Party on a Penny

Kelly Ann Butterbaugh

There are great ways to save on children's parties and still make the kids smile. Whether it's a birthday party or a themed slumber party, save money and gain smiles.

The Cake

Cakes aren't cheap, yet they get the most oohs and ahhs of all the food. Eliminate the costly run to the bakery, the expensive shaped cake pans, and frostings of all colors. Instead, make themed cupcakes.

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Cupcakes can be arranged to make all sorts of shapes. To make a pine tree, ice the cupcakes with green icing only and then set them up in a triangle (don't forget to put one at the bottom to make a tree trunk!) Add a few cinnamon hearts on each for ornaments, and you have a cake that doesn't need cutting. Try arranging some brightly colored cupcakes in a circle with a few inside to make a smiley face. You can even try to spell your child's name with the arrangement of cupcakes.

Another cupcake idea is to theme the cupcakes to the party. Buy cupcake wrappers that match the party colors. Avoid the expensive hard frosting decorations available at stores. Instead, visit the clearance aisle of the toy store and pick up a bag of army men, farm animals, miniature cars, plastic rings, plastic coins or other small items that reflect the party's theme. Top each cupcake with a token, and each child will feel like he receives the centerpiece of the cake.

Pinata Time!

No money is better spent than on the pinata. Even the smallest party gains energy and fun. Purchase a pre-filled pinata any time you see one on sale and pack it away for a future party. It doesn't have to be filled with candy; small prizes, stickers, or even pennies excite the crowd.

Use What You Have

Decorations are a necessity, but don't spend a fortune on them. Instead, scour the house for things you already have. If children have been begging for a pirate party, start the decoration search in their rooms. Chances are, a pirate hat or even some pirate pictures can be found in there. Throw the swashbuckling bed sheets in the wash and temporarily on the table (cover with a clear plastic tablecloth to keep them clean.) Those sheets also work as a wall decoration when tacked. Stuffed animals and toys add some feeling to the party as well.

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Previous parties can create new and exciting party decorations. After a Mardi Gras party, suggest its theme to the children who might want to have their version of the adult party a few months back. Luaus are fun for any age, try to double up on your supplies and use them for an adult and a child's party. Use old wedding shower decorations as new Valentine's Day decorations. With some creativity you can find a bevy of supplies right under your roof.

Comments

August 27, 20080 found this helpful
Top Comment

Small crafts make a great activity at a party. Even something as simple as a construction paper cutout that the kids can decorate with markers, stickers, stamps, etc can be fun and created to suit your party's theme. We made princess crowns out of recycled soda bottles one year and paper rocketships another. They were a hit and the kids had something to take home to remember our fun day. Check out family friendly craft sites for ideas and instructions. We love FamilyFun.com.

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