the mummy blog cutting through the chaos of parenting

Perfect birthday parties – on a budget

Perfect birthday parties – on a budget

Kids birthdays are magical but I have really badly timed the birth of my two children as they both have birthdays which fall in January – the first is just two weeks after Christmas, the most expensive time of the year.  It’s grey outside, it’s cold and even buying a present is a challenge as they have unwrapped everything they need on Christmas Day. Winter birthdays don’t boast the luxury of a bouncy castle in the garden or a picnic in the park – so how do you make a winter birthday feel special without spending a fortune?  Here are some ideas:

.

.

Take a step back to the 80s

There is huge competition in my daughters’ classes for extravagant birthday parties – entertainers which cost £200 a pop plus venue hire, food and party bags – a party can easily cost £400.  But my memories of birthday parties at home in the 80s are just as rosy. Ask your child to create a hand made invitation for their 4 best friends and invite them for tea after school. Pick up balloons, bubbles and birthday banners for no cost at all and make a cake and sandwiches.  Play old fashioned games such as hide and seek and pass the parcel – the kids will love it as they have your undivided attention – and you will spend a fraction of the cost.

.

.

Homemade decorations

You can also make your home look great for the occasion at very little cost – buy a couple of packets of balloons and tie streamers onto them. Stick balloons and streamers onto the wall with sellotape to create a beautiful backdrop. Buy different coloured fruit and create nice displays on the table and buy pink or blue serviettes to add a pop of colour.    You can even get siblings involved by making ‘Happy Birthday’ banners, cut out letters from coloured card, decorate with glitter glue, tie letters together and hang on the wall.

.

.

.

.

.

..

Presents

.

Every year I spend a small fortune on buying my children one big gift – it could be the latest Micro Scooter or a new bike.  But what children really want is lots of presents to open – forgo the big gift and spend less – instead wrap up 5 smaller presents – it could be dolls, games, books or art sets.  Kids love unwrapping gifts so the more smaller gifts the better in their mind – and it costs less overall.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Pair up with other parents

At some schools it may not be the etiquette to have a little party – especially in reception where there’s competition to have the biggest and best class parties.  If this is the case then team up – there are bound to be two or three kids whose birthdays fall at around the same time so find a venue together and share the cost – it could be a soft play or a bouncy castle at the local leisure centre – parties cost much less and you will all have the same friends.

.

.

.

.

Goodie bags

Some parents go all out to provide kids with the most lavish party bags – in them are the same things you always find – bubbles, crayons, badges and key rings, which just get lost in toy boxes when the children get home.  Sometimes less is more and last year I headed to Flying Tiger, the Scandinavian gift shop – you can pick up quirky games, colouring in books and even edible gifts.  I picked up 30 colouring in books and gave these out to children at my daughter’s fourth birthday party with some chocolate buttons – total spend was around £35 for everything and it gave kids something that they could actually use.

.

.

,

.

.

 

.

.

Food

Although a big display of cupcakes on the table may look great, there are much cheaper options – put a scoop of ice cream on each child’s plate and decorate with hundreds and thousands, silver balls, raisins and mini marshmallows.  For savoury dishes, cut up carrots and cucumber, breadsticks and basic sandwiches – add a few crisps and they will be as happy as anything. And for a show stopping cake on a budget head to ASDA – if you have girls then they sell a beautiful Rainbow cake for just £13 – it tastes homemade and can easily be personalised with a toy unicorn or pony on the top.

And remember that for kids the most important thing is hanging out with their friends and family and getting lots of nice presents – with a few simple touches it’s easy to make them feel special for the day.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *