Unfortunately b-day parties have become a huge $ pit. When did it become necessary for the guests to get presents (treat bags)? They come because it is their friends b-day and they want to share in the celebration with cake, ice-cream, and fun. Plan a few fun games that you only need things around the house for such as; a sack race (use old pillow cases), scavenger hunt using nature (items could include: certain color flower, acorn, pine cones, be creative), red rover is a classic!
For girls, play dress up in mom's dresses and high heels like we did when we were kids. Lipstick and your cheap jewelry and they are set. Make your best home made cupcakes and serve with punch. You could even have them make their own sundaes!
The important thing is that they get that time with their friends to celebrate. The guests don't need a treat bag. Their treat is the cake and ice-cream and before you know it you will be at their b-day party presenting them with a gift on their special day.
Your house is ideal for games of tag, sock hops, tea parties using thrift store (non matching) colorful tea cups in imaginitive colors (you should send these home with the kids as favors.) boston creme pies are always a favorite (store bought cake mix, made in a round pie pan, then cut in across (to make a top and bottom of the cake, then smooth vanilla pudding in between the two layers, put them back together and put lots of chocolate frosting all over it) hand out something simple as favors, like bubbles, crayons & small coloring books. do lots of drawing/coloring/painting crafts with the kids. musical chairs is a must.
Little girls, as well as big girls, love a pamper party!
We invited girls and their moms and had different stations for the girls: a manicure station, a pedicure station [we used a couple of the moms' foot waxer and foot soaker], a picture frame station [The girls decorated paper mache frames from a bulk supplies catalog with foam shapes; a picture taken at the beginning of the party and developed at the local one hour developer was inserted so they could take home a remembrance of the party], and a jewelry-making station where the girls made friendship bracelets with the help of one of the local teenagers. All of the supplies for the party were purchased either during sales, at the dollar store, or in bulk from a bulk supplies catalog. All of the girls and moms said it was the best party they had ever attended. In fact, we did a similar party the next year!
I too love the bubbles idea and have used it for a great party favor. Also, face painting-paint available (cheap) at discount stores and everyone has a great time getting their face done. Homemade cake is the best anyway and is not expensive at all. Dollar stores have $1 banners/balloons. Have an old fashioned water balloon race if you can get outside...kids love a great time..not the amount spent! I'm incredibly poor too, but always remember to have fun..thats whats important for the kids!
Have the party start at like 2:00 in the afternoon and put on the invitation that cake and ice cream will be served. Then the guests know to eat lunch before they come. Also, have the party at a nearby park ... you can play pin the tail on the donkey, games (volleyball, soccer, etc.) and then there is always the park to provide entertainment. Our children should never know how really poor we are ... we as parents do the best we can and we make it work.
I have some inexpensive birthday ideas that the kids will love. The kids love the game, Wrap the Mummy. Buy the six pack rolls of cheap toilet paper at the dollar store. Pair off the kids and have one be the wrapper and one be the mummy. The wrapper has to wrap the mummy before the timer goes off. Whoever wraps the best wins the game. I bought tihe little 10cent candy sticks at Cracker Barrel for the prize. We also played the game, whatever you pull out of the bag you have to wear and model for all. Place funny items in a bag, and pass a ball around and whent he timer goes off, the one with the ball has to pick something out of the bag (without looking) and put it on. I placed funny hats, dresses, anything the kids may think would be funny in the bag. If the party can be moved outside, you may want to buy a pack of balloons from the dollar store and a roll of ribbon and blow balloons up tie a 3 ft. piece of ribbon on it, then tie it to the kids ankle. The object is to pop the other kids balloons while protecting their own. This game is fun and wil wear out the kids! Hobby Lobby has strreamers 3/1.00. Makes inexpensive decorations. Hope it works out!!!
we have an art contest with chalk on the sidewalk and ask the kids to draw a cake, water balloon toss, hot potato. guess how many beans etc, have a scavenger hunt,
I saw a post on here a while ago where someone had an old fashioned 'tea-party' for their daughter and a photo was included. The girls all looked so cute dressed up in hats and heels with necklaces etc. For food you could use kiddies teasets or maybe borrow one (or 2) and serve tea with cupcakes and simple sandwiches which you could cut into cute shapes using cookie cutters. I'm sure that wouldn't cost too much. And little girls do love to dress up. How about getting adults involved in giving them mini-makeovers...like putting on make-up and nail-polish etc.
Editor's Note: Here's the link:
A great website with lots of different ideas is: http://www.birthdaypartyideas.com/html/party_ideas.html
There are over 100 types of the parties listed there, surely you'd find something! Most of all, have fun!
I also think a princess party is good. I just had one for my daughter and we acted out the story of Cinderella. We drew pictures and tacked them up on the wall for decorations. The girls brought their own princess dresses. They started out by wearing old aprons and scraps while they "cleaned" the house with dusters etc. like Cinderella did then they had the ball and they all got to dance with the birthday girls daddy and each other then opened presents then we had a craft where we decorated crowns gotten free from Burger King and then had lemonade and cake (home made) and then they got treat bags with coloring books from the dollar store. It was very cheap and we all had a blast. I also invited mommy's to stay and there were many photo ops. I took pictures of the girls dancing and mailed them to them as thank you cards.
TC in MO
If you have a can get enough empty small dish soap bottles. Cut the top off and wash out dry let them make flower vases with a little glue & glitter. about 2.00 for a lot of vases.
I have given several birthday parties for $20 or less. I made bean bags from scraps of fabric and dry beans that were too tough to eat. We played games with them such as tossing the bags into a (clean) waste basket. We dropped clothes pins into a canning jar (old fashioned and none of the kids had ever done it before). I bought a candy bar for each guest and tied a really long piece of yarn onto each one, then wound the yarn all over the living room. Each guest found an end (marked somehow--a bow? I don't remember now) and unwound the yarn to find which candy bar was hers. The candy bar and bean bags were part of their take-home bag. We decorated lunch bags for take home bags and that was also another party activity.
For food we made English muffin pizzas (muffin, sauce, cheese, pepperoni) and decorated homemade cupcakes for another activity and dessert.
The kids had fun and it was cheap, cheap, cheap.
You could do a princess party. Crowns and wands could be out of construction paper. the handle of the wand could be a straw or popcycle stick. Which they could deocrate with crayons or markers. maybe some glitter. this would take be something for them to take home and an activity. I've seen all these items at the dollar store.
You could even make the cake look like a crown by making a rectangle cake and cutting triangles out of one side to look like a crown.
I'm always done house parties for my kids(who will turn 9 in may) and aside from a craft, they spent alot of the time just being kids and playing and last time one kid said it was the best party she had been to. Last party we asked the guests to come in a night gown or pj's. The kids loved it, it was not a sleep over but a daytime pajama party. .
How about a pyjama party? Have children dropped off with their sleeping bags in the evening. They all sleep in the same room with your little girl. All you need is popcorn...have a movie ready. Cake before bedtime & some toast for breakfast. Cheap enough & loads of fun for little ones. Have fun.
My mother always gave us great birthdays with lots of friends and we were incredibly poor! She made homemade cakes and we always gave away packages of bubbles as party favors. Sometimes we did a craft or played a party game. You can make a cake from the box if you can't from scratch -- two boxes can be less than $2. Make icing from confectioner's sugar, butter, a little milk and vanilla. Another $2 tops. Buy bubbles at the dollar store and figure out some little game to play. Or have the kids do a craft and let that be part of their favor. You don't need to spend very much money to have a sweet party!
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