Today I have a guest post by Claire from Creativeclack. Claire's blog is focused on finding creative and money saving ways to achieve great solutions to life’s little problem areas in topics such as parenting, organisation and gift giving. Over to Claire…
This post is all about some great ideas on how to save money on throwing a birthday party for your little darlings. I have an 8 year old cheeky monkey who happens to love all things Marvel, superheroes or any crime fighting, kick ass people. His birthday is the 31st August and he hasn’t normally seen his classmates for the 6 weeks and people tend to be on holiday in the last few weeks of the summer holidays. We threw a party for him and invited his whole class in his reception year and only 4 kids turned up which meant a lot of wasted time, effort and food plus I had a heartbroken little boy. So from then on we’ve stuck to family and friends only, I’ve said he can start having class parties again when he’s in secondary school.
I love making things from scratch and find I often do as good a job (if not better) than something personalised I could get from Etsy or a similar site. I work in Marketing and have Adobe Photoshop at my disposal but I know you could also use Microsoft Word for all these ideas and achieve a great result as well. Using a website like www.canva.com is also a great option and they have free images you can use or use www.pixabay.com for free images.
I always create my own party invitations featuring my little monkey’s face so everyone knows who this party is all about (plus he looks cute in fancy dress) the invitation is themed to match the party. So far we’ve had Lightening McQueen theme, Ninja Turtles theme, 2 x Spiderman themes and a Superhero movie party. I look on Google for themed backgrounds or images such as a Turtles image I’m sure no one will mind if it’s just on a party invitation for your nearest and dearest. Play around with the fonts and size of the words to create the invitation. Below is an example of a superhero party I did (low resolution) using images and text found on the internet. Easily put together in Word. Decorations can be made the same way, make cute cake toppers, drink bottle wraps, signs for a food display, the list goes on.
Having the party at home is obviously the cheapest option, research ideas for themed games to play at home. Turning your hallway into a spiderweb can be easily done with some tacks and some white wool for example or make your own themed pin the tail game, we’ve had pin the pizza on the turtle before. Pass the parcel can be played using music from the programme/film and using themed gifts. The old traditional games are often the easiest to accomplish and the most well received. They’ve lasted this long for a reason, they work! There are some great party game ideas on Pinterest. I created a board for a Super Mario themed party and a sleepover movie theme. All children love a bouncy castle which is a cheap way of entertaining them, if you can get a themed bouncy castle even better but trust me the kids won’t care!
I love playing around with the food you can achieve this very cheaply by using a little imagination. I’ve turned animal crackers and mini rolls into lions driving cars for Lightening McQueen party and turned flapjacks into traffic lights using jelly tots. Let your imagination run free or if you’re a tired, stressed out Mum with no time to think (#normalmum) then use Pinterest for great ideas.
Food can also be part of the party for the Ninja Turtles party we threw we had a pizza making competition as an activity, cooked them and it became their food. Two birds, one stone! In terms of cakes don’t be afraid to bake your own, there are lots of great themed tins or make a simple round cake and use little figures to theme the cake. I found a great 3D Ninja Turtles cake tin on eBay and decorating it was like paint by numbers with it being 3D. Master Clack has always appreciated a more ‘rustic’ looking cake that he knows I’ve made myself then some dry, sponge, mass produced one that looks a little more polished.
If you didn’t feel like having the party at home there are lots of other options, local village halls can be hired quite cheaply and can definitely fit a bouncy castle inside if the weather isn’t great outside. If you have a summer baby like me consider a party at the park just pack up the food and let them run riot on some free activities. Don’t feel like you have to have a prearranged party to hold it at a venue like a playbarn or swimming pool. Simply arrange to meet everyone outside and pay for entry, let them do their thing inside and then maybe go for dinner elsewhere or buy some food platters at the venue. It will work out a lot cheaper than paying for a party plan for some stroppy teenager in a costume to be the ‘host’. A lot of playbarns will let you take your own cake, so plan outside of meal times and just serve the cake for food. Get a couple of jugs of squash for the sweaty kids and enjoy the early night you will get after running them ragged!
When kids are small the simplest activities are often the best received. There’s no need to spend a fortune on a playbarn or the latest one I’ve seen a video gaming truck which is £100s! They’d be just as happy with a tournament on the Xbox in your living room or a bouncy castle in the garden. They’re just happy to spend time with their friends outside of school having fun and being centre of attention. So get on Google and Pinterest, think outside the box and let your imagination run free. You’ll have fun, your kids will appreciate your effort and you will save money!
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