Invites
Finally, print your own themed invites by either searching Etsy for kids invites in your theme or creating them yourself on the computer. This saves you time searching and you only need to print exactly what you need.
No invitations you will never use again but will sit in a box taking up space until your kid is 30.
Popular Birthday Party Ideas For Kids
Let’s go over some popular themes for kids birthday parties so you can organize this entire thing. First ask your kid if they have a theme in mind. If they do, just go with that. If not, give them options.
If your kids is super indecisive you might want to pick a couple and then offer your kid a choice instead. This way they don’t change their minds two days before the party and are super upset about it. Though to be fair this might probably happen anyways.
Pick A Favorite TV Show
0-3 year olds will probably enjoy a theme based on Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol, or Mickey Mouse.
4-6 year olds will probably prefer Dr. Seuss, Story Bots, or My Little Pony.
7+ year olds will probably want something a bit more grown up like DC Super Hero Girls, She Ra, and The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
Pick A Favorite Movie
0-6 year olds are going to love most Pixar and Disney cartoon movies for a theme. So when a new one comes out pick that as a theme.
7+ year olds will want something grown up like Avengers, Lego, Superheros, and Star Wars.
Pick A Favorite Video Game
Video games only really work for the older kids so Fortnight and Minecraft are great options here.
Pick A Favorite Color
For a lot of kids they would rather just have a fun birthday party with all pink or all blue or whatever their favorite color is. This also makes it easy on you when it comes to decor, invites, goodie bags, and cake.
Pick A Favorite Musician
Finally for the older kids who like music you might pick a musician they love. It could be Arianna Grande, Taylor Swift, Ed Sherran, Beyonce, or maybe even cool bands like Panic! At the Disco.
Throwing A Kids Birthday Party
Now to some extra sanity saving tips you will want to have. These tips come from experience in both attending and throwing birthday parties or events where a lot of kids are present.
Have People Who Help
Ask a couple of moms to stick around and help. When it comes to kids birthday parties it’s useful to have extra adults on scene to keep the destruction to a minimum. It’s also helpful to have those few extra pairs of eyes to make sure all the kids are safe.
Do Head Counts Often
If you go outside to the yard and even inside the house do headcounts periodically to make sure that all the kids are present. The last thing you want is one kid disappearing to go search through your dresser drawers.
Rope Off Do Not Go Areas
While the rope itself isn’t going to stop kids from going where they shouldn’t all the time they will probably be deterred at least a bit. This keeps kids where you want them and thus controls the mess that might happen with your birthday party.
Make sure you have some fun yourself at your kid’s birthday party. Laugh with the kids and enjoy it. At the end of the long day your kid will most likely be grateful to have such awesome parents giving them a great memory.
Plan to have quiet time at the end of it all, where you just all eat the leftover goodies and reward yourselves. Take time to watch a movie together as a family.
Also leave the majority of the clean up for the next day, throw out any food and cups right away but don’t worry about the decorations till the next day.
Planning a kids birthday party and then actually throwing the party shouldn’t be super hard. It also doesn’t have to be super expensive either. Kids are going to have fun easily enough so long as they have their friends.
Remember this one thing, if it protects your sanity by purchasing a few things that will make it all easier, it might be worth the expenditure. Save where it makes sense, spend where it’s going to make life easier for you.
What theme does your kid want for their birthday? Let me know in the comments below. Follow me on Pinterest for more like this and pin this to your favorite kids activities boards.
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