10 Tips For Running Kids Parties On A Budget
Posted by The Chocablock Events Team on Aug 22, 2020
Setting a budget for a kids party is the first thing you should do in the party planning process. It could be because times are tough, or you’re a thrifty type who is always looking to stretch your dollar further. Whatever the reason, you can still celebrate your child’s special birthday with an awesome kids party. All it takes is a little creativity and an understanding of what kids like.
So settle in as we take you through the ultimate guide on running kids parties on a budget.
1. Keep the numbers down
If you haven’t thrown a lot of parties before, kids in Prep have the whole class to the party and then by Grade 1 that halves and in Grade 2 that halves again. So unless this is your child’s first school party, ten kids is plenty. For every extra child that’s more food, more cups and plates and more hassle for you
2. Create your own games
This is our favourite party tip, whether you are on a budget or not. The #1 thing the kids will remember from the party will be the entertainment and activities and so it’s time to get creative and be the star of the show. If you are a shrinking violet, plan the entertainment and then have a friend deliver it – it will take them less than an hour and there’s no need for any great pre-preparation.
3. Decorate with a party pack
There’s a lot of party supply businesses out there charging an awful lot for what is essentially landfill. And none of it is personalised either. So Chocablock has created a range of party packs that take all the effort and expense out of throwing a party. For less than $35, you get a big, beautiful balloon garland, a large custom party banner with your child’s name on it, a cake topper, some personalised labels to stick on your own favour bags and a keepsake box that it all comes in so your child can be as excited about the party as you are when it all arrives. You can add cups, plates and more for just a few dollars more without a trip to the nearest shopping centre.
4. Send out e-invitations
Welcome to the 21st century. Paper invitations are always a lovely touch, but there is nothing wrong with creating your own electronic version and emailing it to the kids’ mothers. Remember, most of them will print this out and stick it to the fridge which is one less thing you have to do.
Either open your favourite word processing program or Google “free online party invitations” and you’ll find a world of options there. We like eVite for their ease of use and their range of templates.
5. Bake your own birthday cake
Birthday cakes bakes just for you can start at $50 and go well into the hundreds, but baking it yourself and having the kids help you decorate it yourself could cost you less than a tenner. Buy one of Chocablock’s personalised cake toppers to make sure the theme of your kids party is clear for just a few dollars more.
6. Keep catering simple
Want to feed a kids party for less than $10? Easy. If the weather is good, then fire up the BBQ and it’s time for a sausage in bread which satisfies even the most ravenous of children. If you don’t have a BBQ, then a great alternative is to send a friend to the local fish and chip shop about 30 mins before eating time, and then create rolled cones of paper in a design that matches your party theme. It’s a classy take on an otherwise cheap kids party catering alternative and will keep you way under budget.
7. Party at home
Venues can be expensive, especially if the kids party venue insists on you using their food and drinks. A lot of people think they have to go with a venue because they think their house isn’t suitable.
Firstly, the kids do not care. A party is a party. Secondly, don’t worry about the clean up – that’s what family and friends are for (see below). Three or four friends on clean up turns two hours of work into 20 minutes. You can even use all the kids in an “emu-bob” game as the last activity to get the worst of it in the bin. Works a charm.
8. Or party at the beach or park instead
Some of the best parties we’ve ever thrown have been at the beach. Our favourite was the Survivor party which involved a little bit of planning, a shovel and not much else. We created strips of material to use as buffs that the kids tied around their heads so they were divided into two teams. They were then using buckets to run to the ocean, fill it up and run back to dump into a giant clear bucket (with a dash of team-coloured cordial in the bottom). Very Survivor kind of activity and cost almost nothing. Pre-digging a bunch of deep holes that you then lay a stick or plank over so kids have to dive under these trenches makes a great obstacle course, again for nothing! A lot of beaches also have a nearby hot plate BBQ that you can use to deliver your sausage sizzle idea above.
9. Use friends & family
They say time is money and the amount of time you are going to spend on organising a kids party is time that could be better spent working or getting ahead on projects. So don’t try and do everything yourself. Delegate! S
tarting with your other half, have him do a little of the running around, like the supermarket run. Have each one of your friends bring a home made dessert – they’ll love that they are invited and able to contribute to the day.
If the party is being held at a venue that you have been able to secure for a bargain and the party is for 12 or 13 years olds, the party may be held at night and you have to consider security to keep any gatecrashers at bay. Have some of your bigger family or friends dress in their best black pants and collared shirt and voila!, you have your own security force.
10. Don’t have a party
If there’s one thing that Covid-19 has taught us, social distancing and parties don’t mix. It also means we’ve had to get creative in how we celebrate children’s birthdays. It’s also friendly on your kids party budget.
One of our best sellers over this period was the un-party party, or the quarantine party pack, where “none of you are invited”. As you can see, memorable fun can still be had without any great expense. Total outlay for this birthday party? Under $40 – and photos that are going to last a lifetime.