May 31, 2010

Planning a Kids Party on a Budget

We spend allot of time discussing weddings and everything wedding related here at Simply Sophisticated Events however, what you might not know about us, is that we also plan other events such as children's birthday parties.

While planning (and attending) a kids birthday party can be loads of fun with loot bags, themes, games and lot's of sugary treats, we know that cost always plays a big factor when parents are trying to think of how how to help their kids celebrate yet another milestone. Don't worry, we're here to help you avoid breaking the bank for the next birthday party.

Here are a few ways to help keep your next party a budget friendly one:

1. The best piece of advice we can give to parents on a budget is to host the party in your home. If you don't have the space, look for a low cost alternative such as a community centre or party room in a friends condo (usually the rental fee is pretty low and some even offer a money back guarantee if there is no damage to the facility).
2. Plan the party around non-meal times so you don't have to worry about feeding 20 kids an expensive lunch. Instead, host the party for a few hours after lunch (and between dinner) and offer healthy snacks. After all, kids will get the munchies so it's best to have some snacks on hand.

3. Save on renting expensive activities like bouncers and magicians. Instead, go back to basics and have the kids play games such as musical chairs, Simon says or even pin the tail on the donkey. If your children are a bit older, perhaps having an X-Box mini tournament would keep them busy and having fun, or even a soccer game in the back yard could be a fun way for kids to burn off some energy - and it's free.

4. As adults we tend to get caught up in all of the small details, one of them being decorations. Small children won't notice if you have perfectly coordinated centre pieces or tea light candles lighting the room. Kids are all about the fun factor so think themed paper plates, napkins and balloons. We love scoping out Party Packagers and our local dollar store for these cheap and cheerful decor options.

5. Part of the fun of having a birthday party is ripping into the loot bags afterwards. Set a budget for each bag and stick to smaller items such as candy, home made play dough or even homemade cookies or brownies. Don't forget to have your little one include a hand made thank you note to his little buddies too.

6. If you can't stomach the thought of paying for a cake made at your local bakery, but are cake decorating challenged, you can always make cupcakes instead and have the birthday boy or girl help you frost and decorate them with sprinkles. Having the honorary birthday child help with the decorations will also add a fun and personal touch to their party.

7. For home-based or out of home parties, try to keep the guest list to a minimum. While it might be tempted to invite their whole class to the party, we recommend that smaller is best, limiting the guest count to about 10 kids total. Not only does this save on money however, it will also be easier for the birthday child to interact with everyone equally. And it will lessen the amount of times you hit up the Advil bottle as well!

8. Lastly, just have fun and remember no matter what type of party you plan for your little one, they will have a great time with their friends no matter what.

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