Birthdays are a big deal whatever your age, but there’s no need for you to have a big budget.
We all know that toddlers have fun with the simplest things (namely the wrapping paper and boxes that expensive presents come in) so don’t feel guilty about not spending a fortune on their birthday party.
Here are some ways you can throw a birthday bash fit for a prince or princess without it costing a princely sum.
Hold It At Home
Although having a party at home takes plenty of prep, it works out much cheaper than hiring a venue or paying entry fees elsewhere. On top of that, your toddler will feel completely at ease in their own environment and you can make the party personal to them.
The Smaller, The Better
One way to keep stress levels and costs down is to keep it small. Only invite family and their best buddies, and take into account the fact that their friends’ parents may stay too. While young kids don’t take up too much space, it’ll only take a few extra adults for rooms to quickly feel crowded. However, extra adults mean extra pairs of hands, so if anyone offers to bring anything or help out, always say YES!
Presuming you don’t want to serve hot food (for budget and preparation reasons) it’s best to avoid mealtimes. A couple of hours is plenty long enough for a toddler’s party, as they have a short attention span and get tired easily. Hold the birthday party mid-morning between 10-12 or mid-afternoon between 2-4 and no one will expect anything substantial. Healthy finger food such as fruit, vegetables and cheese cut into strips is easy to prepare and eat. For their treat, they can have…
However, instead of forking out for a big birthday cake that will feed everyone, why not bake or buy plenty of inexpensive plain cupcakes that the kids can decorate as an activity. Once they’ve loaded them with their favourite toppings, they can then sing happy birthday to the birthday boy or girl. During lockdown, one of my son’s classmates actually delivered a cupcake and toppings to all their friends and they then decorated them together via Zoom. Thankfully, that idea can be played out in person now.
Gone are the days when you had to hone your calligraphy skills in order to impress party guests with your pretty invites. Now a simple WhatsApp message is a free and perfectly acceptable way to invite everyone, and the attendees will have all the details to hand whenever they need them instead of having to rummage around in pockets looking for them.
Colour Me Beautiful
I’m a sucker for themed birthday party decorations but they cost a small fortune. Instead of decorating your kitchen with their favourite cartoon characters, search for cute (but plain) decorations in their favourite colour combinations. Your house will still look party-ready and they’re far less expensive. If anything is left intact (unlikely, but possible) you may even be able to reuse it in the future because while they grow out of TV programmes, they’ll still love the same colours.
Thankfully little kids are easily entertained by the simplest of party games and they don’t cost a penny. Musical chairs, musical statues, Simon says and pin the tail (safely) on the donkey are all popular. If they’re tired from all the dancing around, they might even sit still for storytime!