For anyone that has children, you know you're throwing at least one party a year, if not many more. Those early year parties create fun and excitement for the youngsters, and are the beginning of their introduction to group activities. They can encourage friendship and belonging, as well teach the kids how to have fun and collaborate with others.
Throwing parties can be a lot of fun, but if you don't pay attention, they can add up and end up being quite costly. Here are six easy tips for throwing a great party on a budget.
SHOP EARLY. It goes, without saying, that planning ahead saves time and money. You can get some amazing cost savings on gifts and party supplies by ordering online, or buying when on sale, but make sure you allow time for shipping if you’re going online. And, by planning ahead, you’re not doing multiple, last-minute, overpriced trips to the local store on the day of the party.
BORROW INSTEAD OF RENT. Look for opportunities to borrow things you might need for the big party. This could be anything from chairs and foldable tables, to water guns, slip n’ slides and even bouncy castles.
GO DIGITAL WITH THOSE INVITATIONS. Use e-mail, not paper invitations. Save a tree, save your time and remember to use the BCC: field. Send the e-vitations digitally and it costs next to nothing.
KEEP THE MENU SIMPLE. Pizza and wings, for example, is less expensive and much easier than à la carte, or trying to order individual Happy Meals to each child’s specific liking.
BUY IN BULK. If you’re planning to do a theme party, buy what you need in bulk. This way, all the kids get to be a part of the theme, they won’t feel left out and their parents will be happy to chip in a few bucks. Tell them they won’t need to take little Tommy shopping at the mall, during rush hour, for the Dread Pirate Roberts look, and you’ll make their day! Aye, matey!
PICNIC AT THE PARK. Good old-fashioned free exercise! If you’re lucky enough to have your child’s birthday during a warm month, put a picnic together in the field near your house, by the park. Play games that promote activity, coordination and good health. These may be activities such as soccer, soccer-baseball, relay races, hurdles and an obstacle course utilizing the monkey bars and such. Bonus: the kids will be exhausted when they get home to their parents and their parents will get to enjoy downtime while the kids snooze - double win!
Remember, kids can have fun with anything from dice, to pots and pans, to play centres, and it's all about what we guide them towards, as parents, creating positive and fun experiences. In the end, they will remember the happy feelings and the time they spent smiling and laughing. This can easily be accomplished without breaking the bank.