Daughter's 4th Birthday Party on a Budget

I have a four year old daughter her b-day is coming up next month. I am strapped for cash and don't have any ideas. Chuck E Cheese is too expensive. And I have friends who want to come to the party and their low on money too. I have a really small house so I can't have it at home. Any ideas. Boys are coming too.

Shenean from Lebanon

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February 4, 20080 found this helpful

Do you live near a public park with swings and other equipment? Kids that age are very easy to entertain in that setting. Buy a few of the little balsa wood glider planes for them to throw uo in the air. Girls like these too. You can also get some individual bottles of bubbles with the wand inside. This will keep some kids busy till the soap is gone.

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February 4, 20080 found this helpful

some churches even if your not a member will rent out there banduet halls for very little cost for hald day to full day, some even just ask for donations.and with that they provide the use of refrigerator, freezer, stove, sinks, tables etc. they just ask that you leave everything as you found it clean and in good condition. wehere we live in tenn alot of the churches do this. i have rented at least 4 diffearnt ones in the last 15 years and had kids parties, baby showers etc. ask some of your family or friends if they're churches offer it.just give good directions to the guest coming so they can find it. i would give these dircetions on written instructions in advance so they can plan better for the special day.

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February 6, 20080 found this helpful

It is quite popular here in Australia to have a kids birthday party in the local park - particularly if the park has swings and climbing equipment. You can play a few games with balls and bean bags. You can take simple food like sandwiches, chips and cup cakes. If there are BBQ' s you could do a sausage sizzle - sausage in a bed bun with tomato sauce. You could have meat patties or other types of things that can be cooked on a BBQ. Keep it simple and the kids will have fun - just make sure that if you are going to a park that you have enough adults to supervise. At the end of the party you can give out lolly bags or something that has been made at home. Good luck

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February 6, 20080 found this helpful

My library has story hour and a room they will let you use for free! Another idea...Mcdonalds playland. Don't want to eat there just buy dessert. Eat at home. Try a dollar movie in your area. Know someone that has a projection style dvd player? Project favorite kids movie on a large wall (church) and set up a fake drive in theater. Let kids make cars out of free cardboard boxes. Set up a carnival type game room for fun. At age 4 you can still have a fabulous free bday! Some advice, I use to see how I could trump it every year. Big Problem. Once you get on this roller coaster the kids start to expect things you cant provide. Try to focus on just spending time with friends and family. I think useless party favors are overrated also.

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February 7, 20080 found this helpful

Parties do no have to be expensive. I had great fun with parties for all my boys when they were young and hardly spend anything.

*Make your own favors (toilet paper rolls with candy in wrapped in bright paper and tied at the ends with ribbon) or get a theme and center around it. Can be as simple as "dogs" making bubble bottles to look like dogs by covering with construction paper and making simple faces.

* Play ring around the rosie, Hookie Pookie, Did you ever see a "doggie" (lassie), pin the tail on the dog ( get a poster of dog or draw one on cardboard) Simon the Dog says (simon says with the person wearing a dog hat). 4 year olds just like to simply play (a few group games, some silly songs they are familiar with like head and shoulders,itsy bitsy spider, etc, and put out standard play things like a big bag of blocks too.) In the backyard, bubble blowing and circle games.

*Have each mother bring something to eat (sandwiches, cerely sticks with peanut butter, carrot sticks, drink, finger jello, ice cream and you supply a home made cake (or cupcakes work well too) so you share (could be instead of a gift). Make the food simple.

*Can be held in a tiny home (mine is a small tract home) , or if a friend has a larger one you could ask them if you could use it, but is always easier in your house. Parks are good only if weather permits and I don't know what the weather is by you this time of year.

*Make hats by using bands of poster board paper and making simple faces or ears to go on them to look like dogs (or your daughter's favorite animal). Even have the kids make their own hats as a project supplying what they need. Trace the face or ears onto the construction paper for them to cut out and color.

*Decorate simply. Put up a big bunch of blow up balloons hanging down and the little streamer (they come in tubes and separate into little colored paper strands) over the table hanging from the lamp...makes it look festive.

*Tell your friends to get presents under $5 (max) simple things even from a 99C store can amuse and be loved by little muchkins.

* Most of all just make it fun for all. Today it seems people try to outdo each other with birthday parties and it becomes more for show for the adults and stressing for children...start a better trend and keep it simple. All will enjoy! Will help you friends too:)

* Don't invite too many people...the party is really for your daughter and too many overwhelm..better to have a small party. Just have some moms and best friends ..don't think you have to invite everyone. If people ask why they weren't invited (which is very rude) tell them it is small because she is small and your house is small.

*I always had a children's party and then a family party. Made the cake one layer and the rest cupcakes. The cake in the middle was then used for the family party at night when Daddy was home and Aunt and Uncle, and grandparents could come. The kids ate the cupcakes...less mess too because no spoons. Consider ice cream sticks instead of serving ice cream on plates too. Only give to those who want it...children may not want both...

*Have a great time planning and hosting your daughter's party and set a specific time limit to the party so the kids don't get worn out and start fighting (usually 1 1/2 hours for little ones 2 to 2 1/2 for older.)

P.S. Just a footnote, I used treasure hunts for the sons parties when they were older and my sons friends still comment on how much they enjoyed them.

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February 9, 20080 found this helpful

The 2 parties I remember most growing up was one where the family divided us into two teams to compete at a scavenger hunt (we were given clues we had to figure out and then find something at the correct location - first team with all "somethings" wins); and one where a magician was present. He was a friend of the family who knew several tricks. He performed some and then showed us a couple and how to fool an audience (which was great fun for 8 year olds!)

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