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Children’s birthday parties on a budget

Children's birthday parties on a budget

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From skiing to paintball, children’s birthday parties seem to have taken on a life of their own in recent years. The rise of social media lets everyone see what lengths parents have gone to, giving their kids an all expenses spared party and so the ante has been well and truly upped.

However, a great birthday celebration doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are some tips for giving your kids a birthday party they’ll remember, without spending a fortune.


Gone are the days where you had to hand write and post 30-odd invitations. It’s now perfectly acceptable to email/text invites to parents or create an event on Facebook. In fact, by doing it this way you’re more likely to receive RSVPs, meaning you don’t need so many ‘just in case they do turn up’ places and party bags. You can also download free printable invitations and have your child hand them out. Making it clear that siblings aren’t invited helps keep numbers down and remember you don’t have to invite the whole class. But if you’d rather only invite a select few, it’s better to do it discreetly with parents rather than having your child or the teacher dish out invitations.


Obviously hosting the party in your home is the least expensive option, but if your house isn’t big enough or you can’t face hoards of children running around inside, you may want to hire a hall. As you presumably won’t need a bar, you will have relatively cheap options available. Consider sports centres and village or church halls. Keep a strict time limit on the length of the party; you don’t want to end up paying for an extra hour of use.


Catering for your child’s guests can take up a huge chunk of the party budget. Remember, kids probably won’t eat loads while at a party as they’ll be too busy playing games and enjoying themselves, so don’t go overboard. It’s cheapest to make a simple buffet yourself – rope family and friends in to help. By doing this you’ll ensure that the food provided is child-friendly, which is likely to be eaten as well as keeping costs down.


Children's birthday parties on a budgetContrary to what you may see on Pinterest or television, you don’t need a professional entertainer to keep kids occupied. Young children in particular may get overwhelmed or scared by magicians or clowns; it’s often best to keep things simple. Organise some traditional party games like pass the parcel, blind man’s buff and musical statues. Pick up some prizes from the pound shop and you’ll be good to go. Try to avoid games like pin the tail on the donkey where kids might get bored waiting on their turn, don’t worry about running out of activities – you may be surprised at how easy it is to fill a couple of hours, by the time you cut the cake and kids finish eating.

Party bags

Knowing what to put in party bags can be a minefield, particularly if you are inviting kids with food allergies or who aren’t allowed too many sweeties. Stickers, glow sticks, temporary tattoos and packets of seeds are usually a hit with kids and parents alike. Alternatively, you could buy a batch of books and give one to each guest – it will probably work out cheaper than filling a party bag and will last a whole lot longer than some plastic tat.


If you want to give the party the ‘wow’ factor without spending a fortune then having a theme is a good way to do it. Look around to see what you’ve already got at your disposal. For example, if your child is superhero mad then use toys, posters and games that they already have to add to the décor and tie everything together.






About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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